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From the NAB show floor, DJI announced the latest addition to its extremely popular Phantom quadcopter line: the Phantom 2 Vision+. What's new and exciting about the Phantom 2 Vision+? Most notably, the camera. It features a gimbal-stabilized, 14-megapixel camera that shoots Adobe DNG RAW and is capable of recording 1080p video at 30 frames per second, as well as 720p at 60 frames per second to help you produce sharp, clean, slow-motion footage. The 3-axis gimbal not only helps isolate the camera from aircraft sway and vibration, it also allows you to tilt the camera in flight to give you greater flexibility and increase the dynamism and potential of your shots.
The Phantom 2 Vision+ is based on the same proven airframe as the Phantom 2 Vision and Phantom 2. Like the rest of the Phantom family, it comes ready to fly (RTF), meaning that a pre-bound transmitter (handheld radio controller) is included and that it ships almost fully assembled. The flight-control system uses sophisticated software developed by DJI and relies heavily on GPS tracking to provide a number of useful features. Perhaps the most notable is the GPS attitude flight mode. Not only does it provide the most auto-pilot redundancy of any flight mode, ensuring a stable flying condition even if the pilot makes a mistake, but GPS attitude mode really shines when shooting video. By keeping precise track of the Phantom's X/Y coordinates in space, GPS attitude mode allows the quadcopter to maintain a fixed hover, even when subject to light or moderate amounts of wind. GPS also allows the quadcopter to return to home. In case the transmitter signal is ever lost more than momentarily, the aircraft will automatically fly back to a home automatically established during the initial pre-flight calibration routine.
"A Wi-Fi extender is included that mounts next to the smartphone, extending your mobile device's Wi-Fi range up to 2,300 feet (700 meters) in your line of sight."
The camera system is controlled by a DJI app, currently available for iOS and Android. There is even a smartphone mount included that allows you to attach your smartphone or other small, Wi-Fi-enabled mobile device directly to the handheld radio controller (transmitter). A Wi-Fi extender is included that mounts next to the smartphone, extending your mobile device's Wi-Fi range up to 2,300 feet (700 meters) in your line of sight. Not only can you actuate Record start and stop and snap photos from the app, which all get recorded to a microSD card in the camera, you can also use your phone to upload images to social media websites almost as soon as they happen.
Also worth a mention, included with the Phantom 2 Vision+ and available as a firmware update for all Phantom 2 models, is a new software feature dubbed "no-fly zones." These are no-go areas that are programmed into the flight controller. These no-fly zones, typically at sites surrounding airports, provide an automated way to avoid accidentally flying into an area that might be unsafe and/or restricted. The zones are categorized A and B, and are currently provided for major cities worldwide. Expect that the no-fly zone list will be updated on a continual basis.
The Phantom 2 Vision+ can fly for up to 25 minutes on one battery. It features the same slot-in design as the other Phantom 2 models, allowing the batteries to be quickly swapped out in the field without tangled cables to worry about. There is a car charger, available separately, for the Phantom 2 Batteries so you won't be dependent on AC. If you know you'll need more than 25 minutes out of the box, there is even a kit available with a second battery included.