how to get started with FPV

What is the best way to get into FPV flying?

I’ve been flying FPV for a while now and it can be an intimidating task to start from scratch. There are a ton of different drones, controllers, and goggles. What is the best place for a beginner to start? I don’t encourage beginners to start with an HD system. It is hard to get into HD FPV for less than $500 and most beginners don’t want to drop that kind of money to get started. I figured I could break it down into three different options: the best way, the easy way, and the cheap way.

Personally, I think beginners should start with tinywhoops or toothpick style drones. Smaller drones like these two are more durable and not as noisy so pilots can fly them at home or in a park without upsetting the neighbors. A tiny whoop is a ducted drone, like the Tinyhawk that can be flown indoors and a toothpick is a small open prop design like the Tinyhawk Freestyle.

Emax Tinyhawk 3 Freestyle
Emax Tinyhawk 3 Freestyle (front)with the Tinyhawk 3+

What is the easiest way to get into FPV?

This is the simplest of options. Buy a ready to fly, all-in-one kit. Emax makes three good kits that I could recommend. You’ll get the drone, remote, goggles, battery, charger, and everything you need in order to get flying. The best part is that everything will be ready to go when you get it. There isn’t anything to build or program. You just charge the batteries and fly. Emax makes a really good drone and the Tinyhawk series is great. I don’t think you can go wrong with an Emax RTF kit. There are two I’d recommend. Either the EZ Pilot Pro or the Tinyhawk 3+.

Emax EZ Pilot Pro
The EZ Pilot Pro is an excellent all-in-one starter kit.

The EZ Pilot Pro will cost about $240 and that is a pretty solid deal. The drone is robust and built for a beginner in mind. The remote is solid and the goggles have a removable screen that some people prefer to standard goggles. This drone isn’t going to be the fastest, but that is generally good for a beginner.

Check the price of the EZ Pilot Pro

The Tinyhawk 3+ will cost about $280 and will add a few things to the table. The remote is ELRS, which means you’ll get a better signal quality. The goggles have a DVR so you can record your flights.  You will even get a nice carrying case to store everything inside of. It is a little bit quicker than the EZ Pilot Pro, but still a durable drone and a solid option for a beginner.

emax tinhawk 3 Plus HD (1)
The Emax Tinyhawk 3+ is an excellent and upgraded starter drone.
Check the price of the Tinyhawk 3+

Both the remote and the goggles can be used with other drones, so pilots can grow with either of these kits. You can even use the Emax remote with drone simulators. BetaFPV also has a couple of all-in-one kits. I don’t think they are quite as nice as Emax but their brushed version is $150 and the brushless version is $200. Brushless drones are definitely the way to go as they are more efficient and last longer but tend to be a little more expensive.

BetaFPV kits are less expensive options.
Check the price of the BetaFPV brushed kitCheck the price of the BetaFPV brushless kit

What is the cheapest way to get into FPV?

A good all-in-one kit will cost somewhere between $240-300, but what is the cheapest way to get into FPV? You can buy an inexpensive ducted drone on Amazon for about $25, like this one. Then add a VTX camera for $17. This requires some DIY skills, particularly soldering.

Then you’ll need a set of goggles. It is hard to find inexpensive options but these $55 goggles work well. They are small but will allow you to get into FPV for just under $100. The problem with going this route is you won’t be able to upgrade. You’ll likely end up buying a newer, and better drone in the future and you’ll also want to get a new remote. People say buy cheap, buy twice and that will likely happen.

Eachine E010C
Eachine E010 with an FPV camera
Buy a cheap tiny whoop
Buy an FPV camera
Buy inexpensive FPV goggles

What is the best way to get into FPV?

The first thing you want to buy is your remote. No, not the drone, that is last. I have three recommendations. The Radiomaster Pocket, Zorro or Boxer remote. The Pocket is small and portable. The Zorro has an XBox/Playstation feel to it for gamers. The Boxer is a compact but full-sized remote.

The Boxer (top), Pocket (left), and Zorro (right) are all excellent options.

All three are good options, so choose which one you think would be best for you and your budget. I highly recommend going with the ELRS version of the remote. ELRS is the protocol or “language” that it uses to communicate with the drone and it is the newest and best option. Get a remote and download a drone simulator on your computer. Spend a lot of time learning how to fly before you pick up a drone or goggles.

Check out the Pocket
Check out the Zorro
Check out the Boxer

Next, you’ll need a set of goggles. I like a few different options. Dual antennas and a DVR are two good features to look for. Emax Transponder 2 or Eachine EV800D are both nice options right around $100. They both can be used as goggles or as a stand-alone screen. Without breaking the bank the FatShark Scout goggles for less than $200. Goggles get expensive really quickly.

fat shark recon FPV goggles
Take a look at the Fat Shark Scout FPV goggles
Check on the price of the Transponder 2 FPV Goggles

Check on the price of the Eachine EV800D FPV Goggles

Check on the price of the Fatshark Scout FPV Goggles

Finally, you’ll want a drone. If you are flying indoors I’d recommend the Mobula 7 ELRS. Mobula 6 is a smaller version and Mobula 8 is a larger one. For about $110 it is an awesome little quad.

Mobula 7 1S ELRS
The Mobula 7 1S ELRS is a great starter quad.

If you are flying outdoors I’m a big fan of the Tinyhawk 3+ Freestyle. The drone is the least important part of this kit actually. You’ll want to make sure you have a good radio and goggles and almost any (compatible) drone will do just fine. You’ll still need to pick up some batteries and a charger, and maybe even a case to store it, but this is a good place to start.

Check the price of the Mobula 7Check the price of Tinyhawk 3+ Freestyle

What about digital FPV?

Digital or HD FPV is better than analog no doubt. It is however incredibly expensive. DJI is the absolute best picture. Walksnail is nearly as good but lacks the refinement that DJI has. HDZero is a distant third when it comes to picture quality, but a clear winner when it comes to latency. It is hard to recommend any of these systems to a beginner to learn FPV because of their price. I personally LOVE flying DJI FPV with my bigger drones and HDZero for my whoops, but getting into DJI is a solid $1000 investment. While Emax does make some affordable HDZero Tinyhawk kits they are still close to $500.

Learn more about the DJI AvataLearn more about Emax Tinyhawk HD

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