Tech Review // Phantom 4 vs Inspire 2

This little whippet of machine was like stepping into a race car and chucking it round the country lanes.

The world of UAS “Unmanned Aerial System” (Drone) has only just started, and in recent years the development has been staggering. I have always been a DJI user and started with the Phantom 2 (P2), that is, until a friend borrowed it at night and decided that the tree was a suitable place for this drone to rest and stay. From there I bought a P3, which I still have.

I qualified as a licensed drone operator in 2017. At Fruitmedia we purchased the Phantom 4+. DJI have made this their flagship of the Phantom range and we were not disappointed. It has a whopping 1” CMOS sensor with 20M effective pixels. It can shoot slow motion and has double IMU (GPS), which means it is a lot more accurate, and stable in a straight line – crucial when using this for professional work.

At the end of the day, drones are simply used as flying cameras, so the main things are the quality of the end product and how to get the best shot possible!

We were in a lucky position to be able to push to hire an Inspire 2 for a large project, using 1000 people in the countryside. To cut a long story short it was amazing to fly both of these drones one after the other, and then compare the footage in the editing suite later.

The Inspire 2 immediately felt secure and safe in the controls, it had the amazing X5 camera, has a wider dynamic range than the P4 and has dual controls. This excited me! To use these for the first time took a few minutes to get used to but in my opinion was such a great experience, and it enabled us to shoot some amazing stuff that may or may not have been possible with the P4. The Inspire 2 felt like you were flying an intelligent, sophisticated piece of kit. It was fantastic. Taking control of the P4 afterwards, this little whippet of machine was like stepping into a race car and chucking it round the country lanes.

Both have their uses; the P4 is great to just chuck up without any fuss. I would highly recommend the P4+, which we have, this has the built in monitor which then saves a lot of effort and agro. The Inspire 2 uses the normal iPad or iPhone provided by the user but does offer dual controls, which set it apart from the others.

There is a sticking point though, which is price. To buy the P4 new, with an extra battery, costs £2,000. The Inspire 2 with dual controls and spare battery is pushing towards £8,000. This is a huge jump and is it worth it? Well, working in a professional environment, yes. The dynamic range on the Inspire 2 is fantastic and the picture quality is noticeable better. Is it £6,000 more noticeable? That’s still up in the air, no pun intended.

So to conclude, both of these drones are truly fantastic and offer an amazing quality and stability for any client. They are both cameras in the sky but, in my humblest opinion, are so set apart from each other that you are best to have both in your locker. The P4, you can chuck it up, throw it around and trust it without fault. The Inspire 2 is a lot larger, but does offer dual controls, a 360degree view, and a more professional look and end product. GET BOTH, or wait for the Phantom 5 to come out!

Jonny Faint