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Yesterday DJI unveiled a brand new drone to its Phantom series, the DJI Phantom 4, an incredibly feature rich drone that’s suited to both professional pilots or those who have never piloted a drone before.

Priced at $1,399 the new Phantom 4 not only has a sleeker design, but it’s also the first consumer drone which is fully aware of its surroundings and will actively avoid obstacles and intelligently travel different routes.

This is achieved with the drone now having a total of five cameras on board; two on the fron and two on the bottom, not to mention the 4K camera which can always be found on the bottom of the Phantom drone. These cameras are used to capture images which then run through computer vision software to construct a 3D model of its surrounding world, and intelligently navigate its way around.

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Interestingly, the Phantom 4’s ability to avoid obstacles can be turned off for those wanting to capture images in much closer quarters, but can be left on all of the time to avoid any unwanted collisions with trees and other objects. What’s more, the on board software is being used to do so much more, one of which is the addition of TapFly, which allows the user use the on-board camera footage to tap a location and the drone will autonomously travel to that location. It’ll also take off and land with just a tap on the live video feed.

This will allow users to create much smoother video footage without any sketchy jolts from the pilot controlling the drone. What’s more, it also eliminates the need for both a navigator and a spotter offering a much more hands-on approach to drone flying and photography. With the addition of an extra ultrasonic sensor, the DJI Phantom 4 is even better at holding its position too, making your shots even smoother than before.

If that wasn’t good enough, the software also allows for another feature called ActiveTrack which allows the pilot to trace a circle around a target, whether that’s a person, vehicle, animal, or a mountain biker, and the drone will make a 3D image of the subject and track and follow it until its told otherwise. This allows the pilot to then make finer adjustments to the video whether it’s focus, framing, or settings to the camera itself.

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Due to this new feature which completely bypasses the use of GPS allows the usual effective range of 10 to 15 feet to shrink down to just 4 to 5 feet allowing for much closer quarters footage.

Despite the fairly high price, the Phantom 4 is a worthy investment says DJI thanks to the wealth of features and sensors available on the drone which make flying this, even for new pilots, an absolute breeze.

For the latest model, DJI has revealed that the Phantom 4 won’t only launch on DJI.com, but also via Apple.com now they’ve secured a sales partnership with the Cupertino firm. Available to purchase right now on both websites, the DJI Phantom 4 will also be available in Apple retail stores on March 15 as well as the DJI flagship store in Shenzen.

As someone who’s keen to get into aerial photography and drone flying, the price seems like a pretty good offer for a drone which offers such a low learning curve. Of course, there’s always the ability to slowly learn how to pilot the drone too without fear of crashing your expensive device into the ground.

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