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The DJI Drone Family Tree

By October 29, 2015Reviews
DJI Drone

DJI drones are one of the most well known brands in the drone industry.  They should be for creating some of the best products on the market, I give them huge props.   This innovative company has developed a drone for every type of need imaginable.  If you’re a professional photographer or even just getting into the amazing world of drones, they have a product for you.  Each family has a unique purpose and different features. I’m going to help you explore all of the DJI drone options to find what’s best for you.  

Phantom Family

Phantom 1: The Phantom family was the first to be introduced from DJI and now includes six different drone models.  The original DJI Phantom was the Phantom 1, that was introduced in DJI-Phantom-1-Quadcopter-Drone-FC40-RTF-Kit-With-Built-in-Cameraearly 2013.  Although this model is a little old school it gets the job done for new pilots eager to fly.  With the ability to attach your own GoPro or other camera to capture your flight this was one of the first ready to fly drones ever on the market.

Phantom FC40: Based off the original Phantom 1, DJI soon introduced the Phantom Fc40, which added a camera and first person view (FPV) from your smartphone or tablet for the first time.  Both models offered GPS systems for stabilization and control as well as the return to home features, which are two important features that made it through all of the Phantom families.  

Phantom 2: Next to be introduced in the DJI Phantom family was the Phantom 2 drone.  This series has three separate models including the Phantom 2, Phantom 2 Vision, and the Phantom 2 Vision Plus.  With this upgrade DJI offered improved battery life time, letting you fly for a max of 25 minutes.  They also added waypoint navigation, increased payload, and the ability to control the gimbal.  Allowing for smoother video shots and getting the angle that you desire to create that cinematic feel.  large_1

The main difference in the Phantom 2 family is the camera’s quality.  With the Phantom 2 drone, it comes camera and FPV ready but the camera is not included.  The Phantom 2 vision already has a built in 1080/30p or 1080/60 camera, with the capability to take 14 megapixel stills.  If you take it up a notch again, the Phantom 2 Vision Plus offers full HD video at 1080/30p and 720/60p as well as the 14 megapixel photos.  Another addition to the Plus is it’s 3- axis camera stabilization, giving even smoother drone shots.  Both the Vision and Vision Plus include waypoint control, meaning you can set pre-programed points on your App for the drone to fly to.  

Phantom 3: In the summer of 2015 DJI introduced the big daddy Phantom 3 drone.  The set was introduced as fraternal twins, the Phantom 3 Advanced and the Phantom 3 Pro.  There are two main differences in these drones, first being the camera.  The Phantom 3 Professional has the best camera to Phantom date, capable oDJI-phantom-3-drones-designboom01-818x457f shooting 4K footage up to 30 frames per second.  On the other hand the Advanced is lower at 1080p HD at 60 frames per second.  Both of the drones are capable of streaming HD footage back to the app.  You can also stream live to Youtube from both models.  So you can share all of your greatest flying moments with the world!  

The next big difference would be the charging times for the battery.  Although they do have similar flight times, the Pro uses a 100- charger to go with the new 4480 mAh 4S lipo battery, versus the 57-watt charging unit for the advanced.  Clearly, the Pro will charge must faster relieving some stress before you fly if you’re not prepared.  

Below is a list of all of the drones in the DJI Phantom family and their specs, ranking from lowest to highest quality.  

  • Phantom 1
    • Stabilization Gimbal: add on
    • APP: None
    • Camera: Add on
    • Remote: 1000m 2.4GHz  (4- AA Batteries needed)
    • Max flight time: 15mins
  • Phantom FC40
    • Stabilization Gimbal: none
    • APP: DJI FC40 App
    • Camera: 2.4G/ 720p 5.8Ghz
    • Remote: 400M
    • Max flight time: 15mins
  • Phantom 2
    • Stabilization Gimbal: add on
    • APP: None
    • Camera: add on
    • Remote: 1000m (FCC&CE), 2.4Ghz
    • Max flight time: 25mins
  • Phantom 2 Vision
    • Stabilization Gimbal: none
    • APP: DJI Vision App
    • Camera: 14 Megapixels/ 1080p
    • Remote: 500m (FCC), 5.8 Ghz
    • Max flight time: 25mins
  • Phantom 2 Vision +
    • Stabilization Gimbal: 3-axis
    • APP: DJI Vision App
    • Camera: 14 Megapixels/ 1080p
    • Remote: 800m (FCC), 5.8 Ghz
    • Max flight time: 25mins
  • Phantom 3 Advanced
    • Stabilization Gimbal: 3- axis
    • APP: DJI Pilot App
    • Camera: 14 Megapixels/ 1080p
    • Remote: 800m (FCC), 5.8 Ghz
    • Max flight time: 25mins
  • Phantom 3 Professional
    • Stabilization Gimbal: 3-axis
    • APP: DJI Pilot App
    • Camera: 14 Megapixels/ 1080p
    • Remote: 800m (FCC), 5.8 Ghz
    • Max flight time: 25mins

Inspire 1

The next DJI drone is the Inspire 1.  You can tell just by looks that it is completely different from the Phantoms.  Based off of the same all in one flying platform and ease of use, this model is upgraded for professionals.  Inspire_1_Landed

The DJI Inspire One does have some main differences from the Phantom 3, which is the most similar.  First being the dual pilot option.  What this means is that there are two transmitter’s controlling one aircraft, one pilot is able to fly while the other can focus on the camera and getting the best shots.  This is a great feature for those in the photography or production industry.  Another difference is the detachable payload, although the Phantom 3 and Inspire have the same camera sensor and lens, the Inspire camera is removeable.  DJI has created a mount, for you to be able to place the camera on and use similar to a GoPro.  This is one of my favorite difference between the two different drones because I like getting footage from the ground and air and putting them together to make a dope film.  

There is also a slight difference in the flight performance, that only those with experience would be able to detect.  Geared with larger motors, propellers and equipped with a 6 cell lipo battery, the inspire is very agile, fast, and stable.  It can handle much higher wind speeds without losing video quality.   The lights are also brighter and placed facing outwards instead of downwards like the Phantom LED’s.  Making it easier to keep the drone in your line of sight at all hours of the day.  

One of the biggest difference lies in the design of the Inspire.  The landing gear is made of strong carbon fiber arms that lifts up and out of sight when in flight.  This feature is loved by professionals because you no longer get a glimpse of the legs or propellers in any of your shots.  It’s especially helpful when rotating the gimbal 360 degrees.  

The Developer Drone

This DJI family is completely different compared to the previous two.  DJI recently introduced the Matrice 100 that has a fully customizable flight platform that lets you fly like you never imagined.  This drone is truly designed for developers, letting them attach various components, customize the payload, and fly with any device that you want.  This allows for the drone to be used for any industry or purpose while flying safer than ever before.  It’s perfect for the any type of drone service including agriculture, mapping and surveying, search and rescue, and many more!  With a flight time at 40 minutes, this drone can fly longer than any other DJI Drone!  large_p1

To go along with this state of the art drone, DJI developed the Guidance SDK.  This powerful visual sensing system gives you a whole new feeling of confidence while in flight.  It’s pretty much a sense and avoid system equipped with five sensor modules able  to track from all four angles and report back to the central processing board.  This system is continuously scanning to be ready to dodge any obstacles that come in the way.  The sensors can also track temperature variations and tell a tenth of a degree difference to get the most precise information.  

This intelligent Guidance system doesn’t rely on GPS, even with no connection it is accurate of its location within centimeters.  It’s one of the many accessories that can be attached to the Matrice 100 to fully customize it for whatever need.  This DJI family of developer tools lets researchers and flyers create solutions that were never possible before.  The Matrice 100 and the Guidance SDK are amazing technologies that are changing the drone industry for the better.  

Ronin

Although the Ronin is not a drone, it is related to the DJI Drone family.  You might call this a third cousin to the Phantom if you want to get specific.  The DJI Ronin group is made up of the Ronin and the upgradDJI-RONIN-GIMBALed Ronin M.  The product is a 3- axis stabilized handheld gimbal system.  Allowing you to shoot flawless footage as if you were shooting from a drone, the smooth track control that the Ronin offers will provide the best stability.  The Ronin has a built- in auto tune stability or ATS technology that intelligently tunes with your camera rig with a touch of a button.  With three different modes and positions the Ronin can be used in many situations and help you create the perfect video by capture your footage on the ground with precision.  
The Ronin M offers all of the same amazing features and functions this model was re-engineered for increased functionality and is much smaller.  This offers more flexibility and ease because of the light weight.  The Ronin M is pretty much the little bro to the Ronin, all the same DNA just a little tinnier.  

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