DJI Phantom 3 vs Phantom 4 -which one is better?
Objectively this question (DJI Phantom 3 vs Phantom 4, which one is better?) is a really simple question to answer. And to be honest, this comparison makes more sense to us than the comparison to the Inspire that we already did after a lot of people asked for it. At least the Phantom 3 and 4 are aimed at the same market segment. So let’s get to it.
For starters, let’s look at the specs of both models.
To keep it simple we’ll only be looking at the specs that differ. We’ll also leave the DJI Phantom 3 standard out as we don’t think it’s up to par for this comparison.
(Don’t care about specs and improvements but only about value for money? Click here to go to that part of the comparison)
DJI Phantom 3 vs Phantom 4 – specs
|Phantom 4||Phantom 3 Pro||Phantom 3 Adv|
|Max Ascent Speed||6 m/s (Sport mode)||5 m/s||5 m/s|
|Max Descent Speed||4 m/s (Sport mode)||3 m/s||3 m/s|
|Max Speed||20 m/s (Sport mode)||16 m/s (ATTI mode, no wind)||16 m/s (ATTI mode, no wind)|
|Max Flight Time||Approx. 28 minutes||Approx. 23 minutes||Approx. 23 minutes|
|Horizontal Hover Accuracy||+/- 0.3 m (when Vision Positioning is active) or +/-1.5 m||+/- 1.5 m||+/- 1.5 m|
|Obstacle Sensory Range||2 - 49 feet (0.7 - 15 m)|
|VPS Velocity Range||?10 m/s ( 2 m above ground )||Less than 8 m/s (2 m above ground)||Less than 8 m/s (2 m above ground)|
|VPS Altitude Range||0 - 33 feet (0 - 10 m)||30 cm-300 cm||30 cm-300 cm|
|VPS Operating Range||0 - 33 feet (0 - 10 m)||50 cm-300 cm||50 cm-300 cm|
|Still Photography Modes||Single shot Burst shooting: 3 / 5 / 7 frames Auto Exposure Bracketing ( AEB ): 3 / 5 bracketed frames at 0.7 EV Bias Time-lapse HDR||Single Shot Burst Shooting: 3/5/7 shots Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 Bracketed Frames at 0.7EV Bias Time-lapse||Single Shot Burst Shooting: 3/5/7 shots Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 Bracketed Frames at 0.7EV Bias Time-lapse|
|Video Recording Modes||UHD: 4096×2160 (4K) 24 / 25p 3840×2160 (4K) 24 / 25 / 30p 2704×1520 (2.7K) 24 / 25 / 30p FHD: 1920×1080 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60 / 120p HD: 1280×720 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60p||UHD: 4096x2160p 24/25, 3840x2160p 24/25/30 FHD: 1920x1080p 24/25/30/48/50/60 HD: 1280x720p 24/25/30/48/50/60||2.7K: 2704 x1520p 24/25/30 (29.97) FHD: 1920x1080p 24/25/30/48/50/60 HD: 1280x720p 24/25/30/48/50/60|
|Max Video Bitrate||60 Mbps||60 Mbps||40 Mbps|
|RC Transmitter Power (EIRP)||FCC: 23 dBm CE: 17 dBm||FCC: 20 dBm CE: 16 dBm||FCC: 20 dBm CE: 16 dBm|
|Charger Rated Power||100 W||100 W||57 W|
|Battery Capacity||5350 mAh||4480 mAh||4480 mAh|
|Battery Energy||81.3 Wh||68 Wh||68 Wh|
|Battery Net Weight||462 g||365 g||365 g|
|Phantom Weight (Including Battery And Propellers)||1380 g||1280 g||1280 g|
Which one has better specs?
When we just look at the specs it’s easy to find an answer. DJI Phantom 3 vs Phantom 4, which one is better? Clearly, it’s the DJI Phantom 4 that is the winner when we only look at the specifications.
The only advantage the DJI Phantom 3 has is weight, it’s lighter. And although that’s an advantage when we are walking around, it is actually a disadvantage in flight. The lighter the quadcopter is the more susceptible to being affected by the wind it is as well. So there is no doubt, technically the DJI Phantom 4 is better than the DJI Phantom 3.
The lighter the quadcopter is the more susceptible to being affected by the wind it is as well. So there is no doubt, technically the DJI Phantom 4 is better than the DJI Phantom 3.
Then there are the new features:
ActiveTrack allows the DJI Phantom 4 to track a moving subject without a separate GPS tracker. Simply tap on the mobile device screen inside the DJI GO app to select the subject to be tracked. The DJI Phantom 4 will lock on the subject and start tracking it automatically from a safe distance.
TapFly means you can fly in any direction with a tap of the finger, without a remote controller. With Obstacle Avoidance turned on, the DJI Phantom 4 will automatically avoid obstacles, slow down or hover when required, provided that the scene is bright enough ( < 300 lux) and not too bright ( > 10,000 lux).
The Phantom 4 is equipped with an Obstacle Sensing System that constantly scans for obstacles in front of it, allowing it to avoid collisions by going around the obstacle, over the obstacle or hovering in front of it.
All these are major upgrades that put the DJI Phantom 4 even further ahead of the DJI Phantom 3.
Aside from the improvements we already mentioned, DJI has also improved the camera lens. The new 8-element lens reduces chromatic aberration by 56% & lens distortion has been reduced by 36%. Improvements that most people who fly for fun will probably not notice (the old lens didn’t have that much distortion to begin with) but that will be welcomed by people who use the DJI Phantom 4 professionally.
The new 8-element lens reduces chromatic aberration by 56% & lens distortion has been reduced by 36%. Improvements that most people who fly for fun will probably not notice (the old lens didn’t have that much distortion to begin with) but that will be welcomed by people who use the DJI Phantom 4 professionally.
The DJI Phantom 4 is also more stable than the DJI Phantom 3 which will definitely help with longer exposure shots.
Value for money
The DJI Phantom 4 is an amazing piece of equipment and we love ours. If you can afford it and the required accessories (1 battery is not enough, read our “making better video” article to learn about ND filters, you’ll need a backpack/case, etc) then by all means, pick one up. If your budget doesn’t stretch that far read our article:
“Forget about the DJI Phantom 4“
After reading that you may very well still decide that the DJI Phantom 4 is the better drone for you but you’ll get some points to take into consideration before making that decision. We love our DJI Phantom 4 but we love our Phantom 3 as much and it still gets as much flight time. So we just want to give you all the info you need to help you make the right choice.
If you came to this article because you have never flown a quadcopter before and want to know which is best for you, read this article first: Is the DJI Phantom 4 the best drone to start with.
While you’re here also check out the 10 accessories we think every Phantom owner should have, regardless of whether you buy a DJI Phantom 3 or 4.
Now that you have all the info, go ahead and order your new quadcopter. You’ll have a great time flying it!
As always, feel free to leave your opinion in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter so we can let you know when we publish new articles.
Enjoy your flights!