FPV drones seem to be the most sought-out drones on the market now. FPV stands for first person view, and a pilot experiences FPV from the drone’s camera which sends a live image to a transmitter, smartphone/tablet, or FPV goggles. Why are FPV drones so popular? Flying FPV drones is now affordable, with thousands of different aircraft options to choose from. Companies put out drones that are ready to fly, right out of the box, so even beginners can begin to practice flying in FPV. It is the experience of being in the cockpit, seeing the world move below you, without your feet leaving the ground.
Companies like DJI, are making FPV flying easy with ready to fly drones. While this is awesome, and opens the market up to all levels of flyers, it is important to learn to fly without FPV. I know you came here to read about FPV flying, but I want to note why I suggest practice flying first without FPV. Connection between the camera and the transmitter can lose connection at some point. When this happens, you will have to use your drone skills to pilot the drone back home. Also knowing how to fly your drone with everything in your view (not just FPV) makes you a better flyer. Get a hang of flying with your done in your LOS (line of sight) and then you can take off using FPV goggles.
FPV drones are so much fun to fly, and anyone can pick up the hobby of flying these advanced RC toys. Flying drones and quadcopters with FPV are great for other purposes besides fun. FPV drones are used for search and rescue missions. Drones are sent out to scope out dangerous areas, this is safer, so rescuers can see the land and what they are facing before going in. FPV drones are growing the business of drone racing. There are three main categories to drone racing; Drag Race, Rotorcross, and Time Trial.
Here is a list of FPV drones.
DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter
The DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter is one of the fanciest, most sophisticated quadcopters. This DJI quadcopter flies for 28 minutes, with a range of 5km (3.1mi).
The camera features and capabilities are high performance. The camera shoots video in 4K at 30fps and Full HD 1080p at 120fps for slow motion. The integrated 3-axis gimbal keeps the camera steady, reducing the jelly effect, for super smooth aerial footage.
It has auto take off and auto return to home with GPS and GLONASS technology. The drone can follow a fixed subject moving up to 72kph (45mph), it has sensors to avoid obstacles in its flight path, and hovers solidly. All flight information is automatically logged and backed up into an email account.
DJI released an adapter that connects to the controller and images can be transferred to another device (like DJI FPV goggles). View the flight in real time through your smart phone or you can purchase a set of DJI FPV goggles.
Vortex 285 Race Quad
The Vortex 285 Race Quad is a quadcopter for racing. It is crazy fast and crazy smooth. This racing quad is not for beginners, and it is not for hobbyists, IT IS amazing for racers. Because it is a racing drone, there are no features like return to home, because it is built for fliers who are experienced at controlling them at high speeds.
The FPV here is meant for control and less for saving quality footage. The vibration-free, tiltable camera mount fits a GoPro or another FPV camera.
Another DJI drone makes the list because of their ready to use drones that are easy to fly without sacrificing advanced features. The DJI Spark is a selfie drone that fits in your hand and takes off from your hand using facial recognition technology.
Users can plan a flight path to shoot videos. This is such a unique drone for any type of flyer, with features like controlling the quadcopter using hand gestures, return to home, active tracking, and more.
Use the DJI Go App on a smartphone or tablet to fly in first person view. Fly this beautiful mini drone for 16 minutes at 31 mph. Check out my review on the DJI Spark.
Parrot BeBop 2
Buy the Parrot BeBop 2 with the FPV Bundle. It is a drone quadcopter, and the body is the drone is similar to a plane, and the body is the quadcopter’s camera.
Parrot’s “Cockpit glasses” were created for their products so they are most compatible with the drone. These goggles connect to your smartphone and Parrot’s FreeFlight Pro app. Control the quadcopter with your smartphone or the controller that comes with the bundle.
Check out more specs on the Parrot BeBop2 with FPV bundle.
View FPV with Goggles or Screens
There are three kinds of FPV goggles:
Standalone VR goggles
Standalone VR goggles are the best FPV for drone racers. They use two viewing screens and have head tracking, which is great for experienced flyers and fast flyers. Because they are the most expensive FPV goggles, I recommend this kind for well versed flyers.
VR Boxes are the most comfortable but they are the heaviest to wear. The quality of live images they produce isn’t that great, but it is still live and in FPV. You view your flight on one screen, which is more comfortable and easier to control. These FPV goggles are some of the cheapest, so it balances out some of the lesser qualities of them.
Smartphone Powered VR
Smartphone FPV goggles are very affordable, but you need a smartphone to connect with them. Since it involves another piece of technology, more issues can occur, and the drone needs to connect to Wi-Fi. The quality of the live feed depends on the quality of your phone’s camera and video display.