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DJI Avata 2

FPV enthusiasts can breathe easy - the Avata 2 is a win.

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There's something pretty wild about trying an FPV drone for the first time. While putting on a VR headset and being transported to a digital reality is also a very special experience, the FPV experience is more brutal because you're constantly aware that you're looking out through the camera lens of a drone travelling around you.

But you don't have to look very far online to be instantly aware of how wonderful footage the most skilled pilots can get from getting so close to the actual recording mechanism, such as sequences shot via drones like DJI's Avata and Avata 2. The idea is simple; because the drone is, in part, reacting more directly to the way your head moves with the headset, what it sees and what you record becomes a closer rendering of how a bird would fly. It becomes more realistic and less... well, camera-ish.

That imagination makes the Avata 2 incredibly real, and while there are sacrifices here compared to a more conventional drone that we actively use for shooting several times a week, for example, there are far fewer compromises thanks to a number of crucial upgrades.

DJI Avata 2

We're actually talking about a package consisting of three new launches from DJI, the new Goggles 3, the RC Motion 3 controller, and the drone itself, the Avata 2. The former is probably the most important upgrade. The headset is now equipped with two 1080p microOLED panels, there's passthrough that activates with two gentle taps on the right side so you can instantly orientate yourself even with the headset on, and there's even the ability to see both through the drone's camera and the cameras on the headset at the same time thanks to PiP. Not only that, it's surprisingly comfortable to wear and packs down so seamlessly that it takes just a moment to pull out.

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The drone itself has improved battery life and is now capable of 23 minutes of flight, which doesn't sound like much, but it's a huge improvement over the original Avata. In addition, there is now a maximum range of 13 kilometres, and although this hasn't been field tested, the range wasn't an obstacle at all during the test period.

The new camera lens is also a major upgrade. It's now a 12 megapixel 1/1.3" sensor, and perhaps even more importantly, the FOV is a whopping 155 degrees, which means a fairly wide image, giving that fish-eye effect that is so crucial for FPV footage. It can now, almost for the first time for an FPV drone, record at 4K/60fps in either 4:3 or 16:9, but can reach 120fps if you choose 2.7K instead. This is with DJI's own RockSteady 3.0 EiS, which maintains a pretty sharp balance in the image, and not once during testing has the quality of the footage itself been lacking.

There's 46GB of internal space, which is actually pretty good, especially considering DJI has offered a lot less space in the past, but there's still microSD, which of course means you can expand the space quite a bit yourself.

DJI Avata 2
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It has to be said that for an FPV greenhorn like myself, it takes time to learn the unique usage pattern that blends feedback from your head movements and input from the controller to overall navigate the drone. But once it clicks, you'll get some truly excellent footage that's more natural than almost any other drone can produce. The new O4 Transmission in Goggles 3 provides a razor-sharp feed directly to the drone, and the intuitive controls add a whole new dimension to shooting with the drone. It's just... well, more fun. It's also safer to use than before, thanks to built-in Propeller Guards that protect the propellers themselves from damage and Turtle Mode, which allows the drone to reposition itself if it has landed on its back. It's a drone that's almost meant to go wrong, and it can take it.

The DJI Avata 2 proves how far DJI has come in the last few years, and while FPV flying is still an acquired taste, there are fewer reservations than ever before.

09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
overall score
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