Chinese drones have been spotted over American parks, beaches, cities, and even on the White House lawn. But they’re not of the military variety. Instead, the backpack-sized, camera-equipped aircraft, made by Shenzhen-based startup DJI, are being flown mostly by hobbyists.
The aerial videos taken from the company’s drones have often gone viral, helping DJI build brand recognition. DJI is now the top small drone maker in the U.S., according to Eric Cheng, the firm’s director of aerial imaging. Now, DJI is launching a new model, the Phantom 3, which will ship in the next few weeks. It will be available in in two varieties: The $999 Advanced, which sports a 1080p HD camera, and the $1,259 Professional, which upgrades the optics to 4K.
Notably, they will be the first drones in DJI’s entry-level Phantom lineup to lack an option without a pre-installed camera. While Cheng says having a DJI-made camera…
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