I’ve just flown the new DJI Avata and now I know what it feels like to be a bird

DJI’s new Avata FPV drone opens a new window to the world of sky-high aerial cinematography

DJI Avata in flight in desert
(Image credit: DJI)

DJI has just announced the launch of the Avata, a small CineWhoop-style FPV drone that’s capable of shooting ravishing 4K footage from a wide range of perspectives that is simply not possible with conventional drones. T3 is among the very first to try it and you can read more about it in our full-length review

If you have any interest in drones you will almost certainly be familiar with the name DJI. Based out of Shenzhen, China, DJI has almost single-handedly transformed the way we shoot video and stills from the air. From the tiny sub-250g Mini 3 Pro to the  flagship Mavic 3, the company pretty much has the consumer drone industry in the palm of its substantial hand. In fact, DJI drones occupy several spots in our guide to the Best Camera Drones.

DJI Avata in flight

(Image credit: DJI)

For the uninitiated, the Avata is an FPV (first person view) drone that requires the use of a stereoscopic headset and a clever Motion Controller to operate it. Unlike conventional drones that shoot levelled footage as if viewed from a hot air balloon, the Avata emulates the flight characteristics of a bird and everything the nose-mounted 4K camera sees is live streamed straight to the pilot’s eyes. The result, while quite nausea-inducing at first, is akin to riding on the back of a Hippogriff from the Harry Potter movies – only much safer.

DJI Avata Smart Combo on white background

(Image credit: DJI)

The Avata comes with a lightweight high-resolution headset and a special gyroscopic motion controller that uses hand movement to steer the drone where you want it to go. You quite literally pull the trigger and tilt your hand forwards, backwards and side to side to make the Avata follow. And because the pilot views exactly what the camera on the drone sees and the drone itself is so narrow (just 18cm in width), it will fly through gaps far too small for most conventional drones. This makes it a shoo-in for performing a wide range of sensational video clips that are simply impossible, even with a drone the size of the DJI Mini 3 Pro or Autel Evo Nano+.

The DJI Avata is available as a stand-alone unit (priced £499/$629) and in two different combos – the Pro-View Combo with DJI Goggles 2 (£1,229/$1,388) and the cheaper Fly Smart Combo with DJI FPV Goggles V2 (£989/$1,168).

If you want to know more about this sterling little drone, head over to our full review of the DJI Avata right now.

For more DJI Avata information plus full specifications, pop over to DJI.com (opens in new tab).

Derek (aka Delbert, Delvis, Delphinium, Delboy etc) specialises in home and outdoor wares, from coffee machines, white appliances and vacs to drones, garden gear and BBQs. He has been writing for more years than anyone can remember, starting at the legendary Time Out magazine – the original, London version – on a typewriter! He now writes for T3 between playing drums with his bandmates in Red Box (redboxmusic).