I’ve been flying drones for more than a decade and they are some of the most fun technology products I’ve used. While many drones focus on capturing video of the world from above, the FPV drones like the DJI Avata focus on putting you in the experience.
What I love about flying drones is that it lets you reach places we can’t as humans and in FPV, you get as close as you will ever get to the feeling of being a bird. Once you master the controls, you can exploit all 3 axis.
This morning I had some time and decided to visit a location I’ve been wanting to fly for quite while, a local creek surrounded by trees, bushes and more nature. On a very chilly Winter morning, I had a chance to fly through the sky and through the early morning fog.
I’m constantly impressed by the visual quality that is captured by the Avata on a recording, some of which you can enjoy below. As a pilot, the Goggles 2 also provide brilliant quality video from the drone’s camera, right to your eyes.
Having great quality video, delivered with low-latency, gives you a much better chance of spotting obstacles ahead of collisions. As you can see from the video, there were a couple of times I was travelling a little too fast along an unchecked route and clipped some leaves. Thankfully the Avata recovered gracefully without issue and I continued flying without issue.
DJI also offers an even better version, the Goggles Integra which offers micro-OLED displays with 1080p resolution at 100Hz and just 30ms latency.
When you fly the Avata you have a choice between two controllers, the FPV controller, or the DJI Motion Controller. Having flown both, I actually prefer each at different times, this really depends on the objective you’re going for.
With the FPV controller, you can fly in manual mode which allows you to do flips and rolls that aren’t possible with the Motion controller. You can also strafe sideways while turning to combine for a great tracking shot around a subject.
For those who are learning, or just want that point-and-shoot experience, the Motion controller is fantastic. Once paired with the drone, the controller provides what is probably the simplest interface possible, just aim the circle where you want the drone to fly, pull the trigger and the drone flies there. This really feels natural after just a couple of seconds of flying and you quickly gravitate from left and right navigation (lean the controller left and right), to leverage the vertical axis as well.
You can watch a sample video from the Avata below and head to DJI.com for more information.
As always, consult CASA regulations before flying drones in Australia.