DRONES REVIEWS

DJI FPV: The Most Immersive Way to Fly

Written by Jack Brown

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First-person view (FPV) drones have gained a lot of attention over the past few years, particularly for people who want to experience their surroundings exactly as the drone sees them. Unlike traditional drones that are flown using the pilot’s on-ground perspective, FPV drones are piloted from the drone’s point of view (rather than the pilot’s).

When it comes to this type of flying, one of the most popular drones today is the DJI FPV. DJI is the frontrunner in the industry, so it’s no surprise that the brand’s FPV model is a go-to drone for people who want to get up close and personal with first-person view piloting.

Be Aware: Because of the unique flying perspective, the DJI FPV is not necessarily a “beginner” level drone. While it’s super interactive and fun to fly a drone of this nature, FPV flying is more challenging than traditional flying, mainly because you’ll be wearing a set of FPV goggles to follow the flight path from the drone’s perspective.

That said, the DJI FPV is the easiest-to-use drone of its type (it’s marketed as suitable for “newcomers”) thanks to the built-in GPS and collision sensors, which significantly reduce the risk of crashing.

Check out this video from DJI to see what the FPV drone can do:

Product specifications:

  • Delivers high-quality 4K/60FPS video footage
  • Features DJI’s OcuSync 3.0 Transmission System
  • Super-wide 150° FOV
  • Included DJI FPV Goggles V2 for a fully immersive flying experience
  • Brand new S Mode features simplified controls while manual flying
  • Fast flying drone with a max speed of ~87 MPH

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Build Specifications

Packaging & Assembly Process

Like other DJI drones, this one is fully RTF, which means that it’s ready to fly as soon as you open the box. That means you don’t have to go through the added hassle of assembling your drone.

All you have to do is charge the drone and the DJI FPV Goggles V2, download the DJI Fly app on your device if you don’t already have it, complete a few activation steps, and you’re ready to start exploring the open skies with first-person viewing.

Here’s what you can expect to find in the box after purchasing the DJI FPV Combo:

  • Drone
  • Intelligent Flight Battery
  • Propellers
  • Gimbal Protector
  • Top Shell
  • Remote Controller 2
  • Control Sticks
  • Goggles V2
  • Goggles Antenna (Dual Band)
  • Goggles Battery
  • Goggles Power Cable (USB-C)
  • Goggles Headband
  • Goggles Foam Padding
  • AC Power Adapter
  • AC Power Cable
  • USB-C Data Cable
  • USB-C OTG Cable

Design & Durability

Unlike the Mavic Pro and other Mavic drones from DJI, the FPV does not feature a folding design. While it’s still compact and small, the motor arms are fixed and the upright position of the device body makes it seem much larger than it is.

The lack of a foldable design makes this drone more difficult to carry or travel with. It’s a good idea to purchase a protective carrying case for the drone, goggles, and controller, but this will cost you extra. Plus, you’ll need a fairly large bag considering the drone’s inability to fold and the addition of the goggles.

The body of the DJI FPV uses the standard quadcopter design, and the take-off weight is about 795 grams (so just under 2 pounds). Even though this isn’t a heavy drone by any means, it’s heavier than most FPV models, but that’s because of the larger “intelligent” battery design that’s meant to increase flight time.

The drone’s camera is mounted on a one-axis gimbal and operates only on the vertical axis since it’s designed strictly for FPV use. Before you launch, you’ll have to establish connectivity between the goggles, controller, and the drone itself, but DJI has made this super easy through the DJI Fly app.

In terms of durability, the FPV comes with all the necessary anti-crash technology, like obstacle sensing and a smart return-to-home button. But if you do happen to crash and damage it, there’s no way to fix the damage yourself, so you’ll want to invest in DJI Care Insurance.

Camera Quality

The FPV’s camera quality stays true to DJI’s usual standard for excellence.

The camera can record 4K/60FPS video footage at up to 120 Mbps, but you can also shoot in the 1920x1080p resolution setting for longer battery life. Another great thing about the FPV camera is that it captures a super-wide view of 150°, which is a much larger and more immersive FOV than your standard drone.

The only downside to this wide viewing angle is that the drone’s propellers are visible in the footage, which isn’t ideal for the overall flight aesthetics. Luckily, you can fix this issue by applying a lens correction setting in the Goggles V2 menu. This doesn’t eliminate the propellers from view, but it does minimize them drastically.

In addition to real-time video footage shot in MP4 or MOV formats, the FPV can work in still photography mode to capture high-quality aerial photos. Of course, you shouldn’t buy this drone just for taking photos at the basic level; its main focus is to give you an immersive, exhilarating first-person view that simulates the sensation of flying. If you’re just after still photos, there are much cheaper devices out there.

Watch this video to experience what flying the FPV drone will feel like:

Battery & Flight Time

The DJI FPV uses a 2000 mAh LiPo 6S flight battery. Depending on the camera settings and motor speed, this battery supports up to 20 minutes of flight time. While 20 minutes of flying might not seem that impressive compared to the Mavic and Phantom drones, this is quite long compared to other FPV devices, which typically range anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes of flight time.

Just keep in mind that the 20-minute flight time is only realistic in windless conditions, and the drone can only be flying at 25 MPH. Anything faster than this will drain the battery at a faster rate, so it’s more realistic that you’ll get 10-15 minutes of flight time.

Another point worth noting about the FPV battery is that it uses DJI’s “intelligent” technology. This means that the battery will discharge to maximize its overall lifespan after not being used for a few days.

Controller Features

The FPV controller features a minimal design, which makes it easy to navigate, especially thanks to the large buttons and toggles.

Easy navigation is key since you’ll most likely be wearing goggles while flying this drone, and DJI did a great job of making that happen. When wearing the Goggles V2, you’ll have to have the button positions memorized, but this shouldn’t be too difficult considering there are only 6 of them and they’re quite large.

Unlike other controllers, this one doesn’t have a device cradle for securing a phone. Once again, this is because you’re meant to wear FPV goggles while flying, so you won’t be looking at your phone at all to view the camera footage. Even though there’s no need for a phone cradle, it would be nice to at least have the option to secure a device into the controller, which would allow you to use the FPV as a traditional drone.

If you want to take things a step further, you have the option to purchase the FPV Motion Controller separately, which steers the drone based on the movements of your hand.

On the fence about getting the additional DJI Motion Controller? Check out this video to get a sneak peek into how it works and how it can improve the flight experience:

Flight Performance

If you’re familiar with DJI’s Mavic series of drones, you’ll immediately notice some similarities with the FPV model. As soon as you take off for your first flight, it becomes obvious that DJI used Mavic flight performance as inspiration for the FPV.

Just like the Mavic series, this drone features multiple flight modes that cater to all levels of FPV flying. There are 3 modes to choose from – Normal, Manual, and Sport – and each one comes with its own unique set of benefits.

In the Normal flight mode, the FPV will fly similarly to other drones using GPS positioning, obstacle sensing, and hovering when the controls are released. This is the best mode to start with, especially for beginners to FPV flying, and it allows for max speeds of 33 MPH.

The Manual flight mode is catered towards FPV experts only. In this mode, there is no GPS positioning or obstacle censoring, which allows more experienced pilots to fly faster and perform aerial stunts, even through tight spaces. While there is a pretty steep learning curve to using this mode, it’s a nice addition, especially considering it allows the drone to reach insanely fast speeds of 87 MPH.

Then there’s the brand new Sport mode, also called S mode, which is a blend of the Normal and Manual flying modes. In this flight mode, you’ll get the advantage of having some of the safety features of Normal mode as well as the maneuverability features of Manual mode. In Sport mode, the FPV can fly as fast as 60 MPH.

In terms of ease of flying, you’ll see that DJI labels this model as “suitable for beginners”, but that means it’s suitable for FPV beginners. If you’ve never flown a drone before in your life, then it’s not a good idea to start with FPV flying. This drone will be a lot easier to fly if you have some experience flying a standard drone and know how to handle basic flight maneuvers.

Another thing to note is that the DJI FPV will not automatically stop when it senses an obstacle. Yes, it will alert you of the obstacle and slow down, but it’s on you to adjust the flight path yourself to avoid a collision. For that reason alone, it’s ideal that you have some experience flying drones before using this one.

Price & Value for Money

Put simply, this isn’t a cheap drone. The Combo Kit, which includes the controller and the FPV goggles, will set you back about $1000. If you want to purchase any flying accessories or insurance (the DJI care plan is highly recommended), you’ll have to pay extra.

Although this drone doesn’t come cheap, the value for money is still up there. DJI is a highly-respected company that creates fun and durable drones, and the FPV is no exception. All in all, the cost is worth every penny if you’re looking for a more immersive first-person flying experience.

Similar Models

The DJI FPV is considered the best FPV model by a lot of drone users, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only one worth considering. Here are a few more FPV drones that compare to the DJI model in terms of performance, features, and speed:

Another option is to use your DJI Phantom drone for FPV piloting. There are quite a few technical steps involved in making this happen, but with the right tools and a bit of patience, it’s possible.

Overview

The DJI FPV is great for several reasons, but it’s certainly not for everyone. It’s not ideal for beginners to fly, so if you’ve never piloted a drone before, you’re better off going with a more traditional model, like the Mavic Pro or the Phantom 4, before diving headfirst into FPV piloting.

PROS:

  • FPV piloting allows you to experience drone flying in an entirely new way
  • 3 different flight modes for a more diverse flight experience
  • Shoots crisp 4K video footage with the option for still photography
  • Ready to fly drone that requires no assembly
  • A great choice for beginners to FPV (although previous piloting with standard drones is recommended)
  • Long maximum flight time compared to other FPV drones (20 minutes)

CONS:

  • High cost, plus additional purchases necessary for accessories, insurance, etc.
  • Wide viewing angle means that front propellers are visible in the footage
  • No folding design and no carrying case included
  • Since the pilot will be wearing FPV goggles, an additional observer/spotter is necessary (no solo flying)

If you’re ready to explore the world of FPV, this drone is an awesome choice. Even if you consider yourself an FPV expert, the Manual flying mode allows you to go fast and try out new stunts while experiencing it all in first-person view.

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About the author

Jack Brown

Jack is the Chief Pilot at MyDroneLab.com bringing experience, expertise and knowledge in this quite new industry. He is a graduate of the Drone/UAV Pilot Training Certificate program and member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Besides having all the necessary technical knowledge when it comes to drones, Jack and his team love to spend the time outside by the ocean, working on new features and teaching others how to pilot these amazing and exciting new robots.

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