The Phantom 3 Professional and Advanced drones have only been out for a few short months. To ensure DJI has an offering for the even lower-priced market segment they released the Phantom 3 Standard. What’s so different about this Phantom 3 Standard quad you may ask yourself? There are a quite a few differences so it makes sense to know them all before deciding on saving the money by going with a Standard P3, or spending the extra $200 to get the Advanced.
The shell of the Phantom 3 Standard is identical to that of its more-feature-rich big brothers, the Phantom 3 Advanced and the Phantom 3 Professional. The motors, ESC’s, its 4480mAh intelligent flight battery and the propellers are also the same. Once you dive a bit deeper the differences start.
No GLONASS only GPS – The P3 Standard can only receive data from the 24 GPS Satellites in orbit around the Earth. This is reduced from the 55 satellites the P3 Pro & Adv can receive.
No VPS – VPS is DJI’s Visual Positioning System which utilizes a camera facing down in addition to Ultrasonic sensors to monitor the ground below the drone. When flown within two meters (6.5ft) of the ground the VPS can identify it’s position based on patterns on the grounds surface keeping it within +/- 0.1 m (4in) of its location. Without the VPS system, the Pro & Adv stay within +/- 0.5 m (20in) vertical. The Phantom 3 Standard, therefore isn’t suited for indoor flying as indoors the GPS System alone doesn’t work.
Camera & Image Sensor – The lens of the P3 Standard doesn’t have a threaded filter ring on the end, this means that filters such as the ND filters aren’t compatible. The Pro & Advanced come with a Sony 1/2.3″ Sensor with 12.4M effective pixels, on the Standard it is a Panasonic Smart FSI 1/2.3″ sensor with 12M effective pixels. Granted in terms of specs it may seem as close enough, true world examples will show us what the difference means in the real world.
Here is a comparison of the Phantom 3 Series Resolutions (Professional, Advanced & Standard)
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Max Video Bitrate 40Mbps, same as Advanced. The Pro has a max Bitrate 60Mbps. (This is the amount of detail stored, the more the better)
Both take 12MP (4000 x 3000) Still Images (JPEG & RAW)
Remote Control – This is a big one in my opinion. One major difference between the P3 Standard and it’s bigger brothers is the transmitter. The P3 Standard comes with a remote control that is basically the old remote from the Phantom 2 vision with the WiFi extender stored on the inside of the case.
What’s missing on the transmitter from the Phantom 3 Pro & Advanced?
- Max Transmission Range Distance only 1000m (3280ft) and only (500m CE) vs. 2000m on Pro & Adv
- Max Video Bitrate for video transmission 2Mbps vs. 10Mbps (Pro only)
- Video Record Button
- Shutter Button
- Playback Button
- 2 Dedicated Customizable Buttons
As you can see there are a few key differences between the Phantom 3 Professional/Advanced & the Phantom 3 Standard. In my opinion it’s not worth saving the $200 and getting the P3 Standard drone. I would highly encourage people to go for the Phantom 3 Advanced if price is a major deciding factor, otherwise the Phantom 3 Professional with it’s 4K capability is the one to get.