On Thursday, Heliguy were invited to attend DJI’s Control / Create event in London. The event was designed to give authorised dealers like ourselves and tech journalists the chance to get up close and personal with the new Inspire 2 and Phantom 4 pro quadcopters.
The event was held at one of the top go-karting tracks in the UK. We guessed this is so that there was a large, open, indoor space to fly the drones as a demonstration, which turned out to be the case.
I arrived at the venue excited about the possibility of seeing the two new DJI drones in the flesh and left absolutely convinced that both platforms are a revolution, rather than an evolution, in each of their categories.
Check out the footage we captured during the event showing both of these impressive quadcopters in action.
Running Through the Specs
The first part of the event took us through the specs and features of both the Inspire 2 and the Phantom 4 Pro in detail. You can tell by the way the DJI employees were talking that they’ve been working incredibly hard on these products. Many of the features were created entirely based on user comments. It’s great to know that DJI is acting on the feedback users are giving them!
There were several examples of stills and video clips too, which brought home just how far these new aerial cameras have come. DJI themselves were very confident in saying that the new Phantom 4 Pro camera far surpasses the X3 camera that came with the Inspire 1 when it was launched 2 years ago.
The attached screen on the P4 Pro + remote was something that again, was added based on user feedback. Apparently, the new display is twice as bright as you’ll get from an iPad or iPhone, which negates the need for a hood to view the screen. Very useful when you’re out and about shooting on a bright day.
The run through of the Inspire 2 specs, which I’m sure you’ve all already seen, hammered home just how powerful this craft is. The top speed of nearly 70mph is impressive while the camera technology is the best in the industry.
DJI went on to say that they had challenged a Hollywood director to create a film entirely on the Inspire 2. From the snippets of feedback we got directly from the director, it seemed to be a great success. Interestingly this part of the event showed the Inspire 2 being held while filming, almost becoming a handheld gimbal. The results spoke for themselves with high-quality footage from start to finish.
Seeing the Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire 2 in Action
Then we got to see both the new drones in action.
First the Phantom 4 Pro
The pilot highlighted the obstacle avoidance by trying to fly both forwards and backwards into a sign – both times the Phantom 4 Pro beeped and refused to move any closer to the obstacle. Then we say the new infra-red sensors on the side of the drone in action, flying either side towards an obstacle caused the Phantom 4 pro to stop at least 10ft away from the obstacle. These new sensors will certainly help prevent even more collisions.
Then we saw multiple different flight modes including spotlight, which is an active track type that followed some go karts in the demonstration. It’s incredibly stable in the air, as we’ve come to expect from almost every DJI drone. It was also very nimble in the air, helping to track the fast-moving go karts with ease.
It was then time for the Inspire 2 to take flight
The setup was as simple as ever with DJI products and in no time at all we were airborne. Again, we saw the obstacle avoidance features in action, with the Inspire 2 easily spotting obstacles in front of it from 15ft or so.
The pilot then demonstrated the vertical obstacle avoidance by taking the Inspire 2 right up to the roof of the indoor track. As expected the drone came to a halt before reaching the ceiling. DJI was keen to reinforce the fact that these features have been implemented on the back of feedback from cinematographers who film frequently indoors or in tight outdoor spaces.
We then saw the impressive new TapFly mode where the pilot simply drew a path on the screen and the quadcopter followed it through the hall very accurately. The huge advantage here is that a single pilot can set a path for the drone without having to constantly control it. In turn, this frees up the operator to focus on just controlling the attached camera. Many shots that would’ve taken 2 pilots on the inspire 1 can be captured by a single pilot with the inspire 2.
Then we saw just how fast the Inspire 2 is … in every direction. Straight line acceleration is really fast. The hall the demonstration took place in wasn’t long enough to show the top speed. It must’ve been 100m long, but the Inspire 2 sped through the hall in what seemed like an instant.
Ascending and descending was also fast. All the extra power packed into this drone will be crucial in helping filmmakers capture even the most ambitious of shots without the need for lots of extra equipment.
We also saw a quick example of a Slave / Master controller setup with one pilot controlling the drone and a second controller operating the attached X4S camera. All of this happened in real time. The beefed-up transmission systems were clearly helpful. There was no slowdown in video feed or drone control issues, even indoors with no GPS.
The Inspire 2 really impressed. The reception from Heliguy customers has been great too. We’re really looking forward to seeing what you all end up working on with your new drones!
Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider blog for more of the latest news from the drone industry.
Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2016/11/18/inspire-2-phantom-4-pro-uk-launch-event/