News: DJI FPV Drone – It’s NOT For Everyone

Finally the rumoured DJI FPV Drone is confirmed! In this post we will talk about the specs of DJI’s latest FPV Drone and Remote Controller V2, and whether you should get it instead of building a DIY freestyle drone.

Where to Buy?

The DJI FPV Drone package includes the following components and accessories:

  • 1 x DJI FPV Racing Drone
  • 1 x DJI Remote Controller
  • 1 x DJI FPV Goggles V2
  • 1 x 6S Battery for the Drone
  • 1 x Battery for the Goggles
  • 1 x Gimbal protector
  • 1 x Top Shell
  • 8 x Propeller (4XCW 4XCCW)
  • USB-C cable

New DJI FPV Remote V2

The DJI FPV Drone will be sold in a combo along with the new DJI FPV Goggles V2 and DJI FPV remote controller V2.

The DJI FPV Goggles V2 is already out and we talked about it in detail. It’s pretty similar to the V1 in terms of specs, but it has new features to support the DJI FPV drone (ability to communicate on 2.4GHz – more reliable signal). V1 Goggles don’t work with the DJI drone.

DJI’s FPV system is no doubt currently the best in the FPV industry, you won’t find a better system with similar capabilities. You can have a look at my review of the DJI FPV system, because V1 and V2 are quite similar.

Now let’s talk about the DJI remote V2. They completely redesigned it (see my review of the DJI FPV remote V1), and it now has the shape of a gaming controller in a much compact form factor, similar to the Lite Radio 2 but obviously in much high quality.

Out of the box, both sticks actually re-center including the throttle stick. This is because the DJI FPV drone is capable of GPS-assisted flight mode just like a Mavic. But it also can do acro mode, and you can remove the automatic re-centering of the throttle stick (simply by adjusting a screw on the back of the radio).

It doesn’t support the long range frequency 915MHz as we hoped for, only 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz. However it still claims to be able to provide a maximum range of 10Km with the FCC version, and 6Km with the CE version, as the maximum output powers are 1W on 2.4GHz and 750mW on 5.8GHz.

The DJI Remote V2 doesn’t work with the V1 Goggles, or the Air Unit / Vista.

The sticks are removable and can be stored inside the radio for easy transportation. The DJI FPV remote controller V2 is powered by an 1S 2600mAh battery, and it can be charged via the USB-C port. Battery life is about 9 hours per full charge.

You can also use this new motion controller instead of the traditional 2-stick remote. This has to be purchased separately. We are still waiting patiently on more info regarding this new remote, but they promise a more natural and intuitive connection between the pilot and the drone, makes it easy to learn and fly.

Features of the DJI FPV Drone

The DJI FPV Drone will be a pre-built, ready to fly model. It weighs 795g, which is considered quite heavy for DIY FPV drones standard. Normally a 5″ DIY FPV drone carrying a GoPro would be around 600g-700g range.

However it has onboard video recording capability up to 4K 60FPS – much higher than the DJI FPV Air Unit’s 1080 60FPS. Not to mention the built-in 2-axis camera gimbal for smooth videos, something you’d only find on a camera drone.

It doesn’t look like it can be easily repaired either like our DIY FPV drones. This can potentially make every crash expensive and time consuming if we had to contact DJI Repair center every time it breaks. Ultimately it could change the way you fly – being extremely careful and not pushing your limit.

There are front sensors for avoiding obstacles and bottom sensors for precise altitude hold and landing. These are very important for its GPS assisted flight mode, but won’t be very useful in acro mode when travelling at 93mph – the claimed maximum speed of the DJI FPV drone.

For these reasons, I don’t think the DJI FPV drone is designed for racing, but rather for taking exciting HD videos of fast moving subjects. It also allows Mavic users to get a taste of flying freestyle without building an FPV drone from scratch, and spending hundreds of hours on learning how to fly.

With that said, the DJI FPV drone could be repaired by the users to some extent as it’s a modular design, you could replace spare parts by yourself.

The DJI FPV drone uses DJI’s own special battery, which means you cannot just use normal LiPo batteries with XT60 connector. Those battery are pretty big and heavy – 6S 2000mA. The cost of these batteries has been revealed to be over US$160+ each… ouch!

Flight Control Modes

The flight control system is proprietary – it’s DJI’s very own closed source software, so no Betaflight, and no using third-party flight controllers.

Normal Mode

The DJI FPV drone’s easiest flight mode would be “normal mode”, which is basically a GPS-assisted mode you’d find on other DJI’s camera drones. If you’ve ever flown a DJI drone before, you would be able to apply your knowledge to the DJI FPV drone, the transition would be easy.

Normal mode has a 25° maximum attitude angle, and 33MPH maximum speed (54km/h). This is meant to be a learning mode, once you’ve mastered it you can move on to more advanced flight modes, such as Sport mode or even Manual mode.

Sport Mode

It’s just like Normal mode, but with a much higher maximum speed of 60MPH (97km/h), and doubles the ascent and descent rates.

Manual Mode

Manual mode on the DJI FPV drone is basically acro mode on freestyle drones. If you want to fly upside down, and dive down a waterfall, this is the flight mode to be in.

Although it is a powerful mode, it’s also the hardest flight mode to master, and only meant for the experienced. It disables most flight assistance and gives the pilot full control to the attitude of the craft.

Note that manual mode must be enabled in the goggles’ menu, and limiters for maximum attitude and inverted flying must be removed first to perform full acro mode. This is to protect new users from enabling manual mode by mistake.

Panic Button

Freestyle flying enables amazing maneuverability and freedom of movement, however for new comers, it is an extremely difficult mode to learn. It’s risky and prone to crash that can result in danger and damage to the drone. It’s good to know that there is a panic button on the remote, once pressed, the drone goes into full stabilization mode and just hover in place.

Other Safety Features

The DJI FPV Drone also offers safety features such as smart return to home (on demand), low battery return to home (automatic), and both forward and downward obstacle avoidance sensing. These features are not usually available on DIY drones.

DJI FPV Drone Specs and Price

The confirmed specifications are:

  • Price: US$1400 (including DJI FPV Drone, V2 Goggles and V2 Remote)
  • Drone Size:
    • 245mm wheelbase
    • 255×312×127 mm (with propellers)
    • 178×232×127 mm (without propellers)
  • 4K 60FPS Recording (H.265, 120Mbps bitrate), 720p 120FPS Live Video in Goggles
  • Camera: 1/2.3″ Sensor, 150° FOV in HD recording, 142° in live view
  • Built-in 2-Axis camera gimbal
  • Tri-blade 5″ propellers (5328)
  • Powered by 6S 2000mAh LiPo Battery
  • Equipped with GPS with return to home feature
  • Drone Weight: 795g
  • Up to 20 mins of flight time in ideal condition
  • Max Speed: 150kph (~93mph)
  • Max flight distance: Range up to 10Km with DJI FPV Remote V2, 16.8Km in distance (no wind)
  • Operates in 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz
  • Two front sensors for object avoidance, two bottom sensors for precision landing

Let’s talk about price.

The FPV combo is priced at $1300 (including goggles and remote):

You can also just get the DJI FPV Drone for $740:

A DIY FPV drone with decent quality components would cost around $500, so I’d say that’s a reasonable price given that fact that it doesn’t need a GoPro as it already can capture 4K 60FPS videos (with built-in gimbal). Taking that into consideration, it’s actually not a bad deal.

Conclusion

Good Things

It has lots of safety features to ensure even beginners can fly it. For example, it uses AR to display your HOME position in the video, so you won’t get lost. If you lost signal or ran out of battery, it can automatically return to home using GPS.

The beginner mode (normal mode) can simulate FPV style flying, and only requires your left hand to control it. When you make turns, the drone also tilts, simulates how FPV drone flies, but all you are doing is just moving the yaw stick, very simple. When flying FPV drone this would be a lot more complicated and requires coordination from both hands which takes a lot of practice.

If you have ever flown with DJI FPV system before, you’d be surprised to find out the DJI FPV drone offers even clearer FPV image, because it’s using DJI’s latest OcuSync 3.0 transmission technology. It offers an even more immersive experience to the pilot.

You can get up to 20 mins of flight time (in no wind condition) with the DJI FPV drone. This is achieve by using an efficient motor and propeller combo. Also the battery is pretty big (6S 2000mAh) and heavy which helps endurance.

Changing props is easy, just press it into the motor shaft, no tool is needed.

Downsides

It’s not durable, especially the arms, can be broken in a mild crash.

Although image quality is very good, the field of view (FOV) of the recorded videos is not as wide as GoPro because of its built-in electronic stabilization that crops the edges of the frame.

It doesn’t have “follow me” feature, so you can’t run and fly at the same time like you could with the Mavic :)

As mentioned, it’s heavy and the motor/props combo isn’t particularly powerful, flight performance is impacted considerably. One good example would be noticeable propwash when doing acro moves even with stabilized footage. You cannot stabilize footage in post, which means vibration is going to be visible in your final video.

Battery is expensive, and it only come with one pack. You’ll probably need multiple for serious filming and it gets expensive.

Is It For You?

The DJI FPV drone is just like other DJI products, super simple to setup and fly, even beginners can make good looking FPV style videos. However it’s definitely not crash-resistant enough to be flown like a racing drone or DIY FPV drone. And flight performance isn’t as good either.

Take a look at my beginner’s guide on how to get stared with DIY FPV drone.

Cinematography professionals who need FPV drone shots would absolutely love the DJI FPV drone for how easy it is to use, especially those don’t want how to build one. The DJI FPV drone is like a “sporty Mavic” that is capable of traveling at up to 90MPH and being controlled in full acro mode, means it can take shots that a traditional camera drone can’t. And you don’t have to worry about building or repairing any of it.

 

Edit History

  • Jan 2021 – Report on leaked info
  • Feb 2021 – Official release, updated pre-order page, info and specs

12 thoughts on “News: DJI FPV Drone – It’s NOT For Everyone

  1. Piotr Wscibski

    How did they achieve such long flight time with that weight, can we replicate that on our drones?
    Also what kv motors do they use?

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      It’s a 6S 2000mAh battery.
      The motor and prop combo is not the most powerful but an efficient one.
      You can replicate this on a DIY FPV drone too. But for our standard this is probably too slow and heavy anyway.
      By the way, the 20min flight time is measured by hovering in no wind condition. In normal flight flight time will be considerably reduced, which depends on how fast you fly and wind speed.

      Reply

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