If your drone system has FPV (First Person View), you can watch live video of the drone on screen or using FPV goggles.
We have tested several drones with and without these goggles, and in this post we want to introduce you to several models and explain what to look for when purchasing high quality FPV video goggles.
Top 3: FPV goggles comparison
# 1: DJI goggles
DJI Goggles are very high quality but also expensive FPV goggles. With its high quality, numerous features and customization options, it is our favorite!
In fact, it consists of two elements: the headband and the video glasses themselves. The overall resolution is 3,840 x 1,080 pixels. Their high weight of 990 grams may seem heavy compared to other FPV goggles, but this is not a problem even with longer use as the weight is well distributed (video goggles: 490 grams and headband: 500 grams).
# 2: Fatshark Dominator V2
The Fatshark Dominator V2 is the successor to the bestselling Fatshark Dominator V1.
They have been specially designed for FPV flying and are therefore ideal goggles for the field. All the necessary components are collected in one device, which is very convenient.
The design and construction give the impression of a very high quality and reliable. Outdoor use is not a problem, FPV goggles also have reliable protection from glare from sunlight.
The 32-degree field of view is quite high, which creates a fairly realistic flight experience and is hardly comparable to many other models. It also has a resolution of 600 x 480 pixels, making it ideal for use in FPV racing drones.
# 3: Fatshark Dominator HD
The Fatshark Dominator FPV goggles feature HD resolution. Actual HD quality starts at 1280 x 720 pixels, with the Fatshark Dominator HD at only 800 x 600 pixels.
HD stands for High Definition in the model name. It has a 45-degree field of view and weighs just 200g.
However, if your drone does not have an HDMI port / HDMI out interface, we recommend the little brother Fatshark Dominator v2.
What do I need to use FPV goggles?
First of all, we recommend that you only use FPV goggles if the drone has a complex gimbal system. Because gusts of wind, sudden movements or vibrations can cause the camera image to be so blurry that you lose orientation.
The quadcopter should also have an integrated multi-axis stabilization system. It is especially worth paying attention to beginner drones and start with a multicopter that is easy to fly.
To install the system, you need the following items:
- Video Glasses
- 5.8 GHz transmitter
- Receiver 5.8 GHz
- CMOS camera (alternatively CCD camera)
- FPV Camera (Full HD)
- Cable from receiver to video glasses
- Head tracking (optional)
The systems offered are either complete packages or FPV goggles for specific models, with which commissioning should actually be child’s play.
DJI Goggles can be used with almost all DJI drones and installation is pretty simple.
Differences between FPV goggles
Depending on the price and age of the model, it has different properties, advantages and disadvantages. We have summarized the most important functions for you:
With head tracking, FPV goggles record head movements and send information about position and angle in the room to the drone. This will then align the camera with your head movements. This makes the flight even more realistic.
However, we only recommend these FPV goggles for experienced pilots. Head tracking is very popular with racing drones and is extremely useful, but it will take a lot of practice to keep your drone in the air at the same time if it doesn’t have a stabilization system.
Field of View (FOV)
The field of view of video glasses is an important purchase factor. Technically speaking, they say FOV, which means something like Field of View. This means the angle that you can see with the glasses.
Generally, FPV goggles with a very wide field of view have more blur at the edges than goggles with a smaller field of view.
How much blur is affected depends on the FPV goggles and their quality. Typically, a higher price in this segment also reflects better processing quality and image sharpness. However, this also depends on the resolution of the drone’s built-in camera.
Common FOV dimensions for FPV goggles are 25 to 45 degrees angle and aspect ratio 4: 3 or 16: 9. There is no wide angle here as it only annoys the pilot when flying with FPV goggles.
With the interpupillary distance, you can determine how far the image in the glasses is from your eyes. This will sharpen the picture. Not all FPV goggles have this feature, but it is extremely useful.
Resolution and image quality
The clearer the rendered image, the better. However, higher resolution poses a problem: the amount of data that needs to be transferred from the drone to the video goggles.
With large amounts of data, the likelihood of an image error or a short interruption due to transmission (input lag) is higher. Which, probably, could lead to a complete loss of control and the crash of the drone.
Many FPV goggles in the high end are not Full HD. They have fewer pixels than high quality VR video glasses, but they are also designed for a different purpose.
The resolution of your FPV goggles should depend on what they are used for. With racing drones that fly at speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour or even faster, Full HD resolution is pretty poor.
Unfortunately, you will very quickly get FPV goggles from the lower price segment. However, with quality video goggles, some things can be customized individually, which can be a big advantage.
Expensive glasses can be ideally adjusted to the head using mechanical devices. This makes it more comfortable to use and the flight even more realistic.
If you need goggles in your daily life, it is possible to make so-called diopter compensation lenses and fit them into high quality FPV goggles.
The quality of the optical components is also reflected in the material. In good video glasses, these elements are made of glass, not plastic.
Buy FPV Goggles
We recommend buying from an online store you trust. Amazon, for example, is fairly safe and has a simple system for returning items if you are not happy with the glasses.
Otherwise, we advise you to order not from abroad, but from a German store. So from a legal point of view, you are safe. Not every online model making store has such a wide range of FPV goggles that there is one just right for you.
What do the drone regulations say about FPV goggles?
When using FPV goggles, there are a few legal issues to consider. Moreover, in October 2017, new rules for the use of drones came into force!
This stipulates that there must be constant eye contact with the copter! Unfortunately, this is not the case when you are flying with FPV goggles and therefore a second person must always be present, keep the drone in sight and inform the drone pilot of possible obstacles or other incidents.
If the drone causes damage while flying while wearing FPV goggles, you must be able to provide proof of the presence of a second person, otherwise your liability for the drone may not cover the damage.
This makes sense for a teacher and student management system with which a second person can intervene in an emergency.