I still have not gotten my hands on a DJI Phantom vision yet but I am starting to get more excited about it after I read this press release from DJI this morning:
"Dear DJI Dealers & Customers,
We are very excited to announce that with a firmware update, the Phantom 2 Vision will be able to capture and store pictures in Adobe DNG RAW format in-camera. The update will be released in late December.
Additionally, a separate firmware and mobile phone App update will be released providing the Phantom 2 Vision with Ground Station capabilities including waypoint editing and autonomous waypoint navigation. The update will be released around the end of December or early January."
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This update might make the Vision one of the most accessible autonomous platforms available for aerial photography. If you were starting an aerial photography business (remember I don't own one yet) this would probably be the one to start with. The ability to fly this out of the box with a good camera, way points, live video down link, gps stability and even a mount for your iPhone.
There is another feature that I really like about the Phantom Vision - battery pods. In some ways this is frustrating because it means it is more expensive to buy extra batteries but it will be so much easier to swap things out. It is a step in the right direction. The battery for the vision is over 5000mah or almost double the capacity of the original phantom. They claim it will fly for 25 minutes and maybe it could safely do 15, but regardless it is a huge improvement over the flight time of the original phantom with gimbal / gopro of around 6 safe minutes.
I have a big move coming up in January when I will be moving my family to Hawaii for a year. I plan on getting one of these when I get over and I will start putting it through its paces. I am excited to start testing and using the autonomous features built into this copter. I can already imagine using this to photography whales from the air, getting pictures of difficult to reach water falls, and maybe even start working on some drone delivery concepts I have in the back of my brain.