If you’re interested in the world of FPV or FPV Drone Racing, the brand FatShark is probably familiar to you. Arguably THE most recognizable brand in the world of FPV, FatShark is best known for their line of video goggles, a crucial part of FPV flying. Video goggles allow you to see the video signal received from a drone or other FPV aircraft, allowing the pilot to control the craft from its point of view, providing an immersive, out of body experience.
As the leading FPV goggles brand, FatShark offers a wide range of goggle options, ranging from the lower- end (But budget- friendly) Teleporter V5 and Predator V2, all the way up to their high- tier Dominator line of goggles. Boasting the best features to be found in true goggle- style FPV goggles, the Dominator line and the flagship Dominator HD V2 are some of the best FPV goggles available. But are they really as good as they’re hyped up to be?
Released in mid to late 2015, the FatShark Dominator HD V2 was the successor to FatShark’s previous flagship, the Dominator HD. Boasting a 50 degree Field Of View (FOV), 800×600 resolution, built- in DVR, a 4:3 aspect ratio, and many other much coveted features, the Dominator HD V2s were produced in response to issues that Dominator HD users experienced, primarily blurry or out- of- focus edges of the display. However, the Dominator HD V2s are now facing challenges from other goggles and head mounted displays boasting an ‘HD’ title, such as the Headplay HD.
In this review we’ll take a look at exactly HOW good the Dominator HD V2s are, to help you decide if these are the best HD FPV goggles for your FPV adventures.
LET’S START WITH THE FACTS:
- The FatShark Dominator HD V2 goggles are available from Amazon.com for around $520.00.
- The FatShark Dominator HD V2 features IPD (Inter- Pupillary Distance) adjustments to accommodate users with different eye spacings.
- The FatShark Dominator HD V2 features a built in analog DVR that allows you to record video footage directly to a micro SD card.
- The Dominator HD V2 features a fan faceplate that distributes pressure evenly across the user’s face and provides ventilation to prevent lens fogging.
- The Dominator HD V2 features a 50 degree diagonal Field Of View, 800×600 resolution, and a 4:3 image aspect ratio.
- The Dominator HD V2 does not include a video receiver module or antenna, but features module bays that allow multiple receiver modules (Sold separately HERE) to be used interchangeably.
It’ll take more than just the specs for you to learn the ups and downs of these goggles. In order to fill you in on all the details, we’ll be looking at the Dominator HD V2’s ratings in terms of build quality, ease of setup, image quality, and forward compatibility before we wrap up this review.
DOMINATOR HD V2 BUILD QUALITY: 8/10
With the unique fan faceplate and white/gray color scheme, the Dominator HD V2s are instantly recognizable. Featuring a nice matte finish with well- molded edges and flush- fitting module bay doors, these goggles score big in looks but lose a couple of points in functionality. We would have preferred to see a rubberized finish, similar to those found on the Skyzone line of goggles, as this finish allows for a better grip- and we think you’ll agree that dropping a $520 pair of video goggles won’t make for a happy day at the flying field!
- Good quality, appropriate thickness molded plastic provides a solid feel in the hand
- Fan faceplate fits very well on the face, distributing weight evenly
- Solid, well fitting mechanical connections
- Good quality electronics
- Finish can be somewhat slippery compared to rubberized finish of Skyzone and Attitude goggles
- Fan on earlier production units is exposed (Newer production units come with a cover over the fan to protect it from damage)
DOMINATOR HD V2 EASE OF SETUP: 7/10
With a simple UI and informative online manual (Found HERE) the Dominator HD V2 seems to be a simple pair of goggles to figure out. Additionally, accessible module bays allow for the easy installation and exchange of headtracking and frequency modules. However, since the Dominator HD V2 does not include a suitable receiver module or antenna, purchasing a separate module and figuring out how to match the proper video bands and channels can be somewhat challenging for a total beginner, placing these goggles in the ‘average’ category for ease of setup.
- Informative manual makes troubleshooting and initial setup easy to figure out
- Module bays allow for easy installation and removal of receiver modules and headtracking modules (Sold separately)
- Lack of a suitable video receiver module and antenna makes assembling all the necessary items a hassle
- UI on some of the available receiver modules requires removal of antenna and module bay door whenever the user wishes to change the video band
DOMINATOR HD V2 IMAGE QUALITY: 8/10
With a screen resolution higher than the resolution of analog video, the Dominator HD V2 ensures that you’re always getting the most pixels possible from your video signal. With a large Field Of View and good brightness and contrast adjustments, the Dominator HD V2 provides a wonderful viewing experience, but loses points due to the blurring issues experienced by some users.
- 800×600 resolution is higher than the resolution of analog video
- 50 degree Field Of View
- Good image brightness and contrast
- Some users experience blurring on the edges of the screen
DOMINATOR HD V2 FORWARD COMPATIBILITY: 9/10
Featuring easily accessible module bays, the Dominator HD V2 is ready to change whenever you need it to. With a module bay for interchangeable headtracking modules and a module bay for interchangeable receiver modules, and a robust mini- HDMI port, the Dominator HD V2 can be ready for new advanced in FPV simply through changing out a module or plugging in an HDMI cord.
- HDMI compatibility allows the Dominator HD V2 to be used with HD FPV systems
- Headtracker module bay allows upgraded headtracker versions to be easily installed
- Receiver module bay allows upgraded receivers, or different frequency receivers, to be easily installed
ARE THE DOMINATOR HD V2s THE RIGHT FPV GOGGLES FOR YOU?
Coming in at $520.00 for just the goggles, and around $560-580 for the goggles and a suitable receiver module and antenna, the FatShark Dominator HD V2 goggles aren’t what we’d call cheap. They’re certainly not budget goggles and they’re certainly not crucial to having a fantastic FPV experience. One popular alternative to the Dominator HD V2s is the Headplay HD Head Mounted Display. However, the Dominator HD V2s are certainly at the top- tier in terms of FPV goggles, and for many the features they offer is well worth the high pricetag.
If your FPV budget is a large one and you’re looking for the best FPV goggles you can get, the Dominator HD V2s should be at the top of your list.
If you’re an FPV beginner on a tight budget, we recommend looking at our ‘Best FPV Goggles Under $300’ article. All in all, there’s no denying that the Dominator HD V2s are a great pair of goggles that will give you a premium FPV experience.