After plugging in the battery and marveling at actually having an on / off button that is part of the battery, I noticed the crude 4 bar battery guage built into the back. This allows you to get a reading of capacity remaining during flight and see charge status while charging. These batteries are pretty cool and I am curious to see if we are going to start seeing copy cats of this because it works well and locks out other manufacturers from selling Phantom batteries. Maybe someone over at DJI just finished the Steve Jobs biography and learned how powerful closed systems can be to a business.
Turns out this centered throttle stick is an amazing feature for an aerial photography rig and doesn't just floor the motors when the stick returns to the center after arming your motors.
Here my co-pilot tries to decide if he likes the centered throttle stick.
I was very impressed with the sound of the motors and the new propellers (that counter rotate from the direction of the spin to lock into place). There was a very smooth sounding spool up when arming the motors - certainly not the rapid acceleration to mid point that I was expecting. They have obviously thought this process out and written code in the flight controller to do this, another excellent sign of ingenuity and design.
It didn't really take any time to get used to the centered throttle stick, it felt really intuitive and didn't feel like it flew any different. I loved that I always knew where mid stick was, a feature I always thought would be great (however, I envisioned a beep every time it crossed midpoint instead of the spring, but this works really well too). Another HUGE benefit to anyone shooting aerial photography in general, the focus on mid stick means that it is now very easy to keep the same altitude. When I am in the goggles doing an FPV flight, I always tend to just creep higher than I want too because I can't get a sense for where the middle is. This centered point is also really good for people who will be flying line of site because you now don't have to manage the altitude at all, you just send it up or down and then it centers and just hovers. What an awesome way to shoot aerial photography, its like a flying crane!
This battery boost essentially doubles the flight times I have become accustomed to on my old phantom, QAV400, QAV500 and even the S800.
All around a very impressive update. This makes the original phantom feel like a beta version because there are so many thoughtful additions and features that could only come about through tons of testing and thought. If you enjoyed this post, you should check out the DJI Phantom 2 with Zenmuse for sale at Amazon.
As always, if you have questions or comments, please comment below!