DJI Alternatives 2020 - Skydio II, Autel, FIMI and More!

To the general public, DJI is the last word in drones but there are some very interesting new options out there for a pilot looking for something different.

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DJI Alternatives

For non-RC hobbyists, there is only one name when it comes to shopping for an aerial-based video or camera system and that is DJI. From the Mini to units that are $8,000 and beyond, DJI has just about everything for every application...almost.

The drones I'm going to go over in this article have been discussed on RCGroups but my goal was to gather my top contenders into one thread with links and more information for anyone that hasn't considered venturing out from the DJI brand. The great news is there is a good deal of info on the RCGroups forum about any of these drones if one of them piques your interest!

If you are looking for an alternative to DJI you now have some very interesting choices. Some of these units are cheaper, US based, and have some very intelligent tech. So before you lay down your money take a look at the list below and see if there is something that fits your needs exactly (and maybe for less money).

Skydio 2 - $999

Skydio is a company I have been researching. They are based out of the US and have come a long way in the design and onboard avoidance system. They believe that the idea that a drone will crash should be an idea of the past. Their most current drone has 45 megapixels of visual sensing. That means the Skydio 2 can see everything in every direction! It actually creates a 3-dimensional map that it navigates through in real-time. The Mavic 2 only has 4.9 estimated megapixels.

There are many other aspects of this intelligent drone like:

  • The Skydio beacon is a handheld device that allows you to literally point where you want the drone to go.
  • It can be controlled via a controller ($149) or with and IOS or Android device.
  • It can track a subject through things like trees.
  • It can fly autonomously while you direct it the shots.

Specs

  • Camera - 4k60 HDR
  • Top Speed - 36 MPH
  • Battery Life - 23 Minutes
  • Gimbal - 3 Axis
  • Range - 2.17 Miles
  • Weight - 775g

Join the conversation and learn more here.

Evo II Series Drones - $1,495

The Evo II which is the first portable 8K drone and includes HDR video. It has omnidirectional obstacle avoidance that keeps the drone safe while you direct the shots. One interesting feature of the Evo II is the built-in screen on the transmitter. That means if you need to get a quick video you already have everything you need in this package.

Specs

  • Camera - 8k - 8000x6000 Resolution
  • Top Speed - 44.7 MPH
  • Battery Life - 40 Minutes
  • Gimbal - 3 Axis
  • Range - 5.59 Miles
  • Weight - 1,127g

Join the conversation and learn more here.

FIMI X8-SE Folding Quadcopter $529

The FIMI X8-SE is one of the most affordable options available. The specs on this are pretty close to everything listed above. Feature-wise this unit is in line with the Mavic 2 but so much cheaper in price. The range on this unit is good but will fragment from time to time when you get 1 or 2 km away. Obstacle avoidance is limited on this unit and that is probably where the savings are coming from. Thee Fimi x8 does come with one optical flow stabilization camera underneath that allows it to fly steady when closer to the ground ( up to 10m height). It also has a sonar for height stabilization. This sends a signal to the ground and bounces it back. This allows it to be flown indoors. I would think of this as more of a competitor to the Mavic Air.

Specs

  • Camera - 4k
  • Top Speed - 31 MPH
  • Battery Life - 33 Minutes
  • Gimbal - 3 Axis
  • Range - 3.1 Miles
  • Weight - 790g

Join the conversation and learn more here.

Holybro Kopis Cinewhoop HD FPV Drone

This little quad is a bonus and not really in the same league with everything listed above BUT if you have the piloting skills needed the Cinewhoop may give you the ability to set you apart from other drone-based pilots. The HolyBro Kopis Cinewhoop is designed around the DJI FPV system. This 3" inch quad with ducts will allow you to get shots in places no large drone can go. If you have the ability to really fly a quad then the Cinewhoop will reward you with amazing shots!

This article will give you the full specs, build and videos.

Kopis Cinewhoop GoPro Hero 8 Footage (2 min 50 sec)

Specs

  • Camera - Provided by Pilot (GoPro)
  • Top Speed - 55 MPH
  • Battery Life - 3 Minutes w/GoPro
  • Gimbal - None
  • Range - 4 Miles
  • Weight - 274g with DJI Air Unit

Join the conversation and learn more here.

Last edited by Jim T. Graham; Jan 24, 2020 at 03:56 PM..
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Jan 22, 2020, 11:07 AM
Registered User
Pixelpeter's Avatar
Think that the Hubsan Zino 2 should also be mentioned in this line-up, especially since the Fimi X8 SE gets mentioned too and the Zino 2 sits in the same spec and price bracket. And just like the also mentioned Autel Evo2, the first copies are being send out.
Jan 22, 2020, 01:23 PM
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
Thread OP
Let's do it. Feel free to populate this thread with quads that fit the bill and links. I have yet to drop my coin but I'm shopping!
Jan 24, 2020, 02:08 PM
A person
I think the battery life on the Kopis Cinewhoop may be wrong -- not sure how a setup like that would realistically get over 5 minutes.
Jan 24, 2020, 02:18 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
I was getting 3 minutes with a 1350 4S carrying a GoPro. I could get over 10 minutes with no GoPro and a 2200 with the right flying style.
Jan 25, 2020, 11:46 AM
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
Thread OP
I updated that info.
Jun 21, 2020, 03:20 AM
It's just a bug...
alambik's Avatar
Hi, in the 1st introduction message of this forum thread, I read the FIMI is about 500$.

While in the FIMI Website ( https://www.fimi.com ), it is set to 400$ ...
Jun 22, 2020, 01:55 PM
What goes up, hopefully lands!
Repaid1's Avatar
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