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The DJI Avata is a fun hybrid camera-racing drone
Drone fans are in for a treat with the launch of the DJI Avata, a compact quadcopter that is designed for the FPV experience. As the successor to the DJI FPV, pilots can enjoy fun methods of controlling the new drone, and choose from a set of FPV goggles.
A first for DJI, the Avata has built-in propeller guards. This makes the drone a little safer for sensitive flights, but may also be required as you grow your confidence flying through trees and closer to other obstacles.
DJI Avata overview
The DJI Avata is designed for the FPV experience. Meaning that there’s only a single-axis camera gimbal on the front, but that 4K shooter shares video directly back to your headset. Immerse yourself in the flight with the new DJI FPV Goggles 2, or connect some older DJI goggles as well.
The FPV experience is made all the more exiting when using the DJI Motion Controller. For folks who are accustomed to the videogame controller style of remote, it takes some getting used to the one-handed Motion Controller and its reduced set of flight controls. Once inside the goggles, however, it feels very natural.
The drone measures approximately eight inches from corner to corner and is about three inches tall. It does not fold, so the compact size is welcome for transport as well as for flying through tight gaps.
The airframe is sturdy, but a very skeletonized design. The propeller guards double as the landing gear, the camera and propellers mount to a middle plate that also has the flight controller and other electronics inside, then the battery and radios live in an upper frame that also acts as a shield for the camera. It’s elegantly simple.
Bottom line, the DJI Avata is not the next best camera drone on the market, and it’s not the best racer around, but it’s a hybrid system that can live in both worlds.
DJI Avata specifications and features
The DJI Avata is rated for up to 18 minutes of flight time per battery. The O3 (OcuSync 3) connection protocol ensures a solid connection at close range, but is also capable of very long-range flight. Pilots may connect the DJI FPV Controller from the older DJI FPV drone, or use the Motion Controller; there is no new controller just for this drone.
Avata is DJI's flying action camera
Up front is a 1/1.7-inch camera. It shoots 4K video at up to 60fps, and can capture 48MP stills. Those media files can store in the internal 16GB of flash storage, or save to a microSD card. In addition, most of the goggles can also record video to microSD card as well.
The camera is mounted on a dampened gimbal, which provides single-axis tilt up and down. Otherwise, the camera is equipped with the same RockSteady and HorizonSteady digital stabilization as DJI’s action cameras. We suppose that’s the easiest way to describe this drone; Avata is DJI’s flying action camera.
Obstacle avoidance is handled through DJI’s typical downward-facing sensors. The camera can help detect objects in front of the drone, but no other sensors are onboard to help avoid aerial collisions. That’s why there are propeller guards.
Here are a few early camera samples from the DJI Avata. Stay tuned for more images, including actual aerial images, when we release our full review.
DJI Avata price and availability
The DJI Avata is up for sale starting today, with deliveries expected at the end of August. There are several bundles available for the drone, each offering different controllers or headsets.
- DJI Avata standalone drone for $629
- DJI Avata Pro-View combo with the DJI Goggles 2 and DJI Motion Controller for $1,388
- DJI Avata Fly Smart combo with the DJI FPV Goggles V2 and Motion controller for $1,168
- DJI Fly More kit with two extra batteries and a charging hub for $279