The recently released DJI Avata is a little fun pack. And this is the second time that DJI has tried to bring a ready-to-fly-out-of-the-box FPV drone to the market, and judging by the high consumer praise it has received since the announcement, people love it. Only this time, DJI has focused on creating a Cinewhoop drone (a kind of sub-type of FPV drone), which, among other things, allows you to safely shoot high-quality video, both outdoors and indoors.
Cinewhoop drones have been around for a long time, and the new DJI Avata is built with all the basic principles of the classic Cinewhoop drone in mind. In this connection, a reasonable question arises: which is better to choose?
Looking ahead, we note that the choice between these two drones as a whole depends on your level of knowledge. For those who are new to the hobby, the classic Cinewhoop drone is more likely to become a chore and will require deep learning from the early days, from the design and assignment of the key components of the drone, to mastering manual/Acro piloting, which can eventually completely discourage desire to develop in this direction. To prevent this from happening, DJI Avata was implemented, since this quad is completely and completely ready for operation without the need for pre-assembly and configuration.
In this review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of choosing between DJI Innovations’ revolutionary Avata cinewhoop drone and the classic Cinewhoop drone to help you come to the right decision that’s right for you. Let’s fly!
DJI Avata vs Cinewhoop
As mentioned above, Cinewhoop is a type of FPV drone that has been adapted to provide safe, high-quality FPV shooting.
This type of UAV allows you to find a balance between an FPV drone, the potential of which provides the pilot with full flight freedom “freedom of a bird” without electronic restrictions with full immersion in first person mode (in FPV goggles) and a stabilized GPS drone, which is often used to record high-quality footage in mode of horizontal electronically stabilized flights, using a smartphone in tandem with a control panel for piloting, or a screen on a smart controller.
Custom Cinewhoop Drone
As a rule, a Cinewhoop drone is assembled from scratch (like any other FPV drone), which predetermines the self-purchase of all necessary components, such as a frame, flight controller, ESC, motors, propellers, FPV camera, video transmitter, receiver and battery, this is provided that you already have a remote control, FPV goggles, and a charger. Moreover, the selection of almost all of these components requires certain knowledge in the device, construction (including soldering skills) and setting up drones, not to mention the ability to properly charge batteries (the process is not difficult, but requires familiarization).
Serial Cinewhoop drone
For those who do not want to dive into the process of self-building a Cinewhoop drone, the rapidly developing market offers ready-made serial solutions (in PnP / BNF kits), which, after purchase, mean that you already have a battery, charger, remote control, FPV goggles and a receiver (which must be compatible with your remote control; its installation requires soldering), and, among other things, such models require the user to be able to pre-configure the drone through specialized software, pair the drone with the remote control and FPV goggles, and be able to charge batteries correctly.
Examples of serial Cinewhoop drones (PnP / BNF):
Separately, one cannot fail to mention serial assemblies that are equipped with a digital FPV system from DJI Innovations / Caddx. Their advantage is that if you have a DJI controller and DJI FPV goggles, you do not need to separately purchase the receiver and solder it accordingly, as this system is already equipped with this component. Finally, pairing your drone with the DJI Remote and DJI FPV Goggles is a simple and intuitive process with just two buttons.
Such Cinewhoops are usually already well configured and you basically only need to attach a remote control, FPV goggles and charge the battery to the drone, which are often recommended by the seller in tandem with the charger as an extra. accessories. The only drawback of such assemblies today is the final price, which undoubtedly justifies the money spent! Who flew, he will confirm!
DJI Avata takes the hassle out of building a drone as it is fully assembled and comes with a variety of additional accessories such as control gear (and more), FPV goggles, antennas and everything you need to fly and shoot FPV.
DJI Avata vs Cinewhoop: Analysis
Ease of use
If you are a beginner with little to no experience in building and setting up drones and you are looking for a Cinewhoop drone that you can buy and fly straight out of the box then Avata is the best choice for you as it will free you from the complicated assembly process and convoluted charging batteries, because even this process for Avata is similar to the safe charging of a classic smartphone. In other words, in the case of Avata, everything has already been done for you and for you, and the process of interacting with the drone and its components is as simple and intuitive as possible.
If you are an advanced user and have an idea of how to build drones, what components are needed and how they work, then most likely the DJI Avata will be too simple and limited for you.
If you crash your drone and you often crash it while learning to fly, the classic Cinewhoop quad will give you more options for inexpensive and most importantly quick repairs. You can easily replace absolutely any part/component in the shortest possible time.
In the case of the Avata drone, maintainability is noticeably reduced. According to the developer’s statement, the user can purchase and independently replace only the upper frame, the lower frame with motor protection and propellers. For clarity, we recommend watching a training video from the developer. Accordingly, to repair or replace other parts or components of the drone, you will have to take it to a service center, and this is already lost time and a completely different price tag. True, it is worth noting here that, as practice shows, DJI engineers have noticeably tried to make Avata amazingly shockproof. For which they have special respect!
To summarize: If you need more flexibility in device maintainability and no waiting period, then classic Cinewhoop drones are the best option.
By default, DJI Avata comes with a Motion Controller that takes drone control to the next level. All you have to do to control the drone is tilt your hand in the direction you want the quad to fly or turn. This controller also has accelerator, brake and auto return home buttons.
However, when using the Motion Controller, you will not be able to unlock the same Manual mode that allows the pilot to unleash the full flight potential of the Avata. To access this mode, you will need to purchase a classic DJI FPV controller separately.
While the Motion Controller and the DJI FPV controller are very easy to use, they are noticeably inferior to classic controllers when it comes to their configuration and customization. If you’ve never used any other type of controller, then you’re unlikely to notice the difference, but rest assured it’s there. DJI app sticks are often stiffer, and finally DJI gear is noticeably limited in terms of customization.
The same cannot be said about control equipment compatible with classic Cinewhoop drones. In addition to choosing a controller, you also get a lot more options for customizing the drone’s response to the movement of the control sticks, adjusting their stiffness, and many other aspects until they are comfortable for you.
Interaction with the battery
LiPo batteries are used to power the drone, as they can deliver a lot of power at a time and have a significant capacity, while being light in weight. However, at the same time, such batteries are known for their fragility and fire hazard in case of careless or incorrect operation.
Battery shock, excess moisture, or overcharging are just a few of the reasons that can turn these batteries into explosives. And extinguishing these batteries can be quite a challenge.
And if you decide to deal with a classic Cinewhoop drone, then the likelihood of all kinds of risks associated with the fire hazard of a LiPo battery will increase markedly, since it is you who will have to set the charging / discharging settings of the charger, as well as protect the battery from damage and ensure proper control over the residual charge during storage.
With the DJI Avata, you don’t have to worry about all that because it comes with a smart battery. This means that these batteries will self prevent overcharging and automatically discharge to the correct voltage during storage to prevent damage. These batteries will remain in good working order with minimal owner intervention.
DJI engineers have created the best camera system you can find on a Cinewhoop drone. It can shoot 4K video at 50-60fps, 2.7K video at 50-120fps and 1080P at 50-120fps. The camera of this drone is also equipped with advanced RockSteady 2.0 and HorizonSteady image stabilization systems, which provide spectacularly stabilized footage even at high speeds. Finally, for the most demanding users, the Avata drone video system allows you to save gyroscope data in video for further processing in the Gyroflow software.
But what about the cameras of traditional Cinewhoop drones? Despite the fact that most of the cameras installed on them are often not as good as the camera of the Avata drone, the power potential of most Cinewhoop quads allows you to easily install a second camera, such as a GoPro, as a payload. In comparison, the GoPro Hero 10 action camera can shoot video at 5.3K at 60fps, 4K at 120fps, and take 23MP stills. Hero 10 also features HyperSmooth 4.0 image stabilization, and you can use Gyroflow or RealSteady to further stabilize your footage.
We believe that footage captured with a GoPro will be much better than what you get with an Avata drone camera. In addition, the GoPro has a wider range of settings than the Avata drone camera can boast.
While you can also add a second camera to the Avata drone, the wide range of settings on a traditional Cinewhoop drone still make it the best choice for FPV flight and filming. In addition, the extra weight will significantly affect the stabilization and stability systems of the Avata drone, which will ultimately negatively affect the quality of the original video.
Geofencing is known to provide an extra layer of security where it’s most needed, but in some cases this feature can create a lot of hassle where you don’t expect it at all. For example, DJI Avata may simply not take off in these areas, and even if you have permission, DJI may not immediately respond, delaying you for several minutes or even hours. So if you don’t want to deal with the GeoFencing feature, then traditional Cinewhoop drones can easily save you all that trouble. But this does not mean at all that you should fly in no-fly zones. Remember safety above all, do not neglect the rules for using the airspace!
Range of flight
DJI Avata is equipped with the top-end OcuSync 3.0+ system, which provides better data transfer and interference-free range up to 10 kilometers in FCC mode and up to 8 kilometers in CE mode. However, you should not fully rely on the declared potential, since the DJI O3 + system is extremely sensitive to external sources of interference.
In the case of traditional Cinewhoop drones, the maximum flight range will depend entirely on the data transmission system you choose, which in some cases can significantly outperform the OcuSync 3.0+ system.
All types of drones need frequent firmware updates to maintain the best performance of the components involved. And the first negative factor of DJI drones is that the installation of these updates is forced. In other words, you cannot refuse them, because otherwise the further operation of the device will be impossible. For example, you can update your drone while at home, and when you arrive in the field and need to fly, you may get another firmware update request again. Finally, there are situations where a new DJI firmware causes issues that were not present in the previous firmware.
Traditional Cinewhoop drones also need a firmware update, but it is not mandatory. You choose when and what to update.
To get a complete DJI Avata, you’ll have to spend at least $2,130 today. This includes the drone, Motion Controller, and DJI Goggles 2 or V2. As we mentioned above, you will also have to purchase the standard controller separately, which costs around $415.
If you decide to purchase and set up a traditional Cinewhoop drone, for example, the Pavo25 Whoop quadcopter will set you back $355, the GoPro Hero 10 $480, the Taranis X9D type controller is at least $430, and FPV goggles can be purchased for less than $350. So, with at least $1,600, you can get into the hobby with a complete, trendy Cinewhoop hobby quad. In addition, you can always find individual parts at a lower price on various Internet marketplaces.
Whether you prefer DJI Avata or Cinewhoop depends on how experienced you are in FPV piloting. If you are a beginner, you will certainly find everything you need in DJI Avata.
But it will be best if you start your acquaintance with the hobby with a traditional Cinewhoop drone, since they are available in a wide range in PNP / BNF trim levels. This approach will give you more control, more customization options, and a chance to do better work for clients or your social media channels.
If you already have one of the Cinewhoop drones, then Avata will not offer anything new, as it offers almost nothing that the traditional Cinewhoop does not. What it offers is the simplicity of a high-tech RTF kit that can come in handy when you’re in a hurry, for example, and your main Cinewhoop isn’t ready to go for various reasons.
That’s all we have, we hope that you have not wasted your precious time and were able to ultimately make your best choice. We thank you for your attention. Fly safe! Peace and goodness to all!