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Author Topic: DJI Avata 2 FPV drone review: A cheaper, more potent tool for creators  (Read 103 times)
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« on: April 13, 2024, 04:05:11 pm »

DJI Avata 2 FPV drone review: A cheaper, more potent tool for creators

<p>When DJI’s Avata <a data-i13n="cpos:1;pos:1" href="https://www.engadget.com/dji-avata-fpv-drone-review-133020277.html">came out in 2022[/url], its agility and people-safe propeller guards made it an instant hit — especially with video pros and content creators. It was hampered by poor video quality, though, and gave users no ability to see the outside world when using the Goggles 2 pilot headset. It was also less maneuverable than other FPV drones and quite expensive.</p>
<p>Now, the company has released its successor, <a data-i13n="elm:affiliate_link;sellerN:DJI;elmt:;cpos:2;pos:1" href="https://shopping.yahoo.com/rdlw?merchantId=479372ad-6013-4434-bdb7-ebc5486af4cc&amp;siteId=us-engadget&amp;pageId=1p-autolink&amp;featureId=text-link&amp;merchantName=DJI&amp;custData=eyJzb3VyY2VOYW1lIjoiV2ViLURlc2t0b3AtVmVyaXpvbiIsImxhbmRpbmdVcmwiOiJodHRwczovL3d3dy5kamkuY29tL2F2YXRhLTIiLCJjb250ZW50VXVpZCI6IjVmNTEzNjBlLTFkYjUtNDBhOS05MjhhLTQxYzlhOTg0NmE4NyJ9&amp;signature=AQAAAfGt7vfsGU6rZzIPQbSpP1wW1dG1mk8BnkAIsaKoFrri&amp;gcReferrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dji.com%2Favata-2" class="rapid-with-clickid" data-original-link="https://www.dji.com/avata-2">the Avata 2[/url]. The camera now uses the same 1/1.3-inch sensor as the Mini 4 Pro, so video quality is highly improved. The Goggles 3 have passthrough cameras to show the world around you and the Avata 2 can now maneuver more like a real FPV drone. Battery life has improved and it’s cheaper to boot.</p>
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<p>It sounds great, but how is it in the real world? With my drone and FPV pilot friends, we tested it in a variety of scenarios and events. In general, it's much improved from its predecessor, but there are a few things to know if you’re considering buying one, especially around the Goggles 3.</p>
<h3>Body</h3>
<div id="2174e74349b24f3da683a4218dd07da1"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1BaB64oWpoo?rel=0" style="top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;position:absolute;border:0;" allowfullscreen scrolling="no" data-embed-domain="www.youtube.com"></iframe></div>
<p>The Avata 2 has been completely redesigned to improve flight characteristics. It’s more oblong, less top-heavy, comes with a bigger battery and weighs 30 grams less at just 377 grams. It also just looks less toy-like and more professional.</p>
<p>The updated propeller guards and extensive obstacle detection make it far more crash-resistant than other drones. Updated binocular fisheye sensors cover both the bottom and rear views to detect hazards while increasing flight stability. It also features a “turtle mode” that flips the drone back to a normal stance for takeoff if it hits something and flips over during flight.</p>
<p>The propellers have the same 3-inch size as before, but engine noise is reduced to 81dB, making it more suitable for events like weddings.</p>
<figure><img src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/203b8c20-f7ec-11ee-b7ad-e05fcd735283" data-crop-orig-src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/203b8c20-f7ec-11ee-b7ad-e05fcd735283" style="height:1080px;width:1920px;" alt="DJI Avata 3 drone review: Improved video makes it a potent tool for creators" data-uuid="b748d85f-f5c1-37b1-b493-6c92bf891c90"><figcaption></figcaption><div class="photo-credit">Steve Dent for Engadget</div></figure>
<p>The camera unit and gimbal are larger and the protective covering is easier to install and remove. The USB-C and card slots, notoriously hard to access on the Avata, are much easier to get to here. Another welcome update is the generous 46GB of onboard storage, more than double the last model and considerably higher than most other drones.</p>
<p>The 18-minute battery life was a big issue with the Avata, but the new model now boasts 23 minutes max flight time, up 28 percent. The batteries can be charged quickly using the charging hub, too, from 0 to 100 percent in 45 minutes with a 60W charger — a bit faster than before, considering the higher capacity. The hub also supports DJI’s new power accumulation feature, letting you completely drain the two weakest batteries to transfer power to the strongest.</p>
<h3>Transmission and controls</h3>
<p>Like the <a data-i13n="cpos:3;pos:1" href="https://www.engadget.com/dji-mini-4-pro-review-the-best-lightweight-drone-gains-more-power-and-smarts-130012755.html">Mini 4 Pro[/url] and <a data-i13n="cpos:4;pos:1" href="https://www.engadget.com/dji-air-3-review-a-high-quality-zoom-adds-new-creative-options-130020261.html">Air 3[/url], the Avata uses DJI’s latest O4 transmission system that boosts range to 13km in the US and 10km in Europe — impressive for an FPV drone. It streams a 1080p video feed at up to 100 fps, with latency as low as 24 milliseconds using the Googles 3.</p>
<figure><img src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/3fbfa1d0-f7ec-11ee-bbf7-92961ee4c6cc" data-crop-orig-src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/3fbfa1d0-f7ec-11ee-bbf7-92961ee4c6cc" style="height:1294px;width:2300px;" alt="DJI Avata 3 drone review: Improved video makes it a potent tool for creators" data-uuid="b6f88366-b922-358b-aa55-a44fccf81abd"><figcaption></figcaption><div class="photo-credit">Steve Dent for Engadget</div></figure>
<p>Speaking of, the Goggles 3 have a built-in battery like the <a data-i13n="cpos:5;pos:1" href="https://www.engadget.com/djis-goggles-integra-has-an-integrated-battery-for-improved-ergonomics-130036871.html">Goggles Integra[/url] while updating to O4 capability. Along with the improved transmission, they now come with higher-resolution 1080p MicroOLED displays and improved eye comfort compared to the Goggles 2 that shipped with the original Avata.</p>
<p>The big update, though, is the Real View pass-through cameras. With a double tap on the side of the headset or side button on the RC Motion 3 controller, you’ll instantly switch to a forward view outside the Goggles 3. The resolution isn’t very high, but at least you can see outside without removing them. A setting allows you to see the drone view as a picture-in-picture to boost situational awareness.</p>
<p>The Goggles 3 now allows you to capture up to 1080p video directly to a microSD card on the headset itself and you can even stream live to another Goggles 3 headset simultaneously. Video quality is still higher when capturing directly to the drone, of course, but it does provide a backup. You can also record a view showing the on-screen controls — handy for reviewing flights.</p>
<p>Another new feature is head tracking to control the aircraft and gimbal with head functions, allowing better control for experienced pilots.</p>
<figure><img src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/5888d8d0-f7ec-11ee-b1f7-343db354f86c" data-crop-orig-src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/5888d8d0-f7ec-11ee-b1f7-343db354f86c" style="height:1294px;width:2300px;" alt="DJI Avata 3 drone review: Improved video makes it a potent tool for creators" data-uuid="9eba4ea9-1d3a-331f-ad1a-a15c2bd4cdc7"><figcaption></figcaption><div class="photo-credit">Steve Dent for Engadget</div></figure>
<p>There are a few downsides. It still doesn’t support glasses, so folks with astigmatism will need to purchase custom lenses. If you have the Goggles V2, which does support eyeglasses, it’s unfortunately not compatible with the Avata 2.</p>
<p>DJI hasn’t quite nailed the comfort part, either. The padding isn’t soft enough, so the edges pushed against the bridge of my nose, creating some discomfort. It was better after installing the additional (included) pad, but still not perfect.</p>
<p>The RC Motion 3 controller has been considerably revamped for the better. It’s smaller, lighter and has a more comfortable grip. Controls are also more precise, with a new sidelink wireless solution boosting the quality of the joystick’s signal. And for FPV enthusiasts who prefer a classic drone controller, the Avata 2 also works with the new FPV Remote Control 3.</p>
<h3>Performance</h3>
<figure><img src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/71275650-f7ec-11ee-baad-af6e806e1ac6" data-crop-orig-src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/71275650-f7ec-11ee-baad-af6e806e1ac6" style="height:1080px;width:1920px;" alt="DJI Avata 3 drone review: Improved video makes it a potent tool for creators" data-uuid="f9d48a00-9bc6-30ab-aa80-88763769509a"><figcaption></figcaption><div class="photo-credit">Steve Dent for Engadget</div></figure>
<p>Where the original Avata dumbed down FPV performance, the Avata 2 goes all in. It’s incredibly maneuverable, and unlike most FPV drones, highly crash-resistant.</p>
<p>Maximum speeds are the same as the Avata at around 60MPH in manual mode with obstacle detection turned off. That might be slower than purpose-built open-propeller FPVs, but it’s fast for a consumer product and won’t slice up bystanders like regular drones.</p>
<p>Though it’s not faster, it’s quicker and more precise than the Avatar thanks to the slimmed-down and better-balanced body. It turns on a dime around obstacles and climbs and descends with alacrity. At the same time, you can plow through small twigs or leaves and barely slow down.</p>
<p>Flying it is truly fun. The improved Goggles 3 with O4 give a clearer view, and the Motion 3 controller allows for precise and intuitive control. For events around people, you can fly in normal or beginner modes for safety, or elsewhere at 35 or 60 MPH in sport and manual modes.</p>
<figure><img src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/896e3df0-f7ec-11ee-bdae-1ea7b64ecb88" data-crop-orig-src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/896e3df0-f7ec-11ee-bdae-1ea7b64ecb88" style="height:1294px;width:2300px;" alt="DJI Avata 3 drone review: Improved video makes it a potent tool for creators" data-uuid="2306e76b-d68b-3e32-bd04-06f81fd1101d"><figcaption></figcaption><div class="photo-credit">Steve Dent for Engadget</div></figure>
<p>The Motion 3 adds a new trigger setting that rotates the Avata 2 in place for easier maneuvers and it now includes a dedicated mode button for normal or sport flying. The joystick is larger and the controller more responsive and precise overall.</p>
<p>Head tracking is a common feature on FPV and Cinewoop drones, and it now works on the Avata 2. I found it helpful mainly for controlling the camera tilt, as it’s a natural way to adjust that parameter.</p>
<p>If you want to fly the Avata 2 at top speed in manual mode, you’ll need the FPV Remote Controller 3, which is sold separately for $199.</p>
<p>The Easy Acro mode is cool, but a bit cumbersome since you have to switch it on and off. Also, it’s so easy to implement with the RC Motion controller that it's almost... boring. Tricks include slides, 180-degree drifts and flips, though you can’t record video in flip mode.</p>
<figure><img src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/de3d35c0-f7ec-11ee-b1ff-153b7d186c4b" data-crop-orig-src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/de3d35c0-f7ec-11ee-b1ff-153b7d186c4b" style="height:1294px;width:2300px;" alt="DJI Avata 2 review" data-uuid="6108ab83-1415-3c0e-ae0a-c6707834885b"><figcaption></figcaption><div class="photo-credit">Steve Dent for Engadget</div></figure>
<p>The Avata 2 is better than before in stiff winds, but can still get buffeted around and often has to lean against the breeze, causing choppy or unlevel footage. Keeping things smooth, particularly outdoors, requires more practice than with a drone like the Mini 4 Pro.</p>
<p>It doesn’t have forward-facing sensors, so its main protection is the prop guards and high durability.  It does detect obstacles from the rear and below, and that kept me safe in some tight spots. I still crashed it at least four to five times though, luckily just in the grass or against small twigs and leaves  — without leaving a scratch. This could make some pilots overconfident, though.</p>
<p>Battery life is noticeably better than the Avata and eliminates much of the range anxiety typical with FPV drones. However, you only get 18-20 minutes of realistic range.  Most serious pilots will want to have at least three batteries with the Fly-More kit, and preferably more.</p>
<h3>Video</h3>
<p>The Avata 2 eliminates the Avata’s mediocre video quality via a much larger 1/1.3-inch sensor with 10-bit D-LogM capability borrowed from the Mini 4 Pro.</p>
<p>As before it offers normal, wide and ultra-wide shooting with up to a 155-degree field of view. It has two stabilization modes, RockSteady 3.0 and HorizonSteady. The latter is best if you want to keep things level, particularly in high winds — it does tend to lean into wind. RockSteady smooths footage more while allowing the camera to tilt, all the better to show off thrilling maneuvers.</p>
<section data-eng-breakout="bf223e7847344c1db7f681a84ecceef2" data-eng-breakout-type="e2ehero"><img class="e2ehero-url" src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/95417970-f7ed-11ee-bfee-6a0bb3ffb0f4" style="height:1294px;width:2300px;" alt="DJI Avata 2 fpv drone review"></section>
<p>It supports 4K video at up to 60 fps or 1080p and 2.7K at 120 fps. However, it can only capture 12-megapixel JPEG stills, so it’s not ideal for photography.</p>
<p>All that puts it leaps ahead of the Avata for video. Images are generally sharper and colors more accurate. The 10-bit D-LogM mode allows for higher dynamic range in bright or contrasty conditions. The one quality flaw I noticed was occasionally blockiness in video at 4K 60p when flying fast, likely artifacts due to the 130Mbps bit rate (beware of re-encoding for YouTube).</p>
<p>It’s much improved in low light for cityscapes or interiors as well thanks to the larger sensor. It’s not up to the level of a mirrorless camera, but as with the Mini 4 Pro, it’s fine for well lit night scenes in most cases. ISO levels are usable up to 12800 with noise reduction, with the 25600 max setting being for emergency use only.</p>
<h3>Wrap-up</h3>
<figure><img src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/c78a1810-f7ed-11ee-a3f7-507caea7f466" data-crop-orig-src="https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2024-04/c78a1810-f7ed-11ee-a3f7-507caea7f466" style="height:1294px;width:2300px;" alt="DJI Avata 3 drone review: Improved video makes it a potent tool for creators" data-uuid="e75fd592-cb25-3ee6-bf81-25b34b83da41"><figcaption></figcaption><div class="photo-credit">Steve Dent for Engadget</div></figure>
<p>The Avata 2 is bound to be another hit for DJI. It eliminates nearly every flaw on the Avata, boosting picture quality, FPV maneuverability, battery life, range and more. Video quality, in particular, will make it even more desirable for content creators, event videographers and others (my pro friends, who already own the Avata, are planning to order one). At the same time, it’s a fantastic FPV drone for beginners — just super fun to use.</p>
<p>It’s also more affordable. The Avata 2 is <a data-i13n="elm:affiliate_link;sellerN:DJI;elmt:;cpos:6;pos:1" href="https://shopping.yahoo.com/rdlw?merchantId=479372ad-6013-4434-bdb7-ebc5486af4cc&amp;siteId=us-engadget&amp;pageId=1p-autolink&amp;featureId=text-link&amp;merchantName=DJI&amp;custData=eyJzb3VyY2VOYW1lIjoiV2ViLURlc2t0b3AtVmVyaXpvbiIsImxhbmRpbmdVcmwiOiJodHRwczovL3N0b3JlLmRqaS5jb20vIiwiY29udGVudFV1aWQiOiI1ZjUxMzYwZS0xZGI1LTQwYTktOTI4YS00MWM5YTk4NDZhODcifQ&amp;signature=AQAAAa65bewNa5-9W2KosD6260QFHlpepIGv1-aC7YRT7CLa&amp;gcReferrer=https%3A%2F%2Fstore.dji.com%2F" class="rapid-with-clickid" data-original-link="https://store.dji.com/">priced at $1,000[/url] with a single battery in the Fly-More kit with the Goggles 3 and Motion 3 controller, or $1,200 with three batteries, the two-way charging hub and a carrying case. You can also purchase it alone at $490.</p>
<p>That compares to original $630 price for the Avata. That model also cost $1,388 for the Avata with Goggles and Motion Controller, plus another $279 for the 2-battery/charger Fly-More kit (for $1,667 total) — so the Avata 2 is nearly $500 cheaper in that configuration. As mentioned, the FPV Remote Controller 3 is $199, while the ND Filters Set is $79.</p>
<p>The Avata 2 doesn’t have much competition, as regular FPV drones generally lack propeller guards and rivals like Autel don’t offer similar products. That doesn’t really matter, though, as DJI’s latest drone is both powerful and attractively priced — making it a highly desirable product for creators of all stripes.</p>This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/dji-avata-2-fpv-drone-review-a-cheaper-more-potent-tool-for-creators-130052278.html?src=rss

Source: DJI Avata 2 FPV drone review: A cheaper, more potent tool for creators
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