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Pho­to: dji.com

Have you always dreamed of being in the cock­pit of a futur­is­tic air­craft, but don’t real­ly want to risk your health? DJI has unveiled a sim­ple and safe option for FPV fly­ing with the DJI FPV Ready Inte­grat­ed Kit, fea­tur­ing a new advanced quad­copter, con­troller and VR gog­gles. We have trans­lat­ed Scott Sim­my’s arti­cle from dronedj.com for you, in which he dis­cuss­es the top ten rea­sons for buy­ing a DJI FPV and four more against.

DJI recent­ly released its inno­v­a­tive FPV drone. (What is FPV will be dis­cussed below — trans­la­tor’s note), and some­one has already man­aged to order a nov­el­ty. We’ll look at a few of the main rea­sons why it might be per­fect for those look­ing to get into the world of FPV fly­ing, and a cou­ple more rea­sons why it might not be for every­one else.

If you already know what FPV is, skip to the next para­graph. FPV (First Per­son View) stands for First Per­son View. There is a cam­era on the front of the drone that sees where it is mov­ing. This image is trans­mit­ted to a pair of gog­gles worn by the pilot (or some­times to a mon­i­tor he/she is watch­ing). Based on infor­ma­tion from the cam­era, the pilot con­trols the drone. It is both a pilot feed­back sys­tem and an amaz­ing sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence that puts you in the cock­pit of the drone. The con­trol process feels like a real flight.

Why is this drone great for some users?

1. Great option for beginners

If you’re look­ing for a way to expe­ri­ence first-per­son flight, DJI has a ver­sa­tile sys­tem that’s hard to com­pete with. This is because in N (Nor­mal) mode you get the pre­dictable and sta­ble flight that DJI quad­copters are known for. With a visu­al observ­er (assis­tant to the main pilot, who watch­es the drone from the side and warns the pilot of pos­si­ble dan­gers — approx. trans­la­tor) near­by, you can fly with peace of mind and receive ultra-clear video trans­mis­sion. An absolute begin­ner will be able to make basic flights on the first day. And as long as the novice pilot shows com­mon sense, the risk that some­thing will go wrong is min­i­mal. Ner­vous? Take your hands off the joy­stick and the drone will just hov­er in place.

2. You don’t need to learn how to solder

Tra­di­tion­al­ly, if you want­ed to jump into the world of FPV, there was a pret­ty big hur­dle to get start­ed. You had to learn how to assem­ble and repair your own drone. You had to fig­ure out how to use the Betaflight Con­fig­u­ra­tor, Open­TX Com­pan­ion, main­tain the bat­tery and many oth­er things. For some, that’s part of the allure of FPV, learn­ing how to build some­thing on your own. But for many, all this seems like an insur­mount­able obsta­cle.

You (obvi­ous­ly) won’t need to build it from scratch… Pho­to: dronedj.com

DJI FPV will prob­a­bly encour­age some peo­ple to learn how to build their own mod­els. But many are inter­est­ed in the flights them­selves, with­out wor­ries and has­sles. This is the most well-inte­grat­ed and ready-to-fly kit you can buy for FPV today.

3. Glasses are simply beautiful

It is unlike­ly that any­one will argue with this. When DJI intro­duced its orig­i­nal FPV sys­tem (gog­gles, cam­era, trans­mit­ter), it took the FPV com­mu­ni­ty by storm. The dig­i­tal trans­mis­sion pro­vid­ed a lev­el of clar­i­ty and detail that had not pre­vi­ous­ly exist­ed in the ana­log world.

This thing cre­ates amaz­ing stream­ing video. Pho­to: dronedj.com

And now the new Gog­gles V2 are even bet­ter. They pro­vide 810p res­o­lu­tion at 120 fps. They have an almost flaw­less recep­tion. The 150-degree field of view is clear and sharp. Plus (and this is sig­nif­i­cant enough) the new V2 glass­es allow you to share your expe­ri­ence. Con­nect your phone via USB‑C, launch the DJI Fly app and see what the pilot sees. The glass­es also work with the lat­est data trans­fer pro­to­col, Ocu­Sync 3.0.

4. Simulator

DJI has a new app, DJI Vir­tu­al Flight, that intro­duces the con­trols and basics of FPV flight. We test­ed it a lit­tle our­selves, and it’s fine. Not as cool as third-par­ty sim­u­la­tors like the Velocidrone, but it’s tight­ly inte­grat­ed with the gog­gles and will help pre­pare those who want to fly in man­u­al (M) mode.

Screen­shot from the free DJI Vir­tu­al Flight sim­u­la­tor. Source: dronedj.com

5. “Emergency brake”

Whether you are a begin­ner or already expe­ri­enced in FPV, this is a use­ful fea­ture. DJI FPV con­trollers (both stan­dard remote and motion con­troller) are equipped with the equiv­a­lent of an emer­gency brake. If some­thing went wrong, one press will make the quad­copter stop and hov­er in the air. This will save some pilots from cost­ly repairs.

If things start to get out of hand, you can save your drone with a quick flip of a switch. Pho­to: dronedj.com

The prob­lem is that this press­ing is stored in mus­cle mem­o­ry, instead of you try­ing to lev­el the drone with the joy­stick at the right time. Either way, it’s a handy fea­ture.

6. Motion controller

We haven’t had time to fig­ure out if the new $199 motion con­troller is going to be the next big thing in drone con­trol. We tried it and it seems to us that it has good poten­tial, but to under­stand for sure, it will take a lit­tle more time. Basi­cal­ly, it pro­vides begin­ners (or expe­ri­enced pilots who like it) with a very intu­itive way to con­trol. Pull the trig­ger to add “throt­tle” and tell the quad­copter where to fly. Yaw, pitch, roll, climb, descent — all this can be done with one hand.

See that big but­ton? Click on it if some­thing goes wrong and the drone will hov­er in the air. Pho­to: dronedj.com

And yes, just like a stan­dard remote con­trol, you have a but­ton for “Emer­gency Brake”.

7. Camera

This com­bo comes out more expen­sive than if you designed every­thing your­self. But it’s also well-inte­grat­ed, and on top of that, you get a very big bonus: you will imme­di­ate­ly have a 4K 60fps cam­era. In a tra­di­tion­al FPV build, pilots have to use two cam­eras, one for POV and one for decent qual­i­ty video. Usu­al­ly a GoPro is used for this, which will cost a few hun­dred more dol­lars on top of the drone itself. The DJI cam­era is already built into the quad­copter and it’s real­ly good. Take a look at the mate­r­i­al from the DJI pro­mo video:

You don’t need to buy an extra cam­era and this should be tak­en into account when com­par­ing costs.

8.ADS‑B

Most manned air­craft (air­planes and heli­copters) in the US must trans­mit infor­ma­tion from their devices using a spe­cial ADS‑B transpon­der. This infor­ma­tion includes the loca­tion of the vehi­cle in space and its head­ing. The DJI sys­tem is equipped with an ADS‑B receiv­er. If an air­craft is approach­ing you, you will receive a noti­fi­ca­tion.

9. Electronic stabilization system RockSteady

In addi­tion to the mechan­i­cal sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem, the drone also uses an elec­tron­ic sys­tem. This saves you the extra step that pilots often have to take when using quad­copters with oth­er action cam­eras. You can drag and drop 4K footage direct­ly into the edit­ing soft­ware.

10. It works right out of the box

In fact, there are oth­er fea­tures that we could add here, such as a lot of sub-menus in the glass­es that allow you to cus­tomize how the drone works and opti­mize the cam­era. We could talk about bat­ter­ies that, although more expen­sive than FPV LiPo bat­tery packs, still pro­vide extend­ed flight time in a very con­ve­nient form fac­tor. Or maybe talk about the Find My Drone fea­ture for one of those inevitable falls in the mid­dle of a huge field (it saves you a lot of nerve cells). Or about front and bot­tom obsta­cle detec­tion sen­sors, GPS and return to home func­tions … And so on.

Very well inte­grat­ed kit

But the real bonus for begin­ners is that every­thing works right out of the box. You will be able to fly on the first day, even if you have nev­er flown a drone (how­ev­er, as we have warned, do not attempt man­u­al M mode until you have learned to fly it in the sim­u­la­tor and are ful­ly com­fort­able with all the con­trols and you will have assis­tant observ­er at the flight site).

Let’s move on to the cons

1. This is not a racing drone

We already talked about this. DJI FPV is not a drone for every­one. And it is def­i­nite­ly not for expe­ri­enced FPV rid­ers. It won’t be as respon­sive as a tight­ly built, ful­ly tuned rac­ing quad­copter. It is fast, but not as fast and agile as one might make it. And if you can make just such a drone, you most like­ly do not fall into the tar­get audi­ence of DJI FPV.

2. He will crash, something will break

Even with all the fail-safe tech­nol­o­gy that DJI has painstak­ing­ly put into this mod­el, there’s a chance you’ll crash or fall in M ​​mode if you’re not already a very expe­ri­enced FPV pilot. And in this case, some­thing can break. Maybe the pro­pellers, maybe the frame.

In a tra­di­tion­al FPV hang­out, you just pick up what’s bro­ken and go home to fix it. In the case of a DJI device, you will order spare parts from DJI and wait. Dur­ing this time, you will not be able to fly and it will prob­a­bly cost more than self-repair using impro­vised means.

3. It is not customizable

Yes, you will be able to cus­tomize some things through the built-in menu in the glass­es. But it is unlike­ly that you will be able to cus­tomize the quad­copter using var­i­ous motors, elec­tron­ic speed con­trollers, etc. If you like to mod­i­fy and cus­tomize your devices, it is bet­ter to learn how to build your own drone your­self.

4. Extra batteries cost a lot

Com­pared to stan­dard 6s LiPo bat­ter­ies, DJI FPV bat­ter­ies are not cheap. If you buy an addi­tion­al Fly More kit, you will get a small dis­count, but it is much more expen­sive than the stan­dard kit. Bat­ter­ies give up to 20 min­utes of flight, keep this in mind.

In truth, we could name more than four cons, but most of them would be from peo­ple in the cur­rent FPV com­mu­ni­ty. The crit­i­cism is quite fair, from their per­spec­tive.

But this drone is more for FPV new­bies who want to take the first big step. If you want to build your own quad­copter, start with YouTube tuto­ri­als and then build your own kit. For those who don’t mind pay­ing a lit­tle extra, the DJI kit offers every­thing you need to start fly­ing right away.

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