DJI FPV: Control the skies!

March 22, 2021

The DJI FPV has a simple enough proposition: a First-Person View drone that combines the speed of a racing drone and high-speed immersive flying experience with the easy operation of a DJI camera drone. To kickstart a whole line of USP’s, the DJI FPV features an on-board 4K 60fps gimbal stabilised camera with an incredible 150° super-wide field of view with a low-latency signal that can be sent to your goggles. It has a top speed of up to 87 miles per hour and can combine gimbal stabilisation with electronic image stabilisation to ensure steady footage at any speed.

As with the FPV drone concept, the DJI FPV more about experiencing the sheer adrenaline of flight than it is about what the camera can do. And DJI have kept a large mass of their users in mind, with a drone that applies to seasoned FPV pilots or enthusiasts, with three intuitive flight modes that let anyone fly confidently from day one.

The DJI FPV Drone Combo pack includes the FPV drone, DJI’s FPV Goggles V2 and a gaming-style controller. A key highlight here is the fact that the FPV is ready to go out of the box, an exception in a largely DIY segment, given how even prebuilt drones this size usually require some setup process. Plus, DJI made some of the sturdy FPV’s parts easily replaceable, specifically the landing gear, the plastic top shell, the gimbal and the propellers.

Of course, using an FPV headset is all about seeing the world literally from the perspective of the flying drone, simultaneously thrilling and terrifying, as you sour behind crevices and caves with free abandon at speeds up to 87 mph (140 kph). The DJI FPV has three flight modes — Normal, Sport and Manual — with varying degrees of automated assistance. In Normal mode, cameras on the bottom can keep the drone hovering in place without your help, while more on the front will slow you down as you approach obstacles, with a 30 mph top speed. Switching to Sport mode lets you fly at up to 60 mph, but the front obstacle detection is shut off, while Manual mode aka ‘Acro’ is for the pros, with speeds up to 87 mph, accelerating from 0–60 mph in two seconds, with no attitude limits, no obstacle detection and you in control of your throttle and maintaining the drone’s positioning at all times. Of course, in all the modes, you get an emergency brake on the controller and the same button will trigger the drone to return to the home point, along with a Find My Drone feature.

Most FPV drones aimed at consumers typically rely on using an app and your phone in a VR-type headset. That’s fine for casual flying, but the latency of the video feed from the drone’s camera to the phone won’t be much good at speeds up to nearly 90 mph. On the other hand, FPV racing drones generally use low-resolution analog cameras to send a low-latency feed to a headset while a second camera records the action.  DJI is overcoming these limitations by relying on digital transmission courtesy its OcuSync technology. The end result, happily enough, is a clear, cinematic live view at 810-pixel resolution that drives the immersive experience from the FPV. Not just that, the DJI FPV supports transmission of HD videos up to 10KM with a video transmission latency less than 28ms.

The FPV’s camera can record video up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second and 128 Mbps, or 1080p at up to 120 fps. It’s on a single-axis gimbal for image stabilization, as opposed to the three-axis gimbals found on most of DJI’s drones. The gimbal helps when rotating vertically, but most of the shake and vibration is controlled with DJI’s RockSteady electronic stabilization.

In High-Quality Mode, see the world in 1440x810p in either 60 fps with a wider 142° Field of View (FOV), or 50 fps with 150° FOV. In this mode, latency is as low as ≤ 40 ms. Or in Low-Latency Mode, pilots activate high frame rates for a more cinematic look to signal latency is decreased to ≤ 28 ms. Resolution is 1440×810p 120 fps with a 142° FOV or 100 fps at 150° FOV. A good example of a ‘mass’  feature is Audience Mode, which shares the pilot’s perspective to eight additional goggle sets.

The DJI FPV Drone Combo, comprising the DJI FPV drone, DJI’s FPV Goggles V2 and a gaming-style controller, are now available at Advanced Media for AED 4,380. To enhance your experience even further, invest in the DJI FPV Motion Controller for AED 629.00

by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2018, CES 2017, 2016 and 2015. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering. Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.