FPV drones have so far been relegated to racing, drone stunts, and chasing race cars around a track. Now DJI is bringing that to the movies.

The advent of the first person view drone for cinematography has created a whole new category of drones. Nicknamed the “cinewhoop” drone, this style of drone is known for its dramatic yet smooth aerial footage indoors and out, with sharp turns and banks. And the new Avata DJI Perhaps the design that takes this type of mainstream cinema is the FPV drone.

But this isn’t DJI’s first foray into the FPV drone space. Is the Avata different enough to stick with cinematographers?

First person cinematography

The Avata’s 4K camera is equipped with a 48-megapixel 1/1.7-inch image sensor and an ultra-wide 12.8mm f/2.8 lens with a field of view of 155°, making it capable of capturing 4K video at 60fps, as well as 2.7K slow-motion video at 100fps. The drone supports H.265 video codecs at 150 Mb/s and a DJI’s D-Cinelike Color Mode for wider dynamic range and color gamut.

Small sensor, 4K resolutionCredit: DJI

Avata’s camera also benefits from the use of RockSteady and HorizonSteady image stabilization to eliminate camera shake while keeping the image aimed at a level horizon.

Video footage is written directly to the drone’s 20GB onboard storage, without the need to install a microSD card. That’s plenty of storage to capture video during the drone’s rated 19-minute flight time before batteries need to be replaced.

The optional DJI Goggles 2 display glasses are compact, lightweight and designed for comfort. With tin antennas, they can maintain crisp HD 1080 video display at 100fps using DJI’s O3+ transmission protocol. The ultra-low latency of the video stream to the optional DJI Goggles 2 is around 30 milliseconds, and the drone can maintain this signal at a maximum distance of 10 kilometers.

DJI Goggles 2
2nd Generation DJI GogglesCredit: DJI

How not to be a criminal

It’s important to remember, however, that FAA regulations require that all drones be kept in a visual line of sight. Notwithstanding government regulations, the powerful video signal allows the operator to maintain control of the drone at all times, which is important.

If the drone loses connectivity, there is a GPS mode that will automatically return the Avata to its original starting point. By then the operator should be able to reacquire the drone signal and regain control or allow the drone to land where it started.

Flight Modes

There are three different flight modes. Normal mode is controlled by satellite navigation and positioning. Manual mode offers increased freedom and control. Sport mode offers the best of both worlds: high-speed maneuvering with positioning protection.

DJI motion controller
motion controllerCredit: DJI

Control options include use of DJIs joystickDJI motion controller and DJI FPV 2 Remote Controller but can can also be controlled via the DJI Go 4 app. The motion controller works in concert with the Goggles 2 to create a deeply immersive flight experience, which is as close to flying as possible without flying. Skydiving doesn’t count, because it drops in style.

Users can also use the DJI Fly Simulator app, which mimics the Avata’s flight profile and familiarizes new pilots with the drone’s flight envelope in a risk-free environment while giving users the opportunity to test the Joystick-style DJI Motion Controller for feedback.

Many advanced users complain that the joystick design of the motion controller is slow and does not provide a valuable experience for veteran users, but DJI may have developed the controller with the beginner pilot in mind, which will be more favorable to the former. . -person’s point of view without having to unlearn the conventional method of controlling the drone.

DJI motion controller in use
Like flying a plane in VRCredit: DJI

beauty on the outside

The drone is protected from impact with a ducted fan monocoque propeller design that absorbs heavy shocks and keeps it flying. The drone also has binocular downward vision and infrared sensing for even more safety. These sensors detect obstacles below and allow Avata to fly at low altitudes or indoors.

The sensors can also discriminate between water and ground, providing valuable telemetry for choosing an appropriate sight for landing. There’s even a special “turtle mode”, which will flip the drone right side up if it crashes and ends up on its back. You can resume the flight right after.

DJI Avata Bottom Sensors
A set of sensors looking downCredit: DJI

Should you get it?

DJI’s new offering isn’t like your regular drone. It’s like trading your aerial Dana Dolly for an adrenaline junkie in a wingsuit hopped on Red Bull and a GoPro glued to the helmet. The types of shots you can get won’t be the same. If this is what you are looking for, then this drone definitely needs a spot on your shortlist.

The Avata DJI is available at a retail price of $629 for the drone only and $1,399 for the Pro-View Combo, which includes the drone, DJI Motion Controller, and 2 Goggles. There’s also the Avata Flight Smart Combo for $1,168 $, which includes the old Goggles V2 instead of Goggles 2. A little confusing, yes, but if users have already invested in V2, it’s good to know that they will be compatible.

Finally, there’s the Fly More Accessory Kit for $279, which includes two DJI Avata Intelligent Flight Batteries and a DJI Avata Battery Charging Hub.

Those considering the Avata, but still need more, may also be eligible for DJI’s SkyPixel Product Trial Program, which allows users to “try before you buy” the drone for a limited time. Details can be found on the DJI Skypixel website.


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