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DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter Aircraft, 3-Axis Gimbal & 4K UHD Video Camera, Remote Controller Included - Bundle with Extra Battery, Aluminum Case
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- Camera offers 4k UHD video recording with fully stabilized 3-axis gimbal.
- Quadcopter camera drone features 720p HD app-based monitoring with gimbal controls on transmitter.
- Drone package includes 2 flight batteries and a rechargeable remote control.
- Features a vision sensor for indoor flight and offers up to 23 minutes flying time.
- Kit Includes Quadcopter Drone, Radio Controller, Flight Battery, Charger, aluminum case.
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The Phantom 3 Professional continues the proud tradition of DJI's Phantom series and brings several important innovations to the Phantom's rich feature set. The Phantom 3 Professional carries a fully stabilized 3-axis 4k UHD video camera for smooth, crisp videos and still photos. To allow you to see what the drone sees, DJI has engineered a new generation of their Lightbridge technology that allows 720p HD digital streaming of live video directly from the drone. You can control the camera and see video in real time as you fly and you can even share the video using the DJI Pilot app's advanced features. To aid indoor flying, the Phantom 3 Professional includes an integrated array of optical and ultrasonic sensors call Vision Positioning that allows you to fly precisely indoors without a GPS signal. The Phantom 3 Professional includes all the tried-and-true features you'd expect from a DJI drone, including GPS navigation with auto takeoffs and auto landings, intelligent high power flight battery, a built-in safety database of no fly zones, and a powerful mobile app for your iOS or Android device. This bundle kit is a great starter package for a beginning photographer, instructional use or an expert in photography. This bundle kit is a great starter package for a beginning photographer, instructional use or an expert in photography.
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1) I actually lost the drone that I bought through Amazon.com and for which this review is tied to. It was my fault. One of the motors got wet in the snow and I continued flying it afterwards even though the motor was "sticky" and it didn't spin freely anymore. The motor finally failed and I couldn't find the drone after it crashed.
2) I purchased a replacement directly from DJI for $750 (quadcopter and battery only. no remote controller, etc) and received it within a reasonable amount of time.
3) Right from day one this replacement drone had a bad compass. The compass simply wouldn't calibrate no matter what I did. Obviously, this wasn't my first drone and I had experience with calibrating compasses. I literally went to 10 different locations in order to be sure that it was the compass and not the environment causing the compass issues. I even tried calibrating it out in the middle of a pasture where there was NOTHING BUT GRASS. No metal as far as the eye could see. It wouldn't calibrate. There was definitely something defective about it.
3) Without the compass it would it would fall-back into ATTI mode and was almost completely uncontrollable and unflyable. It would drift wildly all over the sky. The fact that I got it landed without destroying it was a miracle. It had a bad compass AND it would not connect to GPS because of that (which is dumb in itself so there's some bad marks for the drone itself).
4) So, after exhausting all options and possibilities I finally contacted DJI Customer Support. I am loathe to contact customer support in any situation and I always go to extensive lengths to solve problems on my own before I do, even when they're not my fault.
5) Without any regard for my safety or the potential damage to the drone, they required that I provide a screenshot of the compass error even though I had explained the issues to them in detail.
6) So, I flew the drone one more time, against my better judgement, in order to get this screenshot (see included photos) for them, but I thought it would just be a matter of up and down and done, no problems, provided I could land it without destroying it. Well, it turns out that landing it wasn't an issue because the drone flew away on it's own. It flew out of range, lost signal and never "returned to home" by itself and not when I repeatedly pressed the "return to home" button on the remote controller (which gave me a "return to home failure" error). I had been flying it around for about 10 minutes because that's how long it took for the compass error to appear on the screen. But, just moments after I got the screenshot the drone was gone and never came back. I was NOT in control of it whatsoever.
7) I waited half and hour just in case it was just taking its sweet time finding its way home. No luck. I suspected that it flew away in the wrong direction due to the compass error and lack of GPS connectivity and kept flying until the battery died (and I was mostly right).
8) VERY IMPORTANT: Don't forget that I was ONLY flying it because DJI customer service REQUIRED me to AND on that flight it flew off by itself. The technical term is "a fly away" and apparently it's not uncommon.
9) So, I broke the news to DJI Customer Support fully expecting that they would just send me a replacement drone since it was so completely obviously not my fault without any doubt at all.
10) UNFORTUNATELY, this was not the case. It was the opposite. They required me to fill out a detailed incident report and they required that I synced my flight records with their servers and gave me the whole rape-kit-right-after-the-rape customer-support-experience and they took absolutely no responsibility for the situation even though it happened due to their requirement that I get a screenshot. The fact that they couldn't just take it in for repair on my word alone without a screenshot to "prove it" is unbelievable enough, but now this. What an awful experience!!
11) Now, I thought I had "flight records" turned off from day one. I don't use them for anything so I turn them off just like all other features that I don't use. I'm OCD when it comes to settings! :) So I was very surprised that 100% of my flight records from day one were available for syncing with DJI's servers. Putting my shock aside I went ahead and synced the flight records knowing for certain that I was simply giving an honest account of the "incident" and that the flight records would no-doubt back me up (so I actually felt a little relieved that they existed). The flight records would make the situation easy to prove and I would obviously get a replacement drone since it wasn't my fault and it happened within the warranty period.
12) Yeah, NOPE.. Not even close! They got back to me in record-time (about 24 hours) with a decision on my "incident report" and flight records. Unbelievably, their determination was that it was "operator error" and they said specifically that I had "crashed it into a mountain at full-forward" and that I was in control of it when it hit the mountain at full speed!!!
13) Also unbelievably, they told me exactly which mountain my drone crashed into and where to find it!!
14) So, after 24 hours of heavy rain I climbed that mountain and to my utter amazement, the drone was sitting there upside down *exactly* where they said it would be!!!! I couldn't believe my eyes, but there it was!! Unfortunately, it had been sitting out in the rain overnight while it was upside down.
15) This is where the story ends very badly. I emailed DJI Customer Support and informed them that I found the drone and that it was in near-pristine condition so I couldn't have possibly crashed it into a mountain at full throttle. I told them that I was going to let it dry out for a week and then I would see if it was still operational. Again, to my amazement, it was!!! It flew just about as good as it did before the "fly away" incident, which means it drifted all over the sky, had a bad compass and was nearly uncontrollable. Very unfortunately, the camera gimble was bent and the picture on the screen was at a permanent 45 degree angle.
13) Clearly, I had received a defective product that had become damaged by a "fly away" on a flight that DJI required me to take. However, DJI didn't see it the same way. They continued to insist it was operator error no matter how much evidence i provided to them, claiming that their incident evaluation process was completely "objective" so there was nothing that they could do for me.
14) In closing, you can see that I did everything I possibly could do to comply with DJI's requirements and even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary they still would not honor their warranty and send me a replacement for my defective product!!! Their customer service is not only AS BAD AS EVERYONE SAYS IT IS, they are a flat-out DISHONEST COMPANY.
If you're skeptical of my story, just have a look at the attached photos of the drone after I recovered it from the mountain and decide for yourself. Does it look like it crashed into a mountain (or anything) "at full-forward"? AT THE VERY LEAST, I would expect the propellers to be broken but they're not, they're perfect
SIDE NOTE: I also bought a Galaxy Note 7 at around the same time as I bought the drone. I know, right? I'm having very good luck right now am I? In any case, Samsung's handling of that situation is an example of how customer support should be!!! Even though I got TWO bad Note 7 phones, I am still a loyal customer of Samsung because of the way they handled the situation (and because the Note 7 is the greatest phone ever made BY FAR, despite the faulty battery!)
The short version of the above review is this: When you sell a defective product to someone, you replace it with as little hassles for the customer as possible. That's how I run my business, that's how Samsung does it, that's how most places do it. Not DJI.
Edit: After having the drone for a few months, I updated to a recommended firmware and the DJI is no unusable. I have looked everywhere for a fix and tried everything to roll back to previous firmware and it still doesn't work.
My biggest issue is that I called customer service, and not only was the guy who I spoke with VERY rude, he hung up on me. I was never rude to him even though he was extremely condescending. I am disappointed that I gave this company my business. So beware!
The frightening part was that I was unable to override the Failsafe GoHome mode and could not reverse the direction of the copter. Someone (including myself) could have been seriously injured. Imagine this happening anywhere near a crowd? How high would it have gone if the tree didn't stop it?
Drones crash from pilot error all the time. However, this was not pilot error but instead a very serious bug in the Failsafe code. Again, a review of the flight data confirms this.
Unfortunately, DJI customer support is horrific. You can't get them on the phone and you can't leave a message. Their phone greeting states, "We are currently experiencing high call volume please try your call again later". They do not respond to support emails. If you tweet them at @DJIGlobal they will advise you to call, email them or live chat but they will not support you on Twitter. Did I mention that no one is responding on Live Chat?
The "Send a Report" page of their website states, "PLEASE NOTE: For support, you must contact your dealer firstly, where you purchased the product, they are responsible for giving you the required support. Use this form only when your contact with your dealer is unsatisfactory." This speaks volumes about their attitude towards customers and is odd since you can buy direct from their own online store.
The sad part is the unit has incredible potential. The 4k video is incredibly crisp and smooth and even still photos captured in RAW are impressive for a 12MP camera with a small sensor. It is also incredibly stable - as long as the battery remains above 30%. It seems that when battery levels drop the unit behaves erratically.
This brings us to the issue of battery life. It is marketed at providing a best in class 23 mins of flight. I've used 3 fully charged, brand new, genuine DJI batteries and have never come close to 23 mins of flight. Of course, I manually return to home at 30% (that's when the first warning sounds) which equates to about 16 minutes of flight.
For me, the risk of injury is beyond my tolerance. DJI's lack of accountability is a showstopper.
Buyer beware - and be careful!