It’s a borderline miracle. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 (P4P) is back in stock. It’s not a stretch to say the drone had been out of stock longer than it was ever in stock. Regardless, it’s nice to see the flagship return as it is the only true 20-megapixel camera drone available from DJI as an off-the-shelf camera drone.
Yes, the Mavic 2 Pro advertises a 20MP sensor, but heat issues and processing power limit the ability for the drone to really take advantage of the sensor it borrowed from the P4P. There is such a thing as too small. Portability inevitably has its tradeoffs, and the sensor was it on the Mavic 2 Pro.
One feature most never mention are the landing skids on the Phantoms. You can pluck it out of the sky. A Mavic? You need quick hands, or the blades will remind you just how low profile the Mavic really is. I love that about the P4P.
So, is there anything new on the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 relaunch? That answer is no. Consider the return more of a stopgap put in place while DJI readies its 2020 line of refreshed camera drones. Hopefully, substantial interest in the P4P will push DJI towards making a Phantom 5 with interchangeable lenses.
That’s not to say it’s not worth a buy. In my eyes, if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of portability for the highest quality images and video, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is the best drone for sale right now. In addition to full use of the 20MP, one-inch sensor, 4K60p is now back. That’s a massive uptick over the Mavic 2 Pro.
It also shrugs off Autel and its Evo successor.
One of the cooler videos from the P4P is Miami at dusk.
DJI in 2020
2020 will be an interesting year for DJI. Nothing seems imminently on the horizon like a Mavic refresh or a new Inspire. That should change as the US-China trade deal is set to be signed by the middle of the month. The tariffs should be removed, and restrictions lifted.
Hopefully, we see the old prices return. Currently, the P4P will retail for $1729. It’s unclear if the removal of the tariffs will mean it dips back to $1500 or if DJI will take advantage of the protracted trade dispute teaching us to expect higher prices. I’d lean towards the latter, but hope for the former.
Other headwinds for DJI and the drone industry at large are regulatory. Currently, the NPRM from the FAA is open for public comment. Please share your voice as pieces of the rule are alarming from a privacy standpoint.
What should we expect out of the company when it comes to camera drones? A Mavic 2 refresh is definitely in the cards. Whether that’s in the form of a Mavic 2+ or a Mavic 3 is unclear. The Mavic Air is currently the oldest drone in the Mavic series, and you’d have to expect DJI moves to refresh with the current Mavic design principles or scrap it entirely.
In addition to the Mavics, rumors have been circulating about a new Inspire. That would make sense as it’s been years since the professional side DJI camera drone division has seen some attention.
Overall, it’s solid news out of DJI today. The P4P is back, and that’s always a welcome sight. Now, all we need is interchangeable lenses. Come on DJI, quit holding back on the masses.