How to turn DJI camera drones into an FPV drone

If the idea of a DJI Mavic 3 FPV sounds like your dream drone, well, it’s real.

As DJI expands its product lineup with new drones like DJI FPV and the Cinewhoop-style DJI Avata, it’s added on new accessories like FPV goggles and controllers. And for people who already own DJI’s high-end camera drones including the DJI Mavic 3 series, Air 3 and the Mini 3 Pro, DJI has made many of its FPV goggles and controllers compatible.

That means that with DJI’s newer camera drones, you can combine what might be the best of both worlds. Yes, that means the mesmerizing aesthetic and freedom of FPV drone flying, coupled with DJI’s best consumer camera drones.

And suddenly, there exists “new” products like the DJI Mavic 3 FPV, Mini 4 Pro FPV, and DJI Air 3 FPV.

Here’s what you need to know about turning DJI camera drones into FPV drones:

Sally French, The Drone Girl, flies FPV style thanks to the DJI Goggles 3 and DJI FPV Remote Controller 3. (Photo by Sally French)

Get the right DJI FPV goggles first

DJI Goggles 3 (Photo by Sally French)

They key component of FPV flying is wearing what are called FPV goggles. They encapsulate your eyes, so you feel like you’re in the theoretical flight deck of the drone.

DJI makes a few types of goggles. Its latest pair, the DJI Goggles 3, are the top-of-the-line in its family of goggles. Theres also the cheaper DJI Goggles 2 or the DJI Goggles Integra.

DJI Goggles 3, DJI Goggles 2 or DJI Goggles Integra: which DJI Goggles are best?

If this question of “which DJI goggles are best” is directed at your wallet, then the Integra is best. It’s about $100 cheaper than the DJI Goggles 2 and $150 cheaper than the Goggles 3. Unsurprisingly, the Goggles 2 are more powerful and have upgraded features than the Integra. The Goggles 3 are even more powerful.

Here’s a breakdown of the three main contenders: DJI Goggles 3, Goggles 2, and Integra.

FeatureDJI Goggles 3DJI Goggles 2DJI Integra
Field of View (FOV)44°51°44°
Antenna DesignFoldableFoldableFoldable
Max Operating Time3 hours2 hours2 hours
Screen Resolution and Max Brightness1080p, 700 nits1080p, 700 nits1080p, 700 nits
Video transmission systemO4 video transmissionO3+ video transmissionO3+ video transmission
Lowest Video Transmission Latency24 ms30 ms30 ms
CompatibilityAvata 2, Mini 4 Pro, Air 3Avata 2, Avata, Mini 4 Pro, Mini 3 Pro, Air 3, Avata 2, Mavic 3 lineAvata 2, Avata, DJI FPV, Mini 4 Pro, Mini 3 Pro, Air 3, Avata 2, Mavic 3 line

If you can afford it, absolutely go with the Goggles 3. If you’re on a budget, you’ll have to decide between the Goggles 2 vs Integra. Here’s how to pick between the two older pairs of DJI goggles:

Goggles 2 vs Integra

But whereas the Integra Goggles are lesser on many levels, there’s one where they actually beat the Goggles 2 on a factor besides price. That’s comfort.

Both the DJI Goggles Integra and DJI Goggles 2 are similar in size, video transmission performance, and screen display. As far as differences between the DJI Goggles 2 and DJI Goggles Integra, here are the standouts:

DJI Goggles IntegraDJI Goggles 2
Price (standalone)$499$649
WeightApprox. 410 g (battery included)Approx. 290 g (headband included)
FOV (single screen)44°51°
Battery Voltage5.6-8.4 V7-9 V (1.5 A)
Wi-Fi Wireless StreamingN/ASupports DLNA protocol
Diopter Adjustment RangeN/A-8.0 D to +2.0 D
Interpupillary Distance Range56-72 mm56-72 mm
Screen Size (single screen)0.49-inch0.49-inch
Resolution (single screen)1920×10801920×1080

The DJI Goggles Integra adds an integrated battery headband that the DJI Goggles 2 don’t have. That makes it more convenient to wear. Additionally, DJI’s decision to replace the touch panel with physical buttons makes usage more intuitive.

But the Integra goggles also entail some lesser features that make them lighter, but less powerful. The wireless streaming function, dot matrix display, speaker, 3.5mm audio port, and diopter adjustment function have been removed. Though, the included corrective lenses can be used to achieve the same effect.

A cheaper, non-DJI alternative to making a drone an FPV drone

Want a cheaper and non-DJI alternative? Consider purchasing a DroneMask for $199.

The DroneMask connects wirelessly with the DJI RC Pro, turning any DJI drone into an FPV. You’ll need the DJI Raven Eye wireless transmitter, an HDMI cable linking Raven Eye to the RC Pro, a mobile device with the DJI Ronin app, a DJI drone compatible with RC Pro, and either DroneMask 1 or 2.

After connecting the RC PRO to the Raven Eye and slotting your smartphone with the Ronin app into the DroneMask, the RC PRO’s video feed is wirelessly transmitted to your smartphone inside the goggles via the Ronin app, offering a high-resolution and immersive FPV experience.

For DJI RC PRO pilots seeking a more budget-friendly connectivity option, ApowerMirror is recommended. This app enables casting the RC PRO display to your smartphone through its hotspot feature, enhancing your FPV experience with DroneMask. You can read the full tutorial here.

Consider the motion controller you intend to use

The RC Motion 3 controller. (Photo by Sally French)

You have the goggles, but now you’ll need a controller. You can certainly use the controller that comes with your drone. Unless you specifically buy a standalone drone, you’ll get the controller. These are your standard controller with the two joysticks.

But, you might want to try out DJI’s RC Motion Controllers. As of now, you can buy the DJI Motion 3 or the older model, the DJI Motion 2. These unique controllers use motion sensing technology to let you control the flight direction with just a slight wrist turn. It’s almost like an intuitive magic wand. The controller operates in tandem with a built-in joystick. Thus, you can also opt to fly in that more traditional RC controller style (albeit there’s just one, not two).

Note that these controllers aren’t necessarily compatible with all DJI drones, but they’re typically compatible with the newer drones. For example, the DJI RC Motion 3 is compatible with the Avata 2, Air 3, and Mini 4 Pro.

The DJI RC Motion 2 is compatible with even more drones, including:

  • DJI Mavic Series (DJI Mavic 3 Pro, DJI Mavic 3 Pro Cine, DJI Mavic 3, DJI Mavic 3 Cine, DJI Mavic 3 Classic)
  • DJI Mini Series (DJI Mini 3 Pro and DJI Mini 4 Pro)
  • DJI Avata
  • DJI Air 3

Though these controllers sell as a standalone product, it’s an overall better deal to buy it bundled in one of DJI’s combo kits (more on that later).

If you already have the DJI Avata or DJI Avata 2, you might not need to buy anything else, period. Alas there’s a good chance you already have these things. That’s because the Avata Pro-View combo comes with the DJI Goggles 2. Meanwhile, the Avata Explorer Combo comes with the DJI Goggles Integra. And the DJI Avata 2 Fly More Combo comes with the DJI RC Motion 3 controller.

The DJI Goggles 2 Motion Combo. Photo courtesy of DJI.

DJI also sells standalone combo kits, such as the:

How to turn specific DJI drones into FPV drones

That’s the basic rundown of everything you need to know about making any drone an FPV drone. But what about your specific drone? Here’s some breakdowns of some of the most popular DJI drones, and the specific gear you need.

How to turn your DJI Mini 3 Pro into a DJI Mini 3 Pro FPV drone

Sally French, The Drone Girl, reviews the DJI Mini 3 Pro in May 2022.

As far as goggles go, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is compatible with DJI Goggles 2 and DJI Goggles Integra.

As far as controllers, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is currently compatible with the DJI RC Motion 2 controller, which is what you’ll want for your FPV setup. The DJI Mini 3 Pro does also support the DJI RC Pro, DJI RC, DJI RC-N1. But you’ll want the DJI RC Motion 2 if you’re also looking to use the DJI Goggles 2 or DJI Goggles Integra.

You can check up-to-date DJI Mini 3 Pro accessory compatibility here (which you should do if you end up reading this piece long after it was first published!).

What to know about the DJI Mini 3 Pro

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is a compact, small drone designed for portability. It’s ideal for people who are always traveling with their drone or otherwise need a small setup. In fact, it weighs under 249 grams, which is a big deal for two reasons:

  1. Drones under 250 grams do not need to be registered with the FAA for recreational operations.
  2. Drones under 250 grams do not need to be Remote ID compliant.

Still, it’s powerful, supporting forward and backward obstacle avoidance. And in fact, I consider the DJI Mini 3 Pro drone to be a conglomeration of every coveted drone feature. Sure, it’s not the absolute best in every category. Other more powerful DJI drones like the Mavic 3 and Matrice line certainly beat out the Mini 3 Pro on certain individual specs. But, it is one of the best overall drones you’ll find on the market today when you factor in the small size and price tag. 

How to turn your DJI Mavic 3 drone into a DJI Mavic 3 FPV drone

The DJI Mavic 3 Pro and Cine version. Photo courtesy of DJI.

Like the DJI Mini 3 Pro, the DJI Mavic 3 Series is compatible with DJI Goggles 2 and DJI Goggles Integra.

And for controllers, it’s also compatible with DJI RC Motion 2, necessary to fly it FPV style. The drones in the Mavic 3 series also support the DJI RC Pro, DJI RC and DJI RC-N1 controllers. But again, you’ll need the DJI RC Motion 2 if you intend to pair your Mavic 3 drone to the DJI Goggles 2 or DJI Goggles Integra.

Again, be sure to confirm up-to-date DJI Mavic 3 accessory compatibility here. That’s especially critical if you end up reading this piece long after it was first published!

What to know about the DJI Mavic 3 series

There are a handful of drones in the DJI Mavic 3 series, but any of them are ideal for either aspiring or even serious professional photographers and videographers. This series is far more powerful than the Mini 3 Pro, supporting omnidirectional obstacle avoidance.

The first of the DJI Mavic 3 drones was released back in November 2021 with two cameras: a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad sensor with a 20MP resolution, and a secondary 1/2-inch CMOS (12MP) sensor that’s used as its digital zoom lens. A year later, DJI offered up a stripped-down, cheaper version called the DJI Mavic 3 Classic. And in April 2023, DJI gave us the DJI Mavic 3 Pro. That’s the newer and spiffier upgrade to its predecessors, including three cameras.

And from there, each of the Mavics also has even higher-end Cine versions. Should you opt to purchase something like the $4,800 DJI Mavic 3 Pro Cine Premium Combo, you’re in for a FPV and cinematography powerhouse.

By the way, if you’re deciding between the DJI Mini 3 Pro or the DJI Mavic 3, check out my comparison guide to decide which drone is better for you.

What is FPV?

FPV is short for first-person-view. It’s a style of flying commonly used by drone racers where you don goggles as if to virtually sit in the drone’s flight deck, only seeing what the drone is seeing. That’s as opposed to most drone photographers, who fly line of sight. That means they’re looking at both the drone and able to glance at a live feed of the drone’s camera back and forth.

And now, you don’t need a dedicated FPV drone to get into FPV drone flying with one of these drones. Use the DJI Goggles 2 or 3, DJI Goggles Integra, and the DJI RC Motion 2 or 3 with your DJI drones to experience the true-to-life colors, details, and motion controls that make flying captivating for FPV pilots.

What about DJI’s actual FPV drones?

The DJI Avata drone

DJI makes three drones that are officially considered FPV drones: the DJI FPV drone, the DJI Avata drone and its new and improved sibling, the Avata 2. These three drones are designed to be flown with a VR headset. That unique headset gives you that first person view of what the drone sees, putting you in the drone’s “front seat.”

While you can certainly turn your existing Mavic 3 or Mini 3 Pro drones into FPV drones, you might just opt for a dedicated FPV drone. Especially if your goal is simply to own a ready-to-fly, out of the box FPV drone, you might want one of the Avatas, or even the older DJI FPV. As far as which of these drones you might consider, check out my comparison guides. Of DJI’s older models, you might consider the DJI Avata vs DJI FPV. And if you’re debating between the two in the Avata line, consider the Avata 2 versus Avata.

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