This review is looking at the new DJI FPV, reviewing all the features and specs and what it means for you. The FPV is a revolution in drone design and boasts a lot of new features for an optimal experience.
At the end of this review you will be able to make up your mind if this drone is something for you or not, whether you ‘re a photographer, tourist or drone racer.
DJI FPV Introduction:
The DJI FPV is different from other drones, and here ‘s why. Most DJI drones have a standard setup of 4 engines and a gimbal camera hanging underneath, when taking off it will give you any view from straight ahead to straight down and sideways, with the engines roaring above it to stay out of the view. Not this one! At first view it’s already clear that the drone will fly like a regular drone but also at an angle for optimal speed and manoeuvrability, it is this feature that links with awesome flight possibilities for racing at high speeds trough the landscape in combination with the FPV goggles that come standard with every FPV.
Seasoned drone pilots being used to the Phantom and Mavic will know perfectly well how to have the most fun using all the flight modes to the max, but these have their limits. The Mavic 2 Pro & the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 for example both have a top speed under perfect conditions of 72 km/h which is pretty fast … at least you think it is! The FPV has a top speed of a stunning 140 km/h, ideal for racing and action video production. Where most of the other drones have standard flight mode of staying horizontal, the FPV is designed for unlimited flights, from barrel rolls to loopings and much more, experienced pilots will be able to unlock their creativity using the M-mode unlimited flight options. Of course this new drone takes time to get used to, this is why DJI recommends a training program before you start to fly at top speeds, the drone features 3 flight modes for you to gradually get used to its options and flight controls. For easing into it, DJI will send you the regular remote control together with the FPV goggles with every FPV and they recommend to start getting used to the drone first with the regular remote control, especially when you have no previous experience with goggle flights, later you could switch to the second control option, the Motion controller.
An overview of the DJI FPV features:
Standard content of the FPV-package (based on the DJI FPV combo for 1349 euro on DJI.com):
- 1 FPV drone
- 1 FPV intelligent flight battery
- 4 pairs of propellers
- 1 Gimbal protector
- 1 Top Shell (that can be personalised by the user and replaced when damaged without having to send it back for repair)
- 1 DJI FPV remote controller
- 1 pair of spare control sticks
- 1 DJI FPV Goggles V2
- 4 DJI FPV Goggles Antenna (Dual Band)
- 1 DJI FPV Goggles battery
- 1 Goggles power cable
- 1 Goggles Headband
- 1 Goggles Foam padding
- 1 AC power adapter
- 1 AC power cable
- 1 USB-C Data cable
- 1 USB-C OTG cable
*Optional is the DJI Motion Controller that gives you the added possibility to control the drone with one hand, use it like a joystick to control your drone … finally we know why you ‘ve spent all those hours on all those videogames in the past right?
Flight time: Probably the only limit to this drone, only 20 minutes, compared to the 30 minutes of most other drones this is a bit on the low side, however when you fly in M-mode this can be exhausting and you probably won’t last longer than 20 minutes before you need some rest!
Wind resistance: 39-49 km/h, compared to the 29-38 for the Mavic 2 Pro (similar size) this is significantly better.
Video Transmission range: Up to 10km, similar to other DJI drones.
Camera: 12 MP camera providing high quality photos and 4K video, similar to other DJI drones. The difference here is that this drone wasn’t designed for higher quality image but rather for faster and more exciting experiences, resulting in a camera that unlike the Mavic 2 Pro doesn’t have the ability to use RAW format, a small negative point for the die-hard photographers. However, it has a wide angle of 150° and a framerate of 120 fps that allows high speed video capture.
Flight modes: The FPV features 3 flight modes combined with 2 ways to control the drone. N-mode, S-mode and M-mode. These will be explained later in this review. The 2 ways of controlling the drone are the standard remote controller and the DJI Motion controller, these will be explained later in this review as well.
Speed: This is probably where the FPV excels, as mentioned earlier, most other DJI drones have a top speed of 65 (Mavic Pro) to 72 km/h (Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 and Mavic 2 Pro), however since the FPV was designed for optimal experience, DJI decided to power the FPV forward at a fantastic top speed of a whopping 140 km/h, this speed can be limited by using N-mode to 54 km/h for safety and learning how to control the drone (recommended in the beginning).
Ascend speed: Compared to the 5m/s (18km/h)ascend speed of the Mavic 2 Pro, the FPV has a stunning ascend speed of 15m/s (54km/h) in S-mode and unlimited (whatever that means?) in M-mode.
Maximum ceiling above sea level: This drone can rise up to 6000m high, identical to the Mavic 2 Pro.
Maximum range: 16km, similar to the 18km of the Mavic 2 Pro.
Acceleration: The drone has a stunning acceleration from 0 to 100km/h of just 2 seconds, that is sportscar acceleration!
Dimensions and weight: This is a light drone, while the Mavic series was designed to be compact and the Mavic 2 Pro weighs in at only 907g, the FPV is even lighter at 795g. While the Mavic has the advantage of being foldable, the FPV is not, however it is still small at only 255x312x127mm with props and only 178x232x127mm without props.
DJI FPV Prices and packages:
The DJI FPV is on the market for 719 Euros, however this is “drone only” so you will need to decide what kind of controller you want with the Goggles V2 (these will set you back another 659 euro by the way) and the standard remote controller & Motion controller both cost 149 euro.
However, the best option would be the combo-pack at $1299.99 (see above for content). And the Fly More Kit of 2 extra batteries and charger for 3 batteries is only 279 euro, handy when on remote assignments.
Another interesting extra is the 2 extra Top Shells for only 15 euro, the set consists of 1 eternal green and 1 void grey shell, creatives can customise their shell to make their drone stand out from the crowd!
DJI offers a set of corrective lenses for people with degraded eyesight for only 22 euro. You can also purchase a “DJI Care Refresh” plan for 169 or 199 euro, depending on the terms & conditions.
You can buy the DJ FPV packages from Amazon by clicking here.
You can buy the DJI FPV drone packages directly from DJI by clicking here
The FPV offer 3 flight modes and DJI recommends starting easy with the N-mode in order to get used to the drone before moving on to S-mode and M-mode.
N-mode: The best way to ease into this new way of flying. If you have always flown your drone with a standard remote control and this is your first time using an FPV drone, best is to ease in so you get used to it, the N-mode limits your speed and is ideal for new users, it offers all the traditional flight controls and the well known DJI safety features like obstacle sensing. This is also the best mode when you need calm steady video or for still photography. This mode feels like any other traditional DJI drone.
S-mode: This mode will still limit your speed but not as much as N-mode, experience full manoeuvrability of the FPV and get the signature dynamic FPV footage with ease. S-mode is a hybrid flight mode that combines traditional simplified flight controls of previous drones with the higher speed and more possibilities of the FPV, perfect for the more seasoned pilot.
M-mode: Of course, we saved the best for last with M-mode! M-mode offers the complete and unlimited possibilities of the FPV, limitless control and full FPV flight experience, this is the real deal, only for well trained pilots of course … now we know why we all played those videogames as a child, right? … as this mode will give you the full 140 km/h speed and maximum acceleration from 0 to 100 in just 2 seconds! You can customize your parameters and only your own creativity will limit you to create stunning flight video in full quality! Words cannot describe how your videos will look, just try it and you ‘ll be sold!
Traditional flight controls make sure you can easily switch from a traditional drone to the FPV, even if your previous drone experience was not with a DJI drone, you will still be able to make an easy transition as most drones use similar flight controls. The added novelty of using goggles instead of a traditional screen on the remote or an attached smartphone is pretty much the only difference. When new to this it is best to start with these traditional flight controls by using the standard manual controller combined with N-mode for maximum safety.
If you have ever played games on well-known game stations like Wii etc. you know all about motion control, whether you play a digital game pretending to hold a tennis racket in hour hand and controlling it with your Motion controller or you fly a drone with that same controller, there is no real difference, it’s all about learning to move something with wrist, the controller senses every movement and relays it instantly to the FPV drone, that way you can really unlock the limitless flight possibilities of this high-speed drone. Capture the most amazing video by taking full advantage of the Motion controller using only your hand movements for controlling the drone. Combines with the unlimited possibilities of M-mode, you will be able to do anything you want in your video.
DJI FPV GPS system:
The FPV is just like any other DJI drone equipped with a GPS system, this can become very important when the pilot is not familiar with the location, you don’t always have the possibility to explore the entire terrain before the flight and the GPS functions as a safety feature as well, especially when flying at some distance from the actual pilot. More about this in safety and legislation.
FPV flight distance:
In windless conditions, the FPV has a maximum flight distance of 16.8 km, however it is not recommended to fly your drone to the limit of its capabilities, for safety.
FPV height limit:
The FPV can go stunning 6000 meters high, although this is extraordinary, do beware that the sky is full of other machines! From commercial aircraft, military planes and private recreational planes to other drones, and don’t forget nature, birds and insects could be dangerous for your drone as well. On top of that, in most countries there are limits to what is allowed. More about this later.
Safety features and return home:
Safety is the most important thing on your mind when flying a drone, don’t be a cowboy and beware of all that can go wrong! Powerful drones like most of the DJI drones can inflict serious damage to property and serious injury to people or animals, beware not to fly close to people and public or private infrastructure. The FPV features and Emergency Brake and Hover function, just in case when something unexpected happens, a very important thing to know when flying this drone, even for an expert, flying in manual FPV mode is intimidating, so this function will make the drone stop and hover in mere seconds and works in any flight mode at any time.
The advanced safety features of the FPV range from the well known “return to home” function, using the GPS to automatically return to the home position quick and easy. Low battery notification also triggers the return to home function and can be customized in the settings before flight. It will make sure that the drone returns home whenever the battery reaches a set low charge, since the flight time of the FPV is a bit lower that most other DJI drones at about 20 minutes, this feature can become very important when flying it to the limit of its capabilities (not recommended).
Obstacle sensing will prevent accidents and damage to both the drone and foreign objects like buildings or people, even at high speeds, the forward and downward obstacle sensing will ensure a safe flight, nevertheless it is recommended to remain free of people and infrastructure or natural elements as rocks, trees and water.
When speaking about other flying objects, this drone is also equipped with the new ADS-B system, this receives information about airplanes and helicopters that transmit an ADS-B signal, and sends the information directly to your goggles so you have time to avoid any collision. Whenever the signal is lost, the FPV will immediately enable the fail-safe return to home function.
The battery of the FPV needs to be pretty powerful to power a drone to the speeds of the FPV, even this very powerful battery has its limits, unlike most DJI drone that have a flight time of about 30 minutes, the FPV has a significantly lower flight time at only 20 minutes, this is largely due to the high performance of this drone, double the speed and unlimited flight possibilities demand more power.
Secondly your remote and goggles also need power to function,
Now here a downer! Although the FPV has stunning unlimited flight capabilities, this doesn’t mean you can just switch it on and take off … unfortunately! Well, we all know why there is a legislation, it’s to prevent collisions between commercial airplanes and your average consumer drone, although DJI has built in a stunning amount of safety features, this doesn’t mean other drone manufacturers do the same, you can buy a very basic plastic toy drone for 50 euro these days, these may not last long but more importantly, the low price means they are not equipped like these high-end DJI drones, a child can play with it and unknowingly cause a lot of damage. This is why there is a legislation and DJI recommends to always check local legislation first before planning any flight.
Cuba for example forbids any drone from entering the country and they confiscate any drone they find at the airport when coming into the country. Singapore has a clear defined legislation of basic rules to follow when operating any kind of drone. DJI has most of the world covered in the control GPS system and will automatically refuse to take off at any no-fly zone like airports and military zones, but you still need to check local rules before starting any flight!
Europe used to be a mess for drone pilots, every country has its own regulations and trainings, basically forcing you to take the training in every country separately … luckily this has recently changed!
Since the 1st of January 2021 there is a new European drone legislation, the basic training and certificate are the same, the same rules apply to all countries of the European Union although subtle changes may apply in certain areas like military zones or cities. The upside is that this legislation is clearly defined and easy to understand.
The downside is the limits … the DJI FPV is like the Phantom 4 and Mavic series mostly located in the open category A2 C2, this will allow a maximum flying altitude of 120 meters, seriously limiting the FPV capabilities, you can’t fly over assemblies of people and on top of that it only allows “visual line of sight” flights, only allowing goggle flights in certain conditions, seriously limiting the FPV flyers in Europe.
The FPV is compatible with the most popular memory cards, it uses a standard microSD card slot that supports mSD cards up to 256 GB at speed grade 3.
Audience? What to they mean by that? Well this function gives you the possibility to share your footage in real time with someone else, simply connect another V2 goggles to your drone and that person will be able to follow your stunts in real time during the entire flight, this person will see exactly the same as the pilot.
An extra feature is the DJI Fly App, this offers the possibility to connect a smartphone during your flight, allowing you to instantly share and stream your flight on social media etc. or give more people to opportunity to follow your flight right beside you! You can basically be the master of your own private mini cinema … lol!
The other feature of the app is accurate logging of flight and image or video locations by mapping them trough GPS, this way you can keep a record of your previous flights and photos or videos.
The 4K video quality combined with standard 60 fps speed will already give you fantastic views, combine this with the all new “Rocksteady EIS technology” for stabilization and you ‘ll see your videos pop out in the ever growing online offer of drone videos. Even when shooting unlimited dynamic footage!
For all this quality and dynamic shooting you need some serious transmission speed, that’s why the FPV features a Video Transmission Latency of maximum 28ms, a transmission distance of 10km and a bitrate of 50mbps to give you optimal results.