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P4 (to buy or not to buy) Update

RotorWash

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I wasn't looking for it but I may be able to get a good deal on a used Phantom 4 (mint shape). I'm not that familiar with the P4 but some of you may have one in the hangar so was hoping to get your opinions on its radio link, specifically in regards to its reliability, video feed quality and range in whatever environment you've flown in.

Would also appreciate your general opinion on this bird as well. I understand the camera limitations it has compared to the P4A & P4P but the overall features & specs look like a nice upgrade to the Spark (for now). I realize I could ask this over on PhantomPilots but I wanted to ask here first.
 

Spark 317

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You had me at ...Good deal, mint shape.

I have no input other than YouTuber Ken Heron really likes his.

It's not as portable as the Spark, but it would be a fine addition to the hanger.

Good luck. 🙂
 
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Dragonfly Joe

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RotorWash, If the price is right for you I would suggest going for it. As I have said here before, I sold my P4P+ and all it's gear and went with the spark. I still miss some of the features and that wonderful gimbal and 4K camera BUT what I don't miss is it's size. I can grab the spark, controller and iPad and I'm out the door turning them on as I go. With the P4P+ it was definitely more of a production, at least for me. Another factor was whenever I flew that thing it would draw peoples attention and there were times when people would come and stand by me looking at the screen and start asking questions or making negative comments. You have an entirely different "neighborhood" to fly in then me so that might not be an issue for you. Lastly, was the cost, I had a couple thousand dollars invested in the drone package and there wasn't a single time that I flew without feeling relieved when I had it back on the ground. Not that I don't care about my Spark but the price to replace it took that edge off for me.
If you do decide to buy the Phantom, let me know as I may have something for you. Keeping my fingers crossed that it works for you.
Joe
 

hiflyer

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BUT what I don't miss is it's size
What Joe says! The first second of flight with the Spark erased all desire to keep my P3. Wish I could let go of my Spark as easily.
That being said, if your flying professionally a lot of people seem to think they're getting more for their money if your using a large Camera and I guess the same would go for drones.
 
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Chrislaf

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If it is a great deal then it might be a worthwhile upgrade. More stable transmission (light bridge), better gimbal, 4K video, DNG photos, more stable in wind, and longer battery life are just a few of the advantages I can think of. However, if the package price is not that much better than getting a new MA2 then it might be better to upgrade to a MA2 (more future proof).

I don't have a P4 but I do have a P3S. I find I fly both equally and usually carry both with me in my LowePro Droneguard case wherever I go (hiking, biking, camping, etc.).

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Chris
 
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RotorWash

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RotorWash, If the price is right for you I would suggest going for it. As I have said here before, I sold my P4P+ and all it's gear and went with the spark. I still miss some of the features and that wonderful gimbal and 4K camera BUT what I don't miss is it's size. I can grab the spark, controller and iPad and I'm out the door turning them on as I go. With the P4P+ it was definitely more of a production, at least for me. Another factor was whenever I flew that thing it would draw peoples attention and there were times when people would come and stand by me looking at the screen and start asking questions or making negative comments. You have an entirely different "neighborhood" to fly in then me so that might not be an issue for you. Lastly, was the cost, I had a couple thousand dollars invested in the drone package and there wasn't a single time that I flew without feeling relieved when I had it back on the ground. Not that I don't care about my Spark but the price to replace it took that edge off for me.
If you do decide to buy the Phantom, let me know as I may have something for you. Keeping my fingers crossed that it works for you.
Joe
Thank you very much Dragonfly Joe! You've made some really good points for me to consider. I think I've taken for granted how easy the Spark is to get around from place to place, especially when crawling through woods and such! With that big P4 case strapped to my back I'd probably look like a pack mule heading off into the bush! lol. Of course there's times where it wouldn't be an issue as well so that leaves me thinking along the lines of adding this AC is comparable to adding another (big) tool to the work bench, where it will have it's own time and place for use. If I can get the right price I think I'll go for it! :)
 
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RotorWash

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You had me at ...Good deal, mint shape.
Lol, was thinking the same thing! Thanks Spark 317!

What Joe says! The first second of flight with the Spark erased all desire to keep my P3. Wish I could let go of my Spark as easily.
That being said, if your flying professionally a lot of people seem to think they're getting more for their money if your using a large Camera and I guess the same would go for drones.
I think I may have to start training weights if I plan on carrying this big boy around! Thanks for your comment hiflyer!

If it is a great deal then it might be a worthwhile upgrade. More stable transmission (light bridge), better gimbal, 4K video, DNG photos, more stable in wind, and longer battery life are just a few of the advantages I can think of. However, if the package price is not that much better than getting a new MA2 then it might be better to upgrade to a MA2 (more future proof).

I don't have a P4 but I do have a P3S. I find I fly both equally and usually carry both with me in my LowePro Droneguard case wherever I go (hiking, biking, camping, etc.).

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Chris
Thanks very much Chris. You've nailed every advantage I've been considering. As you say, the MA2 would make a lot of sense, with its even better camera and flight time and much easier transport. The main reason for considering this P4 deal is it's about half the price of a new MA2 and I wasn't planning on upgrading for a little while. Thanks again!
 

Chrislaf

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Half the price of a MA2 sounds like an excellent deal especially if it is in mint condition and flies well. The MA2 although it may have a marginally better camera and some more quick shot features at almost twice the cost of the deal you are considering, I would say the P4 would be an excellent buy.

Although the phantom series is bigger and heavier there are solutions to that allow you to carry a phantom and a Spark. Most of my flying is after I have done a hike or bike ride to my launch location and I carry both my Phantom and Spark 90% of the time and often even my Tello so that I have all my options available. I also often have my DSLR with me too - it clips onto my backpack strap.

Here's my setup.
IMG_8601.jpg

There are 3 drones in this case (Phantom 3 Standard, Spark, and Tello) along with 3 phantom batteries, 4 Spark batteries, 4 Tello batteries and propellers, windsurfer, cables, SD cards etc. The LowePro DroneGuard backpack is super light, comfortable to wear and acts as a launch pad when closed. This setup is surprisingly not as heavy as it looks. I have never had any problems with carrying it.

Chris
 

RotorWash

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Half the price of a MA2 sounds like an excellent deal especially if it is in mint condition and flies well. The MA2 although it may have a marginally better camera and some more quick shot features at almost twice the cost of the deal you are considering, I would say the P4 would be an excellent buy.

Although the phantom series is bigger and heavier there are solutions to that allow you to carry a phantom and a Spark. Most of my flying is after I have done a hike or bike ride to my launch location and I carry both my Phantom and Spark 90% of the time and often even my Tello so that I have all my options available. I also often have my DSLR with me too - it clips onto my backpack strap.

Here's my setup.
View attachment 13185

There are 3 drones in this case (Phantom 3 Standard, Spark, and Tello) along with 3 phantom batteries, 4 Spark batteries, 4 Tello batteries and propellers, windsurfer, cables, SD cards etc. The LowePro DroneGuard backpack is super light, comfortable to wear and acts as a launch pad when closed. This setup is surprisingly not as heavy as it looks. I have never had any problems with carrying it.

Chris
Absolutely awesome Chris, I really like this setup! Also gives me a lot of hope! :) If I get the P4 I'll be telling LowePro you sent me!
 

RotorWash

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P4 Update:

Well my first deal fell through when the owner took the bird up for a test spin before shipping it to me and the gimbal went limp with an overload error, which was a first for him. After dodging that bullet I should have become a little more gun-shy about buying a used craft but nope, then it became a mission of sorts. So after a few days I did find another one in mint shape and it's currently on its way to me now.

I got it for $750cdn(560usd) shipped from Ontario. Afiak, no crashes, hard landings, scratches or scuffs of any sort on the craft or controller, perfect shape with less than three hours on it, a business bought it new in 2018 but just didn't get into it. Only had a few flights outside and flew it around the office once in a while but with the lack of proper maintenance the OEM battery ended up toast. Supposedly the controller battery works fine after testing. Only comes with one generic battery so a little sucky there but at least it's a new one. I'll still need to buy at least one more though.

Hard to believe the P4 was released over four years ago but figure it will still pack a solid punch for my uses at the moment. The extra wind resistance will be nice to have here especially in the fall. Will update again once the critter is in my hands (early next week) and I've given it a good go over.

Oh and one more thing, yo Chris! Check out what comes with it...soon as I seen that backpack, I knew this was the one! lol ✌:D✌

p4inbag.jpg
($300 when it was new, included with the deal!)
 
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Chrislaf

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Sounds like you got a good deal - congrats. Is it a P4 Standard (12MP) or the P4P (20MP)? Great deal on the backpack too. Looks like you will be able to fit the Spark on there too.

When you get it let us know how it flies.

Chris
 
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RotorWash

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Sounds like you got a good deal - congrats. Is it a P4 Standard (12MP) or the P4P (20MP)? Great deal on the backpack too. Looks like you will be able to fit the Spark on there too.

When you get it let us know how it flies.

Chris
Just the P4 Standard camera, the 20MP is still a little ways off :). I think the backpack is going to come in handy with Sparky riding shotgun!
 

RotorWash

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Congrats RotorWash! you did it. Waiting for you to answer Chris's question, does it have the P4P camera.
Thank you DJ!! :) I'll still be shooting 12mp for now though. I figure I'll get out more days with the big fella and maybe get more shots that way. Stuff like rough seas etc. Show some stormy nature, well not too stormy, lol!
 

RotorWash

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RotorWash

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Dragonfly Joe

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Thank you DJ!! :) I'll still be shooting 12mp for now though. I figure I'll get out more days with the big fella and maybe get more shots that way. Stuff like rough seas etc. Show some stormy nature, well not too stormy, lol!
Thanks for reply, the reason I was asking is I was going to offer to send you a really nice polarizing filter lens cover that I had left over from my P4P+ kit that I sold. Unless I'm wrong I don't believe it will work on the P4. Excited for you to get that big guy up in the sky.
 

RotorWash

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Thanks for reply, the reason I was asking is I was going to offer to send you a really nice polarizing filter lens cover that I had left over from my P4P+ kit that I sold. Unless I'm wrong I don't believe it will work on the P4. Excited for you to get that big guy up in the sky.
😍 Wow Joe, that's extremely nice of you! I sure do appreciate the thought my friend! 😍
 

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