DJI PHANTOM 4 PRO OBSIDIAN
The new DJI drone retains everything from the Phantom 4 Pro but in a stealthy new avatar
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The Phantom 4 Pro is arguably the best prosumer drone in the market. Boasting a one-inch 20MP CMOS sensor it can shoot videos at 4K resolution without breaking a sweat at 60fps, further helped by its four-way obstacle avoidance system. If you’re a drone enthusiast looking to elevate your drone photography game the Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian is serious business.
Dressed to thrill
The Obsidian, technically, is almost the same drone as the Phantom 4 Pro albeit clad in a charcoal hue colour and a magnesium electroplated gimbal being the vivid distinction. The anti-fingerprint coating is a big plus to avoid any sort traces on the gimbal while handling. The outer shell colour is definitely striking. The titanium and magnesium alloy construction not only looks striking, but it also helps with the durability and weight reduction while flying. The drone confidently stands out even in overcast weather but if you’re a night flyer we recommend you go with the original white version.
Eye on the Prize
The Phantom 4 Pro and above models have the camera’s aperture that can be user-defined as well as automatic. You cannot do so on the Mavic series or the Spark. The Obsidian’s camera offers a bigger FOV (field-of-view), mechanical shutter, a larger image sensor, faster image processor and full aperture control from f/2.8 - f/11.
Shoot to Frame
In our tests, the video recording was buttery smooth when we used the drone to shoot in 4K and 2.7K resolutions at 60 fps. You can even shoot in slow motion at 120fps but that results in a resolution tradeoff, which is dropped to 1080p and 720p. That said, we did face a few issues initially, which was a direct result of the microSD card. The Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian records at a bitrate of 100 Mbps (in 4K) so make sure you’ve got a supported card that can handle writing at faster speeds. A compatible SanDisk or Lexar works without any hiccups.
Attention to Detail
Given the portable design of the Mavic Pro and Air, the drones capture more than decent stills but if you want to drastically improve the quality, the Obsidian is the real deal. The pictures are rich in detail and the difference is discernible when compared to a
similar shot on a Mavic Pro or Air, thanks to Obsidian’s 1-inch 20MP sensor versus 1/2.3-inch CMOS 12MP sensor found on the Mavic Pro and Air respectively.
Most intelligent flight modes on DJI drones are now an established set of features across the fleet. A couple of notable ones include Draw mode and Tap Fly. that gets activated when the gimbal is tilted facing downward. Segregated further into two submodes - Forward and Free, while the forward is self-explanatory, the Free mode is what we tried out and is more fun. Obstacle avoidance is disabled in this mode, so fly with caution. Tap Fly, on the other hand, is a feature from our previously tested DJI drones. The difference here is that it comes with three sub-modes; Forward, Backward and Free.
We effortlessly managed 28 minutes of flight time on the Obsidian with its high capacity LiPo 5870 mAh battery, close enough to the claimed flying time of 30 minutes. The controller feels sturdy and heavy. A huge advantage with the remote controller is that it charges your phone simultaneously during use as it packs in a mammoth 6000 mAh charge. Both take approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour to fully recharge.
The RTH (Return to Home) is a handy option that has been a mainstay in many DJI drones and it has been improved further on the Obsidian. The obstacle sensors on all four sides can sense obstacles as far as 300m. A complete bonus if you lose orientation and are flying backwards. Another advantage is that if the control signal is lost, the drone will retrace its original path to regain its connection after a minute. When it reconnects, it will return to home following a straight route.
If you are looking for better, sharper and professional footage there is no better drone than the Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian at the moment. Of course, you do have the new Phantom 4 Pro V2, Phantom 4 Pro+ and Advanced but with the same camera and upgrades and those come with a hefty price tag. Do note, the Obsidian is hefty and if portability is your number one criteria, you may want to check out Mavic or a Spark but for professional imaging.
PRICE approx. `1,10,000 URL dji.com COLOUR Charcoal, White WEIGHT 1.38kg TOP SPEED 72kmph (in Sport Mode) CAMERA 20MP 1-inch CMOS sensor VIDEO 4K and4K/60fps video recording at100Mbps BATTERY LIFE Up to 30 mins FEATURES Four directional obstacle avoidance;3-axis gimbal; Electroplated magnesium gimbal