It’s been a while since DJI first announced that they would be coming out with a set of goggles for the Mavic Pro. Since then, a lot of you may have forgotten about them, or never realized that they existed in the first place. I myself never forgot about DJI’s goggles and had been eagerly awaiting for their release since day one.
Update: Pricing And Release Date Announced
We finally have pricing and a shipping date. For USD $449, you’re getting everything I talk about in this article. You can order the DJI Goggles now and they start shipping on May 30th. They are currently in limited production, so I recommend ordering them soon if you don’t want to wait for months.
What Do I Know About Goggles?
As an FPV (first-person-view) freestyle pilot, I know what the options are for a good set of goggles, and I know what it’s like to use them. Even if you could, you wouldn’t want to use the same goggles that drone racers use for drone racing. They are low resolution, the menus are terrible/non-existent, the field-of-view is low, and the video signal looks like it came from a 1980s TV station.
There are some exceptions here and there, but there’s nothing out there compared to what I’m about to show you right now.
What are DJI Goggles?
Have you ever seen the Oculus Rift? It’s like that but mixed with some DJI magic and two 1920x1080 screens. That’s more pixels than any headset I’ve ever used, and the colors are pretty good too.
But wait, this isn’t just a nice pair of HD screens. On the left side, you will find a capacitive touch pad. When you have the goggles on, you see not only a video feed but also a HUD (heads-up-display) with useful flight information and settings that you can change on the fly.
Using the touch pad, you can even change settings on the drone (like camera exposure white balance and more) all without ever looking down at your controller! Additionally, you can use the 5D button and the buttons on the back of the Mavic Pro’s controller to navigate, so your hands never have to leave the controller.
None of these features matter if the video feed isn’t good, but DJI didn’t disappoint in this area either. The DJI Goggles use OcuSync (the data transmission technology from the Mavic Pro) to communicate directly with the drone that you’re using. This means low latency 1080p video at 30fps, 720p 60fps, or 720p 30fps (when shooting in 4K).
What It’s Like To Use DJI Goggles
It’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced before. When I first put the goggles on, all I could think was “this is unreal. It feels like a video game, ” and everyone I’ve shown it to has had a smile on their face when using it.
The FOV Is Massive
Compared to traditional goggles for FPV racing, the DJI goggles are not even on the same planet. Here’s a comparison just putting a camera up to the lenses of both goggles. Obviously, a picture will never do justice, but it should give you some idea of what I’m talking about.
Head Tracking Is Fun
One feature I didn’t mention is that you also have the option of using head tracking, where the sensors in the goggles track your head movements to move the camera around. It’s not the most cinematic way of shooting video, but it sure is fun to play around with. Here’s a short and simple video to illustrate how head tracking works.
Using DJI Goggles Makes For Better Videos
When you fly the Mavic Pro, or even the Phantom 4 using a smartphone or tablet, the one thing that always gets in the way of shooting amazing shots is the sun.
Even if you use a sun hood, there’s just no way to see the video clearly enough to judge what you’re looking at. This has been a problem since the beginning of drone photography.
With the DJI Goggles, it blocks out virtually all of the sunlight. It’s like flying a drone while watching the live video feed in a movie theater. The colors are not washed out, the screen is huge, and you can see every little detail.
So what does all this mean if you want to shoot better video? Well, I’ve found that my shots come out smoother. I can fly much faster and closer to obstacles. If there are power lines, you can now see them instead of hoping not to run into them.
Thanks to the 360-degree antennas inside of the goggles and Ocusync, my video feed is more reliable and consistent than ever. Every aspect of flying is improved, and it opens up a lot of new opportunities that weren’t possible before with a drone like the Mavic Pro.
In the video above, you’ll see me flying through tall steel buildings with severe magnetic interference and no GPS signal, and yet I still managed to fly without crashing and get some fast paced shots from over 0.5km away. Without the DJI Goggles, this video just wouldn’t be possible without crashing my drone into the top of a building or running it into the ground, literally!