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DJI Avata vs. Cinebot 30 (Here’s My Choice)

Hello, and welcome to this unprecedented comparison between two cinewhoop FPV drones.

Image: DJI, GEPRC

If you’re thinking it’s time to get into FPV, there’s no safer choice than to lean towards a cinewhoop drone instead of jumping to a 5-inch quad.

Here we have two to recommend, but it’s up to you to decide which one will be better for your needs.

The DJI Avata would be my choice for a beginner stepping into FPV for the first time with zero knowledge.

However, the Cinebot 30 offers a better and more stable FPV experience. It’s more durable and highly customizable, which is my recommendation if you’re serious about learning FPV and further expanding your fleet.

But before you buy, there’s so much you can learn about these drones and some essential tips to share that you’ll hardly find anywhere else.

You surely don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on a drone only to be disappointed.

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Brief Overview

DJI Avata

The DJI Avata is the second FPV drone released by DJI after stepping up their game to produce this type of drone.

DJI is known to have written history in the world of FPV with the introduction and advancement of digital VTX transmission modules and goggles.

DJI Avata, as well as the DJI FPV, are both natively built around these digital systems. That’s an advantage if you’re looking for a crisp and good-looking image transmission to offer the best FPV experience.

Also, the DJI Avata has one of the best VTX systems for an FPV drone, so no current FPV internal camera can record better videos, only attached action cameras.

But this is not all behind DJI Avata. What else does it have to offer?

  • A unique function and ability to fly this drone both in manual mode (acro), like an FPV drone, and normal and sport modes, like a standard drone. Moreover, Avata can freestyle, within limits.
  • One of the first FPV drones to introduce a head-tracking function for an immersive VR-like experience when flying in normal mode.
  • It’s a cinewhoop, so it has permanent duct guards installed around the motors and propellers, offering an extra level of safety when flying around people, indoors or in dense areas such as a forest.
  • DJI Avata introduces one of the top-of-the-line return-to-home modules that works flawlessly like the ones from standard DJI drones. 
  • DJI Avata also has a feature called “emergency brake,” where, with a push of a button, the drone should come to a full stop, auto switch to normal mode, and hover. It’s a feature that can save your drone when you feel you have lost control.
  • This drone is one of the easiest ways to get into FPV without dealing with complex setups and configurations. 

» MORE: How to Fly DJI Avata? (Manual Mode)

Cinebot 30

Well, if we take a step away from DJI drones, we come to the Cinebot 30 FPV cinewhoop drone manufactured by GEPRC.

It’s a step up from the convenience and ease of DJI drones, and it’s a more advanced FPV drone than what DJI offers.

To say it briefly, if DJI Avata is a good beginner drone to get into FPV, with the Cinebot 30, we’re looking at a more advanced FPV pilot. 

But what else does the Cinebot 30 have to offer?

  • This drone is highly customizable and can come in many versions, from O3 Air Unit or Vista Digital VTX to Analog versions, and could be PNP or can come with TBS Nano RX, ELRS 2.4Ghz, or R-XSR transmission protocols compatible with different FPV radio transmitters.
  • The frame is made of highly durable and impact-resistant PC+PET materials, and the camera frame is made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy with shock and vibration absorption. So, this drone is highly durable to sustain crashes.
  • The motors behind the Cinebot 30 are very powerful, and the SPEEDX2 1804-2450KV for the 6S version could be ideal to fly even long-range and at high speeds. Or even freestyle or race (within limits for cinewhoop drones)
  • Aesthetically, the Cinebot 30 has a Cob light strip inside the duct guards, with lovely flying visuals. 
  • The Cinebot 30 is an authentic way of getting deep into FPV without being limited by DJI with firmware, geo or height restrictions, or transmission power limits. 

» MORE: What is a Cinewhoop Drone? Getting Started with Cinewhoops (Explained for Beginners)

Quick Verdict

Image: Dan Bayne

Here at Droneblog, we have all sorts of drones, from beginner to professional, commercial, and even FPV. We fly, test, and use them regularly to create the most accurate and reliable content.

If you are in a rush, here’s what I recommend between these two drones.

Pick the Cinebot 30 if you’re serious about getting into FPV because it’s more resistant and highly customizable, and you can DIY the drone as you like without any restrictions. Do you need to change the flight controller or camera? You can watch some tutorials and do it yourself. 

But the DJI Avata would be the more straightforward approach if you have no knowledge of FPV and are looking for simplicity or are unsure if FPV would be for you.

It would be disappointing to spend the money on a drone to use it only once or twice because you can’t get used to flying in acro mode or you have motion sickness from the goggles. 

That’s why the DJI Avata may be a good deal if you don’t know if FPV is what you’re aiming for or if you are simply looking for a good cinewhoop for a couple of projects, and that’s it.

» MORE: DJI Avata vs Cinewhoop – Which One Should You Get?

What are the main differences?

We can point out numerous similarities between these two drones, especially considering that both of them are cinewhoops and fantastic for their purposes. 

But what are the core differences that make each drone stand out from each other?

  • The Cinebot 30 is a more advanced FPV drone than the DJI Avata and will require more knowledge to set it up, configure it in Betaflight, deal with Lipo charging, and even control it. The DJI Avata is as simple as it gets for an FPV drone.
  • DJI Avata with the Goggles 2 and a motion controller introduces an immersive VR experience called “head tracking,” where the camera and drone will move accordingly if you move your head in any direction. So it’s like you’re up there in the air. The Cinebot 30 (and any other FPV drone) lacks this feature.
  • As we already mentioned, if you’re looking to upgrade or change parts, frame, motors, ESC or flight controller, camera, and so on, you can freely do it with the Cinebot 30. Avata is very limited when considering upgrading or customizing the drone.
  • DJI Avata will come in a ready-to-fly kit. In contrast, the Cinebot 30 comes only as a drone, and you will have to acquire separately the goggles, radio transmitter, Lipo charger, and any other accessories you need to get the drone in the air.

» MORE: DJI Avata vs. DJI FPV (Here’s My Choice)

DJI Avata

Well, what a fantastic drone. I have flown it quite a lot, and I simply love it. It’s straightforward to utilize, requires no prior experience in FPV if you start with normal mode, and it’s a meticulous piece of technology.

But the DJI Avata comes with a few downsides which we’ll cover later. However, if you’re okay overlooking those, then sure thing, Avata is the easiest choice as a beginner.

And don’t get me wrong. This drone is built to last a long time, even if you often crash it, which is surprisingly good, considering that you will collect the components of any other DJI drone, FPV, or non-FPV after a crash.

It will not be as fast as DJI FPV or a drone to freestyle at will, but it’s an excellent choice for flying safely near people or objects, inside forests, or any other place a standard drone cannot fly for safety reasons.

» MORE: DJI Avata – Hands-on Review (From an FPV Beginner)

The only thing we don’t like as FPV pilots to have on such drones is the geo-restriction. 

DJI excels at keeping us on the legal side of the law in a restricted area, even if we want to fly a drone indoors where no drone laws are violated.

One thing we have to mention is that no DJI Avata kit, whether we’re talking about buying from DJI or other marketplaces, comes with the DJI FPV Remote Controller 2 – you need to buy it separately to enjoy the full experience of flying Avata in manual mode.

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GEPRC Cinebot 30

I don’t even know where to start by describing this drone and its immersive experience, especially if you are an FPV pilot or ready to become one.

With the lights on, this drone surely looks like a UFO flying in the sky. It’s just so fantastic looking, and how well it flies! In terms of performance, I can say it is above DJI Avata, but it’s more challenging to control and land.

I had the Cinebot 30 for a while before I left the UK, the O3 version with Crossfire protocol, and TBS tango with my DJI FPV Goggles V2.

I still regret selling it for personal reasons, and even nowadays, I’m looking to buy it back, but maybe the ELRS version.

» MORE: What Is an FPV Drone? (Explained for Beginners)

However, for beginners, I wouldn’t recommend the ELRS or CRSF to you because you’ll have to deal with heavy setup and configuration, binding and assigning switches. 

If you already have FPV experience, then ELRS should definitely be the way to go.

But if you want simplicity, go with the PNP version, and you can bind the DJI FPV Remote Controller 2 with the O3 Air Unit, the same as using the DJI FPV Goggles V2, which I strongly recommend above DJI Goggles 2 and Integra. We’ll talk later about why.

GEPRC CineBot30 3" HD FPV Drone w/ O3-4S/6S - PNP - No Receiver

The GEPRC Cinebot30 is a new generation of Cinematic FPV drones developed by GEPRC team.

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⚠️ Stepping into FPV – What you need to know

This is a special section we don’t usually create, but because we’re talking about two FPV drones, there are a few things we have to mention before we get into comparing them.

If you want to get into FPV for the first time and fly a drone in acro mode (manual on DJI Avata), you will have to spend at least a couple of hours, if not more, behind an FPV simulator to train for this new skill.

Without simulator practice, no person or drone pilot can ever fly an FPV drone in acro mode. It’s like you don’t grab a guitar for the first time and start playing Elton John.

Acro mode will fly differently from a standard drone, and the quad will not have any self-stabilization mode or hover. So, it’s the authentic way of flying a drone manually with no sensors active to help you.

If you’re looking for more information, I recommend checking the following article.

» MORE: FPV Drones vs. Regular Drones (Explained for Beginners)

FPV drones are dangerous to fly. They are fast, and a simple mistake can harm someone or destroy something. That’s why, again, training and practicing in FPV simulators will go a long way toward acquiring this skill set. 

Charging DJI Avata batteries is simple. But charging custom Lipo FPV batteries, such as the ones used for Cinebot 30, is another story.

These batteries have no safety components behind them, and you’ll have to set the voltage manually and amps; the battery has to be charged with a custom Lipo charger.

If you don’t do it correctly, there’s a significant chance for the batteries to set on fire, which can be catastrophic. 

That’s why it’s crucial to charge custom Lipo batteries in an enclosed metal box, such as an ammo box or, no joke here, a small enclosed grill. You can be creative, though. I charge my lipos on a safety metal box for valuable items.

I recommend checking the following video for more information about charging custom Lipo batteries.

All FPV drone pilots who step up from DJI FPV or Avata must deal with this. It’s a mandatory process for both your and other’s safety.

Head-to-Head Comparison

Camera

Winner: DJI Avata

If we’re looking at both cameras, the DJI Avata and the O3 Air Unit behind Cinebot 30 are the same. 

However, Avata has a custom air unit board that does run everything, whereas the Cinebot 30 has a standalone VTX module, the O3.

The custom air unit behind DJI Avata is what makes this drone tick in terms of camera quality, capabilities, and functions.

So, for instance, the DJI Avata can not only film in 4k at 60 frames per second but also supports a D-Cinelike color mode and has RockSteady and HorizonSteady electronic stabilization.

RockSteady can make a major difference in stabilizing the video internally. 

The DJI Avata also has a 1-axis mechanical gimbal that will allow you to adjust the camera angle when in flight.

Conversely, the Cinebot 30 has a classic no-gimbal system with a fixed camera angle that can be manually adjusted with a screwdriver or hex key. 

The O3 air unit does support filming in 4k at 120 frames per second, which is an advantage over the Avata custom unit. 

But the camera sensors are merely the same, with 1/1.7 inch CMOS. And it comes as no surprise that the O3 Air Unit behind Cinebot 30 also offers RockSteady stabilization.

However, here we’re talking about Cinebot 30, which has the most advanced FPV VTX ever created. The Vista or Analog versions are way behind the O3 Air Unit, so if you’re looking for an immersive experience when flying the Cinetbot 30, there is no doubt you should choose the O3 version.

But overall, with all the firmware and updates behind the DJI Avata, it is slightly placed ahead of Cinebot 30 regarding filming capabilities.

» MORE: Camera Technology in Drones (Explained)

Performance

Winner: Cinebot 30

DJI Avata has some custom motors that do not have a name or designation in the FPV world.

In contrast, the 6S version of Cinebot 30 uses the SPEEDX2 1804-2450KV motors, while the 4S has the SPEEDX2 1804-3450KV.

We’re talking here about some world-class FPV motors for FPV drones that offer you ultimate flight performance, excellent speeds, and stability. 

I flew both these drones, as I mentioned before. And Cinebot 30 does a lot better than Avata. But Avata should not be overlooked.

However, in terms of flying in winds, the DJI Avata has poor wind resistance where either heavy wind gusts or taking sharp corners can flip this drone over. 

Basically, the drone will tumble because of a bad gravity center and will try to stabilize itself. However, that can be an awful experience if you’re trying to take a unique shot and get cut by Avata’s impaired stability.

Sometimes, the drone may not be able to recover by itself, and then you’re looking at a crash.

With many firmware updates, has DJI improved the drone’s stability and decreased the chances of it tumbling over. But it’s not an issue that could ever be fixed because it’s related to the drone’s center of gravity.

» MORE: How Fast Can DJI Avata Fly?

Smart Features

Winner: DJI Avata

With DJI Avata, we have more intelligent features than you can find on Cinebot 30. That would be my quick answer.

So, because the Cinebot 30 is a custom FPV drone (non-DJI), here’s what we basically have:

  • RockSteady image stabilization: This is a feature found in the O3 Air Units where your videos can be electronically stabilized without the need to get through post-processing software. But we do recommend using the Gyroflow software instead for better flexibility when stabilizing such videos.

And now, here’s how Avata shines in this category:

  • RockSteady and HorizonSteady stabilization: With DJI Avata, we step forward in terms of stabilization. While the RockSteady offers you great smooth videos, the HorizonSteady will keep the horizon line leveled when flying acro for some unique shots. I frankly don’t use HorizonSteady, but it can have its own uses.
  • Flying in normal, sport, or manual modes: That would be the star on top of the Christmas tree. The ability to switch, even in flight, from normal to sport or manual mode, or any other way around, would extend the usability of this drone beyond anyone’s imagination. This will also be the critical stage for landing an FPV drone – complex in manual mode but simple in normal mode (hence, DJI Avata)
  • Intelligent return-to-home feature: Finding a return-to-home module in standard drones is common, but it is rare with FPV drones. Not to mention, DJI RTH modules are very advanced and accurate, so no other FPV drone can return to its takeoff point like DJI Avata or DJI FPV.
  • Emergency Brake: It’s the one drone-saving feature we’re happy to find on DJI Avata; find yourself flying the drone always with a finger on the emergency brake button to trigger it at need.
  • Head Tracking: This will bring the VR-like experience of flying FPV drones to yet another level. It is not usable in manual mode, only in normal mode.

» MORE: Smart Features in Drones (Explained for Beginners)

Portability

Winner: Tie

We can’t favor one drone for its weight or portability because they’re very similar in size and weight, and both drones will require goggles and controllers to consider as an additional weight.

The DJI Avata weighs around 410 grams, while the Cinebot 30 is no more than 210 grams, but that’s without a battery.

Now, the weight of the Cinebot 30 will change with the battery type; it could be 4S (for the 4S version) or 6S (for the 6S). More milliamps mean higher capacity but more weight. 

Regarding FPV drones, whether these two or any, they are less portable than standard GPS mini drones that come under 250 grams with only the remote controller.

The DJI FPV Goggles V2 weighs 420 grams, while the DJI Goggles 2 weighs less than 300 grams. 

So, the weight difference and portability will always depend on what goggles come for both drones and what batteries you decide on for your Cinebot 30.

» MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with a Drone

Flight time and range

Winner: DJI Avata

The Cinebot 30 comes with a DJI Air O3 transmission system, while the DJI Avata has a custom transmission system based on the same air unit. That’s what we know.

But both drones will tie in terms of video transmission distance with a slight favor to Cinebot 30. While the DJI Avata is better optimized, it is also restricted by FAA, CE, SRRC, and MIC to 6.2 miles, 1.2, and 3.7 miles, respectively.

The Cinebot 30 is not firmware-controlled by DJI, although it has the O3 air unit. So you have unrestricted flight range and no geo-restriction firmware.

But the Cinebot 30 flight distance will also depend on the radio protocol, which could be less or more than the air unit, depending on which it has.

In reality, don’t expect these drones to fly as far as advertised, restricted or unrestricted.

But the flight time can make a difference in flight range altogether with the safety features.

For instance, the DJI Avata is advertised to fly for up to 18 minutes, but expect around 13 minutes of flight time to land the drone safely. In contrast, the Cinebot 30 can fly for up to 10 minutes with a “naked”-size GoPro and no more than 5 minutes with a full-size GoPro.

The battery capacity and extra weight will drastically impact the flight time.

For instance, a higher-capacity Lipo battery will have more juice in it, but it’ll be heavier, which doesn’t necessarily mean it improves the flight time.

There is always a sweet spot between the battery capacity and weight that works best with the drone so the motors do not struggle to fly and get the best flight time. It also depends on whether you plan to attach a GoPro to the drone.

» MORE: DJI Avata Range (Explained for Beginners)

Compatibility

Winner: Cinebot 30

If we take one step further in the FPV direction by detaching ourselves from DJI-type drones, whether FPV or non-FPV, we will see that our potential becomes limitless.

First, let’s have a quick look at the DJI FPV compatibility:

  • Goggles: DJI FPV Goggles V2, DJI Goggles 2, DJI Integra
  • Controllers: DJI FPV Remote Controller 2, DJI Motion Controller, DJI RC Motion 2.

This is mainly what to expect for the DJI Avata to be compatible with. But not with the Cinebot 30.

While our recommended version comes with the O3 Air Unit, it is compatible with the Goggles V2 and Goggles 2 plus the DJI FPV Remote Controller 2.

But here’s the difference.

The Cinebot 30 can come in more versions and is highly customizable.

Using an analog transmission system instead of the O3? You can choose from a dozen compatible goggles and monitors to receive the image from your drone. 

What about the transmission protocol? Adding an ELRS or CRSF module? or maybe any other one? It makes the drone compatible with over a hundred types of FPV radio transmitters, depending on your choice. 

The sky is the limit. That’s why I personally love non-DJI types of FPV drones. I can customize it as per my liking and make it compatible with what I currently have. The limit may not be the sky, just your soldering skills.

I also want to add the battery section here. 

DJI Avata is compatible with a single smart-type battery.

For Cinebot 30, the recommended battery depends on your drone version: 4S or 6S.

You can always attach a 4S battery to a 6S drone and fly on a lower power mode, but never put a 6S battery to a 4S drone, or it will burst into flames instantly.

GEPRC recommends to use the LiPo 4S 1100mAh-1300mAh (4S Version) and LiPo 6S 850mAh-1100mAh (6S Version)

Note: The reason we recommend the DJI FPV Goggles V2 for the O3 Air version on Cinebot 30 is that these goggles can be further DIY’d to support analog transmissions, which can be one single headset you’ll ever need in FPV.

Ease of Use (Beginner’s Choice)

Image: Dan Bayne

Winner: DJI Avata

It’s a no-brainer that the fundamental crown over Avata’s head (or propellers) is the simplicity of using this drone and flying it, even for beginners in normal and sport modes, setting it up and charging it.

So, this section is for you, my dear friend.

If you are a beginner who wants to get into FPV, whether you have prior experience with standard GPS drones or not, absolutely go with DJI Avata – you won’t regret the decision.

Jumping directly to Cinebot 30 is a bold step, and you can easily give up after catching your ears in the complexity behind it when we refer to setting it up, configuration, and binding, at least compared to Avata.

» MORE: Best Beginner Drones for FPV

Safety Features

Winner: DJI Avata

Do you remember that in the above section about flying long-range, I mentioned that the “safety features” behind a drone contribute to long-range flights?

Yes, that would be the case where DJI Avata shines, and Cinebot 30 lacks.

The GPS module behind DJI Avata can be triggered if you’re flying afar and you get out of range, where the drone will start to retrace its path safely back to you.

With the lack of the GPS module in the Cinebot 30 (which you can add by yourself), if the drone is getting out of range, it will fall out of the sky. It’s as simple as that.

So, never fly an FPV drone long-range without a GPS rescue module.

The same GPS module and Avata’s ability to fly in normal mode are the best ways to land the drone. 

When we think about landing, we think of a stable and automated landing. But in FPV, this is not the case. Thank you, Avata, for introducing this safe way to land.

With a custom FPV drone, including the Cinebot 30, we’re dealing with complex acro landing. This requires skill to do it safely, and it can never be compared to how a standard drone lands.

You are in total control of the drone; you have to micro-adjust the altitude and direction and ensure you don’t drop the throttle abruptly, or the drone will hit the ground.

Do you remember when I mentioned the emergency brake feature earlier in the article? This safety feature can save your Avata and is available only with DJI Avata or DJI FPV drones.

I haven’t used it yet when flying the Avata, but I did test it several times in different scenarios with the DJI FPV. And it works flawlessly.

It’s exciting how a simple function can save your drone from crashing if you have lost control or simply if someone is distracting you from flying – the drone will switch back to normal and safely hover, even when flown in manual (acro) mode.

DJI Avata battery has safety features behind it, making it safer and more accessible to charge with minimal to non-existent chances of catastrophic failure.

But charging a custom Lipo battery, whether for your Cinebot 30 drone or any custom FPV quad, is challenging and risky and needs you to prepare a safe place to charge it. I recommend you refer to the “Stepping into FPV” section for more information. 

With all these perks, I can quickly put DJI Avata way ahead of Cinebot 30 in terms of safety features. 

The only similarity in this category between these drones is the duct guards, making these drones much safer to fly than a standard or custom quad.

» MORE: Drone Safety Features (All You Need to Know)

Conclusion

Generally, you can’t go wrong with any of these choices. They’re simply fantastic FPV drones, safer to fly, and will offer you the immersive experience you’ve been looking for.

But to finalize it, here’s once more how we recommend you approach this:

  • Suppose you’re a beginner looking to get into flying FPV drones with no knowledge or background of flying such drones or even a first-time drone flier. In that case, the DJI Avata is definitely my recommendation.
  • But if you have a basic knowledge of FPV and you’re looking to get deeply into this hobby with the possibility of extending your horizon and buying more FPV drones, then the Cinebot 30 is our recommendation.

» MORE: What is a Cinelifter? (Explained by a Professional FPV Pilot)