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FPV FOR EVERYONE: DJI FPV drone specifications, features, FAQ, unboxing: Should you buy it? (updated: March 29, 2021)

DJI FPV is the world's first GPS-assisted FPV drone
DJI FPV is the world's first GPS-assisted FPV drone

DJI FPV ($1299) is a hybrid FPV drone that combines the ease of use of a photography drone and the gracefulness of a freestyle drone.  If you are a beginner to FPVs, you might be wondering what makes this drone different from Mavic or other drones from DJI?  How does it differ from other FPV drones?  What are its disadvantages?  Does it comply with FAA restrictions?  Should you buy it?  Here are its specifications, features, an unboxing and FAQ.

Here is the product video:

Here are sample videos:

Here are the specifications and features (correction: price is $1299)

DJI FPV Specifications

AIRCRAFT SPECIFICATIONS
Takeoff weight795 grams
Dimensions with propellers255 x 312 x 127 mm
Dimensions without propellers178 x 232 x 127 mm
Diagonal length245 mm
Propeller size5.5 inches diameter
Power6S
Maximum speed140 kmh
Acceleration0-100 kmh in 2 seconds
Maximum altitude6000 meters
Maximum flight time20 minutes
Maximum hover time16 minutes
Maximum flight distance (but see controller distance)16.8 km
Maximum wind speed39-49 kmh
GPS antennasGPS + GLONASS + Galileo
Hovering accuracy+/- 0.1m vertical, 0.3m horizontal with Vision positioning.
+/- 0.5m vertical and +/-1.5m horizontal
StorageMicro SD up to 256 GB
CAMERA SPECIFICATIONS
Sensor1/2.3 inch 12mp CMOS
Lens focal length150 degrees FOV
equivalent to 14.66 mm focal length
Focal distance0.6m to infinity, fixed focus
Aperturef/2.8
ISO100 to 12800
Shutter speed1/50 to 1/8000
Photo resolution3840 x 2160 JPG
Video resolution3840 x 2160 @ 60fps or 1920 x 1080 at 120 fps
Video formatH.264, H.265
Video bitrate120 mbps
Color profilesStandard or D-Cinelike
StabilizationRocksteady EIS
Distortion correctionYes
GIMBAL
Type1-axis (tilt) + electronic roll axis
Controllable Range-50 degrees to 58 degrees
Mechanical range-65 degrees to 70 degrees
Maximum speed60 degrees / second
Electronic roll stabilizationYes up to 10 degrees tilt angle
SENSORS
Forward range0.5 to 18 meters
Downward vision sensor range0.5 to 30 meters
Downward TOF sensing height10 meters
VIDEO TRANSMISSION
Frequency2.4 Ghz and 5.8 Ghz
Bandwidthup to 40 Mhz
LatencyHQ mode: 40ms.
Low latency mode: 28ms.
Maximum video bitrate50 mbps
Range10 km (FCC) or 6 km (CE)
DJI FPV GOGGLES V2
Weight420 grams
Dimensions with antennas202 x 126 x 110 mm
Dimensions without antennas184 x 122 x 110 mm
Screen size2 inches each
Refresh rate144 hz
Field of view30 to 54 degreez
Interpupillary distance adjustment58 to 70 mm
StorageMicro SD up to 256GB
DJI FPV REMOTE CONTROLLER
Frequency2.4 Ghz , 5.8 Ghz
Range10km (FCC), 6km (CE)
Weight346 grams
Battery life9 hours
Charging time2.5 hours

UNBOXING

What's in the box? DJI FPV includes the drone, goggles, controller, and other accessories
What’s in the box? DJI FPV includes the drone, goggles, controller, and other accessories

DJI FPV Features and Disadvantages

DJI FPV vs Mavic and other DJI drones: advantages and disadvantages

  • FPV perspective: Conventional FPV drones such as the Mavic, Mavic Air, or Mavic Mini are designed to be flown with a smartphone or tablet on the controller.  With the DJI FPV drone, you wear FPV goggles that show the perspective from the drone itself.  This might not seem like a major difference but after just a couple of minutes, it creates a feeling as if you yourself are flying.  This illusion makes the experience far more immersive.

  • Maneuverability:  FPV drones are capable of maneuvering in ways that are not possible on conventional photography-oriented drones.  For example, they can execute barrel rolls or fly straight up or straight down.  The DJI FPV can capture amazing angles that would not be possible for photography drones.  At the same time, with GPS assistance, it can also capture some shots that are challenging for normal FPV drones, such as a smooth orbit.

  • Nausea:  Because you will feel as if you are flying, you may feel nausea or discomfort.  It is not recommended for those who are prone to motion sickness.  Personally, I’m not very prone to motion sickness, but on FPV I do feel nausea after about 15 minutes of flying.  On the other hand, other users who are prone to motion sickness experience no discomfort.

  • Limited visibility:  With the Mavic or other photography drone, you can see the drone and see what is around it.  When you are wearing FPV goggles with the DJI FPV drone, you cannot see around the drone.  You can only see the drone camera’s perspective.  For safety, you should have a spotter who can watch the drone itself as you fly it.

DJI FPV vs other FPV drones:

  • Ease of use: the biggest difference between DJI FPV and other FPV drones is widely expected to be far easier to fly because it will very likely have GPS-assisted flight.  Conventional FPV drones are almost completely manual and take at least weeks if not months to learn.  With GPS, DJI FPV would be as easy to fly as a regular photography drone.

  • Obstacle avoidance:  Unlike normal FPV drones, DJI FPV has front and bottom sensors for obstacle sensing in “N” (normal) mode.  This can help reduce the possibility of crashes but it will not prevent crashes completely.  Front obstacle sensing is not available in S (sport) or M (manual) modes.

  • Camera Stabilization:  With a normal FPV drone, the camera does not move during the flight.  The DJI FPV drone has a 1-axis gimbal that lets the camera pivot up or down.  This means that angle of your view can be stabilized regardless of the speed at which you are flying, unlike a normal FPV drone where the angle of your view changes depending on how fast or slow you are flying it.  It also has electronic roll stabilization to keep the horizon level.

  • NEW! Motion controller for intuitive flying: DJI FPV has an optional motion controller accessory that enables you to fly by using intuitive controls that control both the aircraft and the camera.  tilt forward or backward to pitch down or up, tilt to the right or left to yaw quickly.  You can also twist it left or right to adjust yaw gradually.  The motion controller cannot control the roll.  Instead, the drone will make coordinated turns with both yaw and roll.  The motion controller only works in Normal or Sport mode.  It does not work for manual mode.

DJI FPV motion controller
DJI FPV motion controller
  • NEW! Cruise control: DJI FPV has a unique flying mode called cruise control that will maintain a minimum speed (it will not hover in place), similar to flying a fixed wing plane.

  • NEW! Pause button (panic button): The controllers have a Pause button that functions as a “panic button.”  With regular FPV, it can be confusing for beginners to stop a maneuver.  When this button is pressed, the drone will stop and go immediately into hover mode.  This button works for all modes, including Manual mode.

+ NEW! Return to home:  You can hold down the Pause button to activate return to home mode.

  • NEW! Find my Drone: With conventional drones, they have a beeper to help recovery but the beeper can’t always be heard.  With DJI FPV, the drone’s location can be shown on a map to recover it.

  • Endurance: Conventional FPV drones have batteries that usually last around 5 minutes.  DJI FPV drone has a very large battery with a much longer flight duration of 20 minutes.

  • Digital FPV: Most FPV goggles use analog FPV goggles, which have a lower resolution and are prone to interference.  Here is a typical view from analog FPV goggles.

o Cost: The price is $1299, which includes the drone, goggles, controller, charger and one battery.  This is similar to the cost of a non-DJI drone equipped with the DJI FPV system (goggles, camera, FPV unit).  Considering the fact that the DJI FPV has GPS stabilization, I believe it is fairly priced.

  • Size: the DJI FPV has a larger profile than FPV drones with a similar propeller size.  This can make it harder to fly through some smaller spaces.

  • Weight: the DJI FPV drone is much heavier than a typical FPV drone.  With greater weight, it will probably not be suited for FPV racing.  It will also be above the 250-gram threshold for FCC registration.

  • Less durable: Unlike conventional freestyle FPV drones with carbon fiber frames, the DJI FPV’s plastic body is less durable and can break with even one crash.

  • Repairability / Customizability: It is unlikely that you’ll be able to customize the drone, unlike other FPV drones.  Moreover, it will likely have proprietary components that will be difficult to repair yourself if you damage it in a crash.

Tutorials

 

Here is how to repair the DJI FPV

FAQ

  1. Does the DJI FPV have intelligent flight modes such as dronie, orbit, or subject tracking?
    As of March 2021, no it does not, other than Return to Home.
  2. Can you charge the battery, controller and goggles simultaneously with the included adapter?
    Yes you can but you’ll need an extra USB Type C cable to charge both the goggles and controller (only one USB C cable was included).
  3. Can the DJI FPV goggles be used with regular non-DJI FPV quads that have the DJI FPV Air system?
    Yes.  DJI FPV drone uses a different system but the goggles can switch between the DJI FPV drone system and the DJI Digital FPV system used with DJI FPV Air.
  4. Can the DJI FPV controller be used with regular non-DJI FPV quads that have the DJI FPV Air system?
    No.  As of March 2021, the DJI FPV controller included with the Combo is not compatible with non-DJI FPV quads even if they have the DJI FPV Air system.
  5. Is it hard to fly the DJI FPV?
    In Normal and Sport mode, the DJI FPV drone is about as easy to fly as DJI’s photography drones such as Mavic.  In Manual mode, you are in full control of the aircraft and it is much more difficult to fly compared to a photography drone with GPS stabilization.  Most people learn by spending at least a few hours with simulators.
  6. Can the DJI FPV goggles and controller be used with simulators?
    There is a free simulator called DJI Virtual Flight on iOS that can be used with the DJI FPV goggles and controller.  VirtualFlight has lessons and a three maps.   It is also possible to use it with PC-based simulators (see below).
  7. Is there a DJI Virtual Flight simulator for Android?
    As of March 2021, there is no Virtual Flight for Android.  However, you can use an app called Freerider, which can connect with the DJI remote controller via a USB type C cable, using the same OTG adapter that is included with the DJI FPV combo.
  8. Do the DJI FPV goggles have an HDMI port?  Can the DJI FPV goggles be connected to a PC?
    The DJI FPV goggles do not have an HDMI port but they do have an AV input jack that can be used to connect to a PC.  You’ll need an HDMI-to-RCA adapter and an RCA to 3.5 mm jack.  From the goggles, you have to go to the settings to switch to DJI Digital FPV mode, then reboot.  In DJI Digital FPV mode, you’ll see an option under Settings for AV IN.  This will let you see the HDMI output of your PC.
  9. Do the DJI FPV controllers work for simulators on a PC?
    This depends on the simulator.  You connect the controller to your PC via a USB Type C cable and run the simulator.  The simulator will have a calibrator for the controllers.  Some simulators will detect the controller stick movements correctly.  Others will not.  So far, the ones that have worked are: Drone Racing League and DCL.  Liftoff also worked but I had to invert some of the sticks.  I could not get FPV Air 2 to work correctly with the controller.
  10. My video signal is limited to 25mw.  How do I increase it?
    Outside of the US, the video transmitter (VTX) signal is limited to 25mw.  Here is how to unlock it up to 1400mw.

FAA Compliance and Remote ID

Will the new DJI FPV be compliant with FAA restrictions?  Under FAA rules, drones that weigh above 250 grams must be registered.  If you fly a drone without registering it, you can be subject to civil and criminal penalties.  In addition, based on the current rule, you will need to have a Remote ID Broadcast Module starting Aug 26, 2023 unless you are only flying within a FAA-Recognized Identification Area.  The Remote ID broadcast module is a component that will enable law enforcement to identify your drone while it is in flight.  Hopefully, the DJI FPV can be retrofitted with a Remote ID in the future.  It does have a USB Type C port that seems like it may be used to plug a Remote ID module.

Alternatives to DJI FPV

While the DJI FPV has several advantages over traditional FPV drones, it is possible to get some of the same advantages with a 360 camera or an Insta360 Go mounted on a drone.  That’s because a 360 camera or Insta360 Go can add stabilized video and simulate some FPV maneuvers such as barrel rolls even on a photography drone, but even more effectively on an FPV drone.   It is even possible to stay under the 250-gram threshold for FAA registration.

If on the other hand, your priority is ease of learning. the Emax EZ Pilot has a flight mode called 1-stick flying that is similar to DJI FPV’s Normal mode.

Should you buy it?

FPV is almost an entirely different hobby from regular drone flying.  It takes a very long time to learn, needs a lot of investment upfront (goggles, batteries, chargers, etc.).  You’ll also need to learn to tinker with your drone and ultimately, you’ll need to learn how to solder.  FPV is not for casual pilots.  The new DJI FPV drone could make FPV drones accessible to casual users who do not want to dedicate the time and effort to learn how to fly conventional freestyle FPV drones.

DJI FPV is quite different from a conventional freestyle FPV drone — it has several automatic modes, obstacle sensing, and is also more fragile and less repairable.  These characteristics make it both easier to fly FPV but also might make it not the best choice if you want to really learn FPV.  But if you don’t have the time or inclination to truly learn FPV, the DJI FPV could be perfect.

Where to buy: I recommend buying from Amazon, to make it easier to return if necessary.  Alternatively, you can buy from B&H Photo with their Payboo card which will give you a credit for the sales tax (as if you get it tax free).
DJI FPV Combo (drone + goggles + controller) $1299 (Amazon) or from B&H Photo 
DJI FPV Motion controller $199 (Amazon)
DJI FPV Fly More (2 extra batteries + multi-charger) $299 (Amazon)
DJI Care 2 years $319 (B&H Photo).
Note: DJI Care replacement plan is available from DJI even if you buy from Amazon or B&H Photo.  DJI Care is $199 for one year or $319 for two years.  It entitles you to up to two replacements for the one-year plan or up to three replacements within two years for the two-year plan.  There is a deductible of $259 for the first replacement and $279 for the second replacement.  DJI Care covers accidents as well as extends your warranty.

About the author

Mic Ty

2 Comments

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  • I don’t think FPV is going away soon and it looks like it captures a fresh new perspective. Plus it looks like fun being a bird! Some people like myself can’t be bothered if it involves constantly experimenting, modifying or repairing FPV drones for a 6 min flight so I think DJI might be onto something if they can at least provide 80% of the FPV experience without too much hassle.

    • Yes I think you’re exactly the target market. Because getting into regular FPV is not easy at all. It is confusing and requires learning a lot of new skills. The DJI FPV seems to make it possible to use FPV hassle-free.