Earlier this year, DJI unveiled two new quadcopters – the Phantom 3 Advanced and Phantom 3 Professional. With respective price tags of US$1,259 and $999, however, they're perhaps "more drone" than the average user needs. That's why DJI has now announced the less expensive, more basic Phantom 3 Standard.

Like the Advanced and Professional, the Standard features a 3-axis gimbal-mounted video camera. With a maximum resolution of 2.7K/30fps (12MP jpeg or RAW for stills), that camera actually offers higher resolution than the Advanced's 1080p/60fps model, but is lower than the Professional's 4K/30fps shooter.

Also like the other two Phantom 3's, the Standard additionally features 720p real-time video streaming to the user's mobile device, GPS-assisted position-holding and Return-to-Home functions, and a flight time of about 25 minutes per charge of its lithium-polymer battery. Upcoming software updates should additionally allow it to autonomously follow pre-programmed flight paths, fly along above the user (Follow Me mode), and fly around a designated point of interest while continuously facing towards that point.

So, what's been left out?

Well, while the Phantom 3 Professional and Advanced use both the GPS and GLONASS satellite systems for navigation/positioning, the Standard just uses GPS. Additionally, the Standard lacks the other two models' downward-facing visual and ultrasonic sensors, which allow them to hold their position even when indoors and out of satellite range.

Finally, the 1-km (0.5-mi) distance over which it can be controlled is shorter than the 2-km (1.2-mi) range of the other two. This is because while the Standard utilizes basic Wi-Fi, the Advanced and Professional are equipped with DJI's Lightbridge communications system.

Should you decide that the Standard is all that you really need, though, you can buy it as of today for $799 – the Phantom 2 models and the Phantom 1 are no longer being produced. You can see footage shot with the Standard in the video below and for a closer look at the top of the line model, check out our full DJI Phantom 3 Professional review.

View gallery - 6 images