The Cinematic Drone Revolution: This New Racing Drone Puts DJIs to Shame

Must-see footage has been released depicting the advancement, and likely future, of drone videos. Directly comparing the DJI Phantom 4 Drone with the new FPV drone, the latter is leagues above, providing cinematic footage, at high speeds, and with zero limits.

YouTuber Mathieu Stern had two different pilots navigate their drones around the same three settings, challenging them to record the best possible footage. The two first fly their drones through a field, before taking to forest, and later a river. The results are evident: the FPV drone takes things to the next level. The clips taken from the FPV are undeniably swift and sleek in comparison to the likes of the DJI Phantom 4. The speed at which the FPV operates and turns puts the DJI to shame. The video also features clips from the FPV of a moving vehicle for comparison.

One of the more impressive clips, featured at 5.21 and recorded by the FPV, swoops down on a flock of birds flying across the water.

Stern concludes that while it’s easy to learn how to fly DJI drones, they are expensive and limiting. Meanwhile, although FPV drones are harder to learn how to operate, they are significantly cheaper and have far fewer limits when it comes to capability.
As Stern puts it, it’s the cinematic drone revolution! Watch the footage and compare the results for yourself.

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Quick Note to start with: I fly both DJI Drones, as well as FPV drones, and I've seen the article on FStoppers and found the title clickbaitish, and the article,
as well as the original video on youtube extremly biased and thus unfair.

here a quick look at some things that might not be obvious to someone reading the article or watching the video:

DJI Dronepilot
According to his youtube channel this pilot is flying a Phantom 4 Pro
- an outdated drone, released more than two and a half years ago, several successor versions have been released since
- pretty large and heavy drone, which makes it a good choice for stable shots like the pilot seems to mostly do
- there is other models from DJI that are much better suited for a comparison
- the Pilot is by far not using the potential of his drone, he is flying in one of the slower modes, and is not making serious use of his drones gimbal, as he is not doing any complex shots
- the pilot keeps much more distance to everything, which makes the flight feel even slower, which is a choice by the pilot, not a limitation of the drone
- the camera has a 84° fov, which makes a pretty nice clean image
- the drone in this configuration is not produced anymore, but can still be bought in some shops for around 1300 euros, used to be around 1600

FPV Pilot
is flying a custom build drone, designed by himself..
- much smaller, and lighter
- flies close proximity, which makes things look faster
- was asked to do the same shots as the first pilot, which makes it easy to 1up the first guy
- the pilot knows his drone extremly well (as he even designed the frame)
- he doesn't hold back on the speed potential of his drone
- the gopro has a much wider fov (in 16:9, without zoom: 118,2º), which makes the footage look even faster, but also causes the quite visible distortion on both sides of the image
- the drone itself might seem cheaper, but for a fair price comparison the required gear to fly needs to be compared, the DJI drone comes with all things needed in the box, while for the FPV drone there is quite a list of gear needed, taken this into consideration the FPV drone is similar to the price the phantom 4 pro used to be sold for, and today actually several hundred euros more expensive. (see below for a rough estimate on the price)

There is an obvious skill difference between the pilots (seeming as how much of the potential of their drones they are using), and the
editing enhances the effect making the FPV Drone look a lot better by the way it has been improved with sound effects.

lets talk about the price a bit. This is based on infos on his on channel / infos on the configuration hes advertising his frame with.
some of the prices come from a website in europe (france) the pilot is linking to, others come from some china sellers, thus are without taxes.
I've generally rounded up, and for some of the prices taking averages over several pages.
This might not be the exact drone hes flying, but the configuration seems about right, and even if there is differences, the prices will most likely be similar.

70 EUR Frame: Petit Soldat SX218
60 EUR ESC: Aikon AK32PIN 4in1 35A 6S
40 EUR FC: CL Racing TALL F7 Mini OR Raceflight Revolt OSD FW 1.2.2 and 222GANG (similar pricepoint)
100 EUR Motors (x4): T-Motor Blackbird Edition 2207 2725KV
40 EUR FPV CAM: Foxeer Falkor Mini
25 EUR VTX: TBS Unify Pro 5.8 GHZ HV - SMA
30 EUR RX: TBS Crossfire Nano
17 EUR Antenna: Lumenier Antenna AXII Stubby 5.8ghz
28 EUR Batteries: BATTERIE LIPO TATTU R-LINE 4S 1300MAH 95C
3 EUR Props: HQPROP DP5X4.3X3 V1S
----
413 EUR for the drone - seems a lot cheaper? but wait.. there is more:
275 EUR Cam: GoPro Hero 7 (it might be a 6, but the 7 is the last he had on his channel, so i went with one of the cheaper 7s I could find, which is a similar price range as the 6es used to be)
225 EUR Radio: RADIO FRSKY TARANIS X9D PLUS
205 EUR TX: TBS Crossfire TX (there is cheaper versions out nowadays, but this is the one he links to)
350 EUR Fatshark Dominator HD V2 (those are outdated, thus a lot cheaper nowadays than they used to be - price is based on a edition thats still sold in some places)
50 EUR Receiver Module: Laforge v2, (while he seems to have only one antenna connected, this seems to be the diversity variant), also outdated, price based on what similar modules cost now (used to be more expensive)
30 EUR Antenna: IMMERSIONRC 5.8GHZ (he is sporting a custom one, but thats the price from the one hes linking to
---
1,548 EUR

EDIT: the fpv pilot is flyin different drones in different shots... i didn't notice before, thus hes using even more gear.. in the forrest he seems to fly an iflight megabee (i might be wrong) which would add about another 250 EUR

Luke Adams's picture

Flying fast and doing loop de loops does not equal cinematic. I preferred the tasteful footage from the DJI operator the majority of the time.