FPV drones have been on the rise the past few years, and there are more instances than ever before where these drones are being used for commercial work. With advancements in tech happening so quickly, how does DJI’s Digital FPV stand up against the typical analog video transmission?
For years, FPV pilots have been flying with an analog signal. If you’ve flown with it before, you probably know it isn’t the most reliable thing in the world. However, it still gets the job done. With occasional static during a flight and cameras that aren’t made to showcase image quality, the pilot may not be able to reach their full potential. Whether they are racing or just out for a freestyle, having a clear site can be a huge benefit for FPV Pilots.
Above you can see an example of the difference between the digital FPV system (left) and the analog FPV system (right). Over the past year or so I’ve been doing FPV, so if you want to fix a problem like this, you need to be willing to learn a whole bunch of new technology. This can become really stressful if you don’t take the time to learn and fully understand what you are doing. However, DJI has helped create a solution to the “complex” building of an analog drone with long-range and good video transmission.
To keep things short and simple, DJI basically created their own system like the TBS Crossfire with an incredible VTX so you get the best of both worlds. You can record 1080p at 60fps or 720p at 120fps directly to the DJI air unit, all while flying up to 4km away. Anti-interference and super-low latency apparently ranges between 7ms-28ms. Looking at the specs, this system pretty much beats out the most available analog FPV systems on the market today.
I think this is a unique product for DJI, and I’m glad they came out with something for FPV pilots. I’ve been flying DJI drones for almost five years now, and can say that I’m in love with how well their technology can work. I never really have to worry about range or video signal when flying DJI, but the real question is, how well does the DJI FPV system work compared to an analog FPV setup?
From FPV pilot to the DJI system
If you are starting with a background in FPV, DJI may be a slightly new system to learn and understand. Being that this is one of the first main products in the FPV market for DJI, it needs to prove something for the existing pilots.
- Clearer image
- Clean build
- 1080p/60 fps recording
- Good range
- Size and weight of air unit
- Goggles don’t have analog built-in
After being on the market a while, it seems that there is a lot of potential for this product. Though it is larger and heavier than most other FPV parts, you have a slightly easier setup, solid range, and HD recording to the air unit. This air unit has fewer wires and is a fairly clean and easy setup if you are an experienced builder.
For FPV pilots switching to DJI, you must use the DJI goggles; you cannot separate the receiver, VTX, and camera, and you can only use 4s batteries (RaceDay Quads, GetFPV) to power the DJI equipment. These are more on the minor side of things; you can get used to the goggles and adapt to the weight of the system as new technology develops over time. All in all, though, it really does hold up nicely if you are looking to up the quality you see while flying.
From DJI Pilot to FPV
If you are starting as a DJI pilot and getting into FPV, this is where things matter. People who are already familiar with DJI and have built trust in the brand will have an easier time learning to install this software versus learning everything about analog VTX, receivers, transmitters, binding, and so on.
- Ease of use
- Easier install
- Trusted transmission
- Understanding FPV
Let’s just say drones are fun to fly, but not always fun to deal with. Building and understanding how they work takes time and patience. From my experience flying FPV drones, I find that the biggest difference between the DJI product and the other existing FPV products is the user looking to get involved. DJI bridges the gap between all the extra work when it comes to FPV and gives you a trustworthy system that holds up against some of the top analog options out there.
DJI digital FPV and analog are still on the same turf. Both systems have their pros and cons, and it really comes down to preference for the pilot. I find there are things I really like about the DJI Digital FPV system and a lot of things that I don’t like about it. I myself would prefer to have a digital system and an analog system from which to choose. With that, I’d also like to stick with just one controller, the Taranis QX7, versus using the DJI Controller and carrying around two separate controllers for my drones.
There are a lot of pre-built DJI drones with the digital system already installed now as well. If you are looking for something that is not too hard to start with, some of these drones offer a perfect solution. The iFlight Bumblebee (analog/digital) is a sharp-looking cinewhoop with ducted props and foam for indoor and outdoor flight. For more speed and agility for the outdoors, the XILO Phreakstyle may suit you.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth review on the actual hardware and software of the DJI FPV system. I will go in-depth with camera quality, controller, goggles, and overall thoughts on the system. If you have any questions about the DJI digital FPV system, leave a comment. I would also love to hear some thoughts and know about what drones you like to fly! Feel free to share below.
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