These days, aspiring aerial photographers have hundreds of camera-equipped drones to pick from, yet once considering reliability, uscapacity, picture top quality and worth, the 3DR Solo and DJI Phantom 3 arise as the optimal choices. Of these two, which one would certainly be finest for you? Well, that all depends what you desire to execute via your drone. No issue your inspiration, this drone buyers guide will certainly aid you decide which of these 2 impressive drones can assist you reach your loftiest photography dreams.

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3DR Solo & DJI Phantom 3: A Side-by-Side Feature Comparison

The 3DR Solo and also DJI Phantom 3 Professional* have the right to both supply Ultra-HD 4K video, 12 megapixel photos and an insanely fun flying endure at a price that does not need selling your non-important organs. In spite of their awesome overlapping functions, the distinctions in between the two are excellent. Understanding the sepaprice functions of both will certainly help you obtain an idea for which drone fits your intfinished usage and also individual choices. Let’s break it dvery own attribute by feature so you have the right to identify whether the Solo or Phantom 3 is the drone you’re looking for…

*Note: In this overview we are comparing the 3DR Solo and also the DJI Phantom 3 Professional. All references to the Phantom 3 are references to the Phantom 3 Professional unmuch less otherwise detailed. 

Aircraft Design

Solo: Stealthy and also Open for Upgrades 

Many kind of are marketed on the babsence, stealthy look of the Solo. Sure, the babsence looks cool, yet its dark shade also lets it stand out versus white clouds, helping pilots or spotters save a visual. With its boxy, angular shape, the Solo is built more for energy, like a flying truck…not to say that trucks aren’t still super cool.

Perhaps the a lot of substantial distinction in the style (and the Solo in general) is 3DR’s efforts to make the Solo an open up platcreate. Included accessory attachment points and also a removable gimbal allow gimbal upgrades, third-party hardware and also progressed imaging devices, parachutes and also various other technology that’s yet to be created. That’s why 3DR has actually initiated the “Made for Solo” advance program to encourage developers to produce new hardware and also software for the Solo, which additionally allows straight access to its major trip computer system. Keeping through the open method, 3DR made the Solo’s motor pods removable so you have the right to upgrade them and also include also more power to your Solo. 

Phantom 3: That Familiar Phantom Look

A initially look at the Phantom 3 reveals its sleek, smooth lines and also bright, white housing spanning the entire quadcopter design. To some, the symmetrical footprint of the Phantom 3 might be more visually appealing, and its resemblance to DJI’s well-known Phantom precursors can explain why some drone pilots gravitate in the direction of the new Phantom.

The landing equipment of the Phantom 3 is likewise a little various from the Solo, offering a small added clearance between the cam and the ground during takeoff and landing. The Phantom’s crossbars between the landing legs work well as handles while calibrating the compass prior to flights, and some pilots usage them for hand launching and also catching instead of landing their Phantom on the ground. Please carry out so at your own risk; those props deserve to seriously cut you.


Flight Features:

Solo: More Power, Slightly Less Flight Time 

With twin 1GHz Linux flight computer systems, one located in the aircraft and also one in the controller, the Solo splits the computing power and gives an effective, precise flying suffer. Its mechanism of GPS, gyros and also accelerometers feed flight data to a Pixhawk 2 Autopilot System, causing smooth trip while filming and rock-solid hovering for taking stills despite breezy conditions. Plus, a small additional weight in the Solo further improves its stable performance in the wind.

The Solo was the first drone to market fully automated trip settings particularly engineered for aerial filmmaking. These Smart Shot settings are surprisingly effective and include Cableelectronic camera, Orlittle bit, Selfie and also a Follow Me mode that deserve to lock onto your GPS-allowed gadget and film you while you run, skateboard or walk via the city or any type of other open scene. With Smart Shots, you deserve to let the twin computers carry out the flying while you control the video camera via the toggle on the remote.

The 3DR Solo additionally boasts a 55mph (89km/h) optimal rate, which provides it insanely fun to fly. It additionally attributes a “Pause” button on the controller to command also your Solo to speak and also hover as well as a Safety Net feature that lets you erected distance and also altitude borders for safe beginner flights.

Phantom: Smart, Sporty & Simple

The Phantom 3 features an Intelligent Flight System and also an progressed Internal Measurement Unit with a six-axis gyroscope and also accelerometer to store you flying level and also under control at all times. The Phantom 3 Professional’s upgraded GPS provides you access to a minimum of 36 GENERAL PRACTITIONERS and also GLONASS satellites at all times, allowing quicker link ups and also even more reputable flight in remote locations.

The Phantom 3 Professional (and the freshly released Phantom 4) attributes a Vision Positioning System that functions a lot choose SONAR to allow steady while trip indoors. That opens up up an entirely brand-new indoor people of photographic possibilities; however, we recommfinish utilizing prop guards once flying inside.

While just topping out at 35mph (57.6km/h), the Phantom 3 Professional might not be as fast as the Solo, however its Intelligent Flight Battery keeps you in the air for 3 extra minutes, which is a lot as soon as you’re snapping one-in-a-million photos of a suncollection in Hawaii. Also, the battery recharges a little bit faster than the Solo’s.

Somewhat recently DJI developed Intelligent Flight Modes (a lot choose the Solo), so you can set your Phantom 3 to follow you, orlittle a suggest of interest, take epic fade-away selfies and even collection it to fly alengthy a collection of GPS waypoints. Just like Smart Shots, DJI’s Intelligent Flight Modes let you concentrate on managing the video camera so you deserve to dial in amazingly stable shots that captivate your audience.


Camera & Gimbal

Solo: The Great GoPro in the Sky

Now we concerned the primary difference in between these 2 exceptional drones: the video camera. First off, the 3DR Solo doesn’t come through a electronic camera, but it was arisen very closely through GoPro in an effort to come to be the world’s finest flying platform for the world’s the majority of well-known action camera. Depfinishing on the user, that have the right to be good or bad. If you already own a GoPro, then you don’t have to shuck out the extra cash, yet to acquire the full 4K UHD video at 30 frames per second that we provided over, you’ll need a GoPro HERO 4 Black.

NOTE: You can just obtain finish usability via your Solo through the GoPro HERO 3+ Babsence, HERO 4 Silver or HERO 4 Black. However before, you deserve to usage a GoPro HERO 3+ Silver for video only.

The main perk of making use of a GoPro through the Solo is utilizing the GoPro’s wide range of photographic possibilities. However, aerial footage recorded through your GoPro/Solo combo will most likely need a good amount of editing. The GoPro HERO 4 Babsence also captures a wider field of check out (depending on setting), so you acquire even more of the suncollection or mountain scene in your footage. That footage might display “jello” artefacts or a slightly distorted fisheye impact, but that deserve to be remepassed away by cropping out the edges of your footage, making use of ND filters or by adjusting the camera’s frame rate. Basically, via a GoPro on your Solo, you’re going to obtain even more raw video to job-related via, however you’re going to have to spend a little even more time editing and enhancing than you might with a Phantom 3.

Other awesome perks of making use of a GoPro are the many kind of photo burst modes accessible. Instead of recording video, you can collection your camera to take up to 30 12 megapixel photos a 2nd or as bit as 3 photos per second. That enables an extra passive method to capture quality aerial photography while you focus on flying and framing shots.

One of the major selling points of the 3DR Solo has to be the Solo Gimbal. With help from GoPro, 3DR properly designed the first-ever gimbal via complete control over a GoPro (including accessibility to all settings), which provides you the capacity to pan, tilt, snap stills and initiate Smart Shots. Plus, it offers cinema-worthy stability while flying. If you’re looking at buying the Solo, we strongly recommend springing for the version through the gimbal: the 3DR Solo Quadcopter with 3-Axis Gimbal. 

Phantom 3: Ssuggest Stunning

Thanks to its effective camera, the DJI Phantom 3 is the easiest method to capture eye-popping aerial photo and also video through full 4K UHD and 12 megapixel resolution. That’s because the mounted camera was designed particularly for aerial photography and filmmaking, which boundaries distortion and also greatly reduces the editing and enhancing forced to achieve professional-level content. An abundance of progressed electronic camera settings are accessible through the DJI Go App, including 3/5/7 photo burst modes and time-lapse. The Phantom 3’s 20mm lens additionally accepts ND and circular polarizer filters to better fine tune your image capture.

Due to the fact that the electronic camera and gimbal are completely integrated into the Phantom 3, tbelow is no installation important, which indicates quicker pre-trip checks and less all at once stress and anxiety on the gimbal. The gimbal itself gives trusted stcapacity and buttery smooth tilting, whether you’re controlling it manually or making use of one of the many type of Intelligent Flight Modes. The Phantom 3 gimbal is a little bit even more vulnerable than the Solo, but it comes via a gimbal guard that you have the right to usage to safeguard it throughout carry.



Remote Controller:

Solo: HDMI Out FTW

First off, 3DR installed a 1GHz computer system into the Solo controller, which helps through some of the Solo’s handling power and even conserves detailed flight data within the controller itself. That deserve to be advantageous in the event of a flyaway or significant crash, bereason if you have the right to usage that information to prove the crash was the outcome of a break down, then 3DR will relocation your Solo AND your GoPro.

Anvarious other obvious distinction is a file display screen that screens airrate, battery standing, altitude, gimbal angle and also various other flight information. As for tools, the controller connects to a smartphone or tiny tablet by means of the device’s Wi-Fi, sfinishing it out to your Solo up to a half-mile amethod.

Probably the coolest feature of the Solo controller is its HDMI port, which sends out out a live 1080p HD video feed for usage with FPV goggles, a TV monitor or also to stream your flight live online. This little feature deserve to substantially expand also the applications of your Solo and administer a one-of-a-kind flying experience.

The Rerotate and also Land at Home button, gimbal control, video camera shutter button and also also the capability to customize butlots are standard on both the Solo and also Phantom controllers, yet are all helpful attributes that gain many use throughout flight sessions.

Phantom 3: Greater Range via Lightbridge

The Phantom 3 controller complies with the exact same standard twin joystick architecture, however it allows you to use a full-dimension tablet for a bigger live HD see of your drone trip. It also uses DJI’s Lightbridge USB link to speed up the data transfer in between your gadget and also the controller to reduce video lag.

With a transmission range of approximately 3.1 miles, the Phantom 3 beats the Solo’s selection by a couple miles, however with present FAA UAV regulations, drone pilots in the U.S. are compelled to store their drone within sight at all times. That brings the realistic (or legal) range ago to about a half-mile anymeans, so that difference might be negligible for U.S. individuals.

While the Solo functions a Pause switch on its controller, DJI has actually the same ‘soptimal and hover’ command also constructed into its Intelligent Flight System controls. Every time you release a joystick, your Phantom 3 stops and also hovers in area until you tell it what to perform following. While a pretty fundamental function, it can really assist first-time pilots get confidence and also re-orient themselves during flights.


Mobile App:

Both 3DR and DJI have done an excellent project developing apps that elevate the flying and also filmmaking experience with their drones. They both are iOS and Android compatible, both provide a live 720p HD see, both enable magnified video camera manage, both allow basic content sharing, both incorporate a trip simulator, both provide you access to a live GENERAL PRACTITIONERS watch of your trip and both regulate automated trip settings.

Solo: Get Your Dronecode On…

On height of all the overlapping functions, the Solo App has actually been sassist to be a little much easier to run right out of the gateways, providing first-time customers a quicker learning curve. That’s the majority of most likely bereason of its much easier display screen (with a majority of the trip data showing up on the controller’s built-in LCD screen). 

For many drone enthusiasts, the many attrenergetic feature of the Solo App will be its open source DroneKit SDK and internet API, which permits users to hack the software application and also construct new apps. The open platcreate is backed by the Dronecode Foundation and also allows software application developers and also hobbyists develop brand-new apps to include brand-new functionality to your Solo drone, to boost your trip experience on your device or to also customize how your Solo shares and also uploads information to the DroneKit Cloud. This is the software side of 3DR’s “Made for Solo” advancement program, which hopes to jumpbegin small providers while likewise boosting the capabilities of the Solo and also drone innovation in basic. For enthusiastic drone supporters, this can be an attractive company viewpoint that is simple to get behind.

Last yet not least, the Solo App allows you upday every one of the Solo’s firmware wirelessly. Contrasted via the Phantom 3 update process, it’s virtually automatic and also gets you flying a lot sooner after an update becomes available. 

Phantom 3: Modern Setups for Photogs

For the Phantom 3, the massive offering allude for photographers is the wide selection of advanced electronic camera settings accessible through the DJI Go App. Being able to conveniently adjust ISO, resolution and frame rate lets you appropriately tune your camera to enhance the problems while you fly. Plus, you can easily stream your trip on YouTube and blow amethod your loyal fans.

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DJI additionally allows app advance with the Go App’s SDK, however it really only allows you create brand-new apps that work through your mobile tool, rather of making the whole flight device open.