on June 8, 2014
I have given this a 4 star is it's not perfect, but it's really, really good. These quads are relatively new, so you have to accept that they are not perfect. I have a Phantom 1 with a Gopro, so much of my comparisons will be to a Gopro Camera and Phantom 1
Flying: It's very stable and in GPS mode very easy to fly. The FPV is a very odd feeling at first, but very helpful once it's too far away to see. there is a small amount of lag, but it does not impact the usability of it. Compared to the phantom 1 it lowers altitude much smoother.
Gimbal/ Stability of video: Not to much to say here. The Gimbal is perfect. It's so stable I can't believe it.
Video Quality: It's good, but not great. There is a little grain in the video, but you can adjust the sharpness to make it nicer. It is limited to 1080p, so compared to a go pro it's a little behind. Don't get me wrong, its not bad, the gopro is just much better.
Photo Quality: Very good. You can adjust the spot metering in the air and even shoot in RAW. Still photos come out better then Gopro
Onscreen Flight Data: This is really nice. I can see how much battery is left, and I even get an alarm on my iPhone when I should turn back and land. If you are concerned about staying below 400ft for FAA rules there is even an altimeter.
Extra Battery: Is a must. I get about 17 min of flight time on each.
Overall I do like it alot, and would buy it again. What I like most about it is the out of the box nature. No tinkering, no parts... it just works.
on June 20, 2014
I have had about 20 flights now with the Phantom 2 Vision+. Overall: This is the coolest thing I have ever bought. Flying it is as exhilarating as a roller coaster. There is a lot to learn, however, so study the material well and fly safely. The challenges: It was a little glitchy at first, when setting it up. The iOS app stopped streaming video, so I had to reset the camera and re-install the app, which fixed it. After you turn the quad on, you must wait 10 seconds before attempting to connect the WiFi in the iOS; instructions could have been clearer on this. There were some errors during patching the firmware in the quad, but after a couple restarts, it was OK. The one thing I really don't like is the fact that you can't do a factory reset on the firmware, so if a patch locks up your quad, you're done. Almost every other device I can think of has the ability to do a factory reset. It was OK for me, but I've heard others weren't so lucky. Be sure to remove the gimbal clamp, even if you're only turning it on to upgrade the firmware, not to fly it. I would recommend switching to NAZA mode, but I must note that the instructions for NAZA could have been a little clearer. There are some YouTube videos that help. The battery is sometimes hard to remove. Some people have said you don't need to calibrate the compass before every flight; my experience seems to be that I should. Twice I lost control signal due to interference; both times the RTH mode activated immediately and brought it straight back to me. I've not had any flyaways, nor has it done anything in the air other than what I've told it to. Summary: Apart from these minor logistical issues, this has been a phenomenal product, worth the hefty price tag. GPS keeps it rock solid in the air. The video is beautiful and smooth as silk. You have to try this! YOLO. Happy flying!
Update: After 9 months and many many flights, I'm pleased to report that the Phantom 2 Vision Plus is still working perfectly. I've had no problems of any kind. It has proven itself to be a durable, reliable product, and a hobby with enduring interest.
on July 29, 2014
I have had this for less than a week. I decided to spend the high amount for this after owning several small to medium sized helicopters that I or my grandson spend 90% of the time chasing after a crash. We both began to loose interest after I could not get the helicopters to fly for any length of time,, much less a controlled flight.
Before flying, I read the Quick Guides and pilot guides. Then, I spent hours on You Tube watching the numerous instructional videos. Then, I went to my back yard, an area about 40x40 feet. Here, I practiced lifting off, hovering, and moving about. To my surprise, in about 3 minutes, I was able to fly in a square around the four corners of the yard without hitting the trees, my shed, or anything else. I did a bit of practice increasing altitude to about 20 feet, and again moving around. The drone was very stable and when I released the controls, it simply hovered in place.
Feeling a bit more confident, I went to a local school with 4 large ball fields -- Mega space!! I positioned the drone, started it and flew it about 100 feet forward, then back. In about 10 minutes, I was flying it around the open space. At one point, I lost orientation, and flew it toward a major road. It was so far away, I almost could not see it. I let it hover and moved the throttle down to make it decent. Without seeing it, it landed in a concrete parking lot upright, and totally undamaged.
On the second day, I became a bit more brave, and practiced flying around the school grounds, avoiding any roads, buildings etc. I practiced a bit with the camera, and actually took videos and still. I increased altitude to about 200 feet.
On the third day, I decided to practice trying to keep myself in the video frame. This is harder that it seems, since your need some skill with the controls to keep the orientation correct. Remember, with the camera faces forward, pushing the leaver forward makes it more forward, backward makes it move backward, left is left and right is right. If the camera faces me, the all controls are reversed. Even more tricky if it is at an angle to me. In a 3 minute video, my flying skills were able to keep the camera with me in the frame about 90% of the time. Hugh improvement from the first day. I practiced flying circles, figure 8's etc. Getting a bit brave, I raised the altitude to 400 feet. This is the maximum I programed into the control unit. The drone with up to 420 feet, and screen on my phone gave an alarm that I reached my maximum altitude. Them my phone began to make a sound like a submarine diving. I look, and my battery was getting low. Great, with the drone at 400 feet. I pushed the control lever all the way down, but no matter how hard you push, the drone comes down very slow, slow enough to make a safe landing. In about a minute or two, the drone was save on the ground. The control unit is programed to give the battery warning at 25%, so there is time to get the drone to return.
Putting in a new battery, I tested the homing function by moving the drone out about 100 feet from me and turning off the control unit. The drone waited a few seconds, increased altitude to 60 feet, hesitated in place then slowly moved closer to the take off point and slowly landed totally unassisted.
Lastly, I tried programming in a few waypoints for an automated flight. Nothing complex, just 3 points - one about 150 feet forward, one 100 feet to the left, then a return home. I initiated to program and the drone raised to 100 feet and followed the program and returned home, totally automated.
I still have lots to learn, but after 3 days, I did not even come close to a crash. The hover feature lets you concentrate on the camera and not the flying.
Here are some Pro and Cons:
1. Very easy to fly, but start out very slow in a wide open place.
2. Surprisingly good pictures and videos (I am not a professional so my standards may be less than others)
3. Great to watch the drone through the camera as it flies,
4. All features appeared to do what they were supposed to.
5. There is a ton of YouTube's on this project and they are great tutorials.
1. Instructions are in very small type, and often unclear.
2. Several errors received on the phone that the compass needed calibration. I find the compass calibration a bit tricky to get it into the mode, and it needs to be done virtually every time you fly.
3. The drone tends to tip forward while landing. I purchased the optional propeller guards, and this I consider mandatory for a multitude of reasons. If nothing else, the props are expensive and you don't want them bent or broken and the prop guards stop this.
4. The drone is hard to see even with the blinking lights when it flies. You need to know it's orientation if you are to control it properly. I spray painted the front 2 propeller guards a neon pink to better see the front of the drone. This helps to some extent and I would definitely recommend it.
5. It takes some time to set up, download the control programs for your phone off their web site (expect lots of Chinese writing as you download it), and since it not on the standard Andriod or Apple play store, you need to go to settings on your phone to allow the download of a non authorized program. Same for your computer.
6. I got totally lost when my computer would not connect to the control unit. Although there is a place to connect the control unit to the computer, you actually connect the drone to the computer to go through initial calibration. This cost me a half hour before I discovered it.
7. It is difficult to see the controls on your phone if you are flying in bright light. Some of the indicators and warning are so small they are nearly impossible to see during flight.
8. The radar scope, in the lower right of the phone screen is supposed to show you the orientation of the drone. My experience is that this is way off and near worthless.
That's all after 3 days. I will give an update if I find anything important.
When I felt ready, I went to a local school that had a huge ball fields hundreds of feet long and wide.
on May 30, 2014
My Phantom 2 Vision + was actually delivered before the expected ship date and it was all that I expected it to be. I had taken advantage of viewing numerous YouTube videos to acclimate myself to flying the quadcopter and they are invaluable, a must for any neophyte.
I only crashed once during my "orientation" flight and fortunately I only busted one propeller. The problem is that its so intuitive and easy to fly that you might become too confident, too soon. Using the training procedures for flight familiarity included with the instructions are extremely helpful.
on May 19, 2014
I had the AR Drone 2.0 so I was able to transition very easily to the DJI phantom 2 vision plus I feel very comfortable handing this over to someone who has never flown before very easy to fly great user interface extremely stable platform pictures and video are fantastic highly recommended an excellent build quality very tough have not crashed it yet super stable can go a lot further than other drawings on the market for sure just all around great product highly recommend that you get the professional products hard case to keep your drawing safe
on June 21, 2014
The P2V was a good quadcopter but the plus really takes it to the next level! The stabilization is incredible, it gets you really solid video. The return to home works as expected and it already saved me once. Just make sure you enable the return to home switch! For reasons unknown this is not standard out of the box.
The camera isn't quite GoPro Hero 3 quality but its still very good. I have shot some amazing footage with it. However, if you want the best of the best quality, get a non-vision model and mod it with a fat shark for FPV.
The battery like really does last 20 - 25 minutes. However, never flew it over 25% or so. There is plenty of reports of people flying it downwind and losing it because they didn't have enough battery to fight the winds back. The vision model has the huge advantage of seeing the battery strength as you are flying it.
on June 9, 2014
This thing flies itself. GPS, failsafes won't let you screw up. Unless you decide to fly it without GPS then its like all the manual quads. The ability to fly FPV, through the cameras eye is too cool. Like being in the Quadcopter, a very different perspective, great video. Comes with a 4 GB micro SD, but I upgraded to 32 GB. Comes with a USB cord so you can share all the fun with everyone. I have viewed several videos online where people have lost their Phantoms on the first flight. If you read the instructions and follow them regarding the initialization, which is pretty simple, its a snap. Before I bought the Phantom I bought an inexpensive quadcopter to learn how to use the controls so I was able to fly without the GPS but when you're using the camera the GPS makes it so much easier. You can fly run the camera and drink a cup of coffee. This thing makes you look like you've been flying for years. Since I bought mine several of my friends have purchased one. And you might as well get extra batteries because 25 min. is not enough.
on August 26, 2014
Do not buy this unless you are ready to lose $1,300 any time you decide to fly it. I just lost mine and DJI will not take any responsibility for it even though I followed their instructions precisely and to the letter. Their support line recognized the problem as follows: "We have heard of some instances of what people are terming “Fly away”, causing a loss or a crash...We have reviewed your survey, and based on the incident you experienced, we feel that compensation is necessary." However, instead of a refund or even a replacement, they've offered to sell me the same product again at a 30% discount.
By the way, these "fly aways" are anything but rare. Before buying, at least take a look at, among other sites, Facebook's "DJI Flyaway & Crash Psychological Support Page" to get an idea as to how common these so called fly aways are. DJI should not be allowed to sell this product without first disclosing the severity and extent of this problem.
Do not deal with this company. It is selling a defective product that it does not support in any meaningful way.
on July 16, 2014
I do have to qualify this five stars. I am awarding it five stars on its meeting purchase expectations for doing what it is supposed to do. However, and this is a big "however", the first one had a manufacturing problem in its Range Extender wifi module so it would not hold and often never make a link between the iPhone or iPad (both should work with iOS7 I am assured by DJI). After a week of working with DJI I finally returned it to the seller Luckitron who refunded the purchase price but not the $100 return shipping fee. A lack of wifi means you can fly the 'copter but not control its camera or see the status panel of the 'copter. Luckitron referred support to DJI. I then tried a different supplies H&B Photo in case there had been a bad batch. This one worked perfectly right out of the box and what an amazing flying camera it is. But on the 2nd flight, one of its motors started stuttering and not coming up to equal take off power of the other three. This has happened to others who used bolts for the prop guards (do a Google search) but in contacting DJI again they did not think that was the case this time since sometimes it would start up fine and other times it would stutter. They have taken it back for repair but I have to wait 4 weeks for turnaround.
on October 7, 2014
I have been waiting for the last few months to finally order one of these. I have a DJI Phantom FC40 that I really like, but was wanting flight telemetry, better video and photo capabilities, increased battery life and of course, increasing FPV range. So, here it finally is, the Phantom 2 Vision +. The Vision + is just about everything I expected. The FC40 required a bit more assembly than the Vision +. The only thing you have to do with Vision + is put on the propellers. You have to download a couple of desktop applications, connect the controller and Phantom and update the firmware, calibrate the compass, and you are ready to fly. There is an app for your phone and tablet to control the camera and settings that seems to work pretty well.
I was a little anxious putting this thing up in the air with all the stories about them having problems and flying off. I started up the wifi extender, turned on the controller, and slide the battery in and powered up the Phantom. It took a while for the wifi connection to be made the first time, but once I was, I opened up the app, turned on the camera, and got ready to fly. After the display indicated that 7 satellites were locked, I fired up the drone and lifted off. It flies beautifully, is very stable, and extremely fun. The gimble takes out all the movement and jarring that the FC40 camera had issues with. The app interface is pretty straightforward, and control of the camera's vertical axis is very cool. Taking pictures and video is as easy as touching a button on the screen. This setup yields very smooth video, with decent resolution. The photos are very nice, and can be saved as RAW images. With Adobe Lightroom, (there is a DJI Phantom profile for it) you can take out the fisheye effect. The battery life is excellent, and the screen keeps track of the battery, and tells you how long before you have to head back to land before the Phantom lands itself. I've flown about 1500ft away so far, and once I get a few things ironed out, I'll be pushing the envelop. I haven't used the Groundstation yet, but once the issues below are taken care of, I will be trying it out.
There are a few things though.......The wifi extender must be pretty directional, because if you aren't pointed directly at the Phantom, you loose the video feed and flight telemetry. There is a flight radar that can help you keep track of the direction the Phantom is in, but I loose the video feed several times in the course of a flight. I know you have to sacrifice something for distance, but perhaps with more practice I can remedy this issue. While the battery life is excellent, my "smart" batteries and charger don't seem to be getting along. I've charged each battery about half a dozen times, and now, neither one will charge. At all. I've tried a couple of things to trick the charger into working, but now that doesn't even work. I now have a $1200 drone that can't get off the ground. I ordered a new charger while waiting to hear back about replacing it through warranty, but I use these things almost every day, and losing days is not what I want at this point.
Bottom line, this is a wonderful product. DJI has come a long way in making these safe, reliable, and user-friendly. Aside from the connection issues, and the battery/charging issue, I absolutely love this thing. Anyone that has a Phantom 1 variant, and has the money, upgrading is worth it.