Unveiled: DJI Phantom 3 Advanced and Professional-Edition Quadcopters



DJI has just announced the latest update to its Phantom line, which looks set to be a direct replacement of the Phantom 2—the Phantom 3. Initially, two versions will be available, the Advanced Edition, identified by silver stripes on the prop arms, and the Professional Edition, likewise distinguished by gold stripes. The most notable feature of these new quadcopters, at least as far as the aerial market is concerned, is the incorporation of a purpose-built, three-axis, gimbal-stabilized camera system similar to the one currently found on the Phantom 2 Vision+. Differentiating the Advanced and Professional models is the video resolution of the camera. The Advanced tops out at 1080p, while the Professional bumps recording capability I suspect, up to 4K-UHD (3840 x 2160) but have not yet confirmed. On the photos side, both cameras are equally blessed, able to capture 12MP stills in either JPG or DNG RAW format.

The flight control system carries over the same GPS-assisted features to which we've become accustomed with other DJI Phantoms. These included IOC (Intelligent Orientation Control) to keep stick orientation on the transmitter relative to the pilot regardless of which way the aircraft is pointing, automatic Return Home if contact with the transmitter is lost or at the press of a "panic" button, plus the ability to hold in a fixed hover, the latter a crucial feature for aerial filmmaking. On top of GPS, the Phantom 3 introduces to the Phantom line the optical flow sensor that originated on the Inspire 1. This technology combines a ground-facing camera taking rapid-fire photos with sonar to enable reasonably precise positioning where GPS is unavailable—especially close to the ground or indoors.



Along with the radio control system, the camera-equipped Phantom 3 aircraft also feature a digital downlink, which can beam a live video feed to a mobile device on the ground end at up to 720p resolution (most likely the device will need to be USB-tethered to the transmitter, as with the Inspire 1, but this is unconfirmed). The app used to access this feature is an update of the previous Pilot app. In addition to monitoring and camera operation, it enables recording of a lower resolution copy of what the camera sees for in-app editing, upload to social media, or even live streaming to YouTube ( where an Internet connection is available). Another feature of the app is a flight simulator, allowing pilots-in-training to get some practice in before taking to the air.

Performance also sees a boost with the Phantom 3. I don't have the exact numbers at hand, but I would expect to see a redesigned propulsion system along the lines of the Tuned Propulsion System, perhaps similar to what the later Phantom 2 models use. If so, enhancements would include more powerful motors and a more efficient prop design. This translates into a higher top speed, better stability, and longer battery life.

For more information on these new products as well as updates on estimated availability, please visit their product pages on the B&H website.


I saw that the Phantom 3 professional camera does not zoom, how about video? Does that have the ability to zoom?

The Phantom 3 has a camera with a fixed focal length lens set to infinity focus so that it can capture a wide angle image and have the most in focus.  It cannot zoom during video.

How do you make phantom  3 professional zoom 

Hi William -

This camera offers a fixed focal length lens and cannot "zoom".

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  [email protected]

Got my phantom 3 advanced from B&H and its fabulous!  Have a gopro black and this picture seems to be just as good plus you don't have to land it and put it into video mode.  Just hit the button on the radio or the app, either one.  Great control over the camera.  Love it.  So much easier to fly than the phantom 1 I had.  Adjust the apature on the fly, stop video and take photos on the fly, come on, this is unreal.  

can it be flown with out the legs? Like launch from your hand and land on your hand. that way the legs dont get in the way

Technically it can be flown without the legs, however we highly advise against doing so, as taking off/landing from one's hands would present a great amount of danger to those trying to grab it and it could also damage the camera if it were to land without the legs. 

Anybody know if you can try out the flight simuator function prior to purchasing the Phantom 3- just installed the pilot app but do not see the simulator available.

You need to have a registered Phantom and login name from their site in order to have all the features.  The app will need to connect to the copter in order for the sim to run. 

This is the wrong move, in my opinion. I think most of us want the ability to use our own camera, especially when GoPro keeps pushing the bar further and further. I just watched a video of the 3D Robotics "Solo" drone, that runs for about the same price, and comes with a gimbal made for the GoPro camera. Not only that, but the SOLO is so sophisticated you can program it to essentially fly itself, which means there is virtually no need to learn how to fly a quadcopter.

I own and love the Phantom 2 Vision + V3.0 except for one thing. l found a lot of distortion with the camera, in contrast the Inspire 1 camera package seems to be rectilinear optical/camera package with noticeable less lens distortion. 


Does anyone know if the distortion issue is fixed on the Phantom3? Or they just upgraded the resolution of the same camera?





The camera has been changed, it does not have the multiple elements that the Inspire 1 camera has, however it has a Sony EXMOR 1/2.3” Effective pixels: 12.4 M (total pixels: 12.76 M) sensor which will have an improved ISO range.

Is this another wide angle lense? Or do we finally have a compression lense (70mm)? Waiting for a compression lens at 70mm or 100mm for photography, sick of the wide angle lenses. could there be an add like this on for the inspire?

Is this another wide angle lense? Or do we finally have a compression lense (70mm)? Waiting for a compression lens at 70mm or 100mm for photography, sick of the wide angle lenses. could there be an add like this on for the inspire?



The lens for the camera has Field of View 94° 20 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.8, focus at ∞

How long does battery support flight charged?

The approximate flight time is 23 minutes.

My concern has always been the sensor size.  anything prior, including GoPro is too small for what I need.  Any idea what this one is?

The Sensor for the DJI Phantom 3 is Sony EXMOR 1/2.3” Effective pixels: 12.4 M (total pixels: 12.76 M).

What is the release date for the phantom 3?

We anticipate the Phantom 3 being available in May.  If you haven't already, you could choose the Notify When in Stock option on the copter’s page on our website.  We would then send you an email when it came into stock.  Otherwise, we are excepting pre-orders at this time, which will be filled in the order they were received.

Any update on the release date? Possibly early June??? I'm so ready to buy the bundle! :)

DJI has not offered any firm dates at this time.  We are hoping to see them this summer.  We will be happy to e-mail as soon as we are updated.
Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  [email protected]

If the Professional comes with a 4K camera, then why did DJI release the Inspire?  $1K less???  Sorta makes sense and not.  

The inspire has many more features. The camera can rotate 360 degrees and two Tx can be connected, It also has retractable landing gear.  

This is kinda good and bad bussiness move . Good for dji bad for costumer who spent almost $3000.00 for inspire and now they coming with a low price version of 4k aerial filming and with better feature like livestream video to YouTube , something you cant do with inspire at least they made  an upgrade , sorry for inspire 1 costumers including myself 

Isn't this the nature of tech gear in general?  New and groundbreaking today, then obsolete when the next iteration comes out.  Seen it before...

When DJI release an Inspire 2 then the 1 will be  an obsolete item , in Phantom series they already did it, 

I've got the phantom 2+vision and the gimbal control radio but the wheel only allows for tilt no pan, how can I get it to pan? Also how about zoom capability?

Zoom capability ? You can fly your Phantom and get close  to the subject and take the picture , dont you think 

For panning you will rotate the copter itself, this is referred to as Yaw.  As for zoom you will have full camera control via the app so you will be able to adjust the camera tilt angle and switch between the video and photo and activate the shutter and record but will not have zoom ability on the camera.

Why no zoom ?????? That seems it should be a no brainer. Thanks.

go to DJI.COM   for answers to your questions---dunno what screwed up with my previous responses!!

Is the DJI transmitter mode changable ? I fly mode 3. (Cyclic on left hand) (Most of the competition with computer TXs are)

The remote controls for DJI Phantoms are set to mode 2 as default but they can be changed using the instructions in the following link.


will the pilot app include waypoint selectable navigation?

Pilot app for inspire 1 doesnt and Phantom will use the same app , so i dont think waypoint will be selectable . Or just let s way maybe with an update 

The following are the features in the DJI Pilot app:
- FPV Live HD View
- Map View
- Professional Camera Control
- Flight Parameters On Screen Display
- Modules Parameter Settings
- Full Direction Gimbal Control
- Real-time Flight Record
- Providing Flight Simulator
- Download manuals and view online videos in the Academy

Remote pan / tilt functions?

"the camera and gimbal are fully controllable by the included remote controller and dedicated DJI Pilot app." from the DJI site.

You will have remote control tilt adjustment control on the remote itself, as for panning you would just turn the Phantom so the camera is facing the subject.  This is called controlling the yaw.

Will it also come with the ability to mount a GoPro? or only their own camera? 

As of right now, no.  See their product website at DJI.com.  Click on the "Specs" tab.

I'm going to bet no since they decided to go with their own camera on the Inspire 1...big mistake IMHO since people love GoPros and it is a proven technology. 

The body of the new Phantom 3 will be for the proprietary camera.  The Vision positioning system will prevent the GoPro gimbal from being installed on the bottom of the Phantom.