Review: BetaFPV Pavo30 Cinewhoop – Is Bigger Better?

The BetaFPV Pavo30 is another brilliantly designed cinewhoop (ducted FPV drone). It’s almost like the 95X V3 on steroid, everything is bigger: ESC, motors, props, frame, but is the larger BetaFPV Pavo 30 better? Let’s find out!

Conclusion

Let’s cut to the chase and not waste your time.

Good:

  • Clearly got more bunch than the BetaFPV 95X V3 we just reviewed
  • It’s not designed for freestyle, but still more “acro capable” than the smaller 95X V3
  • Decent flight time (7 mins with 4S 850mah)
  • Very sturdy frame – I crashed and dropped from 20 meters and nothing broken
  • Professional looking design, and antennas are well protected
  • All rounder, works well for both indoor and outdoor shooting

Bad:

  • Design is good looking, in fact, really good looking, but tedious to take apart and repair
  • In the DJI Version, Nebula Nano sucks
  • Out of the box, it doesn’t fly as smooth as the 95X V3, PID tune has room for improvement – a little shaky when there’s wind and got propwash
  • Much heavier than 95X V3, can’t meet 250g weight limit, and it carries more momentum, so I feel it’s not as nimble and precise as the 95X V3
  • No Naked GoPro mount, no USB-C right angle adapter for Vista

You can get the BetaFPV Pavo30 from:

Now, please read on to learn more about this quad.

Different Versions, Get Which?

There are two versions, analog and DJI.

It’s not only the difference in FPV setup, but motor and prop combo as well, which in turn affects the overall weight of the quad quite considerably.

Here’s the specifications:

Analog Version HD Digital Version
Price (PNP) $209.99 $309.99
Weight 145g (without battery) 173g (without battery)
Wheelbase 118mm 118mm
FC F722 AIO 35A FC F722 AIO 35A FC
Motor 1505-3400KV motor 1506- 3000KV motor
Propeller HQ75 5-blade (T-mount 1.5mm) Gemfan D76 5-Blade (5mm shaft)
FPV Camera ANT Nano camera Nebula Nano camera
FPV Camera Tilt Degree 0°- 60° 0°- 60°
VTX M02 25-250mW VTX Caddx VISTA
Camera Mount SMO 4K camera Mount SMO 4K camera Mount
SMO 4K Tilt Degree 5°- 45° 5°- 45°
Battery 4S 750mAh – 850mAh 4S 750mAh – 850mAh
Charge Connector XT30 XT30
Flight time About 6-8 minutes About 6-8 minutes

BetaFPV sent me the DJI version for this review.

To be honest, I wouldn’t be against the idea of getting the analog version. It’s much cheaper and lighter (under 250g possible). The Nebula Nano used in the DJI version just isn’t good, it’s almost like looking at analog video anyway. Just use the Nebula Pro already, BetaFPV! Or let the user choose perhaps?

They offer a wide range of receivers options: Frsky XM+ (FCC and LBT), TBS Crossfire Nano, FUTABA and PNP (no receiver). I’d strongly recommend getting the Crossfire version if that’s what you use. I have the Frsky XM+ and although my TX16S is compatible with it, the range is quite bad, or I am just heavily spoiled by Crossfire.

Closer Look at the Pavo30

Accessories include:

  • 1 spare set of Gemfan D76 5-Blade props
  • 20mm FPV Camera Mount (for the larger DJI camera)
  • Right angle micro USB adapter
  • Power adapter for Naked GoPro

Out of the box, you can see the power cable for the SMO 4K camera that is already soldered to the FC. So it’s almost a plug-and-play solution for shooting cinematic footage. All you have to do is binding the receiver to your radio!

The overall design is very similar to the 95X V3. It is indeed a very nice looking whoop, and feels professional, there are very few wires exposed/visible on the outside.

Camera mount is just like the 95X V3, which uses three rubber grommets for vibration damping.

What they are doing differently in the Pavo30, is the added M3 nylon bolts and nuts to prevent the HD camera mount from popping off in crashes. It also gives you more control to the stiffness of the mounting by tightening the bolts that compresses the grommets more.

The VTX antenna as well as receiver antennas are all well protected by the frame, I love this design.

To plug in the USB cable, you have to use the right angle micro USB adapter provided. Not ideal that you have to bring an extra tool with you when you go flying, but it works fine.

Unfortunately they seem to have forgotten about the Vista, its USB-C port is also hidden inside the duct and very difficult to get to. Good news is I have a USB-C to micro USB adapter, and so I was able to use the same right angle adapter for the FC. But they should really have provided a right angle USB-C adapter too like they did with the 95X V3.

Here’s the bottom of the BetaFPV Pavo 30.

It’s a very good looking cinewhoop, but it’s not the easiest when it comes to repair. There are over 10 tiny screws you have to undo in order to work on the electronics, and they are 3 different screw sizes!

The flight controller is a “whoop” style AIO board with built-in 35A BLHeli_32 ESC. It seems to be a really easy board to work with, the pads are easy to solder.

The motors are 1506 3800KV running 5-blade props. It uses 5mm motor shaft instead of the common T-mount with 1.5mm screw holes, which adds a fair bit of weight to the motor.

The BetaFPV Pavo30 is designed primarily for the SMO 4K, the power cable is already there and you can mount the camera directly to the Pavo. However if you want to use the Naked GoPro (aka GoPro Lite V2), you’d have to 3D print your own mount as it’s not provided. Though they gave you a power adapter for it.

The green mount is mine, you can find the STL file here: https://support.betafpv.com/hc/en-us/articles/900004866603-STL-File-of-the-Base-of-Naked-Camera-for-95X-V3

Here’s a side by side comparison to the Holybro 2.5-inch Cinewhoop. The Pavo30 doesn’t look that much bigger despite using larger 3-inch propellers, but it’s much louder when flying :)

Weight (my measurements):

  • Pavo30 Only (DJI Version): 180g
  • BetaFPV Pavo with 4S 850mAh: 279g
  • Pavo with 4S 850mAh + naked GoPro: 308g

Flight Performance

Take a look at this video and judge for yourself.

It’s almost like the 95X V3 on steroid, control feel familiar, but it has just a bit more punch when doing acrobatics. And it’s noisier too of course.

The Pavo30 definitely has room for improvement when it comes to tuning. It drifts a little in the wind, and has vibrations even when it’s just cruising. There’s quite severe prop wash when trying to recover from dives and slit-s. The oscillations during flight is visible from the HD footage, but Reelsteady can get rid of those normally.

The 95X V3 is more suitable for indoor and environment with lots of obstacles. I feel like it’s more nimble and precise in control due to the lighter weight. The Pavo is heavier and carries more momentum when you are trying to change direction of travel, but it’s more powerful and faster.

I think it can be a decent replacement to traditional 3″ cinewhoops that are just too big and bulky, and more intimidating to fly around people. With a naked GoPro or SMO 4K you can get equally good videos out of them.

Stock CLI dump: https://intofpv.com/t-cli-dump-fro-betafpv-pavo-3-whoop

Buying Spare

For Batteries, 4S 850mAh is a good size for this quad. See my battery recommendations.

You’ll need some spare props, if you fly near trees/bushes, you can still break them (speaking from experience): https://oscarliang.com/product-2msn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For prompt technical support, please use our forum IntoFPV.com. I check blog comments weekly.