P4 for mapping or P3P?

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Hi,
I am surveyor and want buy a Phantom in order to use it for mapping and 3D modelling.
I can't decide which to buy, the Phantom 4 or the Phantom 3 Adv/Pro.
I like the extended battery of the P4, but I read in the forums that the real battery life is about the same with the P3P.
If this is true then i suppose that the P3 Adv/Pro is a better buy for the price and the usage as a mapping tool.
I want also to ask what is the best and most reliable mission planning software to use with the phantom.
I have found pix4d capture, dronedeploy and "map pilot for dji". Currently only the dronedeploy supports P4 and the others will follow i suppose.
If any user have experience with mapping please let me know.
 

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I don't do mapping, but I can tell you the P3 is a more mature platform and it's supported by many more software vendors. If you need to do mapping right now, then the P3 is probably going to be your best bet. If you can wait a month or so for the software vendors to release P4 compatible versions, then the P4 is a better buy.
 
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My P4 flies 4-5 minutes longer in same conditions. That should be important for anyone who does mapping IMO. Plus P4 has better camera and more stable so creates definitely sharper images than P3P.

Other then that I feel much safer when I fly with P4. Although P3P is more mature my recommendation is getting P4. You won't be disappointed with newer technology.


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4 mins extra time mapping is next to useless. Most mapping apps allow the mission to be flown over several batteries. Too much money in the air for no advantage with a P4. Get a couple of P3A's for the same money giving you a backup in remote locations. The image difference is tiny. The so-called extra stability of a P4 is arguable.
 

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Thanks to all.
I think 4-5 extra min does matter but if the p3p can achieve more with extra battery mod then maybe is a better buy.
If i go for the p3 would you advice to get the pro or the advanced?


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msinger

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If i go for the p3 would you advice to get the pro or the advanced?
The P3A will be sufficient if you're using it for photos.
 
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Agreed. There are numerous other features that actually make the P4 a worthwhile buy.

Well that's one opinion. Another one and the one I hold is that the P4 is overweight, over priced, it has an under powered transmitter and is full of useless deadweight like object avoidance. The end result is a low range shiny and unnecessarily large pile of cash floating about the sky. Great toy for the local baseball diamond or to annoy your (nearby) neighbors or for large flat wastelands with no interference but that's about it.
 

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Great toy for the local baseball diamond or to annoy your (nearby) neighbors or for large flat wastelands with no interference but that's about it.
Are you speaking from experience after flying your P4? The range on my P4 is just as good as my P3. I must admit that I normally fly pretty close to VLOS though. And, I'm assuming the OP will be pretty close to VLOS too since he's doing mapping.
 
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I thought Autoflight Logic said DJI hasn't released the SDK yet for P4, am I wrong? If that's correct it's going to be a while before mapping software will be able to control to flight path of P4.
 
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I thought Autoflight Logic said DJI hasn't released the SDK yet for P4, am I wrong? If that's correct it's going to be a while before mapping software will be able to control to flight path of P4.
I would think a P3A with a battery mod and a DBS antenna would be the bees knees for mapping.
 

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Well that's one opinion. Another one and the one I hold is that the P4 is overweight, over priced, it has an under powered transmitter and is full of useless deadweight like object avoidance. The end result is a low range shiny and unnecessarily large pile of cash floating about the sky. Great toy for the local baseball diamond or to annoy your (nearby) neighbors or for large flat wastelands with no interference but that's about it.
You don't feel collision avoidance is a worth while feature? o_O
 

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The P3A will be sufficient if you're using it for photos.
Actually if mapping is the main use he could grab a super cheap P3S as it takes the best still photos of all of the P3 series. You could get 3 of them for the cost of the P4.
 
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To tell you the truth if I was going to survey I would strap my Garmin 64st handheld gps or like unit to my inspire 1 because it is bigger and could easily handle the weight of the Garmin. Then you could fly it anywhere and download the track to their map source which already has most of the information you need and match up the aerial video you take.
In fact thanks for the idea I may have to try it myself. The Handheld gps will give you a lot more information that can be down loaded easily on a satellite view map like google earth.
 
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LuvMyTJ

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To tell you the truth if I was going to survey I would strap on my Garmin 64st handheld gps are like unit to my inspire 1 because it is bigger and could easily handle the weight of the Garmin. Then you could fly it anywhere and download the track to their map source which already has most of the information you need and match up the aerial video you take.
In fact thanks for the idea I may have to try it myself. The Handheld gps will give you a lot more information that can be down loaded easily on a satellite view map.
Typically the programs used for this require the overlapping photos to be recorded with the telemetry data included. Using an outside GPS would shorten flight times due to weight and make it difficult to join that data later.
 

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Actually if mapping is the main use he could grab a super cheap P3S
True. But, I'd personally take the P3A over the P3S if those are the only two options. The P3A has some great features that aren't found in the P3S (GLONASS, better RC, tablet mount, Lightbridge). It's a no-brainer money-wise.
 

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True. But, I'd personally take the P3A over the P3S if those are the only two options. The P3A has some great features that aren't found in the P3S (GLONASS, better RC, tablet mount, Lightbridge). It's a no-brainer money-wise.
All the P3 versions are good to go. For what he wants, he doesn't need range (LightBridge, better TX, GLONASS) and the tablet mount is easily added for about $30. So for about the cost of a battery & the P3A he could get 2 P3 Standards. Any way you slice it, he has lots of viable options.
 

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All the P3 versions are good to go. For what he wants, he doesn't need range (LightBridge, better TX, GLONASS) and the tablet mount is easily added for about $30. So for about the cost of a battery & the P3A he could get 2 P3 Standards. Any way you slice it, he has lots of viable options.
The cost difference between the P3S and P3A is currently about $253. Range is certainly not going to be a key factor here for mapping. With Lightbridge, you don't have to worry about messing with Wi-Fi or interference when flying in populated areas. With the better RC, it's easier to use RTH, switch flight modes, etc. And, the RC is ready to go, so there is no modding needed to attach a tablet. I'm only speaking from experience though. After all, I do own both ;)
 

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The cost difference between the P3S and P3A is currently about $253. Range is certainly not going to be a key factor here for mapping. With Lightbridge, you don't have to worry about messing with Wi-Fi or interference when flying in populated areas. With the better RC, it's easier to use RTH, switch flight modes, etc. And, the RC is ready to go, so there is no modding needed to attach a tablet. I'm only speaking from experience though. After all, I do own both ;)
Right, so with the extra $253 + another $120 for a battery your at $375... just about the cost of a second P3S machine so then he would have 2 birds at all times, not just one with no extra battery. I don't need to own both to do the math. :D Like I said before, he has many great options at his disposal, I'm sure he'll make the best choice for his particular circumstances. ;)
 

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Right, so with the extra $253 + another $120 for a battery your at $375... just about the cost of a second P3S machine so then he would have 2 birds at all times, not just one with no extra battery.
If the OP is only concerned about saving money, then the P3S will surely get the job done. If he's concerned about having the best available tools for the job though, then the P3A is the best option. He said he's a surveyor, so it sounds like this is going to be a tax write-off anyhow.
 

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