Good day, folks. Shawn here from Air Photography. So, the DJI Avata has been out for almost six months now, and usually with products like this, I like to do follow-up videos going over my experience with it. After flying it for several months now, I can say without a doubt that the DJI Avata has become my all time favorite drone out of any drone that I've ever flown or currently own.
DJI Avata long term review
Now, that's a pretty bold statement when you compare it to drones like the DJI Mavic 3 the DJI Air 2S, even the DJI Mini 3. And the reason I say that is, I love the type of content I can capture with it. And it really is just a fun drone to fly.
Now, this long-term review is coming from the perspective of a GPS flyer. That's my primary passion. I love flying GPS drones and capturing cinematic footage. Somebody who is an FPV enthusiast is going have a very different opinion of this drone most likely.
Capture creative footage with the DJI Avata
Now, just to go over a couple reasons why I really like this drone. The first is just the type of content I can capture with it. The drone is actually pretty versatile. Of course, you can capture FPV style footage, but if you so choose, you're still able to capture content that mimics that of a traditional drone with a stabilized horizon. And for the most part, it actually works quite well. Myself, I love flying through forests and capturing proximity shots.
I'm not so much about racing and flipping. Of course, I do like to fly fast from time to time, but really going through small openings and just getting some nice dramatic shots is what I really like about the DJI Avata, and the DJI Avata is the perfect choice for capturing that style of content. I never really felt comfortable capturing that style of content with something like a Mavic 3 or the Mini 3, just for the fact that if you happen to clip a branch or a leaf,
Sometimes that's just enough to make the drone fall to the ground, and chances are it's going to be damaged. With the DJI Avata here, it's completely different. The way this drone is designed, it's very robust. If you happen to come into contact with small branches, leaves, or foliage, chances are the drone is going to keep pushing on through.
Dji Avata is pretty crash-proof
Even if you bump into something a little bit more robust, like a tree trunk or a really thick branch, quite often the drone will just bounce off of it and keep on going. Of course, it depends on how you hit it and the speed at which you're going, but even in the worst case scenario, if you do hit a tree and your drone falls to the ground, most likely it's not going to be damaged.
On top of that, if you do happen to crash, you can use your turtle mode in some situations, flip it back over, and continue on with your flight. So that's the main reason why I really like this drone. I'm able to get the shots that I want without having to worry about damaging my drone. When you take that fear away, you're maybe a little bit more brave and actually start getting the shots that you want to get.
Like I said, I'm not really comfortable flying a Mavic through a thick tree canopy, but with something like the DJI Avata, it's no issue at all. I'm not a particularly skilled FPV pilot. It's all just because of the ease of flying the drone that I'm able to capture those types of shots. Now, as mentioned, the drone is very durable, but it's going to depend on how it crashes and what kind of surface it crashes on.
DJI Avata Turtle Mode
If you fly this thing full speed into concrete, a brick wall, or something like that, there is a slight chance you may crack the frame. But DJI does sell replacement frames. They're fairly inexpensive, and they're actually pretty easy to replace. You can also replace this roll cage here at the top if that gets damaged as well.
DJI Avata is easy to travel with
Now, another reason I really like it is just due to its nice, compact size. This can easily fit in most backpacks. Now, unlike the DJI FPV, which really required its own case, it was awkwardly shaped in quite often. In most cases, you had to remove the props just due to its bulk. It really took up a lot of space.
However, with the DJI Avata here, I can pack this in my everyday backpack, and I can still bring a Mavic 3 with me if I want other filming gear that I need for recording, and there's lots of space, even on my e-bike, I have a little bag on the back of it, and this fits perfectly in the back with the controller and the goggles and spare batteries.
DJI Avata has great image quality
So for me, portability is another important feature of it. Another reason I really like it is that the camera on the DJI Avata is actually quite good. It's a great improvement over the DJI FPV. It's not as good as something like the DJI Air 2S or the Mavi 3, but definitely it's good enough for capturing nice cinematic content without having to mount a third party camera on the top.
Although the DJI Avata is robust enough to mount a third party camera, it's really not necessary. Now I have flown mine with a GoPro on top. I'll sometimes do that if I need a specific look or if I'm trying to do something very specific. But really, the camera is quite good, and I'm quite pleased with it.
Another nice feature of this camera is that just before Christmas, we got a Firmware Update. That added 10-bit color when filming in D-Cinelike, so that's a nice update as well.
DJI Avata comes with Rock Steady
Now, another nice thing with this camera is you can use the built-in stabilization, the Rock Steady, and for the most part, it does a decent job.
However, you can disable that Rock Steady and then stabilize it yourself in Gyroflow. Gyroflow does a much better job. The footage looks buttery, smooth, very similar to stabilization on a GoPro when using Real Steady. That's actually my preferred method most of the time when I'm flying with it. The stabilization turned off and then stabilize it on a computer later on.
Now, that is quite a bit of extra work, so it's not something I do for every flight. If I'm just out for fun, then I'll use the built-in Rock Steady. But if I'm trying to capture something very specific, I want really good quality, then I will use gyro flow.
DJI Avata battery management
Now, the other thing I really like about the DJI Avata is just the way you charge batteries in the battery management.
With my traditional FPV Drones, if I'm charging up a lipo battery, this is my charger. Just for charging up these tiny little batteries. This is a big, bulky setup, especially when you're traveling, to have to bring all this with you just to charge up a little battery like that is kind of a pain. On top of that, it's not as simple as just plugging the battery in.
You have to go in and set your voltages, and as a person starting out, that can be a little overwhelming, especially keeping an eye on voltage in the goggles. It's a lot of stuff that you have to learn. It's fairly easy to pick up, but I just really like how the DJI Avata manages the batteries. This is the only charger I need for the DJI Avata.
You can see the size difference when traveling. It's much more convenient. And then, of course, you can use their charging hub to connect four batteries. Unlike a setup like this, if you have four batteries to charge, you got to plug each individual battery in so it can be a little bit more time consuming. So definitely, charging and battery management are much more convenient with the DJI Avata.
DJI Avata makes some noise!
Now, of course, nothing in life is perfect. The DJI Avata does have its share of drawbacks, so we'll kind of talk about them now. Now, some of these are not necessarily negative of the Avata, just in general with FPV. Now, the first thing to consider, especially if you're coming from something like a Mavic and you're thinking about picking up a drone, like this is the sound.
And the level of sound that these make, these are quite loud. And it's not necessarily just to do with the Avata, just FPV drones and cinewhoops, just in general are quite loud. So that is just something to keep in mind. There's no stealth flying with a drone like this. If you're flying in a park and there's people around, You're gonna be drawing a lot of attention to yourself because these are definitely quite loud.
DJI Avata battery life
Now, the next thing to keep in mind if you're coming from something like a Mini 3 or a Mavic 3, is that you're not going to get as much flight time. Again, that's not really a problem; it's just something that you should be aware of. The Mavic 3 is rated for something like 46 minutes, and the DJI Mini 3 is rated for 47 minutes.
If you're using the plus battery with something like this, I think it's rated at 18 minutes. I can't remember the exact number, but realistically, you're only going to get anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes of flight time. Now, 10 minutes of flight time is actually quite good when you compare it to a traditional FPV drone.
Some of those drones you're lucky to get five or six minutes out of. And for myself, I've never really found that very limiting. Usually the way I fly, I can get well over 12 minutes, and I have five batteries, so usually that's enough for a session for me. But just some things to keep in mind. Now, another negative of this drone, which I have talked about in other videos, is that in the event of a crash, sometimes the battery gets ejected.
Now, the reason that's a problem is that if you happen to crash it, there are different features of the drone that can help you locate it, especially if you've crashed a fair distance from you. You can start the ESCs beeping, and as mentioned, you can use turtle mode to try and get it. But in order for those features to work, the battery has to be seated and the drone has to be powered on.
So that can be an issue. Now, there are some third party accessories that a lot of companies are selling that clip onto the back to help hold the battery in. A very simple one that people are doing is just an FPV battery strap just wrapped around it. That'll definitely hold it in in the event of a crash.
MicroSD card slot is hard to get to
And of course, like many people have talked about the memory card slot and the USB connector is in a very bad location. It's really hard to get at and can be a little bit fiddly. On top of that, if you forget to close that door properly, it obviously can cause you some problems as well. So really, those are the only negative issues I would have to say.
Other than that, the drone has been pretty incredible. Now, just for those of you who are brand new and are just doing a little bit of research about it, because you're thinking of purchasing one, basically, the DJI Avata flies just like a Mavic drone. So if you can fly something like a Mini 3 or a DJI Mavic 3, you're able to fly the DJI Avata.
The only main difference is you're going to be looking through goggles instead of looking at a screen. It's held in place by GPS. If you let go of the sticks, the drone is just going to hover. Of course, it has all of these safety features that DJI is well known for, like return to home, low battery return to home, and disconnection return to home.
DJI Avata is great for beginners!
So those can be very important, especially to a new drone pilot. In my opinion, the learning curve for flying the DJI Avata is almost nonexistent. So if you already have a little bit of experience on something like the Mini 3, you're able to get up in the air and fly with this very quickly. So it is a great choice for beginners, even experienced pilots, if you're just looking to capture a different style of content.
DJI Avata motion controller
Now, when you purchase the DJI Avata, it only comes with the motion controller. And that was kind of a sore spot with many, including myself, because, you know, that's just an extra expense. If you want to fly with a traditional controller, you do have to purchase that separately. And the really big problem was for many months that FPV controller was very hard to come by.
I think it is readily available now in most online stores, but it would've been nice if they had shipped it with a traditional controller. Now, mind you, I really do like the motion controller. It does offer a really unique flight experience. Myself, most of the time, probably 95% of the time when I'm flying, I am using the traditional controller.
I just find I have a little bit more precision with it, but I do enjoy flying it from time to time with the motion controller, especially if I'm just out for a relaxing flight. Of course, there are DJI Rumors that there's a new version of this coming. Perhaps even this month. So that'll be interesting to see what new features, if any, that brings.
Well, folks, that's basically my six month review of the DJI Avata. I've really, really enjoyed this drone, and I highly recommend it to anybody. Even if you don't own a drone, you're just going to be buying your first drone.
In the past, I would always say you'd probably get more use out of a traditional camera GPS drone, but I think just due to all the features of the DJI Avata and what it is capable of. I think this would make a perfect drone, even for a brand new drone pilot. It's easy to learn to fly, and it is just a ton of fun.
With a drone like this, it can grow with your skill level. Of course, you can fly in normal mode and sport mode. If you want to get a little bit more advanced, you can put it into manual mode.
It all just depends on your flying style and what you want to do with it. Myself, probably 95% of the time I'm flying the drone, I have it in normal or sport mode. I can capture all the content I want in those two modes. Sometimes I throw it into manual mode. If I just want to have a little bit of fun, I'll do some flips and rolls. But most of the time when I'm capturing content, that's not really what I'm interested in.
So if you are thinking of purchasing this, but you don't really have an interest in flying manual, With a drone like this, you don't have to. It's just one of those things you can if you want, or you can just fly it like a traditional DJI Mavic.
Well, folks, that's basically it. Hopefully you enjoyed this video and got some value out of it. Give it a thumbs up if you did. It's always greatly appreciated. Don't forget to subscribe to my channel so you don't miss any of our upcoming videos, and we'll see you on the next one.
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