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UPDATE: This comparison was updated for September 2016.

If there’s one name that’s almost synonymous with consumer drones, it is DJI. What many might not know is that DJI is in fact a Chinese drone manufacturer who’s been around for a few years. In fact, DJI is so sure of its authority status in the market that it calls itself ‘the world leader in camera drones’, and it’s yet to get challenged.

However, DJI makes a few different drones, choosing one out of which can be a little daunting, not only for the first-time flier but also for intermediates and experts. In this guide, we’ll try and specify the differences between the four DJI Phantom 3 series drones: the DJI Phantom 3 Standard, Professional, Advanced and Phantom 3 4K editions.

DJI Phantom 3 Standard vs Professional vs Advanced vs 4K: Commonalities

What you must understand is that the heart or the core machinery in all four Phantom 3 models is the same; they are all 350-sized drones with a weight of around 1250g. What all four also share is the battery: a 15.2V, 68WH 4S 4480mAh cell, which provides roughly 25 minutes of flight time on a full charge.

Now that we’re aware of the commonalities, let’s move on to the differences.

Something to keep in mind about the Phantom 3 series hierarchy —  Phantom 3 Professional > Phantom 3 Advanced > Phantom 3 4K > Phantom 3 Standard 

DJI Phantom 3 Standard vs Professional vs Advanced vs 4K: Pricing

Name Picture Price
DJI Phantom 3 Standard DJI Phantom 3 Standard Check Here
DJI Phantom 3 4K DJI Phantom 3 4K differences with other Phantom 3 models Check Here
DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Phantom 3 Advanced DJI Phantom 3 Standard vs Professional vs Advanced vs 4K Check Here
DJI Phantom 3 Professional DJI Phantom 3 Professional RC drone Check Here

DJI Phantom 3 Standard

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If you are a first-time pilot (or someone who’s just learnt how to fly a drone — here are some nice starter drones), the Phantom 3 Standard is the one you want to get. Naturally, it is the least expensive of the Phantom 3 series at just $470, and that is because it cuts a few corners when compared to other drones in its series.

DJI Phantom 3 Standard

But what’s good is that the Phantom 3 Standard has more than enough in it to keep a beginner or an intermediate busy for a long time.

The Phantom 3 Standard has a 12 mega-pixel Panasonic Smart FSI 1/2.3″ camera that can shoot video at up to 2.7K (2704 x 1520) at 30fps besides 720p and 1080p filming. Quite clearly, a major feature lacking (on paper) is 4K video. But then again, that is something beginners and intermediates shouldn’t worry too much about; 2.7K are a lot of pixels to deal with anyway.

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The DJI Go app is fully supported on the Phantom 3 Standard, which means you get the following features, as with any other Phantom 3 series drone (including the more expensive ones):

  • Follow Me (self explanatory)
  • Point of Interest (constantly ‘look’ at a particular point)
  • Waypoints
  • Course Lock
  • Home Lock
  • DJI WiFi Video Downlink

Features that lack on the Phantom 3 Standard:

  • No 4K video (not a big deal)
  • GLONASS (not a big deal)
  • No dedicated customisable buttons
  • No DJI Lightbridge Video Downlink
  • No Vision Positioning System

DJI Phantom 3 4K

DJI Phantom 3 4K
The Phantom 3 4K is a bit of a late addition to the Phantom 3 series, but definitely a needed one. Contrary to popular belief, the Phantom 3 4K is not the best Phantom 3 series drone. In fact, it is only a Phantom 3 Standard with 4K video capabilities and a few more beginner-friendly features.

DJI Phantom 3 4K

At just $589, the Phantom 3 4K is a compelling buy, and definitely something you should consider over the Phantom 3 Standard.

Here are the features it offers besides the ones on the Phantom 3 Standard:

  • 4K video
  • Vision Positioning System

Features that lack on the Phantom 3 4K:

  • 720p FPV

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced
While the Phantom 3 Standard is in itself a top notch drone, if you’re looking for something more powerful (read: better camera than the Standard), the Phantom 3 Advanced is what you want to set your eyes on. At $677 shipped, the Phantom 3 Advanced is cheaper right now than it’s ever been. Many amateur and semi-professional film-makers use the Phantom 3 Advanced as is, i.e., without adding anything to the stock setup to film their videos.

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced

At $677 shipped, the Phantom 3 Advanced is cheaper right now than it’s ever been. Many amateur and semi-professional film-makers use the Phantom 3 Advanced as is, i.e., without adding anything to the stock setup to film their videos.

In all fairness, the Phantom 3 Advanced is a bit of a ‘not here, not there’ kind of a drone; if you want something that actually has better features than the Phantom 3 Standard, you want to look at the Professional. Nonetheless, here’s what the Phantom 3 Advanced offers over the Standard.

  • Sony Exmor R BSI 1/2.3″ camera
  • 1920 x 1080p 60fps
  • Dedicated Return to Home button
  • DJI Lightbridge Video Downlink
  • Video Recording, Shutter and Playback buttons
  • Vision Positioning System (position hold without GPS)
  • 2 Dedicated Customizable buttons
  • all other features of the Phantom 3 Standard
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What it lacks:

  • No 4K video

DJI Phantom 3 Professional

DJI Phantom 3 Professional

Now we’re talking. The Phantom 3 Professional is the ultimate and most powerful drone in the Phantom 3 series, and offers some really high-end features that usually appeal to professional film-makers and cinematographers.

DJI Phantom 3 Professional

At just $829, the Phantom 3 Professional isn’t particularly is fairly affordable (for what it does), but folks that are interested in what it has to offer still find the drone worth its money. There are in fact very few differences between the Phantom 3 Advanced and the Professional, and most of them have to do with the camera.

The Phantom 3 Professional offers 4K video, something that lacks on both, the Advanced and the Standard models.

  • GPS + GLONASS Dual Positioning Module
  • Vision Positioning System
  • 4K video
  • 10Mbps video bitrate
  • …plus all other features from the Phantom 3 Standard, 4K, and Advanced!

In other words, the Phantom 3 Professional’s spec sheet is the superset of spec sheets of all other Phantom 3-series drones from DJI.

DJI Phantom 3 Standard vs Professional vs Advanced vs 4K: Conclusion

Name Picture Price
DJI Phantom 3 Standard DJI Phantom 3 Standard Check Here
DJI Phantom 3 4K DJI Phantom 3 4K differences with other Phantom 3 models Check Here
DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Phantom 3 Advanced DJI Phantom 3 Standard vs Professional vs Advanced vs 4K Check Here
DJI Phantom 3 Professional DJI Phantom 3 Professional RC drone Check Here

While I’m sure you already had a fair idea about the features of every Phantom 3 series drone, reading this article will have cleared things in your head.

Once again, in a nutshell:

That said, there are options if you don’t want to spend the starting $499 asking price of a DJI Phantom 3. You can find some awesome buying guides here!