Flying high above Vegas with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ drone

Zach Honig
Z. Honig|04.08.14

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Zach Honig
April 8, 2014 12:00 PM
Flying high above Vegas with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ drone

There's been a lot of killer gear here at NAB, from Sony's Alpha A7s to the Blackmagic URSA. But of all the gadgets that debuted in Vegas this week, I'm most obsessed with DJI's Phantom 2 Vision+ drone. This year's version represents a significant boost over 2013's model, due to one brilliant feature: a three-axis gimbal. The flying craft sports an integrated 1080p camera that can shoot solid stills and video alike, but the gimbal adds serious stabilization, keeping footage impossibly still, whether you're flying at 30MPH, caught in a gust of wind or simply hovering above the ground. The built-in GPS and compass keep the device on track at all times, letting you focus not on staying aloft, but on getting the shot.

Camera-equipped drones are a dime a dozen these days, but assuming you have the $1,300 to burn, DJI's Vision+ is the one you want. The autonomous features at play here enable very stable footage, while the intuitive control and Android and iOS apps make it easy to fly and get the shot, without any experience at all. The drone can shoot and fly for 25 minutes on a single charge, and while climbing can use a bit more power, you can move left and right all you want without accelerating drain. The camera, designed in-house by DJI, captures to a microSD card. You get a live preview from the app, though, making framing a shot, changing modes and snapping still photos a breeze. Take the Vision+ for a spin in our video below, complete with some fantastic aerial footage of the Vegas skyline.

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