DJI FPV Drone – The “Issues" GPS Drone Fliers Experience
Through some comments left on videos that i’ve made covering the dji fpv drone, now, of course, this is a hybrid drone built to spark the interest of gps drone flyers and fpv drone flyers, but i think the largest audience that will be buying this drone are predominantly Coming from the gps side of drones, so with that being said, there are a lot of people that have purchased the dji fpv drone as their first drone capable of flying in full manual they’re coming from their mavic and they’ve got these complaints about certain issues that Really aren’t issues at all, but instead are just things that stem from this being a hybrid drone, that’s really meant to be flown in manual or full acro, now to kind of lay everything out there on the table. These are the issues right off of the bat that i’ve seen people complaining about. So the gimbal has an unusual pitch range which is suited for the pitch of the drone during flight there’s. Only a one axis, mechanical gimbal, and because of this, the horizon will pretty much never be level. Propellers do appear in the frame when filming and flying it has a shorter battery life than typical gps drones. In order to fly, you have to use the goggles unless you, for some reason, want to fly strictly line of sight to build off of this. There is also no true companion app and there is a lack of different photo modes.
So, taking one last look at the list that i’ve kept up here on the screen. If i told you that this is what the new mavic 3 was going to look like, would you buy it? Chances are probably not, but you’ve also got to understand that the fpv drone is a very different drone than any other drone. That dji has made any of the drones that make up their mavic lineup. This is one of a kind and all of these issues really aren’t issues at all. They just come with the nature of this being a hybrid drone that can be flown in gps modes, but also can be flown in full accuracy. Remember that dji has to cater to both sides of the field here, and they have to try to make that full manual experience better than what people are kind of getting from their pre built or their home built fpv drone. So what i want to do is go through all of these issues in depth and explain why they actually aren’t issues so let’s. First, talk about this camera and the thoughts surrounding it because it admittedly has both sides of the community who are buying this drone scratching their head. Fpv guys are probably wondering why you even need a camera that tilts up and down in the first place and gps drone guys are probably wondering why it only has a one axis mechanical gimbal now, in order to kind of tackle this answer from both sides.
The reason that you want a camera that tilts up and down on an fpv drone is so that you can change your pitch on the fly of the camera depending upon how fast you’re flying and what your flying style is like. So for me, i find myself actually switching between like 15, all the way up to 45 degrees on the fly and typically with a traditional fpv drone that’s built and has like a gopro mounted on top you’ve got to set the pitch on the drone and leave It you can’t modify it during flight. Alternatively, what’s good about this drone having a single axis gimbal, is that when you’re flying in one of the two gps modes, it will try to keep itself level as best as it can, when you move forwards or backwards. But as soon as you start to bang from side to side, you are going to see that horizon tilt. Even when you try to turn on the image roll correction, that horizon is not going to stay straight, which is why this drone’s camera is really suited. Only for full manual flight, not for shooting cinematic, stable, video in gps mode, that horizon is almost never going to be level no matter what type of flying you do. So this answers the question as to why there’s a one axis, mechanical gimbal, and why the horizon might tend to be off from time to time when you’re flying this drone around say in those gps modes.
But what about the gimbal pitch right on a traditional like mavic drone with a three axis? Gimbal you’ve got a gimbal pitch of negative 90 degrees to like positive 25 degrees right. So you can look straight down while you fly, or you can look just a little bit above that horizon line, but the mechanical gimbal range of this drone is strange. It is negative 65 degrees to positive 70 degrees, it’s really odd. This means that when you have the drone hovering there at a standstill, you can’t look straight down which so many gps drone flyers love to do. You can, however, point the camera straight down when you’re flying forwards, as the drone is pitching forwards, thus adjusting the range of motion of the gimbal you see with the design of this camera assembly, it was made to give the gimbal enough range of motion when the Drone is pitching forward which can be pretty steep when flying at the top speed in the upper 80s at this pitch, the camera has the ability and the range of motion to look up and down freely. So, at the end of the day, all of these issues that the camera have really aren’t issues at all, but it’s instead just dji catering to the hybrid nature of this drone. I wouldn’t call it a gps drone with fpv tendencies, but instead it’s an fpv drone with gps, like tendencies that makes it smarter. I think that that makes sense, but regardless a 3 axis gimbal on this drone, just really wouldn’t make sense, but the one axis gimbal is plenty when flying in full manual or full acro.
Now, moving on here to address the next quote, unquote issue from looking at this clip: can you guys guess what i’m going to mention? Maybe i’ll give you a little bit of a hint. So yes, the propellers do show up in the frame when flying and when filming with this drone, but i found that they quickly drop out of the frame, if you’re flying at a fast enough pace with this drone with the gimbal tilted upwards. In order to compensate for that pitch, so even in manual when pitching the camera up to my comfortable level of about 25 degrees, they pretty much completely drop out of the frame you see. This is a problem that stems from the dji fpv drone being a one camera system, so typically in an fpv drone, you’ve got two cameras, one on the air unit that displays that first person view back into your goggles as you’re flying around and yes, the propellers Will typically get in that shot, but people will also put an action camera or like a gopro on top of the fpv drone to capture nice, smooth, stable, high quality video without the propellers in the shot. That is typically what people will share and what you see coming off of fpv drones, but with this being a one camera system, you kind of have to meet in the middle and having those propellers in the shot. Don’T annoy me all that much because i feel like i can see the confines of my drone.
I know where my drone ends and where it begins, and i know that if i fit through a tight area i’m not going to crash or nick anything. So it kind of gives me that spatial awareness to understand where the outer edges of my drone are and from there when i want to share the video coming off this drone and if i do get the propellers in the shot. I just punch in a little bit right. I increase the scale of my video and they’re gone now. Moving on from there. This next quote unquote issue that i’ve come up across a lot in the comments section of my full flight. Video of the fpv drone is the battery life. I had two back to back flights where i only flew for about five and a half minutes, and i saw a lot of people complaining that that wasn’t enough time now, five and a half minutes is a lot less than the advertised 20 minutes. That dji says you can get from their fpv drone and, if you’re somebody coming from, say a mavic air 2 that hasn’t advertised 34 minutes that difference is going to be even greater. Now, look at the end of the day is five and a half minutes a lot of flight time no, but for an fpv drone. It is a very substantial amount of time to be up in the air. Now five and a half minutes i found comes from when you are just ripping the drone, not giving it any sort of breaks.
It is just pedal to the metal at all times. You can get more like seven minutes or nine minutes if you’re a little bit more reserved on the sticks, but at the end of the day, this drone is drawing some serious power. These motors are so much more powerful than the motors available on a mavic air. 2 or a mavic 2 pro, and for that reason this drone can do double the speed right 89 miles an hour with this drone opposed to 45 miles an hour on the mavic 2 pro. So at the end of the day. Yes, the flight time isn’t 20 minutes and it certainly isn’t going to beat anything in mavic’s lineup or in the mavic lineup, but just remember that this drone draws significantly more power than a gps based drone. Now, if you’re, somebody that is making the jump from a gps drone to dji’s fpv drone, then chances are you’re used to viewing the live feed from your drone through the screen of your tablet or your smartphone, and not through a set of goggles. This right here, actually, i would agree, might be the first issue that somebody might run into when they are flying the fpv drone and when they’re coming from a gps drone it’s the fact that you have to use dji’s goggles to fly this drone. If you want to output to say a companion app like the dji fly, app okay, that’s great, but it’s got to come from the goggles.
So, in order to set that up, you’ve got to put the goggles like up on your head route out from a cable and then from there. What do you do with your smartphone or your tablet? There’S no place to actually attach it onto the controller. When you look at the remote that comes with the fpv drone, it just has room for an antenna and no mobile device. Now, personally, i find this as a non issue, but again i do understand that there are people out there that will find this as a huge issue, because they do get sick when flying with goggles. You can make it work. You can use dji’s companion application, but it really is going to be difficult. There are like 3d printed mounts that you can attach onto the remote controller to kind of get around this, but really at the end of the day. The best experience just comes from using the goggles, and i would say that if you do pick this drone up and if you’re really against using the goggles, just give it a try, because i personally don’t like using goggles when flying gps drones. I just don’t really understand the appeal, but i think that fpv drones with the speed that they fly at goggles, are an absolute must. So, even though it’s kind of an annoying workaround to use your cell phone or use your smartphone or tablet to display the screen just know that the goggles really are a joy to use with fpv drones.
Now, kind of building off of that this one’s going to be a really short issue that comes from having to use the goggles there’s, really no true, companion, app that’s built for the fpv drone, and even though this could be seen as a big issue, you really Don’T need a companion app when everything is right there available through the goggles. In fact, it kind of eliminates that extra step of having to plug your phone into the goggles. You can just change everything through that menu that’s built into the set of goggles right on your head um, but i figured i would mention that there is no really true companion, app that’s built for this drone. You do have the fly app that does route out a video feed, so you can share with other people but that’s pretty much all you can do. You can share the video feed and update your drone that’s pretty much it now. The final issue that a lot of gps drone flyers are having with this drone is that it doesn’t have many photo modes. I mean you guys wouldn’t believe how many people are actually interested in shooting photos with this drone at the end of the day, it’s, not a photo drone right. I think that you can take like screen grabs in a 4k resolution size and a 16 by 9 aspect ratio. It comes out as a jpeg image, it’s, not a raw image. So look even though i do see this as an issue right, dji, really didn’t build this with the intention of people shooting photos with it.
This is a video drone, so guys from there that pretty much covers all of the big issues that a lot of people are having, but you’ve got to understand that this was built with the intention of being a hybrid fpv drone right. It is an fpv drone with gps tendencies, and that is why all of these issues are coming up with people that aren’t used to flying fpv drones. So hopefully i answered some questions for you guys here in this video.