While operating FPV drones remains an incredible skill that requires reflexes, patience and lots of money for expensive drone equipment, the DJI Avata makes the elusive art of FPV drone flight a little more accessible to the masses. .
DJI is on top of the world, metaphorically and literally. Not only does the company absolutely dominate the drone market (despite the pricing and restrictions caused by geopolitics), but it has also managed to fill every void in the drone category, from the needs of beginners to seasoned FPV racers and even film professionals. Plus, the company’s latest drone, Avata, is literally a top flight for a fairly affordable budget of $629.
FPV drones are simply built differently than cinematic drones. They are made for speed, split-second reflexes and are much more powerful than the average drone. It also makes them a lot more expensive (last year’s DJI FPV drone started at $1,299), but DJI is determined to democratize them. The Avata is the company’s flagship “consumer-grade” FPV drone, designed for hobbyists as well as seasoned flyers. It’s fast, capable, and has an incredible camera, but it’s also heavy, sturdy, and built to take a few bruises.
Unlike cinematic drones, FPV drones are designed using a separate model. Since they focus more on forward flight rather than upward flight, drones are designed with the fact that they are perpetually leaning forward in mind. To that end, the Avata comes (like most FPV drones) with a front-mounted camera, rather than underneath. The camera sits on a stabilizer and the drone itself is modeled after the popular quadcopter format, although the Avata’s propellers are fitted with fairly substantial propeller guards to prevent permanent damage to the drone’s wings. This sturdy build adds to the weight of the Avata, bringing it up to 410 grams (meaning it will need to be registered with the FAA before flying it around the location).
The DJI Avata sports a 48-megapixel 1/1.7-type sensor capable of delivering 4K shots at 60fps, or even shooting at 120fps but at a reduced resolution. The lens on the front features a wide 155 degree FoV that captures more than the human eye can see, sending all of those images with just a 30ms lag to the drone’s headset so the ‘pilot’ can react instantly when the drone crosses its path. The Avata comes with 18 minutes of flight time, which might not seem like much, but at these speeds, 18 minutes can get you a fair amount of distance. In fact, the Avata drone can transmit video to the glasses up to distances of 10 kilometers.
The drone, aside from the build and the camera, is also a pretty impressive little beast. It comes with two sensors on its underside that can help detect obstacles, enabling low-level flight and also allowing it to detect when it’s over water (so it doesn’t accidentally land on it). The drone also has a stop and hover function that allows it to brake instantly in the air to avoid the risk of a frontal collision.
When capturing footage, Avata’s RockSteady 2.0 and HorizonSteady capabilities help stabilize footage and keep your horizon relatively, well, horizontal (preventing the video from tilting dramatically while the drone is flying). inclined). Like its predecessor (the more expensive DJI FPV), the Avata offers 3 flight modes – Normal, Manual and Sport. It is compatible with the DJI Goggles 2 headset and can even be controlled using the intuitive motion controller of the previous FPV drone. Only the drone itself starts at $629, though you won’t get a proprietary remote, goggles, or motion controller at that price. For the full trim, be prepared to shell out up to $1388, which includes all the bells and whistles. It’s still relatively cheaper than the DJI FPV, and far more capable than anything you can build in your own workshop…
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