DJI has taken flight enthusiasts by storm with the release of its latest drone, the DJI Avata. This marvel of technology is the company’s second FPV (first-person-view) and its first cinewhoop-style drone. In this comprehensive review, we’ll take you on a journey through the skies, exploring the features, capabilities, and overall experience of the DJI Avata.
Unpacking the DJI Avata Experience
DJI’s Avata – A Game Changer
When you unbox the DJI Avata, the first thing that strikes you is the smart and streamlined design. It’s clear that DJI is determined to make FPV flying accessible to everyone. The Avata boasts a plethora of features and a sturdy build, all in an out-of-the-box solution. This is DJI’s way of beckoning beginners into the thrilling world of immersive flying.
The Thrill of FPV and Cinewhoop Flying
Flying FPV and cinewhoop drones is all about the thrill of navigating through tight spaces and executing daring aerobatic maneuvers. Imagine performing flips and rolls while capturing breathtaking video footage. With the DJI Avata and its face-mounted display, known as Goggles 2, you’re not just watching the action – you’re living it. It’s like being in the front row at the movies during an exhilarating chase scene.
A Shift in Accessibility
Before DJI introduced its first FPV drone in March 2021, flying this type of drone required mastering a complex set of skills. Traditional FPV drones lack the automated controls that make flying a breeze, a feature that DJI’s FPV drones offer. DJI’s models eliminate the need for configuring cameras, motors, radio frequencies, and remote controls, all of which were common challenges with previous FPV solutions.
DJI has listened to user feedback and addressed the shortcomings of its first FPV drone with the Avata. At 410 grams (14.46 ounces) and dimensions of 180x180x80mm (7.09×7.09×3.15 inches), it’s half the weight and size of its predecessor. Thanks to its compact frame and built-in propeller guards, the Avata can withstand most crashes without the need for extensive repairs. The camera has been upgraded to a 48MP sensor, capable of shooting stunning 4K/60p and 2.7K/120p video.
The Avata is not just a drone; it’s a confidence booster. DJI has designed an aerodynamic marvel that encourages users to spread their wings without the fear of starting from scratch.
Is It the Right Choice for You?
Who’s it For?
An FPV drone that’s ready to fly out of the box is a perfect match for beginners. If you’ve invested time in building and customizing your own FPV system, the Avata might not be your cup of tea. It’s essential to note that the Avata is slightly larger than most cinewhoop FPV drones, and the DIY crowd might be tempted by other camera offerings.
Ideal for Wide-Open Adventures
If your dream is to explore mountains, coastlines, and open spaces without the worry of losing your drone, the Avata is tailor-made for you. GPS and GLONASS, features rarely found in other FPV setups, ensure safer flights. The solid propeller guards on the Avata provide added protection, but high-speed crashes can still result in damage.
For those already accustomed to DJI’s functionality and features, the Avata offers a seamless transition. Integrating FPV footage with cinematic clips from other DJI drones becomes a breeze due to similar color profiles.
We had the opportunity to test the DJI Avata Pro-View Combo, which includes the drone, Goggles 2, and the handheld Motion Controller. DJI also offers a Fly Smart Combo that includes the original Goggles V2. The Fly More kit enhances your experience with two extra Intelligent Flight batteries and a charging hub.
The Goggles 2, smaller and more comfortable than their V2 predecessor, introduce a touch panel for easy settings adjustment. Inter-pupillary distance (IPD) knobs and micro-OLED screens ensure a customized and clear view.
The Motion Controller, fitting comfortably in your hand, offers an alternative way to operate the Avata. It’s perfect for launching, braking, and accelerating. To access full Manual Mode for flips and rolls, you’ll need DJI’s FPV Remote Controller 2, a versatile tool with immediate access to essential features.
Capturing the World from Above
Photos and Video
The Avata’s camera is a beast with its 48MP sensor, fixed F2.8 aperture, and 155º field of view. RockSteady and HorizonSteady Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) technology ensures smooth video footage. While it might not satisfy professional photographers, the Avata excels in capturing stunning video. It can shoot at resolutions up to 4K/60p and 2.7K/100p with the Goggles 2, and even more with the FPV Goggles V2. D-Cinelike color mode, though limited to 8-bit, provides post-processing flexibility.
Capturing the Moment
The camera offers 16:9 and 4:3 ratios for photos and videos. Shutter speed and ISO can be manually adjusted, and the exposure can be fine-tuned in Auto mode. You might notice the front propeller guards entering the frame at certain angles.
Smooth Sailing with the App
The App, Obstacle Avoidance, and Flight Modes
DJI’s Fly app simplifies your experience with the Avata. You’ll find Camera settings, a Shortcut menu, and the main menu easily accessible. Thanks to built-in propeller guards, obstacle detection sensors on the bottom determine safe landing conditions.
The Avata offers three flight modes:
- Normal (N) Mode: Limited to 28.8 kph (about 18 mph) for safe, easy flights.
- Sport (S) Mode: Nearly doubles the speed for more adventurous flying.
- Manual (M) Mode: For flips and rolls, activated with the FPV Remote Controller 2.
Practice is crucial before venturing into Manual Mode. N and S modes allow you to brake and hover, ensuring a safer experience. M Mode, on the other hand, removes all restrictions.