OK, I lied, it’s 52, not 50 🙂 Bear with me!
Ever since DJI’s Phantom 4 came out on the drone scene, it became one of the most (if not the most) popular “prosumer” drones out there. Its ease of use, top-notch characteristics and stunning camera capabilities put it on the map as one of the best choices for aerial cinematography.
Every other day I get a few emails with questions regarding the Phantom 4 – ranging from general inquiries to customization options and accessorries.
Spending a lot of time to answer those e-mails has inspired me to create a list of the 50 most frequently asked questions about this great piece of tech.
I’ve divided the questions into separate categories for your convenience:
What’s the flight time and the capacity of the Intelligent Flight Battery?
The capacity of the battery is 5350 mAh. In ideal weather conditions (meaning no wind, clear path and no signal interference) you can get up to 28 minutes of flight time. Most of the time though, you get ~24-25 minutes of flight time.
What is the flight range?
Again, it depends on the conditions, but in optimal weather and flying conditions with no obstacles around you can fly your Phantom up to 4 miles away and still maintain a decent video stream. If you fly in a more urban area, normally you’d get a lot less range due to the interference caused by Wi-Ffi routers, wireless security cameras, microwave ovens, cordless phones and baby monitors. I always recommend keeping your aircraft in plain sight when flying and not exceeding 500m of distance (for safety precautions)
Does this drone come with colored stickers, like the ones from the Phantom 3 generation?
No, the P4 does not come with stickers. The Phantom 3 series had a couple of different variants, therefore the stickers were used to distinguish them. The Phantom4 comes in only 1 variant, so no stickers are needed.
I’ve just purchased this drone. Where do I have to register it and how much does it cost ?
Congrats on your purchase 🙂 You can register your aicraft here. It normally costs around $5.
How long does it take to recharge the battery?
It depends how far discharged if is, but normally about 45-60 minutes.
Does the phantom 4 need good cell service to operate?
No. You can also fly the drone in remote areas without cell service. Just a tip though: Before you go on a trip make sure to cache the map of the area in the background. Otherwise you will not be able to download the map in the remote location.
Does the DJI Phantom 4 controller have HDMI output?
Yes, you can buy it here. Please note that it also works on the Phantom4, although the product title only states Phantom 3 models.
Does the P4 use micro SD cards only or regular SD cards also work?
No, only Micro SD cardswork only (I recommend a Class 10 card such as this one)
Can i use my android phone/tablet with this drone?
Yes, both iOS and Android are supported. You only need to download the official DJI GO App.
What is the largest tablet I can fit on the controller?
10” tablet is the largest I’ve seen that fits. However, I’ve found the iPad Mini 4 to be the best fit for this drone due to it’s compactness and small weight. When flying continuously with an iPad Air2 for example, sometimes it gets heavy and uncomfortable.
What is the communication interface between the screen and the drone?
It is DJI’s own “Lightbridge” technology. It allows for a clear FPV picture at much greater distances than other drone companies. So far no other company comes close to this in terms of clarity and distance.
Is a cable for connecting my phone/tablet included in the package?
Yes, but it’s far too long and you might run into problems with it. To avoid issues, I’d recommend to get a short cable such as this one (for iOS) or this one (for Android).
Can I use a 3rd party app or should I only use DJI Go?
Yes, you can. As a matter of fact there are many apps which you can use with your Phantom4 which not only operate the same way, but some offer even better functionality. I recommend trying the Litchi app.
Do the Phantom 3 Propellers work on the Phantom 4?
No. The Phantom 4 uses a different propeller snap-on system, and its motor shafts are not threaded. You can get a spare set of props here.
Are any of the previous Phantom model’s batteries are compatible with the DJI Phantom 4?
No. The Phantom4’s Intelligent Flight Battery is different from the previous models. I advise you to only buy the original Phantom 4 batteries from DJI. I’ve tested the unit with a non-original battery and I don’t recommend it!
How many flights can I get from a fully charged controller?
It really depends on how you fly your drone but I’d say around 10.
Does the Phantom4 comes in a case?
Yes, all Phantom4 models come in a heavy duty Styrofoam case, which you can use when travelling.
How big is the case? Can it fit in a suitcase?
The case is 14 1/2″ X 12 3/4″ X 8 1/2″. It might fit in a larger suitcase, but it’s better if you can fit it in an airplane overhead compartment. However, if you plan to fly with it I would suggest checking with your specific airline ahead of time to avoid any problems with security for other reasons.
I haven’t flown a drone before. Should I buy the Phantom4 as my first one?
You can, but I do not recommend it. Get a cheaper drone and learn the basics first – then you’ll be ready for the Phantom4. Here’s a list of drones, which are perfect for beginners.
What camera comes with this drone?
DJI has pre-installed their newly designed lens that dramatically increases sharpness. It will shoot sharp, clean video in up to 4K at 30fps and Full HD 1080p at 120fps for slow motion.
What is the quality of the camera for still shots?
12 MP. The quality is great, much similar to the Phantom3 Professional.
Does the camera have a zoom lens?
No it does not. However, the 4K high resolution of the camera allows you to edit in post-production and crop the video as needed.
Can I make a time-lapse with the Phantom 4 ?
Yes, you can choose this camera mode in the DJI Go settings.
What’s the maximum image resolution?
4000px × 3000px
Can I change the shutter speed the DJI Phantom 4?
Yes. You have some control over this through the DJI Go App.
How can I reduce glare in my images?
You can fit a lens hood on the camera.
How about reducing glare in my tablet screen?
Use this accessory to reduce the glare in your tablet screen
Can the DJI Phantom 4 camera turn 360 degrees?
No. It only moves up and down. Everything else is controlled by turning the Phantom 4.
Are DJI Phantom 4 images geotagged?
Yes, the photos are tagged with location and altitude.
Can the camera be programmed to take periodic photos (e.g., every 5 seconds)?
Yes, you can use the timer function of the camera. It can take a picture on 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 or 30 seconds intervals.
Can I livestream from my drone?
Yes, you can select the Livestreaming option in the DJI Go App to livestream to Facebook and Periscope (DJI GO App was recently updated and now livestreaming is also supported in Android)
If i already own a Go-Pro camera, can I just buy this drone and mount my own camera?
No, the Phantom 4 comes with a 4K built-in camera on a gimbal, and does not support adding/removing modules.
Does the camera record video with audio or video only?
How fast can the P4 fly? Could it keep up with a car on a track?
Depending on the flying mode, The P4 can reach different speeds:
-When obstacle avoidance is enabled, the maximum speed is 22mph (36kph).
-In normal flight mode, the maximum speed is 36mph (58kph).
-In Sport mode, the maximum speed is 45mph (72kph).
Can I fly the Phantom4 indoors?
Yes. The Phantom 4 has a VPS Module that allows the drone to fly indoors using sonar sensors and under side cameras. The VPS Module allows you to fly up to 30 feet.
My Phantom 4 is not stable while hovering. What should I do?
You could try calibrating the IMU sensor of the drone. To do that, place the DJI Phantom 4 on a level surface, while keeping away from metal and electronic interference. Open the DJI Go app and go to MC settings. Go to advanced settings, sensors and tap “IMU calibration”. Perform the IMU calibration when the DJI Phantom 4 is cold, preferably in a cool environment as this will reduce the warm up time before flying.
What’s the safest way to fly over water?
Try putting sticky tape over the VPS sensors. This is done because when flying above water, there may not be enough of a contrast in pattern for the aircraft to recognize and hold position. That’s why some users have reporting issues when flying over water. I’d also add to always fly atleast 1 meter over the water level.
Is it possible to retake control of the DJI Phantom 4 when it is in Return To Home mode?
Yes. You just need to press the Return To Home button on your remote controller. Doing this will give you control of the DJI Phantom 4 again.
Can I shut down the motors in flight in case of an emergency?
Yes. You can do that by pressing the Return To Home key and simultaneously moving the left stick down and in.
Can I fly the drone in the rain?
No, The DJI P4 is not waterproof.
Does the P4 have lights for night use?
Yes, but this red/gren blinking lights are used to locate the drone in the air, it does not illuminate the target recorded with the camera.
Can I turn off the Phantom 4’s LEDs?
Yes, you can turn off the front LEDs through the DJI Go app.
Can I turn off the rear LEDs as well?
What’s the range of the obstacle sensors?
2-49 feet (0.7meters – 15 meters)
Does the landing gear get in the way of the camera?
Generally not, only if you fly aggressively. Fly smoothly and you’ll never see it in your footage.
Can I attach external antennas on the controller to boost the signal?
Yes, you can use a range booster to extend your signal.
I own a couple of batteries. Can I charge them at the same time?
Yes, there’s a Battery Charging Hub which you can use for this.
Can you recommend a backpack for the P4?
I really like this one, especially the “Universal” edition. It’s cheaper than many others and protects your aircraft very well. If you’re a fan of the Styrofoam carrying case, this one is very interesting.
Can I use FPV goggles with this drone? If so, which ones do you recommend?
Yes, you can. I don’t think you really need FPV goggles for the Phantom, but if you’re really into it, you can try the HeadPlay HD or the Fat Shark Dominator v3 goggles.
Can I buy extended warranty which covers crash accidents? How much does it cost?
Yes, DJI sells a service called “DJI Care”. It covers the amount equal to the market price of your aircraft and offers unlimited repairs. It costs $299 per year.
Do you have any other Phantom 4-related questions? Ask away! Don’t hesitate to post a comment with your question, I’ll reply ASAP.