DJI FPV drone let’s start
I walked around it, I poked around a lot and I was so intrigued and in the end I “fell into the trap”, but a trap of the pleasant ones, mind you. Why I decided to insert this review in this blog? I’m talking about the new DJI FPV drone, an expensive toy, with which I decided to extend my previous drone shooting experiences.
I am therefore not a neophyte of these tools although, I admit, it is not that I happen to use them often.
However the DJI “bewitched” me and above all convinced me because it has access to a thousand curiosities in me thanks to two fundamental characteristics, the extreme quality of the shooting, which for me is the fulcrum of everything, combined with the excellent driving reviews that make it a “Toy” with which, in addition to making spectacular videos, you can also have a lot of fun, becoming a little child again.
In my case, the choice was to buy the package called DJI FPV Combo, which in addition to the drone, various spare parts, and a double battery, also contains special DJI FPV Goggles V2 glasses for augmented reality driving, and a Remote Controller ; the cost to be incurred for this package is 1400 euros.
I understand that for many it may seem like a rather high cost but, trust me, if I tell you that it is absolutely in line with other drone packages with similar performance.
Let’s get a little deeper into our description by starting to talk about the beating heart of the offer, the actual drone; aesthetics is certainly not its strong point compared to other well-known solutions on the market but, on the other hand, the DJI is immediately appreciated for its lightness (less than 800 g of weight for dimensions of 255 mm (L) x 312 mm (W) x 127 mm (H)) and, what counts for these “expensive toys”, for its robustness.
The latter is, in my opinion, and not only in my opinion, the main feature that you should look for in a drone because, as much as you can become good pilots over time, the error especially when landing is always around the corner for everyone, and damage on such sophisticated and powerful devices can become invalidating over time with respect to the type of video or photo you want to make.
From this point of view, the DJI is unmatched because it has a solid and elastic body at the same time, ideal for absorbing shocks without being crushed.
In functional terms, the DJI drone is the best available today.
Let’s say immediately that it is equipped with some typical features such as the lower light, the automatic return to the base system even in the event of a low battery, and the detection of obstacles.
There was talk of battery: in the Combo package there are two that will allow you to fly for a maximum of 40 minutes if you limit yourself to a maximum speed of 40 km / h; battery life tends to dramatically decrease if you press your foot on the accelerator.
The DJI FPV drone is maneuverable in 3 different modes; N, S and M.
N mode is the most suitable for beginners; it is the only mode in which, through the automatic obstacle detection system, the drone will slow down in front of objects that may obstruct its travel, but will not turn; a bit like in the active safety systems of cars, here too it is the driver’s responsibility to decide whether to turn the drone or not.
In S mode, on the other hand, the obstacle detection system is disabled while the simplified controls are still active. In short, it is a level 2.
Just as level 3 is definitely M mode, where M stands for manual; in this mode, the duties and honors of the guide are completely entrusted to the driver.
If you are frightened of immediately taking over the driving of the DJI FPV drone, I recommend, in addition to starting from the N mode, to also use the convenient simulation application provided by the same manufacturer that allows you to familiarize yourself with the main controls of the aircraft without but get out of your home.
I understand that for many it could be frustrating after spending 1,400 euros to start with an app on a smartphone; all of you would like to make your drone hover in the air but, trust me, the simulator is the “minimum” school that will allow you, when the time comes, to fly the drone safely.
As anticipated, speed is one of the salient features of this product. I just want to tell you one thing: in M mode the DJI FPV drone is able to reach 140 Km / h, going from 0 to 100 in 2 seconds.
Even in N and S modes we have interesting performances. Consider that for example in N mode you have maximum ascent and descent speeds of 8 and 5 m / s per second respectively; speeds rising to 15 and 10 m / s in S mode.
All these speeds can go to the head, or rather the eye, if they are not supported by an equally powerful transmission system between the drone and augmented reality glasses.
Let me explain: when you drive the drone with Goggles V2 glasses it is not you who see the drone directly but it is he who transmits what he is seeing. Therefore, if the drone goes at 140 km / h, it is essential that the drone itself transmits the images to the glasses worn by the pilot practically instantly, or more realistically with “the lowest possible latency”.
This happens in the DJI FPV thanks to the 2.4 and 5 GHz image transmission technology (the frequencies of wifi) with a speed of 50 Mbps even when the drone is 6 km away from you.
In particular, it is possible to set the drone to transmit in Smooth mode at 810p / 120fps with a latency of 28 ms or in HD mode 810p / 60fps with a maximum latency of 40 ms.
In general the drone is capable of recording videos of incredible quality, or at least this has been my experience, with a maximum resolution of 4k / 60fps up to 120 Mbps with h.264 and h.265 video encodings (the Goggles V2 glasses do not support H.265).
The Combo package
Also in the Combo package, as anticipated, in addition to the Remote Contoller you will also find the DJI FPV Goggles V2 goggles; are accessories that allow you to guide in augmented reality. What does it mean? For newcomers to the field we can explain this as the possibility of driving the drone “looking at it with its own eyes”. Basically put on your glasses and start seeing what the drone sees as if you were flying. It goes without saying that this is one of the most adrenaline-pumping aspects of using these products.
The glasses weigh less than half a kilo and are powered by an external battery with almost two hours of autonomy and offer Full Fd resolution.
Another fundamental element that you do not find in the Combo package but that I recommend you buy separately is the Motion Controller.
This is a particular remote control that is not the classic form of the cheapest drone remote controls, so to speak, those that you have to hold with two hands. It rather resembles a joystick and as such can be operated with one hand.
Some more reviews
This is a very interesting aspect especially when you are driving the DJI drone with glasses and therefore you would not be able to look at your hands; with the Motion Controller instead the movements of the drone will be perfectly managed through the rotations of your wrist. It is not an immediate skill but you quickly learn to acquire that minimum of familiarity you need to fly safely.
After this long description of the product, as a photographer, you will expect feedback on the photographic capabilities of the product. You will be satisfied … I will immediately start by telling you that although, at the beginning I bought this drone mainly to make videos, in the end, working on it a bit, I do not hide that given the high definition of the shots it is also possible to extract beautiful still images.
I particularly liked some creations that I made against the sun, where the aerial shot shows all its potential as subjects that can be filmed / filmed and games with sunlight based on the angle at which the drone is tilted with respect to the Sun in the time of the shoot.
I am also very curious to see, and I will shortly, what is possible to do in low light situations; I am referring to the early evening (just before the Sun has completely set) when the artificial lights of the cities and buildings are already on but it is still possible to visually control the drone. On the other hand, I am less confident, but simply for safety reasons, to be able to fly it when it is completely dark.
Speaking a little more as an “ex-child”, than as a photographer, I can instead confess that much of the time I spent using the DJI I did it simply to enjoy the view in immersive mode through Goggles V2 glasses, without any lenses. shooting default.
It is something that I absolutely recommend you do both because at high speed the fun is guaranteed, and because it is by “playing with it” that you can come up with very interesting shooting ideas.
Finally, if you decide to purchase this product, I recommend that you consider the hypothesis of subscribing to the DJI Care Refresh, a sort of insurance against a whole series of damages that your drone can suffer; it is available with a one-year or two-year duration and I assure you that the cost is quickly reabsorbed by the advantages.