Did you get a drone for Christmas? Maybe you’re intrigued by drone racing videos on youtube, from pilots like CHARPU, Mr. Steele, or Skitzo? Maybe you’ve even been to a drone race and experienced what it’s like to look into the goggles a drone pilot uses?
Regardless of how you’ve gotten interested in miniquads or other FPV drones, there’s one thing that always goes hand-in-hand: First Person View.
First Person View, also known as FPV, is how a miniquad pilot can see what their drone sees. A camera mounted on the multirotor sends a live video feed through a video transmitter, which sends the image down to a receiver and a video display unit, or in many cases, first person view glasses.
The most exciting part of an FPV system is what you use to view the image from the drone’s camera. Most professional FPV pilots, like CHARPU, FGA, Mr. Steele, Skitzo, and the rest, tend to use Fat Shark RC Vision Systems video goggles, primarily the Dominator V2 and V3. Video goggles like those offered by Fat Shark are compact, allowing for easy transport, and have very clean build quality.
FPV Goggles Ultimate Comparison Chart – Entry-Level
|Model||Quanum DIY||Attitude V2||Teleporter V4||Headplay HD|
|Resolution||480 x 360||640 x 480||320 x 240||1280 x 800|
FPV Goggles Ultimate Comparison Chart – Performance
|Model||Dominator V3||Dominator HD V2||Skyzone SKY-01||Skyzone 3D|
|Resolution||800 x 480||800 x 600||854 x 480||854 x 480|
|Frequency||1.3Ghz, 2.4Ghz, 5.8Ghz||1.3Ghz, 2.4Ghz, 5.8Ghz||5.8Ghz||5.8Ghz|
|Head Tracking||No (Optional)||No (Optional)||Yes||Yes|
Manufacturers of FPV Goggles
(Most known for Skyzone V2 goggles)
(Most known for Headplay HD Head Mounted Display)
(Most known for the Quanum FPV kit)
4. Fat Shark is perhaps best known for their Dominator line of goggles, with the Fat Shark Dominator V2 being regarded as the best all- around FPV goggle. In addition, Fat Shark offers the higher end Dominator HD V2, the Dominator V3, as well as numerous beginner kits, including the well- liked Attitude V2 bundle.
PROS and CONS of different FPV Goggles
With so many choices of FPV goggles, including many we haven’t covered, it can be difficult to know what you need, what you want, what’s on offer, and what’s the best choice for you. Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each major manufacturer.
1. FatShark DOMINATOR (V2 and up)
- Clean build
- High quality image
- Modular design makes them very versatile
- Built in DVR allows you to record flight footage
- Requires purchase of a receiver module to work
- Some users have focus issues on Dominator HD line
2. Foxtech SKYZONE
- Using two receivers, dual diversity allows for better video signal
- Compact and clean build
- Nifty forward looking camera on the goggles allows the user to see what they’re doing with the goggles on
- 16:9 image format distorts image from 4:3 cameras
- Locked into provided bands and frequency, cannot change out receiver modules.
3. RangeVideo HEADPLAY
- Large FOV
- High Resolution screen
- Boxy, clunky, and difficult to transport compared to Skyzones and Dominators
- Locked into provided bands and frequency
- Large FOV makes flying difficult for some users
- Some users experience focus issues
4. HobbyKing QUANUM (Assembly required)
- Provides FPV experience
- Clunky and difficult to transport compared to Skyzone and Dominator FPV Goggles
- Build cleanliness varies depending on assembly.
- Assembly required
The facts are pretty easy to lay out. It’s much more difficult to determine which FPV goggles will work for you, as there’s no hard and fast ‘best’ goggle on the market. When you’re looking at a head- mounted monitor or goggle setup, you have two options- true goggles, or a head mounted display. True goggles have two screens, with one eye each viewing one screen. This option is the most compact and portable choice for FPV. Head mounted display units have a single monitor. These monitor goggles are usually much cheaper than a true goggle option.
Q: WHAT ARE THE BEST ‘ALL-AROUND’ FPV GOGGLES AVAILABLE IN 2016?
A: The Dominator V2 goggles (Which have now become the Attitude V3 goggles) from FatShark are widely regarded as the best all- around FPV goggles. With a 35 degree field of view, adjustable IPD, and the benefits of a modular receiver bay and built- in DVR, these goggles provide for virtually all the wants and needs of an FPV pilot.
The Dominator V2 is a favorite of drone freestyle pilots, though some have moved to the updated Dominator V3 and Dominator HD V2. The FatShark Dominator HD V2, as the name suggests, is an 800×600 HD FPV goggle that supports HDMI input. These HD video goggles, while much more expensive than the mid- range goggles on the market, offer the widest field of view and highest screen resolution available in true FPV goggles. Despite the impressive specifications of the HD V2’s, some users have reported blurry edges around the screen.
Unless you’re able to try on goggles before purchasing, we recommend the Dominator V2 as the best ‘one size fits all’ option available. Though the Dominator V2 is still available from some sellers, the Attitude V3 offers the same optics as the Dominator V2, but does not offer a modular head tracking bay or built- in DVR.
We also recommend purchasing FatShark’s Fan Equipped Faceplate to use with the Dominator V2s. The eyecups used on many goggles are notorious for causing fogging, which can lead to severely reduced visibility. If you purchase the updated FatShark Attitude V3, the faceplate should be included.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CHOOSING SKYZONE FPV GOGGLES?
The Skyzone line of FPV goggles (Currently consisting of the Skyzone V2 and Skyzone 3D goggles) are the only mainstream FPV goggles that offer built- in dual diversity receivers. These goggles feature two built- in receiver units, allowing you to use two antenna to get better coverage, and ultimately a better video signal. (It should be noted that FatShark is planning to release a dual diversity receiver module in the near future that will be compatible with the Dominator and Dominator HD line of goggles.)
WHAT ARE THE BEST ACCESSORIES FOR FPV GOGGLES?
The most important part of any goggle is the screen. The second most important part is how it gets an image. Most goggles have built- in receiver modules, that receive the image being transmitted from your drone and then send that image to your screen. FatShark goggles, specifically the Dominator line and the Attitude V3, offer modular receiver bays that allow the user to switch out receivers. This allows users to access different channels and different frequencies.
Check out some of our recommended FatShark module options below:
The antenna is also an extremely important part of FPV. Most goggles come with a linear- polarized dipole antenna. These antennas, while suitable for FPV use, do not reject ‘bounced’ signals, and so are much more susceptible to interference. Most serious FPV pilots always use Circularly polarized antennas, as they reject interference much better.
FPV ANTENNA UPGRADES
These are our recommended upgraded antenna options:
Beginner Q & A to FPV Goggles
Q: I’m interested in FPV, but I’m looking for a good ‘all in one’ combo with everything I need to get started. What should I buy?
A: The Attitude V2 Bundle from FatShark is an excellent choice that comes ‘plug and play’ with a ready- to- go FPV setup.
Q: If I purchase Dominator V2 goggles, what else do I need to be FPV ready? What equipment do you recommend?
A: These are the following recommended items you’ll need to get in the air. Happy Flying!
Q: If I want more video range, should I buy a higher power video transmitter?
A: No. Range is much more dependent on your antennas than on your transmitter power. Instead of increasing your transmitter power, try using a patch (like the one linked above) as your receiver antenna.