Chime in: P3A, P3P or P4?

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Short and sweet... been flying my P2 with a cobbled together FPV set up for 2 years. 100s of flights with no problems (knock on wood). I'm tech savvy and an experienced pilot who likes the simpler minimalist approach to quads but want to upgrade soon. I'm strictly a hobby flyer who loves finding that perfect spot to vid. Money is not the issue but I don't want to waste money on things I won't use. Range, reliability, safety and ease of use are the priorities. So....... P3A, P3P or Order the P4? Pros and cons from real users please.
 
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You missed one. The Mavic. If you are out hiking around looking for the perfect spot the Mavic is for you.
 
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You missed one. The Mavic. If you are out hiking around looking for the perfect spot the Mavic is for you.
I almost did..... feel free to add the Mavic to the equation. Thanks!
 

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Range, reliability, safety and ease of use
With the exception of safety, all are pretty much equal. The P4 has the following new safety features:
  • Obstacle Avoidance
  • Locking Prop System
  • Dual Compass/IMU
The Mavic also includes those new safety features.
 
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Short and sweet... been flying my P2 with a cobbled together FPV set up for 2 years. 100s of flights with no problems (knock on wood). I'm tech savvy and an experienced pilot who likes the simpler minimalist approach to quads but want to upgrade soon. I'm strictly a hobby flyer who loves finding that perfect spot to vid. Money is not the issue but I don't want to waste money on things I won't use. Range, reliability, safety and ease of use are the priorities. So....... P3A, P3P or Order the P4? Pros and cons from real users please.
If you're gonna spend that much money, I would bite the bullet and spend another $150 on the P4, just because it seems so dang cool! You can find almost mint ones in the classifieds on this forum. Here is an example:

Phantom 4 mint condition

Just my opinion :)
 
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So....... P3A, P3P or Order the P4? Pros and cons from real users please.
Well let's see...........I had a P2 Vision+ for some time - then I got the P3A - and now the P4 (well actually I still have the P3A and P4).

I loved the P2 initially until I got my P3A and then it was like comparing day and night. Just so much easier to get flying and handle, especially with the advent of DJI's Go App that made it even easier and more fun.

I really didn't need the P4 at all but I just got caught up in the hype when it first came out and got one about 3-4 months after it was released.

The P4 I find is even steadier to handle than the P3A - however it seems like it just lumbers along in the air as compared to the P3A. That's not a complaint but it was a bit of a disappointment at first considering the speed and handling of the P3A (only at the very beginning - seemed like I went from a V8 to a V6 vehicle - LOL). Since I have been flying the P4 more than the P3A of late - I now can honestly say I really don't like one more than the other since each seems to have a purpose for me anyway.

I don't do any long distance flights and like you it is a hobby more than anything. When looking for good spots to fly, be it wide open space or areas where there is potentially hazardous flying (e.g. a lot of different tree heights or other obstacles) that usually dictates for me which Phantom to fly. In particular if I am filming something - wide open spaces = P3A and the other spaces I mentioned call for the P4.

I don't say the P4 for areas mentioned due to it's "obstacle avoidance" but more for the lazy kind of lumbering flight it has that makes it so much more easy to handle. The obstacle avoidance I must admit hasn't been anything I have had a need for - sure, I tested it out and it worked great. If your into doing "drone selfies" of yourself walking around and will use the "follow-me" the P4 is for you. If you are into the "tap and go" then again the P4 is for you also. I have played around with both of those options - but mainly just out of curiosity and fun than anything else. Now if it is speed you want - then the P4 in Sport Mode is crazy fast just for testing your flying skills alone.

One last thing the P4 does have that I like way above the P3A is the lock-type props Vs the screw on type - just seems like a lot safer and longer lasting fastener type system to have.

Considering the cost of both and considering the extra "options" I mentioned above with the P4 and seeing now for myself what those are all about - I think in hindsight I would have opted to save some dough and just stick with my P3A. Also since, I usually only capture footage in 1080p anyway having the 4k was not really a selling point for me either!

In closing here I will say IMO only - the P4 handles better, hovers better, has the added safety features and is easier to fly than the P3A (not that the P3A is tough at all to fly - just that as mentioned the P4 has that lazy kinda flying mode that makes it easier to handle - for me anyway). Of course there are a few good deals out there for a P4 now since many are opting for the Mavic and selling their P4's!

Next year at this time someone will be asking the same question you just did only adding a P5 to the list - hope I can keep my hands out of my wallet now that the Mavic is here and a P5 is not long to arrive either - good luck withy your step up - you really can't go wrong in the long run with whatever you choose - any of what you mentioned will be a huge step up for you after the P2!
 
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Well let's see...........I had a P2 Vision+ for some time - then I got the P3A - and now the P4 (well actually I still have the P3A and P4).

I loved the P2 initially until I got my P3A and then it was like comparing day and night. Just so much easier to get flying and handle, especially with the advent of DJI's Go App that made it even easier and more fun.

I really didn't need the P4 at all but I just got caught up in the hype when it first came out and got one about 3-4 months after it was released.

The P4 I find is even steadier to handle than the P3A - however it seems like it just lumbers along in the air as compared to the P3A. That's not a complaint but it was a bit of a disappointment at first considering the speed and handling of the P3A (only at the very beginning - seemed like I went from a V8 to a V6 vehicle - LOL). Since I have been flying the P4 more than the P3A of late - I now can honestly say I really don't like one more than the other since each seems to have a purpose for me anyway.

I don't do any long distance flights and like you it is a hobby more than anything. When looking for good spots to fly, be it wide open space or areas where there is potentially hazardous flying (e.g. a lot of different tree heights or other obstacles) that usually dictates for me which Phantom to fly. In particular if I am filming something - wide open spaces = P3A and the other spaces I mentioned call for the P4.

I don't say the P4 for areas mentioned due to it's "obstacle avoidance" but more for the lazy kind of lumbering flight it has that makes it so much more easy to handle. The obstacle avoidance I must admit hasn't been anything I have had a need for - sure, I tested it out and it worked great. If your into doing "drone selfies" of yourself walking around and will use the "follow-me" the P4 is for you. If you are into the "tap and go" then again the P4 is for you also. I have played around with both of those options - but mainly just out of curiosity and fun than anything else. Now if it is speed you want - then the P4 in Sport Mode is crazy fast just for testing your flying skills alone.

One last thing the P4 does have that I like way above the P3A is the lock-type props Vs the screw on type - just seems like a lot safer and longer lasting fastener type system to have.

Considering the cost of both and considering the extra "options" I mentioned above with the P4 and seeing now for myself what those are all about - I think in hindsight I would have opted to save some dough and just stick with my P3A. Also since, I usually only capture footage in 1080p anyway having the 4k was not really a selling point for me either!

In closing here I will say IMO only - the P4 handles better, hovers better, has the added safety features and is easier to fly than the P3A (not that the P3A is tough at all to fly - just that as mentioned the P4 has that lazy kinda flying mode that makes it easier to handle - for me anyway). Of course there are a few good deals out there for a P4 now since many are opting for the Mavic and selling their P4's!

Next year at this time someone will be asking the same question you just did only adding a P5 to the list - hope I can keep my hands out of my wallet now that the Mavic is here and a P5 is not long to arrive either - good luck withy your step up - you really can't go wrong in the long run with whatever you choose - any of what you mentioned will be a huge step up for you after the P2!
+1 P3A or P3P without updating past 1.4 gives you all of the speed. The P4 will go as fast but it accelerates slower, hence less stress cracks. I love the speeds of my P3's :)
 
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Short and sweet... been flying my P2 with a cobbled together FPV set up for 2 years. 100s of flights with no problems (knock on wood). I'm tech savvy and an experienced pilot who likes the simpler minimalist approach to quads but want to upgrade soon. I'm strictly a hobby flyer who loves finding that perfect spot to vid. Money is not the issue but I don't want to waste money on things I won't use. Range, reliability, safety and ease of use are the priorities. So....... P3A, P3P or Order the P4? Pros and cons from real users please.
New DJI Phantom 4 Drone with 4K HD Camera GPS Obstacle Avoidance | eBay
 
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If you're looking for best value for money - my recommendation is to go with the P3P - and put the rest of the money you would have had to spend on a P4 or Mavic Pro towards upgrades and add-ons for the P3P. Get 5 or 6 batteries, a DBS02 antenna booster, a nice carrying case, several fast sd cards. The only reason to go to a P4 would be if you wanted the extra speed that sport mode offers. It's obstacle avoidance is a gimmick that is useless most of the time - and video quality is on par with P3P - so, although it's a nice package - it's not worth the premium they charge for it when that extra $ could go into upgrades for the more affordable P3P.
Having said all that - if money is no concern - you may want to test drive the Mavic Pro before making your choice. The portability of it is very attractive - and so is the longer flight time and increased range -if DJI's claims are accurate!
So....P3P or Mavic Pro are both good options. Hard pass on the P4 unless there is a really big price drop or unless the sport mode speed is important to you. But even then - I'd pass on the P4 and go Mavic Pro.


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If you're looking for best value for money - my recommendation is to go with the P3P - and put the rest of the money you would have had to spend on a P4 or Mavic Pro towards upgrades and add-ons for the P3P. Get 5 or 6 batteries, a DBS02 antenna booster, a nice carrying case, several fast sd cards. The only reason to go to a P4 would be if you wanted the extra speed that sport mode offers. It's obstacle avoidance is a gimmick that is useless most of the time - and video quality is on par with P3P - so, although it's a nice package - it's not worth the premium they charge for it when that extra $ could go into upgrades for the more affordable P3P.
Having said all that - if money is no concern - you may want to test drive the Mavic Pro before making your choice. The portability of it is very attractive - and so is the longer flight time and increased range -if DJI's claims are accurate!
So....P3P or Mavic Pro are both good options. Hard pass on the P4 unless there is a really big price drop or unless the sport mode speed is important to you. But even then - I'd pass on the P4 and go Mavic Pro.


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I'm curious why you say the P4 obstacle avoidance is a gimmick most of the time. Please explain, because I have a P3P with five batteries, a stock untampered controller, an extra controller with Itelite DBS02 and Maxxrange, premium carrying case, prop guards, Thor charger that charges 4 batteries at once and Trackimo. I love it, but have been considering selling all of my stuff and getting a P4. Not being antagonistic, just really wanting to know about the obstacle avoidance. That is one of the main reasons I was considering the P4.

Thanks!
 
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P4 obstacle avoidance is a gimmick most of the time
I have a P4 and must admit I got it for that very reason - however, after I purchased it I thought - hmmmm......I am not flying this anywhere different than where I flew the P3A, I don't fly indoors at all - why the need for the OA? I gave the OA a couple of tests just to see how it works and it does work just fine......I did have a close call testing it out mind you when flying in normal "P-Mode" high speed (not sport mode) then turning towards a tree trunk - it did work, but whew it was too close for my liking. Anyway, and seriously I have not found a need for it when doing any regular flying n filming.

Just my own personal opinion mind you and I am sure there are plenty who fly missions etc. that it would work very well for since you can set it up to stop or fly around or over objects - same goes for RTH it is supposed to avoid objects during that function also (haven't tried that however). I do like how you get an audible when getting close to an obstacle and it shows on your device screen the red, yellow green bars as to how close (kind like a back up camera on a vehicle screen). It is a neat option but not the "be all to end all" of options. Gimmick is a bit of a harsh word to use when describing it since it does have its advantages I am sure for a lot of P4 pilots out there.

The other options with a P4 include the "active track and tap n fly" - again for me these are neat to play with - but not something that I have used a lot - in fact only a couple of times to see how they work.

On another note.......when I first flew the P4 and as compared to the P3A - I found it (P4) to be a very lumbering kind of flight. I mean, it handled really well and very stable, but it just seemed like I stepped out of a "Hemi to a 4 cylinder vehicle" when flying it full throttle in "P" mode- LOL. Must admit "sport mode" is a lot of fun - but only in a wide open space for me and OA doesn't function in that mode or with prop guards on. Don't get me wrong here - I do like the P4 a lot but having flown it a fair bit now and had I not been on the "gotta have that" band wagon and really give it more thought, I would have just stuck with the P3A I have now.

If I had all the gear and extras you have with your P3 - IMHO, I would stick with it..........if you are thinking of a P4 strictly based on OA - think again, as I find that as stated above - it's a bit over rated unless, you have a specific need for it. Perhaps wait till the spring at least to see what the P4-Advance or Pro or whatever they name it will have to offer. Again and before I get bashed by others with the P4 - all of the above is only my own opinion based on my own experience having both the P3A and the P4.

Best of luck with your decision Paul - that's a lot to give up with your P3P!
 
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RKBA,

I vote the P3Pro. I have 2 P3Pro's, a P2V+v3, a 3dr Solo, a few Hubsan's, a Tiny Whoop and I'm awaiting my Mavic Pro. I have also just started into the FPV racing scene, I've got a long way to go there. I love my P3Pro's and bought the 2nd one when the prices dropped after the release of the P4. I have two Android Pads that I fly with, an Nvidia Shield and a Galaxy Tab S2. I also use Litchi almost exclusively.

After having a substantial issue with the video feed after a DJI update and ultimately determining (took me several weeks) that it had to do with the update and the OS on the pads, I said never again. My birds were flying great before the update. I now have both of my birds on FW 1.4, I use DJI Go 2.4.3 (I think) for settings only and I fly with Litchi 2.7.3 (I believe, the last version before the release of DJI SDK 3). I also locked down both of my pads, no automatic updates, no updates at all (I only use them for flying). With FW 1.4 you get all of the advanced flight modes.

Since making these changes some 6 months ago (?), I haven't had a single issue (knock on wood) with either of my birds. When I want to fly, I charge everything and I fly. I fly pretty much all year round, although not as much in the winter. I've got 10 batteries and all of my other stuff is interchangeable. I've got a charger that charges 3 batteries and a controller at the same time. Takes me about 45 minutes to an hour to charge 3 batteries. I also have a mobile charging station that goes in my car so I can fly as long as I'd like. As far as I'm concerned, since making these changes, my P3Pro's have been nothing short of a delight and I wouldn't trade them for any other bird. If I had to choose any one bird, including the new Mavic, it'd be my P3Pro. Like you, I'm just a hobbyist so photographic perfection is not necessary. All just my opinion of course! Good luck with your decision!

Jerry
 

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I've got a charger that charges 3 batteries and a controller at the same time. Takes me about 45 minutes to an hour to charge 3 batteries. I also have a mobile charging station that goes in my car so I can fly as long as I'd like.
Good post and couldn't agree more especially on the P3P's you have............wow that is quite the setup using some plastic shelving you obviously worked on to suit - nice job.

Any chance letting me know what charger you use - including the mobile unit? Thanks.
 
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I'm curious why you say the P4 obstacle avoidance is a gimmick most of the time. Please explain, because I have a P3P with five batteries, a stock untampered controller, an extra controller with Itelite DBS02 and Maxxrange, premium carrying case, prop guards, Thor charger that charges 4 batteries at once and Trackimo. I love it, but have been considering selling all of my stuff and getting a P4. Not being antagonistic, just really wanting to know about the obstacle avoidance. That is one of the main reasons I was considering the P4.

Thanks!
Sure - I call it a gimmick because it is far from full featured - and it is mutually exclusibe with over features.

There are very few situation in the real world where you would use P4 OA and find it useful. The P4 - while hovering - is capable of moving on 3 axis in any one of 6 directions (forward,back,left,right,up and down). How many of those directions are protected by OA? Just one!

If you want to use it, you have to limit your top speed.

Most of the time - when I'm flying and filming, I'm not flying straight towards my subject - I'm flying beside it, or circling it or flying in front of it and retreating away from it. OA is useless unless you're flying with the nose pointing forward - and since the P4 doesn't have a 360 degree gimbal - you're not usually flying nose-forward!

Finally - how do you normally fly? Given the limitations of the current OA implementation, and the type of flying you normally do - how would this feature make your life easier? For most people - I think the answer would be "it doesn't"!

In any case - if you're looking to upgrade at this point - I'm not sure what would drive a person to choose the P4 over the Mavic Pro!

I can't wait to pick up a Mavic Pro in the spring and then try out some follow the leader using Autopilot and Airspaces....having one drone follow me in the car or boat and the other drone follow the first drone!!!


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Sure - I call it a gimmick because it is far from full featured - and it is mutually exclusibe with over features.

There are very few situation in the real world where you would use P4 OA and find it useful. The P4 - while hovering - is capable of moving on 3 axis in any one of 6 directions (forward,back,left,right,up and down). How many of those directions are protected by OA? Just one!

If you want to use it, you have to limit your top speed.

Most of the time - when I'm flying and filming, I'm not flying straight towards my subject - I'm flying beside it, or circling it or flying in front of it and retreating away from it. OA is useless unless you're flying with the nose pointing forward - and since the P4 doesn't have a 360 degree gimbal - you're not usually flying nose-forward!

Finally - how do you normally fly? Given the limitations of the current OA implementation, and the type of flying you normally do - how would this feature make your life easier? For most people - I think the answer would be "it doesn't"!

In any case - if you're looking to upgrade at this point - I'm not sure what would drive a person to choose the P4 over the Mavic Pro!

I can't wait to pick up a Mavic Pro in the spring and then try out some follow the leader using Autopilot and Airspaces....having one drone follow me in the car or boat and the other drone follow the first drone!!!


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That's helpful! I appreciate your reply, never thought about follow the leader. Got me thinking now!
 
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Eagle,

This is the charger. I use it in the house, the car and my truck. The car is a Ford C-Max hybrid and has a 110 built in. It works great because I can leave it on all day and the engine will only come on when it needs to charge the car batteries. I can sit somewhere for several hours and charge everything just like I'm at home. The engine comes on for about 4-5 minutes every hour or so. My F-250 also has 110 but I need to run the engine once in a while to keep everything charged. I just move the whole shelf unit from house to car to truck. Everything is set-up so I only have to plug in a single pigtail coming off of the shelf unit. The shelf unit looks like this in the house. Only the top two shelves go into the vehicles.

Jerry

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012CF5ND4/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

House Shelf Unit.JPG
 
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I recommend the p3p. My samsung 4k tv wont play 2.7k video without converting it in a computer but the 4k video plays fine right off the sd card (through a card reader) to the usb 3.0 port. That's the reason I sold my p3a and got a p3p.
 
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This is the charger.
Excellent - thank you "jtrjr" -nice complete setup you have. I have 110 in my Cherokee also so will grab that charger and away we go - thanks again.
 
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I have had two phantom 2's for awhile and just recently bought a phantom 3 professional and loving it! So much better then the phantom 2 night and day difference!!

I'm in the process of selling my phantom 2's on eBay sold one and listing the other soon!

Phantom 3 professional and advanced uses gps and glonass which gives you a lot better lock in air. I was getting 18 satellites or more. Plus with the sensors on the bottom help keeps air craft stable on low ground which works really well compared to the phantom 2 which goes up and settles and drops down.

The app so far for me works well camera comes right on without having to deal with WIFI and easy to use! Dji Go has way more functions then the vision appt will ever have.

From my point of view the phantom 2 feel like a toy grade compared to the phantom 3 professional.

When you use a professional controller you won't go back to a phantom 2 type controller. The Plus side of the pro controller is 2 customizing buttons on the back you can make your own. Like camera facing forward or click a button and camera facing down without letting it pan down.

Over all I love the phantom 3 professional if you get with the phantom 3 professional you won't go wrong.

If you need any questions answered let me know I'm here to answer them with the best of my ability.


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