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DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ V3.0 Quadcopter with FPV HD Video Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal (White)
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- Super smooth video thanks to the 3-axis gimbal
- Crystal clear stills and live streaming video from the redesigned HD video camera with built-in FPV link
- Extra-long flight times of up to 25 minutes from the intelligent 5,200-mAh battery
- More flight power and security from the high-efficiency self-tightening propellers, redesigned for V3.0
- This is V3.0 which includes an upgraded controller with rechargeable batteries and gimbal control dial, updated motors and more efficient propellers
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The Phantom 2 Vision+ from DJI brings ready-to-fly into the professional realm. With its 3-axis gimbal supporting an all new custom 1080p video camera with Wi-Fi first-person-view (FPV) on your iOS or Android device, you'll be creating super smooth cinema-quality videos in minutes. The Vision+ eliminates setup headaches with the gimbal and camera already securely mounted and aligned at the factory. Just open the box, charge the batteries and screw on the props. This is the highest quality ready-to-fly solution ever made and will quickly become the standard for independent film makers, journalists, farmers, emergency personnel, extreme sports enthusiasts and aviation hobbyists. NOTE: This is version V3.0 of the Phantom 2 Vision+ and includes upgraded motors, propellers, and a new remote control transmitter that has a rechargeable battery built in.
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1. SO FUN to fly, brings onlookers, and interested people from all around to look at it and visit about it.
2. Very EASY to fly. If you grew up in any part of the video game generation, consider yourself properly trained for this. I never have played with airborne RC devices other than the cheap 40.00 helicopters you can buy at Best Buy, which I can hardly hover with. The Phantom is so easy and user friendly.
3. Videos and Photos were amazing. I developed a following pretty quickly on Facebook of people asking me to try different things with the Phantom. "Fly over and around your car". "How about flying over a forest, or a lake?"
Fun stuff, and kind of a good challenge too.
So here is why DJI failed in my book.
On January 15th, I took my quad out to Wilmington, NC and flew it around the Battleship North Carolina.
A selling point of the DJI equipment is a "Return To Home" (RTH) Feature. Basically if you get too far, too low on battery, into an area you shouldn't be in, the Phantom will switch to "RTH" And come back to it's starting point. Keeping you and the Phantom out of trouble. My Phantom with 12 mins of flight time left (they switch to RTH with 5 mins left) Average battery was 12-18 mins of flight time. My Phantom was 100' ft. away and 60'-100' ft with direct line of site, and in the air on its third battery of the day, in the same location as the previous too, a wide open park. All of a sudden my Phantom shot up in the air like a rocket then flew away from me out of distance and my screen showed, "Going Home" Indicating the RTH feature was activated.
Note: (I followed all the start up procedures between each battery as directed by DJI. Turned on the remote and wi-fi extender, then the Phantom, then calibrated, then flew.)
The Phantom then flew back my direction, and then slowly landed in the Cape Fear River, about 80' ft. from shore, and was swept away in the fast moving current (HA HA...) It's probably in the Bahamas by now.
So I'd heard and chose to ignore the information in negative reviews about the Phantom "going rogue" and flying away never to be seen again, and spend nearly $1500 (with extra battery and shipping). I'd also heard that DJI's customer service was awful, and they didn't care about their customers all that much. (See other reviews on Amazon and elsewhere) I decided to take a chance and post my story on the DJI Facebook page, to my surprise within about 15 mins I was asked to send a detailed account to support@DJI.com where they would be happy to review my case, and assist me if possible. I did so, and within about a week, I got a call from a gentleman named "Anthony" with DJI's Support group. He told me that after reviewing my case, it appeared that I'd done everything I could to regain control of the Phantom, and followed the start up processes and procedures correctly, and that this appeared to be a defect in the Phantom or the RTH function, and he assured me that DJI wanted to get me flying again ASAP! They just wanted me to fill out a "DJI Customer Questionnaire" to get my claim on company documentation, which was fine with me after looking it over.
WELL AWESOME!!! Right? the things I'd heard were either untrue, or DJI had gotten better at customer care.
WRONG. After 3 more days, I received an email from an anonymous supervisor in the support group, stating after reviewing my case, they were happy to help me by offering me a replacement for 50% off, a total of 650.00 before shipping, and another 129.00 for another battery to replace the one that had sank.
I responded to the supervisor and explained that if the issue was 100% a factory/manufacturer defect, then in my mind DJI should replace 100% of the Phantom. He wrote back that I was lucky that they'd even offered me the 50% as they were taking my word for it that it was not operator error. Regardless of information I'd provided, photos and from the previous flights before the crash, and after what I was told during the phone call, DJI refused to truly take care of me. If I'd landed it in the water, or flown it too far away and it didn't have enough battery to make it back, or in an area that could mess with the drones internals...I'd accept it and eat the money spent, but I'd think for the kind of money their customers spend to buy a "hobby" they'd cater a little more and try to grow their poor reputation for customer satisfaction.
To the confused public: this is an actually, physically upgraded version of the vision plus. The P2 and the V+ are the two that received this upgrade. The Phantom 2 Vision did not receive any upgrade. The upgrades are incremental but add up to be pretty substantial. V2.0 refer to the upgraded Phantom 2. V3.0 refer to the upgraded Vision Plus.
The upgrades I feel are more for those who wish to set up their phantom 2 with gimbal, go pro, fpv, and iOSD. Mainly because of the increased payload (800g total increase) improves flight of the gopro setup, which can get quite heavy, while keep flight time about the same (so DJI claims)
The Vision plus has all the features of P2+IOSD+gimbal+gopro+fpv trandmitter at a much lower price tag, and in a much nicer, hassle free, all in one package. It is quite a bit lighter too. This is why the upgrades are not that apparent on the vision plus - it is already quite light and has excellent battery life.
So after using the v+ v3 for a week, here are my thoughts:
I get about 15 minutes before it screams in warning and all the lights go flashing red. This indicates 20% battery remaining, and up to 5 minutes left before it drops totally out of the sky. Quite a disappointment in this regard. It is rated at 25. Spare battery essential. I've seen other Vision Plus (original) owners claim they get about 20-25 minutes of flight, but I've also seen owners say they get 15-20. Over all, with the more efficient motors and propellers, I was expecting 20-25. This is a little disappointing.
I have no original V+ to compare, but I have FC40 and walkera x350 pro. As with the FC40, the V+ is very stable, easy to fly and get fantastic aerial shots.
I flew it in snow today: it's pouring down 3-5 inches of snow and I just threw it out there. Got some amazing footage.
The added scroll wheel for gimbal control is fantastic. It's spring loaded, with just the right amount of resistance and inertia, that allows for smooth, slow pans but also quick change of angle.
I never had a problem with using AA batteries, until I had this upgraded transmitter. Now going back to AA-run batteries seem like traveling back in time. This rechargeable business is super nice. It's one less thing to worry about. You power on transmitter, battery indicator turns on. You see how much battery it has left. I flew about 5 batteries before power indicated went down to 3 out of 4 lights. When that happens, just plug in the included cable and into a power adapter, charges it up right away.
Wifi extender + phone works fantastic for me. It's nice to have live flight data right there. Satellite count, signal strength, speed, altitude, battery life, etc etc. I have not experienced much slow down in video downlink or anything. (See update below for updated experiences). You need another $200 setup on the phantom 2 to get those things (iOSD + transmitter + receiver + monitor, etc)
I now have experienced FPV videos being choppy, toward the far end of the control range. This does not affect the actual video being recorded, only what is being live streamed to your Vision App on the phone. During a waypoint mission, the P2V+ flew out of wifi range and the app went dark. But after a few minutes (heart-wrenching) it flew back. Footage was fine.
Super fun and easy to use. Plan out course on phone, set speed, altitude, etc, hit go, then you can rest your hands - it takes off automatically, goes from waypoint to waypoint, adjusting altitude as set by you, then returns and lands itself. All you have to do is control camera angle for your shots. Amazing.
CAMERA & IMAGE QUALITY (UPDATED):
I liked the Vision+ camera's quality at first, now I correct myself. The quality is lacking compared to even the SJ4000, and I find myself unsatisfied with some of my videos. Serious users who demand the best video want to go with Phantom 2 + Gimbal + GoPro 4 Hero Black. But then you might as well get the Inspire One, or maybe even Walkera Scout X4 or H500 TALI (for telemetry and FPV ready out of box).
HOWEVER, with GOPRO 4, you need to leave it at 170 fisheye to get full 4k, which is not the best for video production due to fisheye effect. I tried correcting/importing some short 4K videos on my quadcore i7 Alienware running SSD. It took FOREVER. Like, an hour for 10 minutes of footage. Not very practical. Change FOV to narrow and you are down to 1080p or 2.7K possibly. Also GoPro + Gimbal is cumbersome to set up.
Overall, I am reasonably satisfied with the video footage, when I consider the stabilization and the all-in-one design as a whole. I have GoPro Hero 4 Black, with a Walkera quad + gimbal. But I never use that set up. The Vision+ is just that much more convenient.
1) I wish battery life was better, but it's understandable. Think about the $3000 Inspire One. Its battery capacity is about double of the Vision+, and that can only fly for officially rated 17 minutes.
Battery is down to 20% in about 15 minutes, so I think you can squeeze 20 minutes of flight if you really wanted. But please please bring it back close and not fly over water/dangerous terrain during the last few minutes.
2) The price of the Vision+ camera/gimbal. GoPro Hero 4 Black + Zenmuse Gimbal is about $800. The V+ camera/gimbal is about $700. The V+ camera/gimbal is one part - cost of repair/replacement is very high. I think the V+ camera unit should cost about $400, and DJI need to offer cheaper replacement parts. You should treat the quad, and especially the gimbal/camera with care. Exercise reasonable precautions.
Really with the V3.0 upgrades, DJI SHOULD HAVE upgraded the camera as well. They did not want to cannibalize Inspire One sales, I understand. But at least improve the 1080P video quality!
3) Image quality. So far I have 2 real issues with the image quality:
A) Metering. Often times the sky is overexposed, meaning all the details in the sky are lost - it's all white/gray-ish when in fact it's blue and has beautiful clouds. My SJ4000 is always able to get details in the sky while not have the landscape below be too dark. (Note I only said SJ4000 and not GoPros). You will want to use spot metering.
B) Weird light artifacts at night. It is hard to describe, but you can check out a video sample on my youtube channel - search for Ran Ran Rising.
I am just in love with this quad copter (and all my Phantoms). I say this after researching all products in the market and their price to performance, and after using competitor products, and finally after owning the actual Vision Plus V3.0. I love it. You can see all my videos and photos and thoughts about it on YouTube and Wordpress, under name RanRanRising. I have some video footages from the Vision Plus camera and of the quad. Amazon limits file size otherwise I'd just upload here (not intentionally advertising my own channel is my point).
With the V+ V3.0 out, I haven't really seen any amazing deals on the original V+. You'd be looking at $150-200 extra for the V3.0. You get the stronger motors, better propellers, anti-interference guard for compass module, and upgraded transmitter. To me, the upgraded transmitter is the only thing that significantly improves the user experience. The gimbal control is essential to getting good aerial shots. So overall these upgrades are well worth the extra money.
HOWEVER, if you can get a good deal on the original Phantom 2 Vision Plus, then you are not really losing much going with that. Both will fly very stable, about the same, and give the same image quality. In my opinion, the V+ and V+ 3.0 are both excellent deals, and are still the best out there.
If you want P2+Gopro 4 set up, expect to spend about $2000 to have similar features as the $1300 vision plus, with more hassle and higher maintenance.