What Is an Invisible Drone? New Drone/Camera Combo from BetaFPV Designed to Capture 360° Cinewhoop Footage, Make the Drone Invisible
BY Zacc Dukowitz9 December 2021
Chinese drone manufacturer BetaFPV recently released a new drone, the Pavo360, and a new 360° camera, the SMO 360, designed to be used together to capture high quality 360° drone footage.
The combo creates the effect of a 360° cinewhoop—drone footage where you feel immersed in the world through which the drone is flying, with the drone itself rendered invisible.
The SMO 360 camera sells for about $400 and the Pavo360 sells for about $470 for the HD version and $320 for the Analog version (both versions are covered in more detail below).
What Is an Invisible Drone?
An invisible drone is a drone that uses a 360° camera to capture footage in all directions, or 360 degrees.
After filming, the footage can be reframed to any view, rendering the drone invisible. To put it another way, invisible drones let you get 360° aerial footage without the drone anywhere in the shot, basically letting you fly an “invisible” camera through the sky.
Of course, the Pavo360 is not the first invisible drone—in fact, there are several invisible drones on the market right now.
Here’s a video featuring the X-KNIGHT 360, another invisible drone from BetaFPV:
The first invisible drones were fairly large and bulky, making them not a great option for classic cinewhoop shots like those captured zipping through doors, down hallways, or in and out of rooms.
But newer iterations are smaller and can be flown both indoors and outdoors, which means they’ll help creators make even more impressive cinewhoop videos.
Specs & Features for the BetaFPV Pavo360
BetaFPV’s new Pavo360 provides creators with a great balance between size and power.
On the size front, it’s small—just 3 inches, like a traditional cinewhoop, which will allow you to fly both inside and outside. But on the power front it provides more than current competitors, allowing you to shoot high octane 360° cinewhoop footage.
Here are the standout features and specs for the Pavo360:
- Frame. New lightweight cinewhoop frame made of PA12 material with higher abrasion resistance, toughness, and good impact resistance in drop and impact tests.
- Prop size. Three inches.
- Stability. A balanced body design to guarantee a stable flying
- Landing gear. Retractable landing gear to protect cam away from any damages when landing
- Power. Solid power provided by 2204-2400KV motors and 2 tandem 850mAh 3S batteries.
- Camera.* Utralight customized SMO 360 cam with 5.7K 360 capture.
*Note that the camera must be purchased separately, and does not come with the drone. Also, the Pavo360 camera mount is only compatible with the SMO360 Camera—other cameras can’t be installed on it.
Two Versions of the Pavo 360
The Pavo360 comes in two versions, the HD Digital VX and the Analog VTX. The HD Digital VX costs $470 and the Analog VTX costs $320.
Here’s an overview of the HD Digital VX:
- Camera. Caddx Polar Vista HD digital FPV camera, which is lightweight (.06 pounds) and has a large wide-camera angle.
- Video quality. Reaches 720p / 60fps.
- Delay. Low delay HD image transmission.
- Night photography. Good for shooting at night.
Here’s an overview of the Analog VTX:
- Camera. Caddx Ratel, which is a small, lightweight 25-800mW VTX.
- Versatility. Can switch between PAL and NTSC video and also between 4:3 and 16:9 video formats.
- Sensor. 1/1.18″ HDR sensor.
- Latency. 8ms.
About the Insta360 Camera Made for the Pavo360
The Insta360 camera uses Chinese camera maker Insta360’s proprietary technology, but it is actually manufactured by BETAFPV just for the Pavo360, making it a true collaboration between the two companies.
Here are the standout specs and features for the Insta360 camera:
- Ultralight. Just .12 pounds (55 grams).
- Video resolution. 5760×2880@24/25/30fps; 3840×1920@30/50fps; 3008×1504@100fps.
- Color. Black and red.
- Lens. Twins-lens 360° camera.