The DJI Phantom comes pretty complete – there is not much to wish for. But over time, you’ll learn that – just as with regular photography – there’s little tools and helpers that makes life easier. I have compiled here a few that I deem indispensable.
A backpack or hard case.
Having a drone without a backpack or case is like traveling and sleeping under the bridge instead of a hotel. See it as your protective home for your sensitive electronic equipment. Personally, I find backpacks more practical than cases, since they are easier to carry on long trips and at the same time cause less attention. The internet is full with cheap backpacks, just make sure they’re pre-cut to fit your Phantom, and have lots of storage for other extensions. DJI also offers a hard case which is very durable, but also quite expensive.
If you are using a H3-3D gimbal or similar, and you are transporting your drone in a backpack or case, you might have asked yourself the question whether that is safe for the gimbal, since it hangs freely and is able to move around and possibly cause damage. While I have never seen any damage done by that, I’d still feel more comfortable having a gimbal lock. There are plenty of inexpensive options for that – see for example http://www.raveaerialvideo.com/product/phantom-h3-3d-travel-bracket/
The Phantom battery allows for about 15-20 minutes (more on the 15 side, really) of flight time. Now, if you are in a beautiful place or traveling, that’s really not much. And recharging takes at least a few hours – if you even have a socket near you. I heard they’re not abundant on remote islands. So, having spare batteries is a must. I recommend not to buy the original, but a third-party battery that gives you not only more capacity (6000 mAh instead of the original 5200) but it’s also cheaper. Just make sure you don’t accidentally firmware-update the battery. It will be unusable then. http://www.onbo-power.com/ONBO-DJI-Phantom-2-Battery-530.html
Power bank mobile charger.
While it wouldn’t do anything to recharge your Phantom’s batteries, it will certainly help you with the GoPro on many occasions to have a charger with you at any time. The GoPro’s battery is pretty small, and it can exhaust easily on long flights. I always carry a Lithium battery power bank in my Phantom backpack, and I charge the GoPro during transport. This way you don’t need to start crying when a beautiful scene presents itself, and you have an empty GoPro (as it happened to me countless times!)
GoPro Protective Lens.
Your GoPro is pretty much unprotected on the Phantom, since you’re mounting it without any case. Not only in crash situations, which are potentially lethal to your camera, but also during normal use, the lense is very exposed. GoPro sells an inexpensive lens cover that is completely transparent and protects your lens from any intruders. And don’t worry, it will not affect your gimbal’s balance. shop.gopro.com/accessories/protective-lens/AGCLK-301.html