DJI Avata Camera Drone Review: How Does It Compare to a Cinewhoop FPV Drone?

by Oscar
Dji Avata Camera Drone Review Flight Testing

If you’re new to FPV drones, the DJI Avata might have caught your attention. In this comprehensive review, we’ll examine the drone’s build quality, flight performance, and other essential features in detail. We’ll take an in-depth look at the Goggles 2, remote controller, battery life, and camera quality to help you make an informed decision about this popular drone. We’ll also compare the DJI Avata to custom-built Cinewhoops carrying a GoPro Hero 11 camera, analyzing the differences in usability, flight performance and image quality between the two.

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Update (Apr 2024): DJI released a new version, the DJI Avata 2:

Where To Buy?

Dji Avata Camera Drone Review Unbox Accessories Parts

The DJI Avata is available in various combos. The DJI Avata Pro View Combo includes the DJI Goggles 2 and the upgraded RC Motion 2 controller.

For those interested in the new Goggles Integra, the DJI Avata Explorer Combo comes with both the Goggles Integra and the RC Motion 2 controller.

In summary, the Goggles 2 is a more expensive option with additional features, while the Goggles Integra provides a more affordable entry point to the DJI system.

Build Quality and Compact Size

Dji Avata Camera Drone Review

One of the key aspects I appreciate about the DJI Avata is its compact size. This incredibly small and portable drone can easily fit into my backpack alongside batteries, FPV Goggles, remote and other gear. Its space-saving design makes it ideal for frequent travellers who require a drone that doesn’t consume too much space.

Initially, I was skeptical about the Avata’s plastic build, concerned that it might be as fragile as the DJI FPV drone. However, the Avata has demonstrated impressive durability, enduring several crashes without any issues. My main concern is that the rigid ducts could eventually break, and replacing them might be challenging. It’s important to note that the prop guards should remain on, as they help channel airflow around the electronics, keeping the air unit cool.

The location of the SD card slot and USB-C port on the DJI Avata is less than ideal, as they are inconveniently located between the props, making it difficult to access without long fingernails or pointy tools. Many users prefer to leave the SD card inside the drone and use a right-angle USB cable to download video files directly, although this method is slower than inserting the SD card into a computer. The five-blade prop configuration further complicates this issue. While I believe there could have been a better spot for these components, we’ll have to deal with their current placement unfortunately.

Battery and Impressive Flight Time

The DJI Avata uses a smart battery with smart charging and discharging capabilities. This 4S 2420mAh Li-ion battery promises up to 18 minutes of flight time.

In real-world conditions, the battery delivers only around 11 to 12 minutes of manual flight time. While this is not as long as the advertised duration, it’s still remarkable for a drone of this compact size. Cold weather and windy conditions can reduce flight time, as can attaching additional payload, such as a GoPro.

One downside to the proprietary design of the battery is that it may be more challenging and expensive to find replacements or spares. This is not ideal for pilots who want to keep multiple batteries on hand for extended flight sessions. It’s also recommended to secure the battery with a custom Velcro strap to prevent ejection during hard crashes.

Flight Characteristics and Reliability

Reliability is another reason why I love the DJI Avata. With its dependable return-to-home function and failsafe features, I no longer worry about losing an expensive drone when flying behind buildings or pushing radio and video signals to the limit. This increased reliability makes the DJI Avata a go-to choice over other custom-built FPV drones.

While the Avata is top-heavy due to the flight battery, this is a common issue with Cinewhoops carrying a GoPro and not something that can be entirely fixed with software. Adjusting the rates to my personal preference made the drone less twitchy and more comfortable to fly.

Due to the pusher prop configuration, hand-landing the DJI Avata is dangerous, and I highly discourage it. This is a drawback for those who often hand-launch drones from tricky locations. While you could attempt to land it in your hand manually, it still doesn’t solve the takeoff issue.

While I appreciate DJI Avata’s return-to-home feature, it can also be a double-edged sword. For example, when the battery got low during an indoor fly-through, the drone might start to rise towards the ceiling, unable to navigate its way back to the pilot. To mitigate this issue, be mindful of your battery life and return-to-home settings.

Camera Image Quality and Flexibility

The DJI Avata features a powerful camera that delivers a remarkable blend of quality and versatility. Equipped with a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor, the camera captures stunning 4K video at 60fps and 12MP still images. Its wide dynamic range allows for detailed imagery even in challenging lighting conditions.

One of the DJI Avata’s top features is its wider field of view, which enhances post-production flexibility. The drone’s built-in gyro data enables further stabilization of footage using applications such as Gyroflow. This feature is particularly valuable for professional work.

Another standout feature is the camera’s adjustable angle. Pilots can modify the camera angle from a straight-down position to a 60-degree upward tilt, offering the ability to capture unique angles and perspectives. This versatility is especially beneficial for pilots involved in FPV flying, as it allows for clearer visibility of the flight path.

The DJI Goggles 2

The Goggles 2 offer several notable advantages over their predecessor, the Goggles V2. With a smaller, more travel-friendly design, they are an excellent choice for those constantly on the move. The OLED screens provide superior image quality, and the goggles boast improved range and signal penetration. However, there are a few drawbacks to consider.

Some users have reported issues with overheating, as the internal fan lacks sufficient power to prevent fogging in hot and humid weather. Using an anti-fog solution, like diver’s spit, can help mitigate this issue, but it remains a potential drawback.

The foam padding on the Goggles 2 has also sparked concerns among users. It is less comfortable than the padding on the older V2 goggles, potentially creating pressure points on the face and, in some cases, allowing light leaks when facing the sun. The search for a more comfortable replacement foam is ongoing, with no definitive solution yet.

You can learn more about the Goggles 2 in my review:

Piloting with the DJI FPV Controller 2

The FPV Controller 2 is the highly recommended controller for the Avata drone, and it’s now available for purchase separately. It provides a more traditional and precise flying experience with the Avata than the included RC Remote 2. The controller is small and ergonomic, resembles the TBS Tango 2, making it a familiar and comfortable option for many FPV pilots.

You can find the DJI FPV Controller 2 here:

However, the FPV Controller 2 isn’t perfect. One feature that’s missing is foldable gimbals, which would make the controller even more portable and convenient to use. Instead, pilots have to remove the sticks each time they pack up, which can be a minor inconvenience.

Other Features

Aside from the main features, the DJI Avata has a few additional points of interest:

  1. Remote ID: The Avata comes with a built-in remote ID system, designed to comply with upcoming drone regulations in some countries. This system makes it easier for pilots to fly their drones legally and responsibly, as it allows authorities to identify and track drones in real-time.
  2. Obstacle Avoidance: The Avata features front and downward obstacle avoidance sensors, which help prevent collisions and crashes. While these sensors are not as comprehensive as those found on other DJI models, they still offer a valuable safety feature for pilots.
  3. DJI Fly App: The Avata is compatible with the DJI Fly app, allowing users to access additional features and settings, such as waypoint navigation and various camera controls. The app also provides a live feed of the drone’s camera, making it easy for pilots to frame shots and monitor their flight.
  4. Customizable LEDs: The Avata features customizable LED lights on the arms and body, enabling pilots to personalize their drone and improve visibility during nighttime flights.

Avata or Cinewhoop with GoPro 11?

Dji Avata Camera Drone Review Flight Testing

Design and Durability

Most cinewhoop designs use a standard propeller configuration and motors mounted upright, unlike the Avata, which has motors mounted upside down. Cinewhoops have flexible TPU ducts that offer some protection in case of a collision, but they’re still more prone to breaking props. In contrast, the DJI Avata features rigid plastic ducts and smaller motors. The Avata also comes with a built-in flight camera, making it a more refined and compact build compared to most cinewhoops.

Image Comparison

The GoPro image is noticeably sharper, and the depth of the image is better compared to the Avata. That being said, the Avata performs well, and its colors are quite pleasing. If you care about image quality, color, sharpness, and clarity, the GoPro Hero 11 is probably the right choice for you. Its 10-bit color and various frame rate options make it a versatile and powerful option for FPV drone cinematographers. However, the DJI Avata is no slouch either. Its performance and color grading options make it a solid contender, more than enough for the average hobbyist. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which drone best suits your needs and preferences.

Range and Penetration

Self-built cinewhoop drones can be controlled using a variety of RCs, such as the TBS Crossfire and ExpressLRS, which are well-known radio links excellent for long-range and penetration. The DJI Avata, however, can only be flown with the FPV RC2 or the DJI remote controller, which is known to have mediocre range.

When using the DJI O3 in a cinewhoop, there’s no difference in terms of image quality. However, you must ensure the cinewhoop is well-built and tuned; otherwise, vibrations can ruin your footage. The Avata, on the other hand, has no concerns with tuning or vibration.

Flight Time

The Avata allows for longer flight time than most custom-built FPV drones, at 11 minutes compared to 5-6 minutes, almost doubling the flight time.

Beginner friendliness

If you are just starting out and looking for an easy-to-use drone, the DJI Avata is an excellent choice. However, if you’re more experienced and want a drone for professional work, a custom-built cinewhoop with a GoPro would be a better choice, as it offers superior image quality and customization options. In the end, it comes down to your personal preferences and requirements.

The Verdict

If you’re new to the hobby, the Avata is the easier drone to use, allowing you to start flying right out of the box. It’s also a great option for those who prefer a small, backpack-friendly drone without worrying about tuning and building. Keep in mind, though, the Avata isn’t very crash-resilient and is harder to fix than a custom-built FPV drone.

However, if you’re more experienced, take your time and build yourself a cinewhoop. For professional shooting jobs, the GoPro is definitely the way to go. But it also takes more skills to fly a cinewhoop well than the DJI Avata, which is something to consider as well.

The DJI Avata is available in various combos. The DJI Avata Pro View Combo includes the DJI Goggles 2 and the upgraded RC Motion 2 controller.

For those interested in the new Goggles Integra, the DJI Avata Explorer Combo comes with both the Goggles Integra and the RC Motion 2 controller.


In conclusion, the DJI Avata drone has a lot to offer for FPV drone enthusiasts. Its compact size, reliability, ease of use, performance, battery life, and camera quality make it a top choice for those looking to get into drone flying and capturing stunning footage. Despite some minor design flaws and drawbacks, the DJI Avata remains a fantastic drone for FPV pilots, particularly beginners. Most of these issues have workarounds or are only minor inconveniences. If you treat the Avata like a typical Cinewhoop and avoid pushing it beyond its limits, you should have a great experience with this drone.

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1 comment

momopilots 15th November 2023 - 7:25 am

I bought a SWAN K1 Voyager drone from HEQ which is a VTOL drone. I think this fix wing drone has a long battery life, about 50 minutes, and the assembly process was simple and I had it installed in no time, and the video/image is also clear.