DJI finally fulfilled its promise of building a Cinewhoop drone with the DJI Avata.
Compared to the previous DJI FPV and other traditional FPV drones, the DJI Avata comes with a better camera, produces better image quality, an above-average transmission system, and a whole system that works better than anything we’ve seen so far in the FPV market.
But how does it compare to third-party cameras like the GoPro Hero 10 or the DJI Action 2, which are the cameras often attached to traditional FPV drones?
DJI Avata Camera vs. GoPro vs. Action 2, which one’s better?
The GoPro Hero 10 provides the best footage, better stabilization, and a reasonable price. It’s a bit heavy, weighing 153 grams, but I believe it’s worth it, considering what you get from it.
The Action 2 has similar features to the DJI Avata’s camera, so it will not be a worthy upgrade.
Please keep reading to learn more about these two cameras and how to get the best footage with your Avata.
Why you may need to attach a second camera to the DJI Avata
As already mentioned, the whole DJI Avata system is an improvement to what we have seen in traditional FPV drones.
In a sense, handling a traditional FPV can be pretty hectic. You have to deal with managing the batteries, they come with extra-large controllers, and you have to know how to build, assemble, or customize your drone.
The goggles may also not always be that comfortable, and you often have to add a second camera to get better footage.
The DJI Avata seeks to remove all the unnecessary clutter by giving a smaller package that includes an all-in-one camera, convenient and comfortable goggles, two types of controllers, and intelligent batteries.
Instead of attaching a second camera, DJI wants you to use the same camera to pilot the drone and record usable footage. Does it work as intended? For the most part, yes.
However, there may be issues like aggressive exposure adjustments when you fly too fast across areas with different lighting conditions.
The camera is designed to do this because if the exposure adjusted itself normally, it might take too long, causing you to lose your visual for some time, and you could end up crashing.
While the aggressive exposure adjustment is safe, it may affect the quality of your footage.
Another issue you may face with the camera trying to accomplish two functions is limited refresh rate, which is often experienced in the new DJI Goggles 2.
As a result, you can’t manage to record 2.7K at 120fps and can only do it at 100fps with the new goggles.
To avoid such issues in traditional FPV drones, drone pilots attach second cameras to their drones. Besides, if there’s a chance to get better footage than the DJI Avata offers, I’d be willing to take it.
Thankfully, you can do that with the DJI Avata, thanks to a mounting device like this one (link) from OriginaldoBO.
Let’s see the various cameras available and how they compare to the DJI Avata Camera.
GoPro Hero 10
If you want to get the best footage possible with your drone, I’d advise you to go with the GoPro Hero 10.
For starters, it records in 5.3k at 60 fps and 4k at 120 fps and 2.7K at 240fps, thanks to their new GP2 system, while the DJI Avata shoots at a maximum of 4k at 60fps. 4k at 120fps and 2.7K at 240fps are also available in slow motion.
The GoPro Hero achieves a 23MP resolution, while the DJI Avata achieves a 48MP resolution.
Now, the reason the Hero 10’s 23MP may sometimes be better is that the Avata is actually a 12MP camera designed to achieve 48MP through Quad Bayer technology.
But this QuadBayer 48MP doesn’t really offer more detail than the original 12MP, making a pure 23MP camera superior.
Secondly, the GoPro has more options for image stabilization, including the HyperSmooth features and Horizon leveling.
You can also run the footage through Gyroflow or RealSteady to achieve smoother footage. The only limitation here is the GoPro can only correct the tilt at up to 45 degrees.
On the other hand, the DJI Avata has RockSteady and HorizonSteady stabilization, which keep the footage smooth and the horizon level throughout.
However, the DJI Avata has a wider aperture (f/1.7) than the GoPro Hero 10 (f/2.8), making it theoretically better in low light conditions than the Hero 10.
A wider aperture also leads to a shallower depth of field.
Another advantage the Avata has over the GoPro Hero 10 is the sensor size, featuring a 1/1.7-inch sensor compared to the 1/2.3-inch.
Like the wider aperture, a larger sensor leads to better footage in low light areas and wider tones.
Still, the better resolution and stabilization make the Hero 10 worth adding to the Avata.
Another win for the GoPro is that it lasts 112 minutes compared to the Avata’s 15 Minutes of flight time.
You can use the Hero 10 on the Avata for a few batteries, attach it to another FPV setup if you have one, or even use it as a handheld action camera before the battery gets depleted.
One downside with attaching a GoPro to your Avata is the extra weight since the DJI Avata weighs 410 grams, while the Go Pro Hero 10 weighs 150 grams.
Like most drones, the DJI Avata is optimally designed to the T, meaning an additional weight may alter its balance, making it challenging to fly.
DJI Action 2
If you are looking for a lighter camera to add to the DJI Avata, then maybe you should check out the DJI Action 2, a camera similar to the GoPro and weighing only 56 grams.
However, if you add the Power Module (56.6 grams) and the Front Screen module (64 grams), the weight will shoot to 120 grams.
Weight aside, how does the image quality from the Action 2 compare to the Hero 10 or the Avata’s camera?
For starters, it comes with a 1/1.7 CMOS sensor with an f/2.8 aperture and shoots in 4K at 120fps and 1080p at 120fps in slow motion.
The sensor and aperture are the same as in the Avata, making it better in low light conditions than the Hero 10, but the image quality will not be as good in optimal light conditions.
How about stabilization? You get the same RockSteady and HorizonSteady stabilization techniques as in the DJI Avata, but not as good as you will get from the Hero 10 in some aspects.
For instance, stabilization won’t work at 4K or past 100fps. It’s only available on lower frame rates and resolutions.
The only benefit the Action 2 may have over the GoPro is that it can correct the camera tilt at up to 180 degrees.
Another fascinating feature of the DJI Action 2 is the 22.4 GB of internal storage. To make this camera more compact, DJI omitted ports like the SD card slot and the USB ports.
22.4 GB is more than the 20GB you will find on the DJI Avata, but you can’t add an extra SD card.
The GoPro lacks internal storage, but you get an SD card slot where you can add storage up to 512 GB. I find that to be more convenient.
The DJI Action 2 may initially seem cheaper, but that’s not the case. The camera alone and a battery pack costs $399. But if you add the front screen module, you will have to pay $519.
On the other hand, you can get the complete package of the GoPro (the screen is built-in) at $499 as a non-subscriber and $399 if you have the GoPro subscription, which costs $49 per year.
With the subscription, you get cloud storage, replacements on at least 2 cameras, and discounts on other products.
DJI Avata Camera vs. GoPro Hero 10 vs. Action 2
Besides the aggressive exposure adjustments and limited refresh rate on the new goggles, the DJI Avata camera is good enough to record usable footage.
And many people have settled for it to avoid the extra weight which may alter the drone’s functionality.
But if you’re like me and want to push the DJI Avata to its limits, adding a second camera would be ideal.
So, between the DJI Action 2 and the GoPro Hero 10, which one would I choose? I find that you get the best value with the GoPro Hero 10.
You get higher resolutions for video and still images, better stabilization even at higher frame rates, and at almost the same price.
I feel like the Action 2 is too similar to the DJI Avata’s camera, and you will not be getting much improvement from it.