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CES 2016: DJI upgrades Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 drones

January 5, 2016  - By
Image: GPS World

Drone maker DJI is introducing enhancements to its Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 quadcopters at CES 2016, a consumer electronics and technology trade show held Jan. 6–9 in Las Vegas.

The newest models, the Phantom 3 4K and Inspire 1 Pro Black Edition, were designed to capture stunning aerial photography.

\The Phantom 3 4K’s introduction is the result of strong consumer demand for top resolution cameras and ultrasonic sensors, the company said, which enable flight indoors and in areas with a weak GPS signal. The Phantom 3 4K comes with an integrated, gimbal-stabilized 4K camera and has remote-control buttons for playback, video recording and camera shutter.

Instead of DJI’s Lightbridge video-transmission system, the Phantom 3 4K uses built-in WiFi to transmit the video downlink and on-screen data. The drone’s WiFi video downlink is effective up to a distance of 1.2 kilometers.

“The Phantom 3 4K fills an important gap in our Phantom portfolio. It offers a high-quality camera and smart navigation system for a lower price than our professional models. This is possible, as we have replaced the DJI Lightbridge system with a built-in WiFi link,” said Paul Pan, DJI’s senior product manager.

The Phantom 3 4K will stay aloft for 25 minutes on a full battery charge. DJI also has made stylistic change to its Inspire 1 Pro. The Inspire 1 Pro Black Edition comes with a black controller, battery and a shell with a matte finish. It comes equipped with DJI’s best-in-class Micro Four Thirds camera, the Zenmuse X5.

In celebration of DJI’s 10th anniversary, the promotional price of the DJI Phantom 3 4K edition is $799, starting Jan. 6. This promotion also extends to the Phantom 3 Advanced model, now priced at $799, and the Phantom 3 Standard, at $499. DJI says the price may be subject to change.

The original Inspire 1 Pro, with a white shell, battery case and controller, will continue to be sold alongside the new model.

“One of the most-frequent questions we get from professional drone operators is ‘when will DJI come out with a black Inspire?’ The answer is now,’” said Ferdinand Wolf, manager of DJI Studios Europe.

DJI’s main booth at CES 2016 will be in South Hall 2, No. 25602, and Central Hall, No. 9845. The exhibits will feature a flying cage for attendees to attempt flying a drone with First Person View, an Osmo Zone for testing the filmmaking tool, a showcase of solutions created with the DJI SDK and a display of work created by the SkyPixel community.

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