DJI will follow up the launch of its excellent DJI Mini 3 Pro with a more unusual drone, if the growing rumors are correct. The DJI Avata, as recent leaks have called it, appears to be a ‘cinewhoop’ drone with 3-inch propellers – meaning it might be able to shoot dramatic indoor scenes.
What is a cinewhoop drone? These small models often have built-in propeller guards and are designed to fly in tight spaces or over people. That means the Avata would be different from the rest of DJI’s current range, which is primarily designed for shooting epic footage outdoors.
Naturally, that means the DJI Avata has a radically different design than its other drones, and some apparently leaked images seem to confirm this. We can expect to see some large, built-in protectors and potentially some new FPV Goggles to match the Avatar.
So what exactly do we know so far about the DJI Avatar and when will it be released? We’ve collected all the latest leaks and rumors in this regularly updated guide and sprinkled them with our own analysis of what looks to be an exciting and unusual release for the king of drones.
DJI Avatar release date and price
According to the generally reliable DJI leaker @DealsDrone, we can expect the DJI Avata to release in July.
That timescale certainly seems feasible given recent events in the DJI world. We’ve started to see what the first leaked DJI Avatar photos look like, and this typically happens about a month before DJI’s official release.
Rumors say DJI Avata plans to release in July https://t.co/IVblTuxSClJune 2, 2022
In addition, DJI already has another event scheduled for June 15th, which official teaser (opens in new tab) says is for the launch of a new product ‘DJI Pro’. This event is expected to be for the launch of the DJI RS3 and RS3 Pro gimbals, so we anticipate a small gap between this and the launch of the Avata.
So far, there have been no leaks or rumors suggesting the possible price of the DJI Avatar. Cinewhoop drones are typically home-built, for hobbyists, that come with GoPro mounts. That said, pre-built models like the iFlight Bumblebee V3 (with DJI Goggles) can cost upwards of $999 / £999, so there’s no guarantee the DJI Avata will be cheap.
With the Avata almost certain to include a built-in camera and some FPV Goggles, it could be priced similarly to the DJI FPV, but we’ll update this page as soon as we hear more rumors.
DJI Avatar leaks and rumors
The leaked DJI Avata images we’ve seen so far point to a radically different design from DJI’s current drones, but that’s to be expected as it’s a cinewhoop-style model.
Both of the biggest leaks came from the @DealsDrone Twitter account, which has already proven to be a reliable source for previous DJI releases like the Mini 3 Pro.
The first images (below), which appeared on May 18, revealed a small, plastic drone with a design quite typical of current cinewhoop models, with these large props built in to make it suitable for indoor flights or around people.
DJI Avatar, first leak pic.twitter.com/OYv7di4ZeaMay 18, 2022
A less typical feature of these types of drones, though, is the built-in camera and gimbal. While today’s cinewop drones often have a GoPro mount without the camera, the DJI Avata appears to have a DJI camera module – and one that could, according to @DealsDrone, deliver video and image quality similar to the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
The leaked images also reveal a rather large battery and were supported by a separate leak on June 4 of renders that showed an identical design. A little less convincing, though, was the image accompanying some seemingly new DJI goggles, which appear to be simply an edited image of the FPV Goggles V2.
Still, it seems likely that the DJI Avata will come with a new twist on DJI’s FPV Goggles, which can also support a “head chase mode”, according to another Tweet from @DealsDrone (opens in new tab) on May 15th. Exactly what this will be is unclear, but it sounds like a (slightly terrifying) form of subject tracking.
Avata is compact and weighs about 500gCan fly indoorsPhoto quality is much better(I think Mini 3 Pro is the same)Much improved battery lifeManual mode not supportedHead chase modeVibration function Touchpad for menu glassesThe glasses can connect to the phone pic.twitter.com/ WUqpjXXEnKMay 15, 2022
These new glasses will also apparently connect directly to your phone, and the DJI Avata has also been suggested to come with built-in vibration reduction.
Whether this is referring to gimbal-based stabilization, electronic stabilization like DJI’s existing RockSteady, or perhaps a combination of both remains unclear. But it could be part of DJI’s attempt to offer an equivalent to GoPro’s ReelSteady software. The video below, for example, was stabilized using ReelSteady.
ReelSteady is used by most FPV drone pilots to smooth out the bumps and shakes common in small, lightweight drones. Because it uses the gyro metadata from the GoPro action cameras, rather than simply cropping wide-angle footage, it gives you a lot of control over the amount of stabilization in your videos. We’d like to see DJI offer an equivalent for their own FPV drones, as ReelSteady is now owned by GoPro.
Another potential benefit of a Cinewhoop drone made by DJI would be the inclusion of intelligent flight modes like its QuickShots. There haven’t been any leaks about this yet, but it’s something we’re hoping to see in some form in the DJI Avatar.
DJI Avatar: Early verdict
The DJI Avata is shaping up to be an unusual drone for DJI, but also one that makes a lot of sense and fits into their broader strategy.
The drone giant is apparently on a mission to bring professional filmmaking skills to the masses, whether it’s making some of the best entry-level drones for vlogging tools like the DJI Pocket 2, and Avata seems to be just for cinewhoop-style videos.
This style of video has gone viral a few times on social media in recent years, from bowling tickets (opens in new tab) for the latest from Tesla Factory Giga Tour (opens in new tab). Many of the drones used in these videos already use DJI technology like the DJI HD FPV system, so rolling out an all-in-one option wouldn’t be a huge effort.
That would put it on another aerial collision course with GoPro, which recently released its GoPro Hero 10 Black Bones camera for Cinewhoop drones. The latter is built more for advanced hobbyists, though it looks like the DJI Avata could be a little more plug-in-and-fly, similarly to your DJI FPV. Look out for more leaks coming soon in the run-up to Avata’s release, which we’ll report back here as soon as they arrive.