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DJI RC 2 Review (Everything You Need to Know)

There is no denying it. The original DJI RC, released in 2022 with the Mini 3 Pro, was a hit.

DJI RC 2 Review (Everything You Need to Know)

The main appealing factor about the then-new remote controller was that it was a more affordable all-in-one solution than the extremely expensive DJI Smart Controller and its successor, the equally expensive DJI RC Pro.

One year later, we have an updated version of the DJI RC, the DJI RC2, which currently works only with the DJI Air 3.

In this article, we’ll be doing a deep dive into the DJI RC2, focusing on:

  • Build quality
  • Size and Weight
  • Sustained Screen Brightness
  • Various Features, etc.

Additionally, we’ll discuss whether it’s worth getting over the newly released DJI RC-N2.

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Benefits of the DJI RC2

One can look at the DJI RC2 and immediately realize that it will be a beneficial piece of added tech for the Air 3 and subsequent drones that are released thereafter.

Integrated Screen

The first thing noticed on the RC2 is the Android-based, 5.5″ integrated screen.

This screen is the same size as the now-discontinued DJI Smart Controller and the current DJI RC PRO.

Couple the screen size with a continued 700-nit brightness and the DJI RC2 shines as a cost-effective and dependable all-in-one dedicated device.

» MORE: Best Drone Controllers

Convenience

Because the screen is built into the RC2, there is no longer any need to have to attach a smartphone or device to the controller to fly it.

The DJI Fly app is already loaded onto the remote controller, just waiting to be activated and used.

As no cell phone is required to fly, getting the Air 3 up in the air and flying takes slightly less time than it would to pull out a cell phone, attach the cables, turn on the RC, and open the DJI Fly app.

With the DJI RC2, it is as easy as turning on the Air 3 and RC2 and flying. That’s it.

Because the DJI RC is a self-contained dedicated remote controller for the Air 3, there are no cables needed.

This is beneficial in that there is one less thing to worry about.

Various connection cables for DJI and Autel drones

Connection cables are an additional failure point in photography and videography equipment, as they sometimes break or get lost or forgotten, bringing the session to a halt.

Not having to deal with cables is one less item to go wrong once out and about flying.

» MORE: DJI Air 3 Beginners Guide (Step-by-Step Guide)

Price

The biggest benefit, one many will appreciate, is that the RC2 is a lot less expensive than the DJI RC Pro.

No, the RC Pro does not currently work with the Air 3, however, it is great to see an all-in-one solution that is not upwards of USD 1000.00+.

Currently, the DJI RC2 is selling on the DJI website for USD 369.00. Sadly, it seems to be out of stock quite frequently.

If you have an Air 3 and really need a DJI RC2, there are official DJI ones on Amazon, though slightly more expensive, at the time of this article’s writing.

Original Air 3 Smart Remote Controller
$410.00 $369.00

5.5 Inch Full HD Screen Image Transmission System of DJI RC2 Remote Control for DJI Air 3

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03/07/2024 12:41 am GMT

» MORE: DJI Mini 2 SE Controller (All You Need to Know)

Build/Design

The DJI RC2 is a quality-built remote controller. Using a slightly darker gray plastic than the DJI RC, the RC2 looks fairly more professional and less, well, hobby-like.

When in hand, the RC2 has absolutely no flexing or creaking, also adding to the solid build.

One of the most important aspects of a remote controller, aside from how well it performs its intended functions, is how well it feels when using it.

DJI has nailed the ergonomics of all of their controllers, the DJI RC2 being no exception.

Although just a basic rectangle, the RC2 has textured and slightly grippy sides that fit perfectly in the hand when holding the remote controller, making the ergonomics spot on.

All of the buttons and scroll wheels are within reach and have an equally solid feel to them. Speaking of scroll wheels, the wheels on the RC2 are no longer aluminum, like the DJI RC.

They have been replaced with grooved hard black plastic, which actually has more grip than the previous metal ones.

» MORE: DJI RC and Air 2S Compatibility (Explained)

Weight/Size

The weight of the DJI RC2 is 420g. Slightly more than the 390g of the original DJI RC. Compared to the larger and more expensive DJI RC Pro the RC2 is 240g lighter in weight.

When adding up equipment in a drone backpack or photography bag, every ounce and gram counts.

Thankfully the RC2 is light enough so as not to make a significant impact on equipment weight.

We have flown with drones that have massive controllers weighing pounds, not ounces. The weight of the DJI RC2 is welcomed.

The RC2 is slightly larger than the RC-N2, the standard Air 3 controller without an integrated screen. Although larger, as mentioned in the design section, its shape, and size are quite ergonomic.

When it comes to drone remote controllers, there aren’t too many variations in shape: square, larger square, and rectangle.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro with DJI RC (Explained for Beginners)

Screen

One of the truly appreciated aspects of the all-in-one DJI RC2 is the large integrated screen.

The 5.5-inch screen is slightly smaller than your standard iPhone screen, with a higher sustained brightness.

The brightness of the RC2 screen is part of what makes it beneficial to the hobby.

The 5.5″ screen is a sustained 700-nits of brightness. While the DJI RC Pro is a full 1000 nits, the brightness of the RC2 display is perfectly acceptable for shooting during those awfully bright days.

If using a matte screen protector, screen viewing is even better.

Although many cell phone companies emphasize how bright their screens are (1000 nit this, 1500 nit that), many if not most of those cell phones begin to dim to the point of being unusable (in some cases) after a short period of time in summerlike conditions.

I regularly shoot in the bright Central Florida sun, on both the DJI RC and RC2, and have never had a problem with seeing the screen.

Additionally, the screen on the RC2 never dims, no matter how hot it is out. When shooting during extreme heat conditions the screen stays at full brightness, without faltering.

Couple this with how convenient the RC2 is to the overall setup process of flying and it is a no-brainer for me.

Outside of the brightness of the screen, the display is FHD, and the images streamed to it are not only clear but also fluid running at a crisp 1080p 60fps.

» MORE: DJI Air 3 Review – Is This the Drone for You?

DJI Fly

Something that should be mentioned here in the screen section, as many know, is that the DJI RC2 runs a preloaded version of the DJI Fly app.

As the DJI RC2 is Android-based, and is essentially an Android smart device, using DJI Fly on it is similar to the user experience running DJI Fly on any Android phone.

Because the RC2 is a dedicated device only for DJI Fly, it runs smoothly with no signs of hesitation or stutter.

Additionally, like on any Android device, WiFi can be accessed and the remote controller (and Air 3) firmware can be upgraded as usual.

» MORE: DJI Fly App – How to Master Shooting in Manual Mode

Compatibility

The DJI RC2 (and RC-N2) is currently only compatible with the DJI Air 3. This is because of the new O4 (OcuSync 4.0) transmission system, which we’ll touch on shortly.

There is no telling if DJI plans on making the DJI RC2 backward compatible to work with the drones the DJI RC works with, being:

  • Mavic 3 Series
  • Air 2S
  • Mini 3 Series

Likewise, we have yet to see if DJI plans on making the Air 3 and future drones backward compatible with the DJI RC and DJI RC Pro.

Time will tell what is in store for the DJI RC2, however, as it stands as of the writing of this article, the DJI RC2 is only compatible with drones using the O4 transmission system (i.e. Air 3).

» MORE: DJI Fly Common Issues and How to Fix Them

OcuSync 4.0

OcuSync 4.0 is DJI’s newest video transmission system, with OcuSync 3.0 being the one used for the Mavic 3, Air 2S, and Mini 3 series.

For the OcuSync 4.0 system in the DJI RC2, the antenna system is comprised of two transmitters and four receivers.

This new system, although mostly unseen, has telltale signs in the usage of two new rabbit ear antennas that flip and fold for maximum signal coverage.

The antennas are not for looks or nostalgia though. The new image transmission system streams HD video at 60fps, with a much stronger transmission system than previously, and needs more antennas to do so.

OcuSync 4.0 can transmit video up to a maximum range of 12.43 miles (20km).

The transmission signal supports 2.4GHz, 5.1GHz, and 5.8GHz frequency bands providing the DJI RC2 with stronger anti-interference capabilities.

What does all of this mean? While we never promote flying beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), it does mean the ability to fly with a much stronger signal that is less prone to interference from outside sources.

The strong signal is ideal for those flying in urban areas or areas with high interference, such as in a downtown setting or massive subdivisions.

» MORE: What Happens If a DJI Drone Loses Signal?

Storage Options

Unlike standard, non-integrated screened controllers, the DJI RC2 has both internal storage and SD card storage as well.

The DJI RC2’s internal storage is 32GB, while an SD card of the recommended size of 256GB can be used.

The reason for the storage options is twofold.

Firstly, the internal storage houses DJI files, files that run the remote controller and are needed for DJI Fly, 11 GB worth to be exact. 21GB is then left for user-defined content.

Secondly, both the internal and SD card storage options can be used for storing screenshots and screen recordings.

Screenshots and screen recording options are great for content creators who rely on such content when making drone-related tutorials.

As a bonus, for those not needing to utilize the SD card slot for content, the SD card slot can be used as a storage slot for an extra SD card for the Air 3.

I generally bring SD card storage cases with me on commercial shoots, filled with quite a few SD cards.

However, when flying recreationally, or just bringing one drone with me on a shoot, I’ll leave the storage solutions behind and just rely on the extra SD card in the RC2 if something happens to the Air 3’s card and I need the backup.

» MORE: How to Transfer Videos from DJI Fly App to Computer (Step-by-Step Guide)

Battery

According to DJI, the DJI RC2 has 2 3100mAh batteries.

This allows the DJI RC2 to run for approximately 3 hours, give or take a few minutes, on the maximum brightness setting.

To charge the internal battery/batteries, it takes 1.5 hours (from dead), using a 9v fast charger.

As with the rest of the charging ports on the Air 3, the remote controller likewise uses a standard USB-C connection, making charging the RC more convenient.

» MORE: How to Download Photos/Videos from DJI Drones using DJI Fly (Step-by-Step Guide)

Charging

Charging the DJI RC2 is done by the following:

Step 1: Insert the USB-C end of the included USB-C cable into the USB-C port on the bottom right of the DJI RC2.

charging dji rc 2

Step 2: Plug the standard USB end into your 65 or 100-watt PD charger.

The LED indicator lights on the face of the remote controller will flow and blink to signal charging.

» MORE: DJI Fly App Compatible Devices (& Troubleshooting)

Pairing

To Pair the DJI RC2 to the Air 3 (and most likely newly released DJI drones):

STEP 1: Turn on the DJI RC2. After it has booted up, tap the Connection Guide button on the DJI Fly app main screen.

STEP 2: You’ll be prompted to power on the Air 3, with instructions to do so.

Additionally, there are more instructions to view when tapping the 1/2 at the top of the screen. After reading that information, you can Continue.

STEP 3: After searching for the Air 3 for a few seconds and failing to locate it, you’ll be presented with a message in blue stating “Unable to connect to aircraft“? Tap this message.

STEP 4: You’ll then be brought to the pairing screen.

Press and hold the power button on the Air 3 for about 4 seconds. The Air 3 will make an audible signal signifying it is in pairing mode.

Tap the Pair button at the bottom of the DJI RC2 screen. It will beep, loudly, signifying the pairing process.

After about 10 seconds, the Air 3 should pair with the new DJI RC2.

» MORE: How to Pair DJI Air 3 (With Pictures)

Features

Although the DJI RC2 is simplistic in design, it has a full feature set, worthy of discussing.

We’ll look at all of the buttons, switches, and dials on the remote controller, as well as the functions they perform.

» MORE: DJI Fly App for Mavic 3 (30 Tips & Step-by-Step Guides)

The face of the DJI RC2

  • Return to Home button (RTH)
    • When pressed and held, the Air 3 will automatically return to the location marked as home in the DJI Fly app. RTH options can be adjusted.
  • Cine, Normal, and Sport mode switch
    • Cine – slow smooth flight with dampened controls. Tailored for getting cinematic shots
    • Normal – straight out of the box, standard control speed
    • Sport – allows the Air 3 to fly at speeds up to 46.9mph. This mode turns off all obstacle-avoidance
  • Power button (press then long-press-hold to turn on)
  • 4 LED indicator/status lights and a Power On LED
    • 4 green LED: 75% – 100% battery life
    • 3 green LED: 50% – 75% battery life
    • 2 green LED: 25% – 50% battery life
    • 1 green LED: 0% – 25% battery life
  • 2 Removable Control Sticks and Stick Holder

» MORE: DJI RC vs DJI RC-N1 (All You Need to Know)

The back of the DJI RC2

  • C1 and C2 buttons. Can be customized as follows:
    • C1 Button
      • Recenter/Tilt Gimbal Down
      • Follow/FPV
      • Auxilliary Lights
      • Cruise Control
      • AE Lock On/Off
      • Increase EV
      • Decrease EV
      • Camera Settings
      • Switch Cameras
      • Plan Waypoint Flight
    • C2 Button
      • Recenter/Tilt Gimbal Down
      • Follow/FPV
      • Auxilliary Lights
      • Cruise Control
      • AE Lock On/Off
      • Increase EV
      • Decrease EV
      • Camera Settings
      • Switch Cameras
      • Plan Waypoint Flight
  • 2 Slots to store the removable control sticks
  • 2 recessed mounting holes
  • Vent

» MORE: How Do I Update DJI RC Pro? (Step-by-Step Guide)

The top of the DJI RC2

  • 2 scroll wheels/dials.
    • Left dial
      • Gimbal up/down
    • Right Wheel/Dial. Can be customized as follows:
      • Zoom In/Out
      • Adjust Focal Length
      • Adjust EV
      • Adjust Shutter Speed
      • Adjust ISO
  • Video record button
  • Photo shutter button
  • 2 internal/integrated antennas
  • 2 rabbit ear adjustable antennas

Button/Dial Modifiers

Additionally, there are modifiers or button and dial combinations that perform certain functions as well and can be changed:

  • C1 Button + Right Dial
    • Zoom In/Out
    • Adjust Focal Length
    • Adjust EV
    • Adjust Shutter Speed
    • Adjust ISO
  • C2 Button + Right Dial
    • Zoom In/Out
    • Adjust Focal Length
    • Adjust EV
    • Adjust Shutter Speed
    • Adjust ISO

» MORE: How to Connect the DJI Air 3 to a Computer (Video)

The bottom of the DJI RC2

  • SD Card Slot
    • Can accept SD cards up to 256GB
  • USB-C Port
  • Mounting Holes – for lanyard clasps, etc.

» MORE: How to Download from DJI Air 3 (Step-By-Step Guide with Photos, Screenshots & Video)

Is the DJI RC2 Better Than The DJI RC?

In one way, the DJI RC2 is better than the DJI RC. This is because it employs the much more powerful OcuSync 4.0 video transmission system and works with the DJI Air 3.

Currently, aside from the RC-N2, no other controllers work with it.

Sadly the DJI RC2 is not better than the DJI RC in that it can only control the DJI Air 3 at the time of this writing, whereas the DJI RC is able to control the:

Also, because the DJI RC2 has changed in physical dimensions (with the addition of the external antennas), accessories like the controller sun hood cover for the DJI RC will not work.

If you have a DJI RC, with a sun hood cover, like I own, you’ll have to purchase another specifically for the DJI RC2.

Sun Hood Sunshade For DJI RC2 Remote Control For DJI Air 3
$18.49

Screen Remote Control Sun Hoods Panel Protective Cover Sunshade Cover Accessories (RC 2)

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03/07/2024 10:06 pm GMT

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

FAQ’S

Can you install other apps on DJI RC 2?

Sadly, the answer is no. Like the DJI RC, the DJI RC2 cannot install or sideload any apps. It comes preloaded with DJI Fly and that is all.

Time will tell if DJI opens up the DJI RC2 to allow other apps to be installed.

Can you livestream from DJI RC 2?

At the time of this article’s writing, the DJI RC2 cannot livestream, as it has no access to YouTube or other streaming applications.

Currrently, the only way to livestream with the Air 3 would be using the DJI RC-N2.

» MORE: DJI Mini 3 / Mini 3 Pro – How to Live Stream on YouTube (Video)

Accessories

Although having just been released two months ago (July 2023), there are already quite a few accessories available for the DJI RC2.

Remote Controller Sun Hood Cover

RC Sun Hood Covers are a great idea for the DJI RC2.

Although the RC2 runs at a continuous 700 nits, the screen can still cast a lot of glare in direct sun, if not using a matte screen protector.

RC Sun Hood Covers are not only adjustable, but they also allow the RC2 to be stored with the control sticks installed.

Sun Hood Sunshade For DJI RC2 Remote Control For DJI Air 3
$18.49

Screen Remote Control Sun Hoods Panel Protective Cover Sunshade Cover Accessories (RC 2)

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03/07/2024 10:06 pm GMT

» MORE: 27 Best Drone Accessories (I Can’t Live Without)

Anti-Glare Glass Screen Protector

For added visibility in direct sunlight, matte anti-glare screen protectors do a great job at cutting down on glare, as well as providing added protection for the 5.5″ integrated screen.

If you already have a pack of these for a DJI RC, they will work on the DJI RC2, as the screen dimensions are the same size.

Our Pick
STARTRC Mini 3 Pro Anti-Glare Matte Tempered Glass Screen (2 PACK)
$15.99 $13.99
  • DJI RC
  • DJI RC2

For DJI Air 3/Mini 3 Pro/Mini 3/Air 2S/Mavic 3 Pro/Mavic 3 Classic RC/RC 2 Controller Accessories 

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03/07/2024 12:26 am GMT

Lanyard Neck Strap

Using a lanyard helps greatly when filming yourself doing any type of activity, as it frees up the hands for more natural movement.

STARTRC Mini 3 RC Controller Lanyard
$13.99

Works with:

  • DJI RC
  • DJI RC2
Buy from Amazon
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03/07/2024 10:36 pm GMT

Create your own Lanyard Setup

For those wanting a more convenient lanyard solution, though ultimately more expensive, you can utilize a lanyard screw and Peak Design camera strap combination.

I personally use this setup, as I use a similar one for all of my ground cameras and it is convenient, sturdy, and swappable between my DJI RC and DJI RC2 using the anchor connectors.

Hanatora Screw for DJI RC,RC 2,RC Pro,Smart Controller
$8.99 $7.99

Air 3, Mini 3, Mini 3 Pro, Mavic 3 Classic/Pro Remote Lanyard Attachment Accessories

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03/07/2024 11:01 pm GMT

Our Pick
Peak Design Leash Camera Strap (L-BL-3)
$44.95
Buy from Amazon
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03/07/2024 11:12 pm GMT

» MORE: Best Drone Accessories

Disadvantages of the DJI RC2

Although the RC2 is a great investment, there are two glaring disadvantages to owning the DJI RC2.

The first disadvantage is that the DJI RC2 does not allow the installation of 3rd party apps, meaning that if you want to request LAANC authorization, check the weather, run Litchi (if/when the Air 3 is supported), or check any other drone-related information apps, you’ll need an additional device on-hand, like a smartphone.

The second disadvantage is that the DJI RC2 does not allow livestreaming using apps like YouTube. Currently, the only way to livestream would be using the standard DJI RC-N2, as mentioned in the FAQ.

» MORE: What Accessories Do I Need for My Drone?

Is the DJI RC 2 Worth It?

Although there are a negative here and there, like no livestreaming or running 3rd party apps, the DJI RC2 is definitely worth it (if you don’t require those options).

Considering the price of the DJI RC2, either when included in the DJI RC2 Fly More Combo, or if purchased separately, having a dedicated controller with a decently bright integrated screen is worth it.

Likewise, if you also factor in the fact that this type of setup is convenient, quick, and space-saving, one can see that getting the DJI RC2 will also make flying much easier, and even fun.

» MORE: DJI Air 3 vs. Mini 3 Pro (Here’s My Choice)