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The Team at Drone Depot look at the Mavic 3 Enterprise vs. Phantom 4 RTK

Mav 3 E vs P4 RTK

An In-Depth Comparison for Surveyors and Inspectors

The world of drone surveying has seen a significant shift with the introduction of DJI’s Mavic 3 Enterprise. This compact and lightweight solution challenges the established DJI Phantom 4 RTK, a popular choice for aerial mapping and inspection tasks. While the Phantom 4 RTK is discontinued, many users are yet to make the upgrade. This in-depth comparison will dissect the strengths and weaknesses of both drones, helping you decide which one reigns supreme for your specific needs.

Camera Capability: Quality and Efficiency

The camera is the heart of a surveying drone, and the Mavic 3 Enterprise boasts a clear advantage. It features a larger 4/3 CMOS sensor compared to the Phantom 4 RTK’s 1-inch sensor. This translates to better low-light performance and superior image quality, crucial for capturing detailed data in challenging lighting conditions.

But the advantage goes beyond sensor size. The Mavic 3 Enterprise packs bigger pixels (3.3μm) compared to the Phantom 4 RTK’s 2.4μm pixels. Larger pixels capture more light, resulting in less noise and a wider dynamic range. This translates to cleaner images with better color fidelity, perfect for creating precise orthomosaics and 3D models.

While both drones offer 20MP resolution, the Mavic 3 Enterprise throws in a game-changer: a 12MP telephoto camera with up to 56x hybrid zoom. This allows surveyors and inspectors to capture close-up details of specific features on buildings, infrastructure, or even wind turbines, without needing to fly as close – a major safety benefit. Additionally, the Mavic 3 Enterprise boasts a shorter shooting interval (0.7 seconds) compared to the Phantom 4 RTK’s 2.5 seconds. This translates to faster data acquisition and improved mapping efficiency, especially for large-scale projects.

P4RTK vs Mavic 3E
DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise vs DJI Phantom 4 RTK

Surveying Efficiency: Time is Money

Time is of the essence in commercial drone operations. Here, the Mavic 3 Enterprise shines. Its longer flight time of 45 minutes (42 minutes with the RTK module) eclipses the Phantom 4 RTK’s 30 minutes. This allows you to cover more ground in a single flight, reducing the number of battery swaps and increasing overall productivity.

Furthermore, the Mavic 3 Enterprise’s superior camera capabilities contribute to its efficiency. The larger sensor, bigger pixels, and faster shooting interval all work together to capture more data in less time. Studies have shown the Mavic 3 Enterprise to be up to eight times more efficient than the Phantom 4 RTK when capturing 1cm GSD (Ground Sampling Distance) imagery. This translates to significant cost savings on large-scale projects.

Single Flight Efficiency | Phantom 4 RTK vs Mavic 3 Enterprise

Portability and Convenience

The Mavic 3 Enterprise’s foldable design makes it a clear winner in terms of portability. It easily fits into a backpack, making it ideal for surveyors and inspectors who need to travel frequently between job sites. The Phantom 4 RTK, with its fixed arms, is bulkier and requires a dedicated carrying case.

Technology and App Integration

The Mavic 3 Enterprise comes equipped with DJI’s latest technologies. Its DJI RC Pro Enterprise controller features a bright 5.5-inch display for clear viewing even in harsh sunlight. The O3 Enterprise transmission system offers a robust connection with a maximum range of 8km (CE) compared to the Phantom 4 RTK’s OcuSync system with a 5km (CE) range. This provides more reliable data transmission over longer distances.

The Mavic 3 Enterprise utilizes the new Pilot 2 app, offering an intuitive and user-friendly interface for flight planning and data capture. The Phantom 4 RTK uses the GS Pro app, which might feel dated compared to the Pilot 2. Additionally, the Mavic 3 Enterprise offers compatibility with DJI FlightHub 2, a cloud-based platform for managing drone operations – a valuable tool for large-scale surveying projects.

DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise vs DJI Phantom 4 RTK

RTK Module: A Separate Consideration

Both drones require an RTK module for high-precision centimeter-level positioning data, crucial for creating accurate surveys and 3D models. However, there’s a key difference:

  • Mavic 3 Enterprise: The RTK module is sold as a separate accessory and needs to be purchased and mounted on top of the drone.
  • Phantom 4 RTK: The RTK module is built-in, eliminating the need for an additional purchase but adding to the overall weight of the drone.

This presents a trade-off. The built-in RTK of the Phantom 4 RTK offers convenience, but some users might prefer the modularity of the Mavic 3 Enterprise. This allows them to choose a specific RTK module compatible with their workflow or base station setup.

DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise vs DJI Phantom 4 RTK

Additional Considerations

  • Price: The Mavic 3 Enterprise (around NZD $6,999) carries a slightly higher price tag compared to the discontinued Phantom 4 RTK. However, you might find used Phantoms at a significant discount.
  • Support: With the Phantom 4 RTK being discontinued, parts and support may become limited in the future. The Mavic 3 Enterprise benefits from being DJI’s latest offering, ensuring continued support and access to the latest firmware updates.
  • Durability: Both drones are built with rugged materials, but the Mavic 3 Enterprise boasts a wider operating temperature range (-10°C to 40°C) compared to the Phantom 4 RTK (0°C to 40°C). This might be a factor for operations in extreme cold environments.

Conclusion

The DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise emerges as the superior drone for surveying and inspection applications in most cases. It boasts a superior camera system, longer flight time, improved efficiency, enhanced safety features, and cutting-edge technology. However, the decision ultimately depends on your specific needs and priorities:

  • Choose the Mavic 3 Enterprise if:
    • You prioritize image quality, efficiency, and portability.
    • You don’t mind purchasing a separate RTK module.
    • You value access to the latest technology and support.
  • Consider the (used) Phantom 4 RTK if:
    • You can find a significantly used model at a lower price.
    • The built-in RTK module is a major convenience factor for you.
    • You prioritize a slightly lower initial cost over cutting-edge features.

Remember, the best drone is the one that best suits your workflow and budget. Carefully evaluate your needs and consider factors like the cost of additional batteries, chargers, and software licenses before making your final decision.

DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise Series

  • $9,476.00 Inc. GST Pre-Order
  • $6,999.00 Inc. GST Add to cart
  • $6,499.00 Inc. GST Pre-Order
  • $1,299.00 Inc. GST Add to cart
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