Chinese drone maker DJI unveils new Phantom 3 Standard, retailing for US$799
China’s DJI, the world’s largest manufacturer of civilian drones and also one of its most valuable start-ups, launched its latest model, the Phantom 3 Standard, on Wednesday night in Beijing.
Designed specifically for first-time pilots, this is DJI’s most accessible flying-camera drone available for purchase, the company said. It will retail for US$799.
“We wanted to create a new drone that addresses people who are curious about aerial imaging, but not quite ready to commit to a more professional system,” said Frank Wang, DJI’s CEO and founder.
“The Phantom 3 Standard makes it easy to get into the air to take great photos and videos.”
With a newly designed and integrated camera, the device records high-definition video at resolution of up to 2.7k at 30 frames per second using a high-quality 94-degree distortion-free lens, according to its official spec.
The camera also shoots still images at 12 megapixels in both DNG Raw and JPG formats.
Using a standard Wi-fi connection, the drone allows pilots to see what their camera sees in almost real-time in HD using the updated DJI Go app on their smartphone.
They can also use the app to adjust the camera settings and shoot photos and video, the company said.
Building on the success of the Phantom 3, the Standard includes GPS-based stabilisation as well as flight times of up to 25 minutes using DJI’s interchangeable batteries.
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DJI is valued at up to US$10 billion. It controls 70 per cent of the global market and is based in the southern city of Shenzhen, where most of the world’s drone makers are based. It raised US$75 million in venture capital funding in May
Most of the world’s commercial drones are made in Shenzhen in Guangdong province, and 95 per cent of those produced in the city come from DJI.
Manufacturers in the city sent 160,000 such drones overseas from January to May, worth a total of 750 million yuan (US$120.81 million). This marks a 69-fold increase in volume from the year-earlier period, media reports show.
In lieu of official statistics, industry insiders estimate there are several hundred companies trying to emulate DJI’s success in the consumer and small commercial drones market.