Happy 2023, everyone. This is my first video of the year, and I want to kick things off by wishing you a lot of health, a lot of prosperity, and, most importantly, to never stop chasing your goals. My first video of the year is going to be about this drone, the DJI Avata, and my long-term impressions of it. Let’s get right into it.
So I first started using this drone a couple of weeks before it was officially announced. I was able to get it early. I was able to do a lot of flying with it. I released all of my impressions of it in my initial review of the DJI Avata on my channel. However, a lot has happened since then because DJI released a couple of firmware updates about this drone that made it significantly better in some areas but also a lot worse in some other ones.
And let’s start with the bad thing first, which is Remote ID in the US, and I believe in some other Countries as well. But don’t quote me on that. You now have to keep your phone connected to the goggles at all times so it can transmit your GPS coordinates to the local authorities if needed to comply with Remote ID regulations.
This is a huge bummer for many people, I’m sure. It would’ve been a bummer for me. If I just want to fly. Now, I need to also connect my phone to the goggles. I need to keep it on. I need to share my location with the authorities, but that’s just some regulations that you have to comply with.
However, when DJI introduced this new firmware to comply with Remote ID, they also gave us something great, and that is 10-bit color on the Avata. With this, you have a significantly better-looking final image that holds a lot more detail and a lot more information that you can later recover and post, especially if you are shooting In D-Cinelike color profile.
That way you can utilize 10-bit video and bring back a lot more details bring back a lot more sharpness, and just a whole lot more information in your footage to make it look even better. So that’s something that I definitely appreciate, and like I can see the difference. And unfortunately, I completely lost the majority of the footage that I’ve been gathering in the past couple of months with the Avata because I had a massive SSD failure and I didn’t have a backup.
I know, I know. Don’t, don’t laugh at me. It’s, yeah, it’s too bad for me to even think about it, so unfortunately, I lost. Most, if not all, of my footage with the Avata that I’ve been gathering ever since I got this drone. So lesson learned on that. But unfortunately, I cannot show you the 8-bit footage that I’ve been recording on this drone, because now I only have a couple of flights with the new firmware that has 10-bit video.
And. I can only show you that new footage. That is definitely very, very impressive looking, in my opinion. So in terms of supporting the product, I can say that DJI has done a great job, and we’ve seen a couple of new features, and a couple of new settings being introduced to the Avata. So in that regard, I am very happy with it.
The modified DJI Avata
Now, as you can see, my drone looks a little bit different compared to. Original one because I have a couple of modifications done to it. But these are small things, and I’ll get to them in a second. But what I wanted to talk about first is the build quality, which has been impressive. At first, I was a little bit skeptical, seeing that this is a plastic frame.
I was thinking that it was not going to withstand any big crashes. However, I was proved wrong because this is still in one piece. Everything is super solid and super strong, and there are no big scratches, no big dents, no cracks, and nothing on the plastic frame of the drone. Everything is rock solid, and I was really pleasantly surprised to see that this can actually sustain a lot of damage without cracking, without breaking. Everything is just great on the Avata.
Now granted, there is a different way of flying this because, as we all know, it’s a Cinewhoop. It’s not made to be used as a five-inch. I know some people just want to use this as their one and only FPV drone. They want to do flips and rolls, and they want to race this and follow fast-moving objects and cars and all sorts of other things.
In reality, that’s not exactly how you are supposed to use the Avata. Of course, you can do some of these things, but if they don’t work out 100% ideally, then the drone is not to blame because the drone is meant to be a Cinewhoop. And the Cinewhoop in general, are, you know, a little bit more smoothly, slowly moving drones that are supposed to be very precise and track some objects, but not at a very fast pace.
So for that, the Avata is still great. If you, however, want to use it as a five-inch drone to do some flips and rolls and acrobatic movements, then it’s definitely not ideal because it’s very top-heavy. You have this big battery on top, which gives you great flight time, which we’ll get to in a second. But it’s not very aerodynamic in the sense that is going to give you that smooth flow that usually you can get with a five-inch freestyle quad.
So I’m giving big thumbs up to the Avata on how it flies, how it handles. In general, the flying experience with this drone has been great. When it comes to the camera of the Avata, I’m super happy with it, especially with the 10-bit video added to it now. It’s a great, great-looking footage that comes out of the Avata, and I’m just super happy with all the possibilities I have because when I’m shooting in D-Cine like and 10-bit, when I have full control over the sharpness over the saturation of the footage over how I stabilize the footage because I usually disable rock steady and I apply stabilization later in post by using gyro flow. Then I have full control over how the footage ends up looking like, and this is the best that you can give me. When it comes to having the freedom to decide. What I want to do with the footage now, my only little complaint, is that I would have preferred to have even more frame rates available on the Avata.
Now, recently we had 4K 30 frames per second being added to the Avata, but it’s not really ideal for flying, especially in the goggles. It’s not really smooth, and it’s not something that I can recommend as I film my videos in 25 frames per second, which is kind of the norm here in Europe. I mostly use 50 frames per second on the Avata because that’s double the frame rate that I currently shoot, add which kind of eliminates some jitters, and some not very smooth section of sections of the footage. As opposed to if you shoot in 60 and you edit on a 25 or 24 frames per second timeline, no matter.
The battery life of this drone is simply amazing because it’s constantly giving me about 12 to 13 minutes. Flight time, depending on my style of flying, if I’m going for a faster pace flight, then of course it’s, it’s limited to less maybe 7, 8, 9 minutes.
It really depends on how much throttle input you are giving. But if you are cruising and you’re just enjoying the scenery, if you are passing through some small gaps and you’re not really constantly on the throttle, Then you can squeeze out maybe 13 minutes of flight time with this drone, which is amazing, especially compared to a regular cinewhoop, which is usually flying for about four to five, even maybe six minutes maximum.
So this gives you double that, so that’s great. I recently changed the motors of the drone. This is one of the modifications that I was going to tell you about to these Access Flying 157 motors, which have higher kV. They’re a lot more, a lot more powerful, and I would say it makes a big difference to the flight characteristics of this drone.
Now, I wouldn’t really say that this drone was slow before, but it really kind of needed a little bit. kick out of it. And now with these motors, you definitely have it. I wouldn’t really say this modification is absolutely necessary. It’s not a must-have, but if you are not afraid of working on your drone or tearing it completely apart to solder some new motors, it will give you some really nice kick when you are pushing the throttle to the maximum, you will feel a lot more power. This drone now is a lot more agile, and it moves a lot faster compared to what it was before. Now granted. Like I said before, this is not going to make it a five-inch.
However, if you want to do some, some dives or some faster tracking of an object that is moving very quickly, or if you want to be able to, you know, just cruise a little bit faster. You can get those motors. I actually really like them. I will link them down below in the description, the access flying 1 57. If I’m not mistaken, that was the number of these motors. They’re really good. But you need to be aware. It’s not a very easy job to, to tear the drone apart and, you know, put them on. Actually, I broke one of the connectors of the camera while putting the Drone back together. And the Drone was in a repair shop for quite a while, so I can get the, the whole motherboard replaced, which, you know, was a big pain in the butt. But with that said, I am very happy with the motors and how they fly.
And, of course, that also limits the battery life to maybe eight or nine minutes of faster flying and maybe 10 minutes of cruising. It really comes down to what your needs are, and if you want to work on your drone, maybe you can get those motors. As I said, it’s, it’s nice to have them, but they’re not mandatory to have.
With these motors. I also wanted to put some more aggressive props to see how it will work on the Avata. And these are Gem Fan props that fit the Avata very well. I’m also going to link them in the description down below. And now this feels like a totally different drone compared to. the stock one. It’s a nice thing to be able to change.
Of course, props are very easy to change, so maybe you can give these a go if you want to see how they will change, the flight style of this drone. But yeah, Gem Fan props are always great to have, and I’m very happy with this current setup of the Avata right now. It goes without saying that it’s great to have this built-in protection in the DJI Avata that helps you keep the drone hovering in the air if it loses signal. If you push it too far and you completely lose signal, it will hover in the air wait for you until you get closer to it, so we can regain that signal back, and you can fly it back to you. Or we can set it to return to home automatically. But I do not recommend that because you can encounter some obstacles in the way and crash and even, you know, break the drone even more.
So I would advise you to set it, to hover in case it loses signal. Go a little bit closer to it so you can regain that signal back. So that’s great. And also, generally, this whole setup of the drone, the remote, and most importantly, the goggles. I feel like it’s a great setup to have. It just works really, really well, especially the quality inside the goggles, the dvr, everything is just perfect, and it brings up so much more enjoyment out of this hobby and out of flying in general when you can see so much more inside the goggles.
You have a lot more details, a lot more information that your eyes can take in. So definitely, the new goggles 2 are the right way to go. Even, like I said a couple of times without being super comfortable. They are amazing to wear on the head and to enjoy the flight with. So, all in all, I would say that the Avata is a fantastic drone.
It still is, and especially with the upgrades from DJI recently with 10 videos and all of these little things that they have added along the way, I think the Avata is a great option for anyone looking to buy a Cinewhoop. Now the big question, at least for me is: am I going to keep this drone? And I’m on the fence.
Not because I don’t want to keep using the DJI Avata. As I said, I really love this drone, but with these drones, and especially now with the O3 Air Units, we are kind of spoiled because the air unit is that small. The O3 Air Unit is just super tiny, and I’m getting a little bit of an itch to build it.
Or to buy, I’m not exactly sure yet. A very small sub-250-gram O3 Air Unit drone that I can use to go through small gaps, usually when it comes to Cinewhoops. They are great for flying close to people, which I don’t do too much of now. What I’m most interested in is flying through very small gaps.
Hitting those gaps is very, very enjoyable. It gives me great satisfaction, and those types of shots are what I’m after. So because of that, the DJI Avata is not, you know, the most portable and the smallest drone out there. It’s also. Over 250 grams. So it uses the same camera as the O3 Air Unit. So that leads me to believe that by using this same camera, but on a smaller body with different flight characteristics, a very lightweight option would be a lot more lightweight than this one. I can probably get better results for what I’m after. What I’m going for. So because of that, I’m still on the fence about whether I should keep flying the Avata or sell it or give it to some friend because I obviously cannot fly ten drones at the same time.
I cannot bring them with me every single time. So I’m always looking for the most optimal setup that will work best for me. So that’s the only reason why I’m on the fence about whether I should keep the Avata or not. But other than that, when it comes to. , is it a good drone? Definitely, most, most definitely. I can highly recommend it to you.
Even so many months after its official release, it’s still a great product. I still haven’t found any issues with it. Now, I know some people have been complaining about this drone falling out of the sky randomly, but I’ve never had any of those issues, and I’ve never seen anyone who flies properly have those issues.
Most of the issues I’ve seen are coming from people who have no idea what they’re doing and then they rush to Facebook to complain. Yeah, no issues with Avata on my end. From anyone else that I know that flies the Avata, so I can highly recommend you to check it out if you’re looking for a Cinewhoop to buy.
And there guys, you have it. This is everything I have for you in today’s video. I hope you found it informative. I’m always trying to give out my personal feedback and my point of view on how I personally use this drone and how it fits my workflow. So hopefully, I can help you decide for yourself. Please let me know if it was the case by clicking on the “like” button, and maybe drop me a comment to let me know what you think about the DJI Avata.
Subscribe to the channel to give me a great start to 2023. Thank you so much for the support. This is Mike from Drone Supremacy, and I’ll catch you in the next one. Ciao.
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