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