DJI Releases the Avata, Its First Cinewhoop Drone Ever
BY Zacc Dukowitz25 August 2022
Today DJI unveiled the Avata, the first cinewhoop drone it has ever made.
Rumors about the Avata first started making the rounds back in May, when shots of what looked like an indoor-style drone were shared on Twitter by industry insider @OsitaLV.
As more information was leaked, it became clear that DJI was working on a drone for flying in tight indoor spaces to capture up-close FPV footage—in other words, it was working on a cinewhoop.
A cinewhoop is a quick, nimble drone made to shoot FPV fly-through tours. And the Avata thoroughly fits the description, with built-in propeller guards for all four rotors, designed so that the drone can collide with objects while flying and stay in the air.
How Much Does the Avata Cost?
Both Avata combos DJI is offering come with goggles and the DJI Motion Controller.
The combination helps create an immersive flying experience, with the goggles making it feel like you’re actually zipping through the air and the Motion Controller letting you fly by squeezing the trigger and swiveling your wrist to control the drone in an intuitive manner.
But the Avata isn’t cheap. The Avata Fly Smart combo—the option that will interest most people, since it’s the cheapest that includes the controller and goggles—sells for $1,168, making it a more expensive option than several of DJI’s more entry level drones, like those in the Mini series.
Here are the three Avata packages DJI is offering:
- DJI Avata (No RC)—$629. This option is for only the drone, and does not include an RC or goggles.
- DJI Avata Fly Smart Combo—$1,168. This option comes with DJI FPV Goggles V2 and the DJI Motion Controller.
- DJI Avata Pro-View Combo—$1,388. This option upgrades the goggles to the DJI Goggles 2 and also includes the DJI Motion Controller.
Specs & Details for the Avata
Here are the main specs for the Avata:
- Camera. 1/1.7” sensor that shoots video in 4K / 60fps and up to 2.7K / 120fps). 1080p/100fps video transmission quality: the lowest latency of 30 ms
- Weight. About .9 pounds (410 grams).
- Flight time. 18 minutes.
- Sensors. The Avata’s prop guards help protect it from potential collisions, but it also comes with downward binocular vision and ToF infrared sensing to help detect and avoid obstacles below the drone.
- Screens. Two 1080p Micro-OLED screens
- Color mode. Comes with D-Cinelike color mode for advanced color grading in post-editing.
- Transmission quality. The Avata has comes with 1080p/100fps video transmission quality via its O3+ video transmission and 2T2R omnidirectional antennas.
- Transmission range. Max range of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).
The Avata comes with several features made just for cinewhoop-style flying, allowing pilots to fly in tight spaces like between branches, under bridges, or through corridors without the fear of crashing.
These features not only allow the drone to fly in previously inaccessible places, they also ensure that the footage they capture while doing so is high quality.
Here are the top cinewhoop-related features that come with the Avata:
- Propeller guards. Prop guards help the drone fly in confined spaces, letting it bump into objects and walls and continue flying unharmed.
- Wide Field of View. The Avata’s 155° super-wide FOV creates for a more immersive, true-to-life visualization of what the drone encounters while flying (according to DJI most cameras offer only 84° FOV).
- Stabilization. RockSteady 2.0 actively reduces camera shake in real-time and HorizonSteady locks your footage to a level horizon for cinematic effects.
- Turtle mode. If the Avata falls on its back due to a collision, Turtle mode allows it to resume flying without any manual intervention.
- Low-altitude flight. The drone’s binocular vision and ToF infrared sensing help it fly very close to the ground while maintaining its safety.
- Emergency Brake button. This button lets pilots stop immediately, keeping the drone hovering in place to avoid potential accidents while flying quickly through tight spaces.
Updates to the Fly App and DJI’s Virtual Flight App
To support Avata pilots DJI has added the new drone to its flight simulator, called DJI Virtual Flight.
Pilots can use the simulator to practice flying the Avata in Manual mode with the DJI FPV Remote Controller 2 “to achieve advanced flight movements, stable aerial photography effects, and diversified visual language for filming.”
To accompany the launch of the Avata, DJI has also released an update to its Fly app that adds both the Avata and the DJI Goggles 2.
These updates come with Fly app version 1.7.0, and they include tutorials on how to fly FPV for those who are just getting into it or who might need a refresher.