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DJI’s new $1,299 drone lets you fly it in first-person view

Is this little drone off to a flying start?

dji fpv drone on case
Image: DJI

DJI has long been the choice for many for camera drones, with a track record of making learning to fly less complicated than their competitors. Now, the company is moving into a new drone segment, with the $1,299 DJI FPV.

See, FPV drones are usually barebones kits that the pilot has to put together once they arrive. That means users need to know their way around a soldering iron and things like battery specs. They also tend to have atrocious battery life, with less than five minutes per flight.

DJI’s take on the genre removes all of the usual knowledge for FPV drones, so it’s as simple as popping the battery in and syncing it to the controller and goggles. Oh, did I forget to mention the goggles? See, FPV is all about using the drone as your eyes while you fly around at blistering speeds, so for the full experience, you need a pair of goggles that put the camera’s feed right in front of your eyeballs.

Before we go on, remember that flying a drone in the US requires both your drone to be licensed, and for you to have line of sight of it at all times. With you wearing goggles for this drone, that means you need a second person to act as a spotter.

Check out the difference between a normal, analog set of FPV goggles and DJI’s digital goggles that use OcuSync. It’s a night and day difference, and you’ll want that crisper image with the speeds this little drone can get to.

See, this speed demon has an 87 MPH top speed, a 20-minute flight time, and the same camera sensor from the Mini 2, so you can get footage at 4K and 60 FPS. It’s been tweaked to a wider field-of-view, so you can see the ends of your propellers for gauging how close you’re getting to the things you’re flying through.

So should you buy this as your first foray into FPV drone flight? DC Rainmaker seems to think not, as the high cost and high risk of crashing while flying an FPV drone means you should start with so-called “toy FPV” drones that are around a hundred bucks. They’re great for learning, and you won’t hate yourself quite as much if they eat dirt.

The Verge was one of the only outlets to give the DJI FPV an actual score, rather than a preview, saying “I’m completely hooked… not specifically this model,” but any FPV drone. If it’s good enough to hook someone after a couple of weeks, it’s probably good enough for anyone with drone experience.

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