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Drone photographers in Panama City Beach Florida know there is little doubt the Phantom 4 drone manufactured by DJI (Chinese company) is by far the most expensive and professional drone on the market. As of today 12/11/2019 you will be lucky to purchase this drone on the internet or at a brick and mortar store because production was discontinued months ago and no news if it will be replaced by a possible Phantom 5. DJI stated the primary reason for discontinuing the Phantom 4 is because they terminated their relationship with parts suppliers due to widespread fraud discovered at the company which cost them approximately $150 million. About 14 employees at the company were falsely inflating the cost of Phantom 4 parts from the suppliers and keeping the difference. Needless to say these employees were fired but the damage had already been done. I’ve always heard Chinese workers were very dedicated and hard working people but I guess capitalism and greed has taken hold in China.
If the Phantom 5 is coming out in the future, it would make sense for DJI to stop production of the Phantom 4 but there are some questions that came to mind being an experienced drone pilot photographer in Panama City Beach Florida. Why isn’t there a parts shortage for their other drones? Why didn’t this internal fraud happen with their other drones? Was it because the Phantom 4 was selling better than their other drones? Something just doesn’t seem to make sense this widespread fraud and parts problem only affected one drone they make.
There has been rumors going on for over a year with drone photographers in Panama City Beach Florida that the Phantom 5 drone is coming out soon but nothing so far and I don’t anticipate anything in the near future. DJI is concentrating more on the Mavic 2 Pro which sells for around $1500. I’ve had the Phantom 4 advanced drone for 2 years and nothing comes close to it except for the Fimi X8 SE drone made by Xiaomi which looks similar to the Mavic.
The Fimi X8 has a 3-axis gimbal, 12 MP camera with Sony 1/2.3” sensor and shoots 4K video at 30fps with a bitrate of 100 Mbps. Also has an altitude range of approximately 1600 feet, maximum control distance of 5000 meters and a flight time of around 30 minutes. Fimi X8 SE has many intelligent flight modes including image tracking, panoramas, hyperlapse, orbit, dronie, spiral and waypoints. It does not have obstacle avoidance like the Phantom 4 drone but in my opinon is very close to the Phanton 4 in features at more than half the price at $499. The arms fold in making it very portable. It also has a smart return to home feature in case of signal loss or battery low warning. Dual GPS is included making it easier to track the Fimi drone and provide accurate positioning for precise flight controls. Remote controller has 2.4GHz connectivity which supports up to four channels and has an adjustment slider for any size tablet or cell phone.
Needless to say if my DJI Phanton 4 advanced drone ever croaks, I’ll be purchasing the Fimi X8 SE. There are no repair centers in the USA for the Fimi X8 SE drone but for the price you can’t go wrong. As far as I know there is only one repair center in the USA for the Phantom 4 drones and typically takes about a month to get it back.
Although I’m a little sad DJI will not be manufacturing the Phantom 4 drone anymore, it’s good to know that Xiaomi is continuing to manufacture the Fimi X8 SE drone so watch out DJI you’ve got some serious competition. Have a great day and happy droning!
After about 1 year of no production DJI has finally resumed production of the Phantom 4 V2 drone as of January 6, 2020. Unfortunately the orginal price tag of around $1400 is now around $1800...ouch that hurt's my wallet.
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