With the recent released of the DJI Phantom 4, the price of one of the best beginner quadcopter has just dropped to a very attractive price of just under $500. Let’s dive into the key points that make the DJI Phantom 3 Standard the best quadcopter under $500.
A video review by Instafuze.
If you’re finally interested in getting a drone for the first time you don’t want to spend a whole bunch of money well you’re in luck right now. For under $500 probably one of the best solutions out there is the DJI Phantom 3 Standard.
Why the DJI Phantom 3 Standard is the best quadcopter under $500.
This is the DJI Phantom 3 Standard. It’s an HD flying camera platform that shares many of the capabilities and features of the DJI Phantom 3 Professional and it even the larger Inspire 1 drone from DJI. So we are gonna take a look at this specific drone see if it’s worth the money. Take a look at the features and capabilities and to really determine if it’s right quadcopter for you.
Now the DJI Phantom 3 Standard is the entry level model for the new Phantom 3 lineup of drones from DJI. But physically the DJI Phantom 3 Standard is pretty much identical to the external look and design of all the other Phantom 3 drones are now.
The things that you’re missing from the DJI Phantom 3 Standard compared to let’s say at the top and Professional model is that you don’t have the LightBridge technology which will increase your range from 1 KM to 2 KM. The Professional will give you a better HD feed to your smartphone. You won’t have the advanced optical tracking capabilities which will improve your hover stability.
The camera on the DJI Phantom 3 Standard does not record 4K. So if 4K recording is not that important to you and the other features that we mentioned isn’t that of a big deal this is the quadcopter for you.
For more about the differences between the DJI Phantom 3 Standard, DJI Phantom 3 4K and DJI Phantom 3 Professional please visit our comparison review page.
Now apart form those features, the DJI Phantom 3 standard is a pretty darn capable drone. It can achieve a maximum speed of 60 m/s as well as 5 m/s in terms of its maximum ascend speed. It also has built-in GPS and the hover capabilities that are pretty darn stable and has Return to Home functionality which is a great safety precaution if you want to bring back the drone to its original lending position.
Furthermore in terms of the signal quality, you have up to 1 KM of line of sight range and the maximum altitude is set to 120 M. Now one of the nice things about the DJI Phantom 3 Standard as opposed to some of the LightBridge drones is that its battery life is actually quite good. I average about 23 minutes of real-world flight time and if you’re more aggressive with it or a gentle with it. Your battery life will definitely vary. Thankfully the charge time isn’t too bad. You can get from zero to 100% charge in under 40 minutes.
Now the included Remote Control is a really quite great. It’s quite simple in terms of its design. It’s in the fact the same controller they’ve been using for a couple of generations of the Phantom 2 line up of drones and I have no complaints with the controller whatsoever.
Its very easy to control with the dual thumbsticks. You also have a gimbal control dial on the left hand side and attached at the controller is the clamp for your smartphone. This is pretty universal, you can fit pretty much any size of smartphone you have and there is an adapter for tablets as well.
DJI GO App
The DJI Go app is cross compatible for both iOS and Android. I have it running on the Samsung S6 as you can see and the actual application is really easy to navigate. You can control a whole bunch of different settings of your drone. Through the app
whether that be flight related or a video quality related. So it’s definitely a pretty powerful piece of soft powerful piece of software even though this is an entry level system.
Wifi and FPV Video Quality
Now as we mention before, this whole entire system depends upon the wifi signal so the signal quality of your video will degrade if the drone gets further and further away. Again it’s fairly good in terms of a just basically having an idea of what the drone is looking at and when you’re closer up you do get a nice 720p at 30 FPS. But that quality does degrade pretty rapidly as soon as you increase the range between you and you drone.
That is due to one of the major differences between the wifi-enabled DJI Phantom 3 Standard and the LightBridge enabled DJI Phantom 3 Professional. LightBridge technology increases the WIFI range and also greatly improve the signal quality and consistency of your HD live feed from the camera.
Speaking of the camera, it’s housed in the 3-axis gimbal that is included with the drone. It provides excellent footage stability. In terms of the technical parameters of the camera, it’s using a 1/3 sensor and has a built-in 20 mm lens with a maximum aperture of F2.8. This gives a field of view of about 94 degrees. The view from the camera is a little more standard looking when compared to the GoPro which has a very wide field of view.
But the advantage over here is you don’t have any fish effect or lens distortion. This gives you a little bit more representative view of the aerial landscape. The view is a little more cinematic then the view you find with a drone that films with the GoPro.
Now in terms of the video quality itself, I have actually uploaded this video in QHD (2K) and you can view it in its full glory. The exact resolution is 2,560 x 1,440 so its actually a little bit higher than the standard QHD resolution and you can record that resolution up to 30 FPS as well as 24 and 35 FPS.
You also have a full HD capabilities at 30 FPS and if you record at 720p you can 60 FPS. At 2.5K I think the footage looks absolutely fantastic and in fact in a lot of ways it looks very similar to a 4K image. Most people who don’t have a 4K monitor is not going to notice the difference in terms of the actual video quality itself.
The gimbal stabilisation is a pretty darn remarkable and its pretty hard to complain about the problems you may have especially at the price range of under $500. By the way the bitrate is at 40 MB/s which is definitely not as high as what you expect at QHD resolution.
When it comes to the actual quality resolution to my eyes it looks pretty darn sensational even at a lower bitrate.
Best Quadcopter Under $500
As you can see in terms of value, the DJI Phantom 3 Standard is absolutely fantastic especially as an All-In-One solution. You can always upgrade certain parts if you want the LightBridge technology and pay extra for that. But for under the $500 mark, the DJI Phantom 3 provides insane value and is definitely the best quadcopter under $500 that you can get to start your aerial video filming adventure.
If you want to purchase the DJI Phantom 3 Standard, please visit DJI.com for the best price and most importantly for after sales support.