The DJI Phantom 4 is the latest model in DJI’s iconic Phantom series. The Phantom series is extremely popular among aerial photographers who want to get crisp and clear shots from the sky on a platform that has amazing battery life and a great gimbal.
People have been eagerly awaiting an announcement of a Black Friday sale on the Phantom 4. Rumors were swirling that there would be a deal on it lieu of the deal that DJI had on the Phantom 3 last year. Unfortunately, DJI has chosen not to release a sale for the DJI Phantom series this year to the disappointment of many.
Phantom 4 Pro and Advanced Sale: If you purchase the DJI Phantom 4 Pro ($1499) or the DJI Phantom 4 Advanced ($1199) directly from DJI until Cyber Monday, then they are offering an extra battery for free that normally costs $169. There is no sale for the much cheaper vanilla Phantom 4 (which is selling for $899 right now).
Instead of a sale on the Phantom series, DJI has decided they will give people $100 off their latest drones, the DJI Spark and the DJI Mavic Pro. The DJI Spark and Mavic Pro are phenomenal drones with a ton of advanced features. So how do these drones compare to the Phantom 4?
The Mavic Pro vs. The Phantom 4
On paper, the Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4 are not that different. They both have quality 3-axis gimbals with 4k video at 30 fps. The difference between the two is that the DJI Phantom 4 shoots 1080p HD at 120 fps compared to 96 fps for the Mavic Pro. The battery life between the two drones is about the same with the Phantom 4 possibly lasting a handful of minutes longer.
The Phantom 4 is quite a bit bigger which can be an advantage at high wind speeds. The drone is less likely to get tossed around in bad weather. The Mavic Pro beats the Phantom 4 on range with 7km (4.7 miles) to 5km (3.1 miles). The Phantom 4 can theoretically travel 4 MPH faster than the Mavic Pro in sports mode whose max speed is about 40 MPH.
There is no contest in terms of portability. The DJI Mavic Pro is foldable and can easily be carried – possibly in your pocket. The Phantom 4, on the other hand, needs it’s own backpack to travel with it.
Overall, the Mavic Pro might be a better drone for most people’s needs. The $100 off Black Friday deal that is being offered on the Mavic Pro makes the two equivalent in price.
Phantom 4 Advanced and Pro
So what’s makes the Phantom 4 Advanced and Pro special? The answer is a drastically improved camera that can shoot H.264 4K videos at 60fps or H.265 4K at 30fps, both with a 100Mbps bitrate. They come with a 1″ 20 MP sensor that has close to 12 stops of dynamic range. They also have a mechanical shutter to stop rolling shutter effects, which occurs when filming fast moving subjects.
The more expensive Phantom 4 Pro has many more obstacle avoidance sensors on it to protect it from damage. The Phantom 4 Pro has a dual band 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequencies, which can eliminate radio interference. The Phantom 4 Advanced only has 2.4 Ghz. Other than that they are basically the same.
The Best DJI Black Friday Sale
The DJI Spark does not compare to the DJI Phantom 4. It has a drastically inferior camera with a simple 2-axis gimbal, and a much lower flight time of 16 minutes (compared to closer to 30 minutes). The Spark is for people who value extreme portability and who do not have camera quality as the primary focus.
Choosing between the Phantom 4 and the Mavic Pro should be relatively straightforward. If you are buying a drone for camera quality then get the Phantom 4 Advanced or Pro. The footage they produce is stunning. Between the regular Phantom 4 and the Mavic Pro, the Mavic is the better choice for most people. You can get the Mavic Pro for $100 off until just past Cyber Monday on November 28th.