What is FPV Drone? First Person View Drone Explained for Beginner

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As a content creator and filmmaker, there’s a multitude of tools available today for capturing videos and telling stories more effectively.

One of my favorite tools to use is my FPV drone.

However, for beginners looking to buy their first drone, it can be difficult to determine which one to choose in this day and age.

In this this comprehensive guide, I want to offer some clarity and share my thoughts on the types of FPV drones available and which ones you might consider, to make your purchase decision more informed.

What is an FPV Drone?

FPV stands for “first-person view.”

Unlike normal drones, you wear goggles that show a live video feed from the drone’s camera, giving you a cockpit experience.

FPV drones emphasize speed and maneuverability over camera quality. They enable fast and acrobatic flying.

DJI Avata Pro-View Combo

How do FPV Drones Work?

An FPV drone has several essential components that allow it to fly and capture footage. These include:

  • Drone frame, which holds all the other components together
  • Flight controller, which controls the drone’s movements and stability
  • Electronic speed controllers (ESCs), which regulate the speed of the drone’s motors
  • Motors and propellers, which provide the drone’s lift and thrust
  • Camera, which captures the drone’s footage
  • Video transmitter, which sends the footage from the drone to the ground
  • Receiver and display, which allow the pilot to see the footage in real-time
Lumenier QAV-S JohnnyFPV SE 5" FPV Freestyle Drone Component

For example, DJI FPV and DJI Avata include a complete FPV system with a preassembled drone, battery, camera, transmitter, remote control, and goggles.

What can FPV Drones Be Used for?

I came into contact with RC cars and FPV drones three years ago, and at that time I thought they were just a niche hobby.

But with the development of technology, FPV drones are present in many industries and markets. Here are some of the most common uses of FPV drones:

  1. Racing: There are competitions in any sport, and FPV drones are no exception. Pilots can race their drones against each other and compete for the fastest time.
  2. Filming: FPV drones can be used to capture aerial footage for films, TV shows, and commercials. The first-person perspective enables access to unique footage that traditional cameras cannot capture.
  3. Inspection and surveying: Due to their small size and flexibility, FPV drones can be used to inspect hard-to-reach structures, such as bridges, towers, and roofs, or to survey large areas, such as construction sites, agricultural fields, or forests.
  4. Search and Rescue: FPV drones can be deployed in search and rescue operations, helping locate missing persons or assess disaster-stricken areas. Their maneuverability and first-person view can be crucial in navigating difficult terrains.

The Different Types of FPV Drones

As mentioned above, FPV drones have a wide range of uses, and gradually three schools of thought have emerged in the drone industry, and they are racing, freestyle, and aerial photography.

You can get into one or all of them. No people say you can only get into one. Regardless of the genre, they all have exciting atmospheres and discussion groups and offer you a new and awesome perspective!

Consumer/Hobbyist FPV Drones

These are the most common FPV drones used by beginners and hobbyists. They prioritize ease of use and tend to have features like:

  • Built-in cameras
  • Automated flight modes
  • Obstacle avoidance sensors
  • Foldable designs for portability

Next, let me explain them all to you in detail.

Racing FPV drones

If you’re looking for speed and agility, racing FPV drones are the way to go. These drones are built for speed and maneuverability, with a lightweight design and powerful motors. They’re perfect for racing around a track or through an obstacle course.

Racing FPV drones typically have a small frame size, around 200-250mm diagonally, and can reach speeds up to 120mph.


Freestyle FPV drones

If you’re more interested in performing tricks and stunts, a freestyle FPV drone is the way to go. These drones are designed for acrobatics, with a more durable frame and larger propellers. Freestyle drones are typically larger than racing drones, with a frame size of around 250-300mm.

They’re also slower than racing drones, but more maneuverable, making them perfect for performing tricks and flips in the air.

GEPRC Mark5 HD Vista Freestyle FPV Drone - 6S

Cinematic FPV drones

If you want to capture stunning aerial footage, a cinematic FPV drone is the way to go. These drones are designed for stability and smooth flying, with a larger frame and slower speed.

They’re perfect for capturing cinematic shots of landscapes, buildings, and other scenery.

Cinematic FPV drones typically have a frame size of around 300-400mm and are equipped with high-quality cameras for capturing stunning footage.

What equipment do you need to become an FPV drone pilot?

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need:

FPV Drone: Of course, the most important piece of equipment is the drone itself. You’ll want to look for a drone that’s specifically designed for FPV flying, with a camera that provides a clear and stable video feed.

FPV Goggles: To see what your drone sees, you’ll need a pair of FPV goggles. These goggles allow you to see the live video feed from your drone’s camera in real-time, giving you a first-person view of your flight.

Radio Controller: You’ll also need a radio controller to pilot your drone. Look for a controller that’s comfortable to hold and has a good range so that you can fly your drone from a distance.

Batteries: Your drone will need a battery to power its motors and camera, and you’ll likely need several batteries to keep flying for an extended period of time. Look for high-quality batteries that are specifically designed for your drone model.

Battery Charger: You’ll also need a battery charger to keep your batteries powered up and ready to go. Look for a charger that’s compatible with your batteries and can charge multiple batteries at once.

Tools: Finally, you’ll need a few basic tools to maintain and repair your drone. Look for a set of screwdrivers, pliers, and other tools that are specifically designed for working with drones.

Keep in mind that these are just the basics. As you become more experienced with FPV flying, you may want to invest in additional equipment like a GPS module, a video transmitter, or even a dedicated ground station. But with these essential pieces of equipment, you’ll have everything you need to get started as an FPV drone pilot.

FPV drone vs. RC car: which is better for you?

I am a fanatic of the RC world. That’s why I have 3 RC cars and 2 FPV drones.

But you may be different; you may have been introduced to the RC hobby because of a hot YouTube video or a recommendation from a friend.

Here’s a quick rundown to help you decide.

If you grew up loving the sky or are committed to becoming a pilot, then FPV drones are perfect for you.

RC cars are land-based vehicles that you control using a remote control. They come in various types, from on-road and off-road to rock crawlers and drift cars. RC cars are great for racing and performing stunts, and they’re generally more affordable than FPV drones.

Ultimately, the choice between an FPV drone and an RC car comes down to what you want to do with it. Both can be incredibly fun and rewarding hobbies, so it’s worth trying out both to see which one you enjoy more.

Is FPV drone safe?

The answer is that it can be safe if you take the proper precautions and follow the rules and regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The following are common safety precautions.

The risk of collision

Since you are flying the drone from a first-person perspective, it can be easy to lose track of your surroundings and accidentally collide with a tree, building, or other obstacle.

To mitigate this risk, it’s important to fly your drone in an open and clear area, away from people and buildings.

Additionally, you should always keep your drone within your line of sight and avoid flying it too high or too far away.

The risk of injury

When the drone is running, the wings rotate very fast. If you’re not careful, you could accidentally fly your drone into someone or something, causing injury or damage.

To prevent this, it’s important to fly your drone in a safe and controlled manner and to avoid flying it near people or animals.

How much are FPV drones?

FPV drones can range in price depending on the features and specifications. The cost of a beginner FPV drone can be as low as $130, while high-end models can cost upwards of $1,000.

One of the factors that can affect the price of an FPV drone is the quality of the camera. A high-quality camera can provide better image and video quality, but it can also increase the price of the drone.

For example, the DJI FPV drone has a 4K camera and costs $999.

Another factor that can affect the price of an FPV drone is the type of controller and goggles that come with it.

Some FPV drones come with a basic controller and goggles, while others come with advanced controllers that offer more features and capabilities.

The cost of the drone can increase if it comes with more advanced controllers and goggles.

When I first got into FPV drones, I spent a ton of money I didn’t have to. I don’t want you to give up on this exciting hobby because of budget concerns.

Top FPV Drone Brands

If you’re looking for the best FPV drone brands on the market, you’re in luck! Here are the top 5 brands that you should consider:

  • DJI: Known for its high-quality drones, DJI is a top brand in the FPV drone market. The DJI FPV Combo is a great option for those looking for a beginner-friendly option.
  • BetaFPV: BetaFPV is a popular brand among FPV enthusiasts. Their Cetus FPV drone is a great option for beginners, while their ProTek25 Pusher View is a more advanced option for experienced pilots.
  • GEPRC: GEPRC is a lesser-known brand, but their MARK5 HD O3 Freestyle drone is a top choice for those looking for a high-performance FPV drone.
  • EMAX: EMAX is another top brand in the FPV drone market. Their TinyHawk 3 RTF drone is a great option for beginners, while their Hawk Pro 5-inch FPV drone is a more advanced option for experienced pilots.
  • iFlight: iFlight is a well-known brand in the FPV drone market. Their Nazgul 5 drone is a great option for those looking for a high-performance drone, while their Cetus Pro is a great option for beginners.

Each of these brands offers a variety of FPV drones to choose from, so it’s important to consider your skill level and budget when making your decision. No matter which brands you choose, you can be sure you’re getting a high-quality FPV drone that will provide you with an immersive flying experience.









Final words

Congratulations! You have now learned what an FPV drone is and how it works. With FPV technology, you can experience the thrill of flying a drone from the drone’s perspective and see the world from a whole new angle.

So, why not give it a try? Who knows, you might just discover a new passion!

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Written By Richard Hargrave

Hi I'm Richard. Since 2018, I've found my calling in the boundless sky, maneuvering everything from mini quadcopters to remote-controlled planes. Today, my favorite pastime is creating stunning commercial videos with FPV drones. I'm a drone instructor by trade, writer by passion.

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