Many types of drones, including the FPV drone, have become really popular for recreational uses – taking pictures, capturing videos, and making vlogs. And it’s proven to be just as useful for commercial and industrial applications too. But there’s a large group of people out there for whom flying a drone is all about the aerial experience and soaring heights.
What if you could observe all that firsthand, and not just through your phone’s screen? That’s what a First Person View (FPV) drone is for, as it lets you see the world through the eyes of your drone.
The Thrill of Flying FPV Drones
We often gasp at the beauty of cinematic shots captured by drones. But when you’re flying an FPV drone, that excitement gets multiplied ten-fold, as it feels like you’re actually sitting on the drone and riding it.
The controls can take a bit getting used to for first-time FPV drones faster, but once you get the hang of it, you’re in for an unforgettable ride. Instead of just flying the drone, you can fly with the drone thanks to FPV technology.
DJI FPV Drone – Overview
DJI launched their FPV drone for people to experience their flight firsthand. The DJI FPV package comes with a complete set of drones, controllers, and FPV goggles. The makers have put a lot of thought into this drone, adding many super cool features, which we’ll discuss later in detail.
FPV drones are not as common as standard camera drones, so you won’t find many options. Many drone enthusiasts purchase drones, controllers, and goggles separately and then sync them together to make their own FPV kit. But DJI is offering everything ready-made in a single package. No need for calibrations and setups. You can get into the FPV experience as soon as your drone is out of the box.
Now let’s check out all of the drone’s components and features.
DJI FPV Drone Features and Specifications
There’s a lot to talk about DJI’s FPV drone, but the first thing we’ll say is that it’s crazy fast – its maximum speed is about 87 mph (140 km/h)! Expert drone pilots can perform complex manoeuvres at high speeds with this drone, all the while watching everything first hand with their own eyes. But this is not the only impressive thing about DJI FPV, so let’s take a look at all its features in detail.
DJI FPV sports a high-resolution camera capable of recording 4K videos at 60 fps. The camera faces front and only moves vertically, which is better for a stable first-person view. It has a wide 150° field of vision to get a clear view of the surroundings. The gimbal mechanism and DJI’s RockSteady technology ensure that the footage is clear and relatively stable even when the drone is moving and turning at high speeds.
DJI FPV is designed for high performance and not convenience. It’s a bit heavier and bigger compared to DJI’s other compact models. And it isn’t foldable and portable like the Mavic Air. But the overall look of this drone is quite stylish and futuristic.
It’s not made to just look good; the body structure is designed with aerodynamic considerations to offer maximum wind resistance and make the flight controls easier and natural. Even though it’s not a portable drone, the various parts such as the outer shell and propellers can be dismantled easily, making it convenient to replace parts if needed. You can readily purchase spare parts from DJI and replace them yourself.
DJI FPS uses digital transmission with its OcuSync technology. The benefit of digital transmission? It gives you a longer range, which is evident with this drone as its transmission range extends up to 10 km, which is quite fascinating. And don’t worry about the latency, as the time gap between what happens with the drone and what you see through the goggles is just 28 ms. It’s not perfectly real-time, but the difference is so minimal that it works like real-time transmission, and you’ll be able to fly the drone very well through the first-person view.
You remember how we said DJI FPV is a relatively heavier drone? Well, the battery weighing around 300g (about 0.66 lbs) significantly contributes to the drone’s weight. But that’s understandable, as the 2000 mAh battery is quite powerful and offers a maximum flight time of 20 minutes. It may be less than camera drones like DJI’s Phantom or Mavic, but for an FPV drone, it’s impressive that it can offer more than 15 minutes of flight time, something you won’t find in most FPV drones.
Safety Features – Obstacle Sensors and Emergency Stop
DJI has added two safety features to their drones – obstacle sensors that work to prevent collisions and an emergency stop button that immediately brings the drone to a halt and hovers when pressed. The emergency button is perfect for times when you lose control of the drone. It’s easily accessible on the controller, so you can react quickly when things get out of your hands.
The sensors are placed at the front and bottom, and when these sensors detect obstacles or possible collision, they sharply reduce the drone’s speed so you can have better control and comfortably dodge the obstacle.
Flight and Speed
We’ve come to the point where we’ll talk about what can be considered as the strongest feature of DJI FPV drone – hair-raising speeds and intuitive flight modes. We’ve already mentioned that the maximum speed this drone can achieve is 87 mph. But the speed actually varies based on the drone’s three flight modes, as explained below:
Normal Mode Or N Mode
The normal mode is designed for beginners and inexperienced FPV pilots. In this mode, the collision avoidance sensors remain active, and the maximum speed is restricted to 50 km/h (about 30 mph). The function of the sensors to significantly slow down the drone when there’s a possibility of collision happens only in the N mode. So you’ll be flying safe and can still enjoy decent speeds. After all, 30 mph is still quite fast and thrilling, even more so when you’re in the first-person view.
Sport Mode Or M Mode
Sport mode is for intermediate pilots, and it creates a sort of nice balance between speed and safety. It unlocks greater speeds compared to the N mode and also tunes down the safety features a bit. In S mode, the maximum speed is increased to 97 km/h (about 60 mph), so you can fly at an exhilarating pace. The sensors will now only flash a warning on google’s screen if there’s a near collision incidence, but it won’t slow down the drone. It’s actually good for the flight experience, but only if you know what you’re doing.
So, enjoy greater control over your FPV flight with the sport mode but be careful as the obstacle-avoiding sensors won’t do much for you except give you a quick warning.
Manual Mode Or M Mode
The manual mode puts autonomous safety features in the back seat and puts complete control of the drone into your hands. The sensors don’t function in M mode, so you get no warnings, no automatic deceleration. Every inch of the drone’s flight and movement will be under your control, and the maximum speed of 140 km/h (87 mph) will be unlocked.
Needless to say, manual mode is for expert drone pilots and people. People who participate in drone racing are surely going to love flying in the M mode. When your drone is zooming past trees and fields at above 80 mph, watching everything in FPV is going to be exciting beyond words! Raw, unrestricted, superfast sky soaring experience – that’s what the M mode is all about. Proceed at your own risk, though. If you’re not a highly experienced drone pilot and relatively new to FPV flight, it is better not to mess with the manual mode, or you may end up uniting your drone with a tree or pole in a rather unpleasant way. But if your flight skill is as good as it gets, you’ll be taken aback by the liberating and adrenaline-pumping experience of flying in manual mode.
Apart from these three flight modes, the Return to Home (RTH) feature is also included in DJI FPV.
The DJI FPV package consists of the drone, a controller, and the FPV goggles. The controller is easy to use, and all buttons are within finger reach. The goggles aren’t exactly the most comfortable thing you’ll be wearing, but you won’t be wearing them for too long considering the drone’s battery life, so comfort really isn’t an issue.
The straps and distance between google’s screens are adjustable, so it will fit all head sizes, not perfectly, but good enough to keep it adequately placed on your head while you immerse in the first person view.
There’s also a motion controller that makes it super easy to fly and control the drone. It’ll come in handy for novices but needs to be purchased separately.
DJI FPV is priced at $1,299, and this includes the drone with one battery, goggles, and remote controller.
Additional accessories that you can purchase separately include:
- Fly more kit (2 extra batteries and a charging hub) – $299
- Motion Controller – $199
You can order DJI FPV from the Amazon.
DJI FPV Drone – Pros and Cons
- Highly immersive FPV flight experience
- Able to fly at superfast speeds
- High-resolution 4K camera, obstacle detection sensors
- Impressive battery life for an FPV drone
- Low latency transmission, up to 10km range
- Different flight modes with varying stages of safety and speed for users at all levels of drone flight proficiency
- Easily replaceable parts make it convenient to repair
- Heavy and bigger
- Doesn’t have a lot of automatic flight modes
Coming from a reputed drone maker like DJI, we didn’t expect anything less from the DJI FPV drone. Sure, you’ll miss the autonomous flight modes, and it’s a bit heavy and clunky. But this drone is designed for unmatched FPV experience, and it does an excellent job at that.
If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to fly a manned aircraft at high speed and view the scenes from above, DJI FPV is your best shot at experiencing that without having to get an actual pilot license. See the world through the eyes of your drone and fly like a speeding bullet with the DJI FPV.