Some drones are designed and built for different purposes. We’re looking at what makes FPV drones different, and whether they’re any good for filmmaking!

Aerial shots are almost always stunning. They add a real cinematic feel to any video project, and give the effect of a big budget production value without the soaring cost of a helicopter.

Learning how to film with drones will guarantee your video portfolio is taken to new heights. But, did you realise that there are actually different types of drones?

We’re going to look at the main differences between first person view (FPV) drone, and the regular kind you might more commonly see.

Regular Drones

Ready to Go

Regular drones, like the DJI drones that tend to be more common, are much more accessible. They’re ready to fly as soon as you take it out of the box. This is probably why we see them around more. Thanks to the built-in camera, gimbal, sensors and software, DJI drones are ready to go right off the bat.

Quicker to Learn

Thanks to those on board sensors, regular drones have a much faster learning curve. They’re designed to be simple to pilot, making them a more popular choice for a wider customer base.


DJI drones tend to feature safety sensors. These stop the drone crashing into things like trees or buildings. The drone’s movement will usually be limited to vertical and horizontal movement, making flying much simpler and safer. A “return to home” function also means that, should you lose signal, the drone will fly up and return to the controller. This makes losing your drone far less likely, even when flying long range.

Less Speedy

A DJI type drone normally manages top speeds of around 50km p/h. Their slower speeds are owing to the extra weight that comes from things like cameras and gimbals.

Longer Battery Life

Since the main focus of regular drones isn’t to be the smallest or lightest UAV, the on-board battery can afford to be a bit bigger. Depending on how you’re both flying and filming, some batteries can last up to around 50 minutes.

Difficult to Repair

A drawback with DJI drones is that if any significant damage is caused in a collision, you have to send the whole thing away to be repaired. This can take a couple of weeks, and you tend to rely on specific parts in order to get your drone up and running again.

FPV Drones

First Person View

The major difference between FPV and regular drones is the perspective with which you fly them. Regular drones are operated by a handheld control that you can attach your phone to as a viewfinder. FPV drones are flown with the pilot wearing a set of goggles, which lets them see what the drone camera is seeing.

Build Your Own

Unlike the DJI type, FPV drones don’t come out of the box all ready to fly. They require a lot of assembly and modification. Whilst this means it’s a longer wait before you can fly them, it opens up a lot more customisation options. You can even change out the camera you use with one.

Yesterday, GoPro announced its new Hero10 Black Bones camera, specially designed for FPV drones. This was in response to FPV pilots cutting their regular and heavier Hero10 in half to make it lighter.

Challenging to Learn

Since FPV drones don’t come with lots of built-in features and guidance, the learning curve is considerably steeper. Much more specialised knowledge is required to get good at flying FPV drones. Although they’re more of a challenging, if you can take this on it’s a great skill to have in the end.

Less Safety, More Freedom

Without sensors telling you how close you are to obstacles, you open up lots more potential for nasty crashes. However, this means you can get much closer to things, nailing cinematic shots zooming in between trees or through small windows.

Movement is also not limited to just vertical or horizontal. That means tilts and even flips are made possible, resulting in some awesome footage.

Super Speedy

FPV drone are considerably lighter. Designed for speed and racing, their bodies are far leaner in comparison to regular drones. In some cases, FPV drones can reach up to a staggering 200km p/h.

A drawback to this is that footage can come out very shaky. Without on-board stabilisation, like you’d find on a DJI model, you’ll need to stabilise footage yourself after shooting.

Short Battery Life

Batteries account for a decent proportion of the on-board weight of a drone. To keep things light, FPVs sacrifice battery life quite significantly. Usually, an FPV will only manage a few minutes in the air.

Repair Yourself

With scrapes and crashes more likely with an FPV, it helps that you can carry out any necessary repairs yourself. Spare parts are more readily available, so you don’t have to wait for other companies to fix things for you. This does mean you will need to get familiar with a soldering iron. But, again, once you do it’s a valuable skill to add to your arsenal.

Which Is More Cinematic?

So, those are the major differences between FPV drones and regular DJI type drones. From that list, either one might sound more attractive, based on your needs and skill level.

If you want good-looking footage fast, then a normal drone may be more suitable. However, if you’re prepared to invest some time into learning, an FPV drone could fulfil your cinematic needs. The high speeds give potential for gripping car chase scenes, or the following of fast boats or trains. The possibilities for super cool video are increased, whatever you want to shoot.

It’s best to make the decision of which is more cinematic after seeing visual examples. Filmmaker, Niklas Christl has demonstrated the difference between FPV and normal drones in this video below.

The only thing that makes drone footage even more awesome is the perfect tune.

Head to Synchedin to discover a huge catalogue of high quality royalty free music. Use categories and filters to find the ideal track as quickly as your FPV drone can fly.