DJI FPV Drone Long Term Review | I Finally Understand It!
Its been out for now, eight months, and i wanted to share my experience after owning this and crashing it and breaking it and traveling with it all across the country. Lets get started Music, Music. Wherever you know, i follow Music Applause, whats good everybody, ken here youre, watching original dobo and today were talking about the dji fpv drone long term. This drone has now been out for eight months time and its recently gotten a price reduction of about a hundred bucks depending on what retailer you go through and it made me start thinking. Itd be a good time to talk about this right before the holiday season. As to whether or not this is still a good purchase today, because i know a lot of people are probably considering this, and i want to give you the good, the bad, the ugly um with this quad, because the this is probably, i would say, the most Complicated release that dji has had as far as what is this actually for, and i know that this drone receives an immense amount of hate, especially from the fpv community, but i think thats primarily because it is misunderstood. When i first got this drone in hand. I misunderstood the purpose so lets just go ahead and jump into this and lets start off with the elephant in the room, which is build quality alrighty. So i would be lying to you if i said that this was the most durable drone that ive ever seen its definitely not, and if were just being completely honest, i think dji screwed up when they made this drone because they made it out of an uh.
Some sort of plastic, they say its a carbon infused plastic, but if we just cut the and call it for what it is. This is a plastic drone through and true, and because its plastic, its going to be subjected to certain wear and tear that you wouldnt, get from lets, say a carbon fiber drone that you would build yourself. In my experience with this, i have now gone through two of these. This is the third drone, so hopefully, third time is a charm but ive gone through two and the first wreck that i had with this was i wouldnt say it was a huge rack. I i smashed into a fence and when i smashed into the fence, it broke these feet off and it broke the gimbal. It wasnt a hard hard crash, but it was. It was enough to break the drone, you know and break the landing gear which, yes, i probably could have fixed, but i just wanted to see what it would cost me to send this out to dji for a new gimbal in these feet. They charged me about 185 dollars so that wasnt too bad it wasnt, even the cost of what the care refresh was on the drone. Now the second crash, i thought, when it came down that it was going to be perfectly fine, ive crashed harder than that. With this drone and i didnt have any damage and when it came down for that second time um it broke one of the back arms, so i had to send it out again.
Yes, initially, i thought to myself ill: try to repair it myself, but, as i started taking this drone apart, i was like holy crap theres, a lot of tiny nuts and bolts, and it just would have been repairing. This would have been super difficult time consuming and i dont know if it would have ever been a hundred percent correct, so it was just easier to pay. Another hundred and forty five dollars sent it out to dji and they were just gon na ship me out. Another drone so build quality for me is its biggest achilles heel. But if youre, not somebody who is going to plan on crashing, which i know you cant plan for a crash, but if youre not planning on crashing or beating this to hell, this is probably going to suit you just fine. As far as the build quality goes. Theres a lot to like on this drone that youre not going to find on other fpv quads such as there is an integrated heat sink, which is a big deal, because this means you can essentially leave this thing idling and when youre ready to go grab your Shot you can take off and and get it which you cant do with an fpv drone. You got to unplug it because its going to get hot. It requires that air passing through the flight controller and esc to keep certain components. Cool theres also a fan above the flight controller, which helps keep it things a lot cooler.
So that is a nice piece as far as the build quality goes to top it off. Theres integrated leds all the way around this, which at first i thought the leds were sort of gimmicky, but i actually sort of like it when im flying with somebody i need, i need a spotter or somebody uh. You know visually observing. They can see these at a bit of a distance now. Obviously, if you remember a couple of weeks ago, i got in trouble. The faa contacted me about a flight. I did with the fpv drone and it was because i didnt have a dedicated beacon. So if you need to get yourself a beacon, you can actually put them on top of here. We actually made these mounts to where you can put a stick on beacon and then take it on and off when you dont need it. So that is a nicety um. You know. Beyond that, the build quality you know it is what it is. I like how the batteries uh get inserted into the drone. I dont really like that. The motors are built on a plastic arm. I think that, at the very least, this should have been metal because ive seen a couple of situations where somebody has tore these motors directly off this piece here. Dont know how they said they didnt crash again were taking their word for it, but these motors have actually lifted off. I do have a friend that crashed his um and burned down a motor several times, and then i had another friend that didnt even crash his drone.
He said he was just taking off, he felt the vibration landed and his motor was wobbling back and forth and upon further inspection it was actually torn off the plate, and i firmly believe him that it was probably some sort of you know. Failure on the on the airframe itself that caused that so thats. Something to consider with that being said lets talk about the battery life on this drone, all right. So, over the course of eight months time, ive been running the same three batteries on this drone and for the better half of eight months. My battery life has been pretty good, although it has fluctuated. I get about 10 to 11 minutes of battery life. Out of this drone when im in manual mode – and that is if im flying cinematic and im using the word cinematic because thats not me doing any sort of crazy freestyle, maneuvers and thats being very docile on the throttle, you can get about 10 to 11 minutes. Now people complain that theyre getting less. I dont know what to tell you. I get about 10 to 11 minutes of battery life on average, when im not truly truly ripping on it. Some people get as little as five minutes and ive seen about the average is about eight to six minutes again. If youre really controlling things, you can get it down to about 10 minutes on the high end of things, which is about what im getting and ive done.
Numerous tests and theyve all been pretty consistent with one another and ive had no problems. These batteries do need to be maintained just because they are a smart battery. Doesnt mean they should be treated any different than any other lipo. This is a 6s battery, which means you want to keep this at a storage voltage about halfway and its pretty easy to set these up to discharge through the dji app. I really only charge these when im getting ready to fly, otherwise i leave them on their storage voltage. The other thing that i found throughout the duration of time was these antennas are in the feet of the battery. So when you come down and land or just land in normal mode, you would tend to hit these antennas. I always get asked well. What is this cover for? Well, this cover was actually sort of inspired by ken herron. When ken herron had his fpv drone, he crashed it and he ended up breaking one of the antennas. So after seeing him crash and break the antenna, it gave us the idea to build these. These are the dji fpv battery condoms as kelly calls them, and it essentially just keeps this from getting torn up and it does sort of prolong the life expectancy of those landing feet because youre landing on the cover and not the battery itself, so thats, something that We thought of, but i think the battery life is actually pretty excellent and it also i like the fact that, when charging this, i dont have to freak out that its gon na go up into an eternal ball of flames.
Thats never even crossed my mind since owning the dji fpb drone, so that is something to consider all right lets talk about the camera quality on this drone alrighty, so camera quality is, is going to be somewhat subjective. Some people love the camera quality of the fpv drone and others dislike it me i sort of fall in the middle. Sometimes i look at the footage and i think, to myself wow. This really looks amazing and then other times, depending on the situation and lighting im. Just like this looks absolutely terrible. My biggest gripe with the fpv drone is that it has a hard time exposing for the shadows, and it always tends to really crush them heavily and just makes it almost to the point where you cant recover. Any of that data, and it just doesnt, look really appealing and other times. I find that it looks really excellent. For the most part, i tend to film in d cinelike thats, going to give me the best amount of dynamic range with this quad. Although it does pose a bit of a problem when you are flying as it tends to wash everything out and when i was in colorado, i ended up crashing the fpv drone, because i couldnt see where i was going. Essentially, because i was filming, indecent alike and the snow was white and i just became snow blind and it nose dived into the snow. So i would like to see that be something improved in a future version of the fpv drone.
Is that if youre going to have this as the camera on here, i think you need to have a dedicated fpv camera and then a dedicated recording camera. So you can keep the two configurations separate, so you can give the best possible quality to the pilot, while also getting the best possible recording format, and sometimes that means shooting in a flatter profile. All in all i mean it looks good. You dont have to use a gopro on the fpv drone. I just do it because i find that the gopro footage is easier for me to color grade and then, when you combine that with real, steady or hyper smooth youre, just getting a better image now thats, not knocking really rock steady rocksteady does a great job when Youre flying and again im using air quotes here cinematically. I think you can get some really smooth footage out of rocksteady and it looks really really passable, but for everything else, i tend to use a gopro mounted on the top, using my dji helmet and with the introduction of the hero 10 thats. Primarily, what ive been using on the top of this drone? It gives me sort of the best of both worlds, where i get the stability of a gps drone. But i get the dynamics of an fpv drone and you just have to know that when you mount a camera on top of here, you should be flying a manual thats. How youre going to get the best amount of performance is in the manual mode, not flying in the standard mode.
So if youre a beginner, you may want to skip mounting an fpv drone with a gopro. But if you are somebody whos a little bit more advanced or you pass that beginner stage yeah mounting a gopro is going to give you a new dynamic and give you a whole new range of flexibility. As far as the footage goes and thats. Why i continue to do that so ive had no problems, i mean theres, probably three or 400 units of my dji helmet floating around out there and everybody whos used them has had nothing but high praises about them shameless plug, but um. If you are interested in one theres, a link in the description below for the dji helmet, this is the blue version. This is my uh sort of my tribute to 808 state. This is kona blue. This is limited edition. We have an unlimited supply of the black versions, but if youre looking for a blue version, these will be gone in the next month before november. But this is the kona blue version and i think it looks pretty damn good. All right lets go ahead and talk about the performance of the fpv drone. All right, so performance is its a sort of an odd subject, because with this drone and when you think about fpv, just in general, you think of tinkering and you think about tuning and making your build your own and with the fpv drone, you really cant make The build your own to a certain extent, there are ways to circumvent some of the shortcomings with this drone, but for the most part it is what it is, and i hate that saying but honestly that is what it is you you cant tune this.
So you have to find ways around that, and one of the ways that i found to make this better and perform better is by using these acon prop adapters. Once i switched over to these acon propped adapters, i was able to mix and match different props and see what works best for my flying style, and what i found is that the ethics p4 props and the gemfan s4 props work the best something about those two Combinations just work really well typically, i am flying the gemfam 4s props, but im currently out, so i had to mount a set of p4 props on here which they work well, but i feel like the the response from the s4s are just slightly better than the P4 props, at least on the dji fpv drone, and it also makes it a little bit more easy for me to color match to whatever helmet or battery cover. I have on this drone, so um yeah, but the performance of this has gotten better. Over the period of time, dji has rolled out incremental update after incremental update for the fpv drone and with every update they havent really outlined any of the improvements or highlighted any of the improvements as anything major. But every single update tends to just remove just a little bit more prop wash from this drone and just enhances the overall feel and response from this, and i have been noticing. My motors have been coming down a little bit cooler and in my most recent flights with this, i have noticed that there just hasnt been any of that shutter, even with the fpv drone, flying with the hero 10, which is incredibly taxing on something of this size.
Where its not meant to have a camera mounted to the top, it did really really good even coming out of those heavy hard dives. So that speaks a lot about what dji is doing im going to go ahead and throw up my rates. So if you want to emulate the rates that i use, this is just what ive found works best for my flying style and where i can get the smoothest flight, but also maintain sort of that dynamic. Look alrighty lets go ahead and talk about the things that i dont like about this quad alrighty. So the things that i dont like about the dji fpv drone are as follows: the controller im not really a huge fan of the game style controller. While this controller was super familiar to come from, i used to use the tango 2, but i felt like it was just too small and it was just too cramped. I still feel like for me, as somebody who pinches i feel, like. The controller is just a little bit too small for me again, thats somebody who pinches saying that this is too small, but you, if you thumb you may find this to be just fine. The second thing that i dont like about this drone is that the gimbal tends to have some issues periodically and on harder landings. Ive noticed that it pops out – and i have to pop it back in theres these little isolators in there and they are very, very fragile and ive – had to replace some of those isolators a few times already so thats something you want to think about.
If youre somebody whos going to come down and land hard, you know a couple of times. I flip forward and theyve popped out. The second thing piggybacking off of that is because of the way this gimbal is designed, it does make it a little bit harder to use nd filters. One of the biggest problems i have with using nd filters with the fpv drone is, it tends to flip the camera down like the nd filter is just a little bit too heavy for the motors or the motors arent, capable of keeping up with the motions that Im creating and it tends to flick down when using an nd filter its a bit of a bummer, but i get it its not really designed for that and dji didnt put out an nd filter for this. So that is something to also keep in mind and then the last thing is the fact that the camera settings there is no 30 frames per second, which i filmed things in 30 frames per. Second, i like that motion blur. It creates theres, also no 24 frames per second, so i think those are things that they can improve on giving us more choices with frame rates and resolutions, i think, would be a lot more accommodating, but as of right now, there just isnt any way to do That and i think that that is a bit of a bummer alrighty all in all past eight months. I think its important to understand how you use this, and what ive learned is that this is not for freestyle its just not.
However, what this does give me is the ability to get shots that i would normally have anxiety for with my typical fpv quads or i wouldnt trust them to make it back to me and and bring my gopro back in one piece primarily when flying over water. I find that the fpv drone is probably the most safe option to take, and it always makes it back to me and it just works really well. I think that this sort of takes away those anxieties that many pilots have with your typical fpv drone. Now again, this isnt for everybody and if youre somebody whos building your fpv quads, then dont worry about it. This isnt for you and nobodys making you buy this so you dont have to, but to hate a product just because its different or its a gateway product into a hobby that has typically had this sort of barrier to entry. A very high barrier to entry is is just stupid, like the only way this hobby continues to grow. Is we bring more people on, and i guarantee you once people start flying theyre gon na get hooked on this. Just like i did if this was my first drone i probably wouldnt have bought or built so many fpv drones. Maybe i would have, because i have an addictive personality thats, why i stayed away from drugs all my life – i id probably not be here today, but if they got their hands on this, they may want to get curious about something more.
This is, this is a good gateway into the hobby of fpv and the fact that you do get a set of goggles when you purchase the fpv. Drone is a great value, since these are so expensive and the fact that now this entire kit is a hundred dollars off, i think thats a pretty good push for somebody to consider buying this in 2021, even with all the other things that are out on the Market right now, theres nothing thats going to give you the look of fpv other than an fpb drone. Some things have come close, but nothing quite does it like flying manual and just being able to dive and chase after things but thats my review. Eight months later, i think i finally get what this drone is for and who, its for and yeah it is for beginners, but its also for the intermediate pilots that want those redundancy and safeguards in place, and they dont have a lot of time to build things. But there you go if you enjoyed this video, be sure to hit the like button subscribe.