On this page, I’ll show you everything you can buy for the Phantom 4 and talk about why you need it, and even why you might not.
If you’re planning on or have already bought a Phantom 4, you obviously will need a mobile device to take full advantage of it’s features. The DJI app is available for most IOS and Android devices, but that doesn’t mean that it will work properly on all of them. Everyone has their own opinions on IOS vs Android, but from what I’ve found with my own models and hearing what other people say, the iPad Mini 4 will give you the best experience possible when flying. The iPad mini 3 also works well (I have the Mini 3), but if you’re going to buy a tablet anyway, there’s no reason to get the slower model. The iPad air will also work, but it makes the controller extremely heavy and there’s no sun hood available.
You can use the cellular data on the iPad to load maps, but if you don’t have the cellular version of the iPad, you can link your iPad to a phone, or load the maps before you leave the house.
Flight time is getting better and better every year with drones, but 28 minutes is still not enough time if you’re planning on doing any real video work. You also won’t have access to a power outlet to recharge the battery when you’re out at the park, or traveling. If there’s one thing I recommend getting more than anything else, it’s an extra battery or two.
Having extra batteries is great for getting more flight time, but the more batteries you have, the longer it’s going to take to charge. We currently have 5 batteries for each Phantom 4, so having one charger means that it takes almost 5 hours to charge all of them. You also have to factor in the extra time it takes to notice each one when it’s done charging and plug in another one.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: When you get the extra battery charger, you will also need to buy the power cord that plugs into the wall separately. If you only plan on getting one extra battery then another charger is probably not necessary. I recommend having one charger for every two batteries. That way, if you have 6 batteries then you can use 3 chargers and it will only take 2 hours.
For general use, the standard chargers will be enough to get you started, but DJI also makes a car charger that plugs into any DC 12v car outlet. This can be a lifesaver when you’re going on road trips and only have access to car power.
Even though the Phantom 4 now has obstacle avoidance, that doesn’t mean that crashes are impossible. It will avoid obstacles that are in front of it, but what if you’re trying to get a shot while flying backwards and you hit something? This is why extra props are a good thing. Luckily, the Phantom 4 comes with an extra set in the box, so you won’t need to worry, but if you’re planning on taking a road trip, it’s good to have at least two extra sets.
Unfortunately, most tablet and smartphone screens are extremely reflective when outside in the sun. The good news is, DJI has a sun hood designed specifically for the iPad Mini and iPhone 6s Plus. they might also work with other tablets that are similar in size or smaller, but this isn’t a guarantee.
Just like with the Phantom 3, the Phantom 4 is a drone that you’ll want to take places. If you just want to take it to the park once a week, the box it comes in will be just fine. If you plan on taking this thing on a plane, hiking, biking, or any other adventure, the styrofoam case that it comes with is going to break instantly.
If you want a case or backpack for the Phantom 3, there are tons of options. However, the Phantom 4 is still very new, so there aren’t any carrying case options yet.
If you want a backpack, the one from DJI is an extremely nice option. It has multiple pockets on the outside and even on the inside to hold things like ND filters, keys, money, ID, external hard drives etc… One of the best features of the backpack is the laptop compartment, which will hold a 15 inch Macbook Pro. You can get the Phantom 4 backpack from DJI, but it won’t be shipping until mid May.
If you’re new to video and photography, you might be wondering what an ND filter is. Basically it’s like having sunglasses for your camera. ND filters reduce the amount of light that goes into the lens, which results in a lower shutter speed. This gives shots more motion blur and also helps cut down on micro-vibrations that could show up in your videos.
There are three different ND filters that you can get. ND4 is the brightest and ND16 is the darkest (creating more motion blur). In most situations you can stick with ND8, but when the sun starts setting, don’t forget to switch back to the original filter that comes with the Phantom 4, or all your shots will start looking dark and grainy.
When you get the Phantom 4, it should come with a 16GB Micro SD card. That should be enough space for your first flight, but a 16GB card will only get you about 40 minutes of video recording. In other words, if you plan on getting extra batteries, you’ll also need extra space (unless you want to import the videos into your computer after every one or two flights). The max rated compatibility on the Phantom 4 is 64GB, but I’ve heard that 128GB will also work.
The Last thing that you might want to buy is the HDMI output module. This is a mod that allows you to output the live video feed from the Phantom 4 to any source that accepts HDMI. You could use this with FPV goggles, plug it into your TV, or maybe even stream video to a video capture device for live broadcast work. This isn’t something that everyone should get, but I put it here just in case.