Avata 2: Is DJI’s $999 FPV drone worth it?

For FPV-curious drone pilots, the new DJI Avata 2 drone offers that foray intro drone racing and FPV freestyle — without the technical prowess needed to assemble an aircraft nor the steep learning curve to actually fly it.

The DJI Avata 2 launched in April 2024 as a new-and-improved version of the original DJI Avata which launched in August 2022. And it’s not just the Avata 2 drone itself. DJI today also launched a new pair of Goggles 3, as well as a RC Motion 3 controller. Together, they provide a package where pros and newbies alike can capture cinematic footage with high-speed or acrobatic flair. Among the highlights of the new DJI Avata 2:

  • Better image quality through an upgraded sensor (1/1.3-inch CMOS Super-Wide-Angle 12MP Camera, up from a 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor on the original Avata).
  • Longer flight time (23 minutes, up from 18 minutes on the original Avata).
  • Better overall FPV experience with improved goggles and controller options.

The Avata 2 starts at $999.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the DJI Avata 2 drone a bit early and have been testing it out myself. Watch me unbox this drone, and then continue on to my review:

The DJI Avata 2 Fly More Combo starts at for $999. With that, you get the DJI Avata 2, DJI Goggles 3 and the DJI RC Motion 3, plus a few other small accessories. That includes the single battery you’d need to fly.

For a bit more, you can pay $1,199 for the three-battery version of the . With that, you get everything mentioned above, plus two extra batteries, a two-way charging hub (more on what that is later) plus a nice little sling bag.

DJI RC Motion 3

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

The most unique feature about the new drone isn’t really even the drone itself — it’s the new RC Motion 3 controller. Why? It enables DJI Avata 2 to be not just a racing drone, but now a drone capable of FPV freestyle flying. Yes, that includes flipping, drifting and rolling.

DJI calls it Acro mode. It’s done super easily with the Avata if used in tandem with the RC Motion 3 controller, which is a joystick-like controller (as opposed to traditional controllers with a stick in each hand). To execute those tricks those is far easier on the Avata than most other FPV drones. You simply press a button. The various buttons that enable what would otherwise be difficult aerial acrobatics are:

  • One-Push Flip: Execute 360-degree front/back flips
  • One-Push Roll: Execute 360 degree left/right roll
  • One-Push 180 Degree Drift: Execute high-speed lateral drifts spinning 180° past objects and pulling swiftly away

And yes, if you get too crazy with the flips and the drone lands on its back, you can engage Turtle mode. When activated, Avata 2 automatically flips back into its takeoff position from upside down.

The DJI Avata 2 ahead of Turtle mode. (Photo by Sally French)

Another new button on the controller: Two-Stop Throttle. Half-pressing the trigger locks the drone’s position, while fully pressing the trigger releases the attitude lock and increases throttle.

As far as the feeling of the controller itself, it’s smaller and lighter, which just makes it more comfortable to hold. Ergonomics experts, rejoice.

Then there’s some tech that you can’t see. This controller uses a wireless connection technology called GFSK Sidelink, which improves signal stability. In turn, expect reduced latency and improved interference resistance.

What if you don’t like the joystick style of the DJI RC 3?

The DJI Remote Controller 3 (right) and the DJI RC Motion 3 (Photo by Sally French)

Honestly, I relate. I learned how to fly on a standard remote controller with two sticks, so I just don’t find this controller as intuitive. It’s designed to be easier — and I believe that it’s easier for first-timers — but I just can’t seem to adjust.

Luckily, you can still fly Avata 2 the — as I’ll call it — old-fashioned way. For $199, you can finish the DJI FPV Remote Controller 3, which allows you to fly in Normal, Sport and Manual modes.

DJI Goggles 3

DJI Goggles 3 (Photo by Sally French)

Another huge Avata update that isn’t actually about the drone itself: the new DJI Goggles 3. When I reviewed the original DJI Avata, the goggles ranked among my top criticisms. A dangling battery pack was poorly designed, among other issues.

DJI solved a few of the goggle problems about a year ago. In March 2023, DJI gave its goggles a massive upgrade, including no more loose connecting cables. And now in April 2024, the Goggles get yet another upgrade by way of the all-new DJI Goggles 3. Some standout features oft the DJI Goggles 3 include:

  • Adjustable diopters
  • Two micro-OLED screens
    • Support for 10-bit enhanced display
    • An up-to-100Hz refresh rate
    • Ultra-low-latency transmission.
  • Binocular cameras
    • Can also be superimposed with the aircraft’s live feed simultaneously to give pilots situational awareness without needing to remove the goggles.
  • Real View PiP (Picture-In-Picture) technology

How the Goggles 3 feel

Phew, that dangling battery is gone. The Goggles 3 have an integrated headband and battery. This time around, DJI also added a forehead pad, which alleviates some facial pressure that people criticized from the previous generation. And I agree, this didn’t feel painful on my head at all.

With the headband, these goggles weigh 410 grams. And while the drone’s battery life is less than a half-hour, you won’t have to recharge the goggles too often. Their battery life is about three hours.

There’s also a neat, new one-tap defogging function. After all, sometimes fog builds up on the surface of the goggles’ lenses, often if it’s humid where you’re flying. When you tap this button, internal fans will briefly accelerate to their highest speed, allowing rapid air circulation. That should quickly clear away any condensation.

Watching a live feed with the DJI Goggles 3

The best way to watch a live feed of what the DJI Goggles 3 shows is via the DJI Fly App. With it, you can transmit the goggle’s live feed to another device up to 5m away.

But that’s just one device. What if you want to air your feed on two devices, say a large TV screen? By connecting another cable and selecting ‘audience mode,’ you can share the live feed to a display or to different Goggle 3 headsets.

Now here’s something pretty compelling about those two products; they aren’t limited to just the Avata 2. Even though they were announced together with the drone in April 2024, the new DJI Goggles 3 and RC Motion 3 are actually already compatible with the DJI Air 3 and DJI Mini 4 Pro. With Goggles 3, you can also use the existing traditional controllers that pair with those drones, such as the RC 2 and RC-N2, to control the drone.  

The Avata 2 camera

The most noticeable upgrade on the Avata 2’s camera versus its predecessor? A larger image sensor.

It’s a 1/1.3-inch CMOS Super-Wide-Angle 12MP camera, offering greater dynamic range available and better image quality in low-light conditions than before. Here are some other key camera specs:

  • The lens: This ultra-wide-angle lens offers a viewing angle of up to 155°
  • Image quality: 4k/60fps, as well as slow-motion footage at 2.7K/120fps.
  • Color quality: 10-bit D-Log M Color Mode offers richer detail in highlights and shadows, which can be brought out in post-production and streamlined color grading

Stabilization without a gimbal

Most drones rely on 3-axis gimbals to keep footage level as the drone is rollicking through the area. That wasn’t the case with the Avata, and it’s not the case with the Avata 2. Instead, both drones rely on digital stabilization algorithms to smooth out footage.

DJI uses two technologies called DJI RockSteady and DJI HorizonSteady. The former eliminates overall picture shake. Meanwhile, the latter ensures your footage remains locked on the horizon — even if the drone turns sharply or sways dramatically.

What’s pretty incredible is how stable the video does turn out. I flew it in the alley on my street when it was windy out, and I could actually feel the drone rocking. But when I came to watch the footage, it was silky smooth.

You can choose to turn off electronic image stabilization (EIS), though most will likely fly with the setting turned on. That said, if the EIS setting is turned off, a feature called Gyroflow allows you to stabilize footage yourself in post-production.

What about ND filters?

The DJI Avata 2 with ND filters. (Photo by Sally French)

ND filters can help reduce glare, overexposure, and color issues that can be difficult to fix when editing footage. They’re just tiny pieces that you pop onto your camera’s lens.

DJI sells a pack of three ND filters for $79. The kit includes ND 8/16/32 filters. These likely aren’t necessary if you’re primarily flying indoors. But, if you’re flying outdoors in bright conditions — and high-quality images are key — then spend the $79 extra for filters.

Is the Avata 2 good for shooting videos?

The Avata has always straddled a weird line of whether or not it’s a camera drone and a racing drone. It’s a camera drone, but realize that the image output is pretty different from traditional camera drone footage. That’s largely due to that ultra-wide-angle lens. But that’s not a bad thing. Especially as camera drones have become ubiquitous, aerial imagery that’s a bit different and more unexpected from the norm is refreshing.

It’s also absolutely mind-boggling how smooth the footage is, even sans gimbal. The stabilization tech is unbelievable. This would be a great indoor drone for real estate agents to shoot fly-throughs of homes.

Especially with the $199 add-on remote controller, you can be a bit more precise in your flying, which makes video filming pretty compelling.

The new Avata 2 drone itself

DJI Avata 2 FPV drone (Photo by Sally French)

We discussed the camera, the goggles and the controller, but what about the drone itself? It’s gotten some upgrades. That includes:

Improved transmission: Whereas the old Avata used O3+ transmission technology to transmit over distances of up to 10 kilometers, the Avata 2 gets an upgrade. This drone uses the newer O4 video transmission, for up to 13 km of maximum video transmission distance. Other important specs in that vein include:

  • Transmission latency as low as 24 ms
  • 1080p/100fps high-definition image quality
  • A maximum transmission bitrate of 60Mbps
  • Two-transmitter, four-receiver, four-antenna design for improved anti-interference performance 

Improved propeller guard: The propeller guard’s design got some design tweaks to make it light (which helps with flight times).

The battery life on the Avata 2 is 23 minutes. (Photo by Sally French)

Longer flight times: Speaking of helping with flight times, the Avata 2 has a maximum flight time of 23 minutes. That’s an improvement from the 18 minutes on the original Avata.

Safety features: The drone has new safety features. When you use the RC Motion 3, simply press the lock button which brings the drone to a halt. Of course, Return to Home is also still present. It automatically kicks in if the drone’s battery gets too low or if the drone loses signal.

Improved charging: The Avata 2 takes some beloved features seen in other recent drones lately, including a Two-Way Charging Hub. Seen in other drones like the DJI Air 3, this new and improved charging hub has a power accumulation function. With the press of a button, you can transfer the remaining power from multiple batteries to one single battery with the highest remaining power. So, let’s say you have one battery with 50% charge, and 2 with 25% charge. You could transfer the power from the two 25% charged batteries to create one, suddenly-fully-charged battery.

The Avata 2 has a side slot for a microSD card. (Photo by Sally French)

Improved storage: If you forgot your memory card, no sweat. Avata 2 comes equipped with 46GB internal storage. That’s an upgrade from the 20 GB of internal storage space on the original Avata. So how much is 46GB in practice? That’s about 90 minutes of video shot at 1080p/60fps.

This actually happened on my first flight. For some reason, my microSD card was corrupted. No sweat — I just recorded directly to the drone.

A screen grab of the sharing feature within the DJI Fly app shows how fast and easy it is to transfer files in-app.

Improved sharing: If you want to share your video post-flight, Wi-Fi connectivity makes it possible to quickly transfer files to smartphones. Simply log in to the DJI Fly app, select the video/image files you want to save, and from there they appear on your phone.

You can even upload them directly to popular communication sites including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. For folks who want to post their footage to Instagram ASAP, that makes post-editing and sharing a lot more efficient.

I even did that to transfer my files to the review videos you’ve likely seen on my site. Not a single cord was used to transfer any of my files!

Avata drone size: The Avata measures 185×212×64 mm and weighs 377 grams. Unlike something like the DJI Mini 4 Pro which weighs under 250 grams, know that you’ll have to register your drone and be Remote ID compliant if flying outdoors in the U.S. Luckily, Avata 2 has a built-in Remote ID module so you won’t have to purchase a separate one.

That small size means that even if you aren’t the best pilot (like me), you’ll definitely still clear doorways.

How to get your hands on Avata 2

Sally French, the Drone Girl, unboxes the DJI Avata 2.

This isn’t just a product announcement. The DJI Avata 2 is available to buy today – and most retailers will ship it to you immediately. For now, you can purchase the Avata 2 drone in two configurations, which are:

  • DJI Avata 2 Fly More Combo (Single Battery): Includes the DJI Avata 2 drone, Goggles 3, RC Motion 3, and assorted accessories like cables. Price: $999
  • DJI Avata 2 Fly More Combo (Three Batteries): Includes everything in the single-battery combo plus a two-way charging hub, two batteries and one sling bag. Price: $1,199

Then, there are a few add-on accessories which you may or may not need:

  • DJI FPV Remote Controller 3: This is more like your traditional joystick control. It allows flight in Normal, Sport and Manual modes. Price: $199
  • DJI Avata 2 ND Filters Set: Comes with ND 8/16/32 filters. Price: $79
  • DJI Care Refresh: DJI Care Refresh is DJI’s version of a warranty or product insurance program. The replacement service covers accidental damage, including flyaway, collisions and water damage. Exact prices vary on your selected length of coverage.

DJI Avata 2: is it worth it?

Sally French, The Drone Girl, flies the Avata 2 drone and holds the DJI Goggles 3. (Photo by Sally French)

The Avata 2 is great for those who want easy-to-use FPV with excellent image quality. It’s well-suited for either beginners who are overwhelmed with more traditional FPV offerings. It’s also great for people whose priority is photography, but they want to dabble in FPV — and they’re curious about the unique film perspective that FPV drones can add to their reel.

Consider the cost

While $999 can be a lot for a camera drone, put the price in context. This is a safe and easy to fly drone that’s also ready to fly right out of the box.

Then again, you can build your own drone for — depending on the types of FPV products it entails — less than a few hundred dollars. But while some might find joy in building their own drone, others might find it stressful — and more trouble than its worth.

I liken one’s consideration of Avata 2’s price relative to building your own FPV drone to baking a puff pastry from scratch. Serious bakers might do it easily (and find joy in the process). As for me though, I’m just going to buy the pre-made puff pastry sheets. And the reality is, I’d even rather go a step further and just buy those croissants, Napoleons, and Palmiers ready-made. Spending $999 on Avata 2 is like buying a ready-made croissant. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with that.

What about the single battery versus three battery kit?

The DJI Two-Way Charging Hub (Photo by Sally French)

If you’re debating between the Single Battery versus Three Battery version, it’s almost always worth it if you’re flying outdoors or in a place where you can’t easily recharge. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’ve gone on a hike and shot some cool footage and burned out your battery, only to turn around and discover something you missed. An extra battery enables that freedom.

Then again, $200 is still a fair amount of money. If you’re mostly flying indoors and you’re flying in 20 minute spurts, you can probably get away with the single battery. Fly for the 23-minute span, then go have a coffee as it’s charging. Then come back for more.

Flaws, but not dealbreakers with DJI Avata

Size: Many other FPV drones are lighter and faster than the DJI Avata. That’s key for speed, but not the only reason why. Because this drone weighs 377 grams (which is above the Federal Aviation Administration’s 250 gram threshold for regulation), you will have to fly in an FAA-compliant manner if outdoors. That means having to register your drone and follow Remote ID rules. It’s not a huge hangup, but it’s still something to consider.

Battery life: While the Avata 2 does massively improve its battery life over the original, 23 minutes is still not a done. Most people will end up paying the additional $200 to get two more batteries.

FPV is not for everyone: And then there’s the simple consideration of whether Avata is a product you’d even want. It’s a different sort of drone. If you’re breaking into drones for the first time, you might be better off with, say, a traditional camera drone.

Sally French, The Drone Girl, flies the Avata 2 drone with the DJI RC Motion 3 while wearing the DJI Goggles 3. (Photo by Sally French)

Compare the Avata 2 to other DJI drones

Many folks will base their decision on whether to buy the Avata 2 relative to another drone.

Is it worth upgrading from the Avata to the Avata 2 (or splurging on the more expensive model versus buying the cheaper model)? Check out my guide to the DJI Avata 2 versus Avata.

Similarly, is the Avata 2 better than the Mini 4 Pro? These two drones are quite different. Even though they both take awesome videos, they’re style is incredibly unique. Find out which one is better for you in my guide to the DJI Avata 2 versus the DJI Mini 4 Pro.

Who Avata is best for

Alas, the DJI Avata 2 is a rather unconventional sort of FPV drone. It’s most ideal for beginners or drone pilots whose goal is video content creation.

  • FPV Beginners: Its intuitive controls and flight modes make it a great introduction to the exciting world of FPV flight. Normal and Sport modes offer the most stable flight for beginners. Then again, experienced pilots can switch to manual mode for full control. What’s more, designs like built-in prop guards, also make Avata forgiving for beginners.
  • Content Creators: The Avata’s immersive perspective is perfect for capturing unique close-up shots or action sequences. With a wide-angle lens and 4K resolution video, footage is high-quality. Plus, easy workflows to export footage make the process of getting footage to Instagram or TikTok pretty pain-free.

I had a blast flying the DJI Avata 2. While I definitely default to flying the Avata 2 with the DJI FPV Remote Controller, I do really appreciate the improvements made to the DJI RC Motion 3 controller. The biggest improvement for me comes by way of the goggles, which are now way more intuitive to use. Plus, they’re easier to fit on my head and into the shape of my eyes — all without the goofy dangling battery.

And yes, I’m floored by the image quality, not just in terms of how clear it was but how stable it was. For an FPV flying appearance that’s entry level and premier quality, the DJI Avata 2 offers exactly that.

One Comment

  • Hello says:

    With a product like this, it’s impossible to justify buying in almost any case. First of all I have an avata 1, a mavic mini, and several fpv quads. I think the main problem is the avata 2 does not fit any category. If a person wants a camera drone, it’s better to get a mavic and some used dji goggles if they really want fpv. For the case of professionals, such as someone who does realestate photography, it’s far better just to get a 2.5″ to 3.5″ cinewhoop and a gopro, which has far better image quality, stability, repairabiliy, and customization options. Something to add is that the easy acro function is not a replacement for acro, and it is impossible to recreate acro in an easier form. However, it is a very fun device to fly ar
    ound.

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