Skip to main content

Drone mapping expert weighs in on DJI Phantom 4 RTK firmware update

What does the new firmware update for the DJI Phantom 4 RTK mean for drone mapping experts and other commercial drone pilots who use this drone for their day to day business? We checked in with Paul Aitken, a drone mapping expert, and from DroneU to get his take on the latest firmware update for the DJI Phantom 4 RTK.

Drone mapping expert talks about the new firmware update

DroneDJ: “Paul, tell me what you think about the new firmware update for the DJI Phantom 4 RTK and what it means for commercial drone pilots who use this drone for their work?”

Paul Aitken:

“Frankly, there are some really exciting firmware upgrades that make the workflow more promising as these features will help boost the consistency and reliability of data coming from the Phantom 4 RTK.!

With this firmware update, we acquire the “added timed shooting mode,” which will allow for much more consistent data capture when flying around in free flight. Without an orbit mode or point of interest, drone pilots have to manually fly orbital/oblique shots without the aid of autonomous features. With timed capture, flying orbits and acquiring consistent 75% overlap will be much easier now.

Besides, DJI added the RTCM 3.2 MSM3 network to the list of supported networks. This addition truly is a great step forward in the quality and consistency of the RTK GPS data that is acquired through the base station. To put it into laymen terms, right now, the DJI base station will use one base station to correct the GPS’s position data. With the new network, the base station data will be corrected by multiple base stations in the area, not just the nearest station. Just like when we’re flying, the more satellites and data we can acquire, the better and more accurate the results will be. This analogy rings true with the addition of the RTCM 3.2 MSM3 network in the firmware upgrade.

DJI also canceled the limit for the length of the flight route when planning an operation, which will allow for larger RTK operations. Flexibility in-flight planning never hurts a pilots workflow!

DJI is now opening the doors to 3rd Party applications via the Mobile SDK. For instance, Pix4D will now be able to have their popular Capture application. that can be operated without a built-in display, integrated. Meaning, pilots are no longer forced to use DJI’s ground station to fly missions, they’ll be able to acquire data through 3rd party applications, once they are available.

With these additions to the firmware, DJI slowly moves forward to becoming the Gold Standard for aerial surveying tools by unlocking the acquisition workflow for 3rd party users, making acquisition easier with timed shots and increasing the reliability and accuracy of data by adding the new RTK network. This is very exciting!”

Paul Aitken is the Co-Host of the ‘Ask DroneU‘ Podcast, which now includes a weekly news edition with DroneDJ and author of ‘Livin the Drone Life’.

What do you think about the new firmware update for the DJI Phantom 4 RTK? Let us know in the comments below.


If you’d like to stay up to date with all the latest drone news, scoops, rumors and reviews, then follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTubeInstagram or sign up for our email newsletter DroneRise, that goes out every weekday morning at 6 am.

Buy your next drone through directly from manufacturers, such as DJIParrotYuneec or retailers like AmazonB&HBestBuy or eBay. By using our links, we will make a small commission, but it will not cost you anything extra. Thank you for helping DroneDJ grow!



Avatar for Haye Kesteloo Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys and Electrek. Haye can be reached at or @hayekesteloo