By Sean Hollister on October 31, 2013 10:54 pm
The DJI Phantom ready-to-fly quadcopter let amateur pilots capture amazing footage from the sky, but it didn't come with the equipment necessary to actually film that footage, stabilize it, or see what you were shooting in real time. This week, the company's introduced a copter that does. The new Phantom 2 Vision comes with a custom 14 megapixel, 1080p camera with a 60-degree tilting gimbal, an f/2.8 aperture lens, and a wide 140 degree field of view — all mounted on a shock-absorbing bracket to avoid the jitters which plagued the original GoPro-compatible model.
What's more, you can remotely control the camera from your smartphone: you attach it to the Phantom's controller with an included bracket, and use an iOS or Android app to get a live view of what the copter sees, tilt the camera, fine-tune its settings, and stop or start recording on the go. With an included Wi-Fi repeater that also attaches to the controller, the company claims you can continue controlling the whole kit in real time over 300 meters away.
There's a host of other improvements over the original model, too, like an much larger 5200mAh battery that lasts up to 25 minutes, and self-tightening propellers. Of course, all that comes at a price. While the original Phantom is now on sale for $479, the new Phantom 2 Vision will cost $1,199 when it ships later this month.
It's not yet clear whether where aerial drone photography will be legal, but the technology is here right now.