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DJI takes drone racing up close and personal
Fri, 2nd Aug 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Put on your goggles and grab your drone, because DJI is taking keen drone racers on a first-person view – and it's all recorded on video.

The DJI Digital First Person Viewing (FPV) Transmission System includes FPG goggles, an FPV Air Unit Transmission Module, an FPV remote control, and an FPV camera.

Together, they all work to create a drone racing extravaganza with long-range transmission, strong anti-interference technology, low latency, and clear HD video to help operators fly their way to victory.

“As drone racing grows in popularity, FPV racers are looking for the next technology to keep up with their demands,” says DJI Europe creative director Ferdinand Wolf.

“The new DJI FPV System was designed using our vast experience creating aerial and ground transmission systems and offers technology truly unique to the market. As the only digital video transmission solution on the market that performs at the same level as analogue, even surpassing it in some aspects, we hope to set a new standard for digital FPV.

The FPV system up close

The DJI FPV Air Unit Module uses DJI HD Low Latency FPV Transmission technology (DJI HDL FPV Transmission) which integrates a two-way data communication mechanism to deliver integrated control over the entire system and a stable, seamless signal connection. DJI HDL FPV offers a low end-to-end latency of 28 milliseconds, similar to high-performance analogue systems.

The FPV system has a maximum transmission range of 4.02 kilometres, while anti-interference technology brings a reliable feed to the goggles during flight. Additionally, a “Focus Mode” narrows down the signal bitrate to the centre of the frame, counteracting any interference so that a clear image is provided even in challenging environments.

The DJI HDL FPV Transmission System and DJI FPV Air Unit are equipped with eight 5.8GHz frequency channels, allowing up to eight drones to fly simultaneously under one system. Each operator has an exclusive channel, reducing cross-channel interference for the optimal racing experience.

The digital signal transmits clear 720p footage at 120 fps for an overall enhanced flight experience, ideal for fast paced moments.

The FPV system can record on both the FPV camera attached to the drone as well as to the FPV goggles using a micro SD card.

Racers can capture video content on the FPV Camera in 1080p at 60 fps or 720p at 120 fps while the FPV Goggles can record 720p at 60 fps which can be instantly played back for quick review.

Pilots can view the camera of other racers connected through the ‘Audience Mode'.

The camera

The DJI FPV Camera provides three camera modes, racing, standard and LED mode, to allow users to manoeuvre around obstacles in various scenarios.

Racing mode is ideal for most racing situations and delivers images at a higher saturation rate to distinguish brightly coloured objects such as course obstacles.

Standard mode is ideal for capturing content by reducing colour loss and preserving original details.

LED mode enables racers to operate their units easily in low light settings by increasing the colour saturation and reducing image noise to help pilots efficiently keep track of their unit's location.

DJI FPV Camera also offers filming capabilities. A 150 ultra-wide-angle lens creates a dramatic and unique perspective while the 1080p or 720p footage can easily be integrated with video captured by other imaging devices.

The remote control

The responsive and customisable FPV remote controller uses a 4-in-1 closed loop software allowing users to adjust parameters for the other three components remotely. Users can change settings on the controller, and it will automatically sync the entire system, helping reduce operational error.

Pricing (as per DJI's website):

  • FPV Fly More Combo (includes the FPV Goggles, Air Unit, FPV Camera, Remote controller along with all the wires and antennas needed) AU$1499 / HK$7299
  • FPV Experience Combo (includes FPV Goggles, 2 FPV Camera and Air Units along with all the necessary wires and antennas): AU$1299 / HK$6499.