DJI FPV vs Traditional FPV Drone – Which Is The Best Option For You? (ft. Matt Pochwat)
Now i deeply apologize if i’ve mispronounced your surname matt, but welcome to the channel thanks, stuart thanks for having me man, uh, really excited to be here and i hope i’m able to answer some of the questions you have for me now. Matt, your channel came to my attention when i was watching some of your videos about the cost of getting into fpv drone i’ll put a link in the description to them, but one in particular the hidden costs of getting into fpv all the tools, all the cable Chargers all these various things that you maybe don’t think about. If you were embarking on this pursuit and for me that was in all honesty, quite off putting, which is why i can understand the interest and i assume success of the dji fpv system. I think it’s fair to say at the outset. If you just want an out the box option that you can fly straight away, then basically you have to go down the dji route. Well, i just want to start by saying that i totally get wanting a ready to go out of the box product, because i also got started in fpv wanting to primarily use it as a tool for making videos as well. I definitely wasn’t interested in the whole technical side of the hobby. I didn’t want to learn how to build drones or learn how to solder. So i was also looking for something i could pick up and use right away, and there are luckily a few options out there for complete beginners who just want to dip their toes into the hobby, learn about fpv without too much investment.
You could get something like a tiny hawk or the beta fpv kits, which retails somewhere around 130 to 200 us dollars. You’D get a quad similar to this one, and these quads are small and great for flying indoors or around your yard and they’re. Also very light and durable, so you can beat them around a bit. Alternatively, for someone who wants to jump right in and get started with a more professional setup, there are a few online retailers that sell other, complete kits as well. For example, this one on rotor riot will give you everything you need to get started as a beginner for 850 us dollars. This quad is definitely powerful enough to strap a gopro on top and you should be able to go shoot. Some cinematic footage with it right away. Also, if you’re really ready to drop some cash, you could even get some complete setups modeled after what your favorite fpv pilots use like this johnny fpv setup on get fpv, which costs fifteen hundred dollars and has some top of the line components. But with any of these setups, you should be able to take them out and use them right away without any setup. I do want to mention that another good option is getting a bind and fly drone, and this is probably the most common route taken by beginners. These days now a bind and fly drone comes pre built as well, but it doesn’t come with any of the other core components of your kit.
So it’s still up to you to choose what goggles controller and other accessories you want, and there are some benefits and drawbacks of doing it. This way, the main benefit is that you can customize your setup to fit your specific needs and budget. You could probably even get a decent setup that can fly a gopro for less than half the cost of the dji fpv drone. But the main drawback is that this route does take a fair amount of learning and, like you said as a beginner, it can be confusing to understand exactly what you need and which components are compatible with each other it’s, not that difficult to figure out. But it definitely takes some time to do your research and i get that some people just don’t have that time. If we take myself as an example, i already have a gopro and i really like it. It blends well with monodrone footage. I, like the picture quality, and i want to be able to fly it in a kind of cinematic fpv way. We’Re not talking about the extremes of fpv acrobatics racing. Super long range, all that kind of stuff, just some kind of cinematic fpv type setup which can be done with the dji fpv, especially for beginners in its hybrid sports mode. Right. So talk me through this map, we’re going to need a drone we’re going to need. Goggles we’re going to need batteries and we’re going to need chargers and all the other bits and pieces now we’re, not necessarily trying to replicate the dji fpv because there’s technology in there, maybe some of the gps stuff, some of the failsafes that we don’t need.
If we’re willing to invest our time and effort, but where do i begin if i want to put my gopro on an fpv drone sure so, assuming that you didn’t want to go down the traditional route of building your drone from scratch? Uh, which would without a doubt, require a lot of upfront commitment, time and research, but you want to go with the pre built, bind and fly route. The first question, you’re, probably going to want to ask yourself, is what type of fpv drone is best for me. One of the cool things about putting together your own fpv setup is that there are a ton of different types of fpv drones, all designed for different purposes. Some may be durable, yet nimble in the air for pulling off complex, acrobatic, maneuvers others might have big bumpers. So you can safely fly them around people and obstacles. Some might be really tiny for flying through small gaps. And, yes, you can still mount a gopro to these, although you will have to strip it down which can seem kind of scary. Another quad might be designed to be lighter and incredibly fast, and there are a variety of other options to choose from. So it is helpful to first think about what types of videos you intend on filming and then do a bit of research to see what kind of drone would be best suited for that job. Personally, my favorite drone in the past year has been this one.
The nozzle five 5 – it doesn’t have any prop guards or any other safety features, but i’ve been recommending it to beginners, because it flies very well straight out of the box. It’S also the perfect size for carrying a gopro and it’s, also very versatile in how it can be flown it’s, also very affordable, costing 235 us dollars for the analog version and 345 us dollars for the digital version. And i will explain the difference between these two, because this is probably the second question you’re going to want to ask yourself: do i want to fly analog or digital now? All this is referring to is the video that the pilot sees when wearing their goggles. An analog system has incredibly low latency, but the video quality is pretty low and sort of resembles footage. You might see from an 80s camcorder if you wanted a higher quality image. The best option is dji’s digital system, which will give you similar hd picture quality that you would get when flying the dji fpv drone. This system has a tiny bit more latency, not enough for most people to notice, but it’s also significantly more expensive, but will provide you with a much more modern flying experience again. Neither of these will affect what your final footage will look like in the end. This is just the pilot’s video feed. Like you mentioned, stuart, most pilots will typically mount a gopro or other action cam to the drone to get the cinematic hd video that you typically see for most the system that they choose will boil down to the difference in cost for an analog setup, you will Need analog goggles, which can range from under a hundred dollars for something bulkier and more basic to maybe around three hundred dollars for something a little bit more compact.
But you can go all the way up to over seven hundred dollars for something top of the line. Uh when it comes to the digital system that dji released uh, in addition to being an added cost to your drone, the only goggles that are compatible with it are these ones that dji makes which can be purchased on their own for 570 us dollars now. No matter which system you choose uh, the next piece of equipment, you’re, obviously going to need, is your controller and i’d say that around 80 to 160 dollars is a good price range for this and i’d say spend as much as you can on your controller, this Isn’T something you really want to skimp out on then. Finally, you’re also going to need some lipo batteries and a charger. Now a lot of people get really surprised when they find out that a typical lipo battery only lasts between two to seven minutes on most fpv drones. So it wouldn’t be uncommon to spend a hundred to two hundred dollars on a stash of these when starting out and a good charger is also equally important to buy uh, and this could cost you 50 to 150 dollars as well altogether for a basic analog setup. You could probably get started for six hundred dollars or less while for a digital setup, you will probably end up spending a similar price to what you would for the dji fpv kit, or even more when we did our first look of the dji fpv drone here On the channel matt, i pointed out some of the features that this drone has that traditional fpv setups don’t have so return to home, gps, positioning emergency brake hybrid flight modes, occusync 3.
0 transmission and up to 20 minute flight time, and inevitably there were some comments underneath The video saying well, i have all of this on my drone anyway, and to the best of my knowledge, these are not necessarily standard features that you get on an fpv setup. Could you just tell me let’s say we got to the point now where we’ve got our gopro on our drone? What is involved in trying to put some of these failsafes on a diy setup yeah? Without a doubt, one of the coolest parts about the dji fpb drone are all the safety features and just how easy it is to use. And now you are right that most fpv drones will not have these safety features and don’t fly for 20 minutes per battery. But some do, for example, my recon 5 here is designed for long range flying with the right battery. It could fly for over 20 minutes and it also has a gps that can track its location and can return to home at the flick of a switch or if it loses connection very similarly to the dji drone uh this isn’t, something that would add too much Cost to your quad, but the reason that most fpv drones don’t have a gps is because for other types of fpv flying like racing or freestyle, it’s, not something most. Pilots would necessarily need – and it just becomes another component that adds weight to your drone and could possibly break in a crash uh.
But that being said, the dji quad definitely can do a lot more than this guy can, for example, its ability to hover in place to avoid obstacles or to auto land when the battery is low. Are things that i’ve never seen in any other fpv drone, and i would say that those are things that still make this the most foolproof and safe option to use and that’s only naming a few. I do want to add that all those added benefits seem to come with a cost, though the downside is that all these added features packed into one quad do make the drone heavier and less maneuverable in the air resulting in it slightly lacking in performance. This is where a lot of the current criticism is coming from, and a lot of experienced fpv pilots feel disappointed because it just doesn’t fly as well as a traditional quad, and you can get something that can fly better, have better performance for a fraction of the Price it’s still definitely possible to get nice smooth footage with this, but its performance really is just okay. I think, for the average person that wants the fpv experience or just wants to, you know, add a little bit of dynamic movement to their swooping landscape shots. It would be a great buy, but if you want more complex shots, it probably wouldn’t be the best tool for the job so that’s. Another big decision that a beginner will have to make whether or not the accessibility and safety that the dji drone offers is more valuable to them or if they care more about performance and video quality.
I just want to mention that this motion controller has been my absolute favorite part of the new dji drone. This thing is unreal. It does have to be purchased separately. It doesn’t come with the kit, but this thing makes flying fpv so incredibly intuitive that i’ve been able to pass this off to so many people that have never flown any type of drone before and they were able to completely pick it up with no effort in Within a minute of trying it uh, i really don’t, think there’s anything else in the fpv world right now that can make flying as easy as this thing uh. So i got to give kudos to dji for for this one. So we’ve got our diy drone assembled we’ve got our action. Camera mounted we’ve had to think about some failsafes and any add on technology that we might want to add what is involved in actually setting this thing up, calibrating it with the software and just getting it to the point at which we could take off all right. Well, if you assemble your own kit, the setup will vary depending on what gear you have, but the main goal is to just bind all your equipment together, and there are a few steps that you would have to take step number one. You will have to first make sure that the firmware on all your gear is up to date, and this is the same thing. You’D have to do for the dji quad or any other drone step number two.
You will have to do a preliminary setup on your controller to make sure that it’s working properly and that it’s ready for binding step number three you may or may not have to make some changes in your drone software to make sure that it’s ready for binding As well, then, when both are ready, you will have to actually bind the two together and once everything’s working, the final step would be to figure out what video channel your drone is operating on and match that with your goggles, to make sure that you have the Clearest image possible for a complete beginner learning. This whole process could take a few hours or maybe a day or two at most now, comparing that to the dji drone, since all the dji gear was specifically designed to work together, the initial setup is fairly minimal and it’s also great that you can feel confident That all the features are going to work the way they’re supposed to, and you probably won’t run into many problems. The dji app is also great and holds your hand every step of the way with traditional fpv. You will be left on your own to scour youtube for answers to any hiccups that you come across along the way and there usually will be a few. So this is just another reason why, for the average person just wanting to try out fpv without many expectations, the dji fpv drone would be a way more enjoyable purchase.
It really does make getting into fpv fun and simple, but for somebody who wants to fly fpv professionally in any capacity and you really care about quality, a traditional fpv drone can be worth getting through that initial learning curve, certainly some food for thought and for the Avoidance of diet we’re not trying to promote either approach here, it’s just two different ways of doing something similar, i think it’s fair to say the dji system is the easiest out the box approach for absolute beginners, but then there are rewards to be had from doing It yourself so it’s really up to you we’re, just trying to give you some information here to do with, as you wish. I certainly hope to get that gopro up in the air at some point on a diy, build anyway matt. Thank you for your time and your expertise. I know you’ve just got your hands on the dji fpv, so i’ll be interested to see what you have to say on that subject as and when yeah absolutely, i don’t know, if i’m going to do a full review on this quad anymore. Since there are so many videos out there on it already uh but uh i have been enjoying flying it so far, it’s been a really unique experience, so i do look forward to testing it out a bit more and i i will have some content coming out On this guy soon look forward to seeing it well thanks again for coming on the channel.