Avata is a fantastic FPV drone released by DJI in August 2022 and the second of its kind.
But What is the DJI Avata? Who was created for?
The DJI Avata is a Cinewhoop drone functioning on the same principle as FPV drones created for beginners and individuals who want to fly indoors, close to people and objects, through forests, and in many places inaccessible to other drones while still maintaining the status of an FPV drone.
Avata is more than just a simple FPV drone, many drone pilots have long waited for it.
What do we know about Avata, and what essential things must we remember? We’ll answer those questions ahead!
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
What is DJI Avata? A detailed overview
As mentioned above, Avata is an FPV drone created by DJI.
DJI has many drones, from beginner to professional, and search & rescue drones.
Despite this large niche of drones DJI created, it has only two FPV drones: the DJI FPV and Avata.
After the success of the DJI FPV, which opened the opportunity for many pilots to get into flying FPV drones with ease, DJI released Avata.
Of course, DJI got into the FPV world a bit late, especially since DJI creates digital FPV VTX modules and leads the market.
Avata is a Cinewhoop drone. What do we know about Cinewhoops?
Cinewhoops are FPV drones with specific frames constructed with duct guards around the motors and propellers to allow ease of use during indoor flights and close to people and objects with minimum risk.
Although the DJI FPV drone was created for long cinematic flights with speed and power in mind, Avata is a more specific type of drone and much safer to use.
Of course, we can’t compare the DJI FPV and Avata drones directly, as these are two different types of FPV drones with varying viewpoints.
That said, it’s easier to start with Avata and fly it as a regular drone or in Sport Mode. Avata allows each new FPV pilot to fly this drone manually, but you must know the skill level to fly in Manual Mode.
Yes, to fly manually (in acro mode), you need to change some settings and learn how to fly FPV in simulators.
It doesn’t take long, but having more simulator experience before flying Avata in Manual Mode in the real world is better.
How to get started with DJI Avata
To fly and enjoy the Avata, you must have the Avata drone, the FPV Remote Controller, DJI Goggles 2 (or DJI FPV Goggles v2), and optionally, the Motion Controller.
When buying, you should get what we mentioned above, except for the motion controller, unless you opted for it.
So, what are the steps to get started with DJI Avata?
- Updating DJI Avata firmware and setting it up
- Charging all the batteries and taking the drone outdoors
- Optionally, changing basic settings before your first flight
- Fly in Normal and Sport Modes
- Follow these steps to fly in Manual Mode or acro
So, let’s expand this and see how you can fly this drone and what is the best approach to do it.
Step 1 – Updating DJI Avata firmware
To fly Avata for the first time, you must update the drone, remote controller, goggles, and motion controller.
Before that, you may have to get through an activation process of the drone or binding, depending on where you bought it from and the country of registration.
Follow the step-by-step guide on registering, activating, and updating the Avata.
Step 2 – Charging all the batteries and taking the drone outdoors
Before you fly your drone, you must charge all the batteries but don’t forget that you will need a decent battery level on the remote controller and the DJI Goggles 2 battery.
Taking it outdoors is the best approach (and in an empty field, if possible) for the first time to ensure the drone is not faulty, there won’t be any pilot errors, and for proper calibration and first-time GPS localization.
Step 3 – Changing basic settings before your first flight
You can skip this step as it is not mandatory, but there could be a few settings to improve your Avata flight to ensure your flight quality and that the safety features are on.
For instance, we recommend you make the following changes to the default settings of your Avata:
Set the RTH altitude higher. Setting your Avata return-to-home altitude higher than the tallest obstacle is a good idea.
I personally like to set it at around 100m to ensure the drone doesn’t smash into something when activating the RTH feature.
Remember that Avata does not have frontal sensors to avoid such crashes. Therefore, when returning home automatically, any object in front of your drone will make your Avata crash.
To update the return to home altitude, please go to Settings > Safety > RTH Altitude.
Turn on Center Point. Turning on the Center Point settings will allow you to display a small cross on the center of your screen when you fly Avata.
This is helpful to coordinate your drone better when you fly, mainly through gaps and along the ridges, and keep the flow steady.
Go to Settings > Camera > Center Point (Toggle On) to enable it.
Step 4 – Flying in Normal (or Sport) Mode
Taking off Avata for the first time in Normal Mode is a good approach.
Note: Do not fly directly in Manual Mode until you understand the drone’s mechanics, how it flies, turns and throttle rates, etc.
Jumping straight to flying in Manual Mode could be dangerous if you don’t have a feel for the drone in Normal Mode.
At least one flight in Normal Mode should be enough if you’re eager to fly in Manual Mode.
Step 5 – Follow these steps to fly in Manual Mode or acro
Change a few settings to fly Avata in Manual Mode for the first time.
- Remove the spring tension of the throttle gear. You should have received a hex key with your kit, and there should be a quick guide on how to do it in the booklet.
- Change the custom button from Sport to Manual Mode. You need to do this to switch to Manual Mode from the remote controller.
- Go to Settings > Remote Controller > Button Customization > Custom Button > Manual Mode
Now you can fly your Avata in Manual Mode, but beware, flying an FPV drone in Manual Mode without prior experience is very difficult. Therefore, we strongly recommend you train in simulators.
What about flying acro mode?
- There is one more step to do that and freely control the drone as you wish. You need to disable the M Mode Attitude Limit.
- Go to Settings > Remote Controller > Gain & Expo > Turn off Attitude Limit.
Now you can freestyle with Avata, do flips and rolls, and so on. Without disabling these settings, you could fly manually but never acro.
Is DJI Avata a good drone to start with?
DJI Avata is an excellent drone, whether you want to fly FPV or just get into flying drones for the first time.
There are a few areas where Avata excels:
- Avata has excellent video and radio signals, even at long ranges.
- It also benefits from the emergency stop feature, return to home, and precision flights.
- Avata has incredible battery life compared to standard FPV drones.
- It’s safe to fly around people but beware that drone laws do not cover Cinewhoop drones.
- It offers a uniquely immersive experience of flying FPV drones.
- Avata has excellent camera quality to film directly without needing an additional GoPro.
- The latency between the DJI Goggles 2 and Avata is very low.
Should you choose DJI Avata (FPV) or a standard drone as a beginner?
As this is a beginner guide, first, you must ask yourself: why choose DJI Avata in the first place?
- If you want a drone to get into flying FPV, capture unique immersive videos you cannot get with standard drones, and fly safely and in places a regular drone cannot, then go ahead and choose Avata.
- But if you’re considering acquiring a standard drone or one that will act like a regular drone (such as DJI Mini 3 Pro) with Active Track and avoidance sensors, then Avata is not for you.
What are the pros and cons of DJI Avata?
DJI Avata has many pros and cons compared to other drones and FPVs. Let’s take a look.
DJI Avata Pros
- The drone embraces the latest FPV VTX technology, offering you the cleanest and best image transmission of all FPV drones.
- Avata has features not found in other custom FPV drones, such as emergency stop, return to home, easily adjustable camera angle, and much more.
- The battery life of Avata is fantastic compared to a standard FPV drone.
- You can fly Avata in Normal and Sport Modes on top of Manual Mode. You can get the unique experience of flying an FPV drone as a standard drone.
- The video and radio signal is solid, and Avata can have very long flights.
- Avata is a Cinewhoop drone. It has duct guards protecting motors and propellers, so the drone can fly safely in places where another drone cannot, such as indoors, near people, etc.
- Avata’s camera quality is excellent, and you will not require a GoPro mounted on top of the FPV drone to have better-quality recordings.
- Charging Avata’s batteries is easy, whereas a custom FPV drone battery is very complex and dangerous to charge and requires extra measures and experience to do it so.
DJI Avata Cons
- Avata is not made to freestyle and is an expensive way to do it.
- Avata’s motors are weaker than other standard FPV or DJI FPV drones, resulting in less max speed and acceleration.
- It is expensive to buy the entire kit.
- Flying just the Avata or DJI FPV drones when you want to learn FPV is a good choice, but you will never reach the true FPV potential and knowledge to learn about FPV drones.
- Avata is challenging to repair independently compared to a custom FPV drone.
- Avata’s camera is wrongfully placed, and although the drone has duct guards, a frontal impact may break the camera. You should consider a metal camera frame for Avata.
- Even being an FPV drone, the Avata is limited by DJI like a standard drone (e.g., geofencing, VTX output power, etc.) by location, country, or state – therefore, you may never enjoy the full potential of the drone (as with a custom FPV drone).
- The Avata is at high risk of tumbling if you take sharp turns or do aggressive freestyle.