When writing this article, the DJI FPV had just had its 3rd birthday, making it slightly outdated compared to many newly released drones.
But in FPV, drones are not getting as easily outdated as standard GPS drones, and that's because we don't depend on the drone's camera to film or any intelligent functions.
However, DJI FPV is another story, and we'll probably get a new FPV drone released by DJI anytime soon. It's about time.
So, after owning the DJI FPV for nearly three years, I want to share my professional opinion and a few facts on why the DJI FPV may or may not be worth getting in 2024.
DJI FPV is still a great beginner drone for flying long-range
When I got my DJI FPV for the first time in 2021, I was surprised by how many intelligent features and functions this "new" FPV drone released from DJI has.
I mean, it was abnormal to see things like normal and sport modes, emergency brake features, and "advanced" return-to-home modules in an FPV drone.
They're meant to be flown in their purest form, in acro mode, without any additional aids and features. That's what a freestyle or racing FPV pilot does anyway.
So, fast-forward to 2024, I still have, and I'm still using my DJI FPV drone regularly, but not as often as before.
I feel the drone publicity has fallen since the release of DJI Avata. And that is for a good reason: Despite its downsides, I always felt Avata to be a better construction and drone for any type of flight than the DJI FPV.
Even like that, I personally think the DJI FPV is still worth only if:
- You're looking to fly the drone long-range and not to freestyle, race, normal mode flights, or mess around with it
- You will attach a GoPro to it to record cinematic long-range videos as the camera quality is WAY BELOW the GoPro's ones.
Its flight time is above average.
One other thing I am still impressed by about this drone is its flight time.
Although it was advertised to fly for around 20 minutes in manual mode, I never could get more than 12-13 minutes before having to land it safely.
I can always pull a bit more flight time, but it is never worth the risk.
Now, considering that most FPV drones have a flight time between 3 and 10 minutes, that's a big plus that makes me grab it sometimes and enjoy some long-range flights.
In this case, I can say the flight time is the pros for considering still a good FPV drone in 2024.
But don't get your hopes up yet.
When I got the drone, I bought it with three batteries. Each of these batteries is extremely expensive; in fact, it is nearly more expensive than any drone battery out there. There could never be a justified price.
Two of the batteries failed in long-term storage, although I checked them regularly to ensure they didn't fail. They completely failed.
And now the 3rd DJI FPV battery appears to be failing, even without many uses. They're poorly made, and the auto-discharge safety feature to keep them stored for a long time will work, but it always starts losing juice, draining the batteries to the last volts of survivability.
And that's a shame because for this reason, a point goes to "NOT RECOMMENDING" the DJI FPV anymore in 2024
The DJI FPV may not be the best FPV drone for a beginner.
The drone is extremely fast. I mean, all FPV quads are fast, especially if you go with a custom quad 5-inch. But the drone was built with beginners in mind and all these extra intelligent features to help with different flight modes.
Now, in the hands of inexperienced FPV pilots, the DJI FPV can do a lot of harm, and I'm very serious here.
Even if you manage to learn to fly FPV drones, the DJI FPV will resist exactly until the first crash. Even minor crashes with this drone will send you on a journey to collect pieces with a dustpan from the ground.
It's like it is made of glass. The arms are extremely weak and can crack even if you slightly force them or don't adequately transport this drone.
Of course, there are some drone bracers that will connect the front arms to the back ones for increased resistance. But even like this, the drone won't survive crashes. It's simply too heavy for that.
So, yet another point goes to NOT RECOMMENDING the DJI FPV for a beginner in 2024 or pilots who like taking a lot of risks flying FPV drones.
DJI FPV vs. Avata vs. Custom FPV Drone in 2024
Now, after the DJI FPV, the Avata was released. That's yet another story of an FPV drone, cinewhoop, to be exactly released by DJI.
Ever since its release, the DJI Avata has always been in a battle with the DJI FPV. But Avata mostly won't every time.
And here's why.
Avata has excellent crash resistance, at least as compared to the DJI FPV. Although I don't take risks with crashing drones often, many pilots crash their Avata a dozen times, and it still works without issues.
Moreover, the speed is more controllable and, because of the duct guards, can be flown indoors, inside forests, and in places impossible for other drones to fly, except for cinewhoops.
But what about compared with custom FPV quads?
Now, it depends. How serious are you getting into flying FPV drones?
If you only want an FPV drone to occasionally fly, get some great shots, and have fun, out of all three, DJI Avata wins hands down.
That's because getting into the depths of custom FPV drones would be too much trouble. You'll have to deal with unsafe Lipo charging, getting each part one by one (Goggles, Controller, Charger), ensuring compatibility, maybe adjusting PIDs, and tunning it in Betaflight, and we just scratch the surface of the iceberg.
However, if you're really serious about getting into this hobby, hands down, a custom quad wins.
So, where does the DJI FPV fit into this whole story? Basically nowhere. I mean, the only reason I would still recommend the DJI FPV drone is if you're looking for a simple drone to fly long-range for cinematic FPV videos (and you're willing to attach a GoPro on top of it).
Yet another point to NOT RECOMMENDING this drone in 2024.
Camera quality - is it still good?
No. It's terrible. I mean, it is not "analog" terrible, but still.
The video transmission system is very good. But the camera is definitely not to create good content.
It has a 1/2.3-inch CMOS, which is way below average nowadays. Of course, we do have to mention it once again: if you're willing to get this drone to fly, you should not use its own camera to record videos but attach an action camera on top of it.
Still, I like it supports D-CineLike (flat profile) for further video editing, and the videos resulting from this drone are nicely smooth because of the RockSteady option (Electronic Image Stabilization).
But the video quality you get directly from this drone, I feel, is a bit terrible. For some regular projects, FPV shots, or if you don't have expectations for something fancy, it's still good. Otherwise, look for an action camera to record.
Is the DJI FPV drone still worth acquiring in 2024?
Now, the main question is, if I still recommend this drone in 2024.
My quick answer is no. It's slightly outdated (camera), has bad battery quality, doesn't stand a chance in crashes, and it can be quite dangerous for beginners.
But if you got a good deal for it, that's another story. The drone is not that bad, don't get me wrong, but it is not called "potato" for a reason.
It simply does badly in some fields where other FPV drones simply excel. And for the price, you can basically pick any FPV configuration you like, with the DJI FPV Goggles V2 and a remote controller.
If you're looking to get a second-hand deal for this drone, I warn you to request some tests of the battery so that it still has the power it is; as we've mentioned again, it's very prone to failure.