Having the best fpv goggles - or video glasses as they are also called - is of paramount importance if you are going to be using your quadcopter or your RC helicopter for aerial photography or aerial videography or drone racing. Only the right first person view (FPV) system will be able to help you get that perfect shot. It's nearly impossible to use a UAV for aerial photography and videography without using FPV goggles.
Even if you're not into videography, these goggles are a must have. If you are serious about the hobby, then you would want to buy the best fpv goggles your budget allows. They allow you to fly the UAV a lot further and higher up in the sky than you'll ever be otherwise able to. Precise control is nearly impossible to achieve when you're standing on the ground and looking up at the quadcopter.
Goggles greatly enhance the experience of flying a UAV - while significantly improving your ability to control it.
Here's a quick comparison list of the best models on the market today.
Fat Shark Base VGA
Fat Shark Teleporter V3
OBOSS Original Boscam GS920
Skyzone SKY02 AIO 3D
Fat Shark Predator V2
There are a lot many choices and most people have no idea what to look for in these devices. You certainly would not want to buy a pair just because it happens to be cheap. There are hardly any really good RTF drones that come bundled with a pair of FPV goggles.
If you are serious about the hobby, you sure would want to read what follows before you shop ...
So here are the key features you'd want to look for in a pair of goggles before you buy them...
The size of the virtual screen may vary anywhere from 33 inches all the way up to 80 inches. While 80 inches would, of course, be better, those would also be more expensive.
While the vast majority of these devices have LCD screens, some of the newer models are equipped with OLED screens. OLED is vastly superior to LCD. OLED screens have much higher clarity and better brightness than LED screens.
Most models either have 320x240 or 640x480 resolution. An LCD screen with a 640x480 display will of course be superior to an LCD with 320x240 display.
That said, any OLED screen may be superior to just about any LCD screen, no matter what the resolution. For best picture quality, the resolution of the input source - in this case your UAV's camera - should be high resolution as well.
The screen's aspect ratio is the ratio of the screen's width to its height.
Most TV screens and computer monitors have an aspect ratio of 4:3 - four parts wide to 3 parts high. That's almost square. But movie screens have an aspect ratio of 16:9. 16 parts wide and 9 parts high.
The ideal viewing distance should be around 8 to 10 feet for a 80" screen. Even for smaller screen sizes, you would not want the viewing distance to be less than 8 feet.
This is a measure of the extent of the world in from of the lens a camera is capable of capturing.
For the most immersive experience, you want the FOV to be as large an angle as possible. For best results, you want to use an FPV camera that has a large FOV as well. This image gets projected on the screen of the goggles, so the FOV of the goggles should be as large as possible.
The bigger the field of view, the bigger - and more realistic - the image you see will be. The experience will be very immersive and this is what you are looking for. Among FPV cameras, GoPro has the widest FOV. You can choose between 170 degrees, 127 degrees or 90 degrees. You can even vary a GoPro's FOV electronically.
Most people seem to be unaware of this, but this single factor can be a deal breaker if you fail to take this into account. IPD is the distance, usually expressed in mm, between the centers of your pupils.
Before you buy any pair of goggles, you need to check whether your IPD is within range of any model you may be planning to buy. Many of the cheaper models are designed for fixed IPD of about 65mm. If you have a much larger head, you will not be able to use these.
You would want to make sure the IPD on the model is adjustable, and the maximum range is more than your own IPD. Else you might have to go cross-eyed to keep yourself from seeing double images.
The charge on the batteries may last anywhere from 3 to 8 hours depending on the screen size. Larger the screen size, lesser the battery life.
You can expect FPV goggles with very small screens to last for up to 8 hours while those with larger screens will need their batteries recharged every 3 to 5 hours.
But this may not be a matter of much concern because most UAVs have a flying time of less than 20 minutes.
Lithium batteries are the longest lasting, but they are more expensive compared to the standard alkaline batteries. If you have a choice between two models - one that uses an alkaline battery and the other comes with a lithium poly battery, you would want to choose the latter.
Before you buy a model, make sure it is compatible with whatever device or devices you will be using it with.
In case you plan to use it with an android tablet, make sure it is compatible before buying.
This does not matter if you're going to be using these exclusively for controlling your quadcopter or helicopter. But in case you also plan to use it to watch movies or TV shows, you of course would want to buy a model that offers excellent sound quality.
Some models, with ear bud style headphones that cannot be removed or replaced. If that would be a concern to you, make sure to select a model that allows you to use your own headphones. In addition, here's a brief list of additional questions you would want to ask about any pair of goggles ...
Ideally, the package should include the following accessories:
It's always a good idea to use goggles that have two antennas as opposed to one. With a dual antenna, you might be able to view video even when the signal becomes very weak.
The device will get the feed from whichever of the two antennas is receiving the stronger signal.
At this time, only Skyzone has a model with dual receivers.
One other thing you could do would be to connect the goggles to a monitor with dual receivers. This way, a friend can view the video on the monitor while you use the goggles.
You would also want the receivers to be compatible with the FPV transmitter you are using and should support 5.8 GHz - which is the frequency most commonly used with FPV systems. You radio transmitter will be using 2.4 GHz - so 5.8 GHz is usually the only option for fpv.
Some models allow you to bind the FPV camera on the drone to your fpv goggles. So as you move your head, the camera moves as well, resulting in a more realistic experience.
With quadcopters and other drones, this may not be a big deal as you can yaw and pan the camera fairly easily. But if you are flying a fixed wing aircraft, this feature does make a lot of difference.
The real advantage is you can look around for obstacles and avoid collisions.
Not every model comes with inbuilt digital video recording, but this is a really nice feature to have. You can record video onto a memory card for later review. Should you happen to crash, the recorded video can help retrieve your drone.
Is your camera compatible with the goggles?
Be sure to check whether your UAV's camera is compatible with the goggles. Not all quadcopter cameras may be good for use with FPV systems.
Last but not least, there's one aspect that's rarely ever talked about on RC forums, but nevertheless is very important.
Quadcopters and other model aircraft need to be always flown within line of sight of the person controlling it.
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) which also governs model aircraft prohibits anyone operating quadcopters or other model aircraft flying in and line of sight.
But with the aid of these goggles, it is possible that you may not be able to see the model aircraft, but you'll still be able to fly it.
It may not seem like a big deal, but legally speaking, this is kind of a grey area.
If you are looking for a starter model, then this would be the best choice. As the name implies, the video is standard definition - 352 lines (640x480). It has a 35 degrees FOV and IPD is adjustable. It does not have a receiver - so you will have to use an external video receiver. It does not come with DVR either.
This model supports insertable diopter lens - something you would certainly want to do if you are nearsighted (myopic).
The Fatshark Attitude V4 are very sleek and feature a 32 channel OLED display, with picture quality that is excellent and 32-degree FOV. They are an improved step up from the previous Attitude V2 since the goggles have a field of view that is much larger and an OLED display for changing channels easily, in addition to DVR for recording flights.
These Attitude V4's are affordably priced and come with a receiver. Choose the Dominators if you have a bigger budget. They cost a bit more, at around $400, and includes a receiver. It also comes with a higher quality screen and swappable receiver modules with options for adding diversity receivers.
Apart from stock receivers, the Attitude V4's don't fit into any other ones.
However, the Attitudes still are a great pair of goggles for the price.
Its new receiver is a very nice addition, and although it may be lacking in diversity, it makes up for it in usability. While the previous versions had dip switches, the new model's OLED screen is a significant change and is put to excellent use. In addition to clearly displaying the Channel, Band, and Frequency that you are tuned into currently, there is also a frequency scanner included with the receiver.
It is possible now to see which channels are being used and the signal strength on every channel, which makes it easy to tune into a friend's feed. Fat Shark also claims that the receiver has improved performance and higher sensitivity. That should mean that overall there is less interference and a 'cleaner' video feed, which in most cases may remove the need for having a diversity setup.
Regarding optics, it appears that Fat Shark stuck with what they already know. Although it isn't a step forward, I still like the fact that they haven't released another set of goggles with blurry images and large FOV. Instead, buyers can be confident they will be receiving a crisp image and reasonably sized screen.
At this price, the DVR is another big advantage. It is only 50 dollars more than the V3, which doesn't have a DVR, which makes this a good functionality vs. price goggle.
One thing that is disappointing is seeing another Fat Shark goggles set released without diversity. Its upgraded receiver fell short of being what a majority of hobbyists would want to see, and that is a real shame.
For most people that will mean buying an extra (diversity) receiver, without having a second module bay, which limits the options. Although most people expect variety these days, only a few pilots need it. Think about how frequently you need both high-gain and omni-directional antennas. It isn't very often.
It has an underwhelming battery size. It is understandable that a cool-looking color matched battery has been released by Fat Shark that goes with its red faceplate. However, why did they limit it to just 1,000 mAh?
It would have been a lot more useful if it came with the standard 1,800 mAh 2S. Since it is not included, you will need to buy a battery in the future. It would have been nice if the LED was red to match the theme better.
A lack of HDMI input either is not a deal breaker. I look to hook up to the PC or an HD feed, but if you are intending on using an analog feed, it won't be a problem.
This is possibly the only set of goggles that comes with 32Ch dual receivers. It's very important that you use dual receivers for FPV so that you can minimize the chances of losing the video signal - and thus losing control of your drone.
Included is a front camera that some may find handy. Some folks frequently switch between first person view and line of sight. If you want to see your drone while wearing these, all you need to do is press a button and the front camera will be turned on, showing what is directly ahead of you on the screen.
This was the first - and for quite a while was the only 3d FPV goggles on the market. It too comes with dual receivers, 32 channels, head tracking, a front camera, adjustable IPD and has a FOV of 30 degrees. The resolution is 854x480 and you can use diopter lens inserts if you are myopic.
This is the least expensive goggle, but you will have to do some assembly as the name suggests.
But even at the low price, it packs an impressive set of features.
It has a TFT LCD non-blue screen monitor with a 480p resolution. You can switch between 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios. PAL and NTSC are both supported.
It does not come with advanced features available in the expensive models. It does not include a video receiver, and you will have to take care of the IPD settings yourself.
And it has no front camera either. But for the price, you cannot be expecting these features. You can use this with just about any drone - all you need to do is use a 32 channel or 40 channel receiver.
If you are new to FPV and are on a tight budget, this model will get you started.
These are budget goggles that are ideal for someone who is just starting out. The best part about this is although it's very inexpensive, it works well and can help introduce you to the world of FPV.
That said, you certainly would not want to compare it with Fatshark or more expensive models that are designed for serious hobbyists.
Are you thinking about picking up a pair of FatShark Teleporter V5 FPV goggles? If you want to buy these goggles, you should look at some of the benefits they offer. When you see the advantages of these goggles, you'll be impressed.
Some models on the market have a steep learning curve. If you're new to racing with these goggles, these FatShark goggles are a great choice to you. You'll be comfortable using these goggles in no time.
Many goggles are loaded with appealing features, but those features are attached to a hefty price tag. Thankfully, FatShark proves that you don't have to spend a fortune if you want to get a great product.
Want to use and enjoy these goggles? Plug them in, power them up and you're good to go!
These goggles are compatible with most off-the-shelf receivers. They're versatile, which makes them a good fit for a lot of buyers.
These goggles offer some incredible perks. If you're interested in racing with FPV goggles, why not check these goggles out?
Anyone that's in the market for goggles should take a closer look at the Fatshark Dominator V3 FPV goggles. These are a few of the perks these goggles offer:
You don't have to worry about these goggles falling apart. They're incredibly resilient, and they are designed to last.
These goggles work well in a number of conditions, and they can be used in a variety of ways. No matter what your needs are, there's a good chance that these goggles will meet them.
How much are you willing to spend on your new goggles? If you're working within a limited price range, this is one of the more budget-friendly options available to you. These goggles offer a terrific value for the price.
They Stand Above Their Competitors
If you compare these goggles against some of their closest competitors, you'll see that they're your best option. The Fatshark Dominator goggles offer a lot of benefits that their competitors can't provide. They're definitely a top-of-the-line product.
Before you buy your new goggles, see what Fatshark has to offer. Once you check out these goggles, you'll want to start using them sooner rather than later. They're very impressive, especially when you consider their price.
Those who want to look at a serious competitor of the Fatshark HD3 should consider the Aomway Commander V2 goggles. Their field of view is very wide. Regardless of the face or nose type that you choose, they're all fairly comfortable, and there was no blurriness observed.
These goggles come with built-in screens, and their color and brightness are right although they do not reach the ultimate results that the Fatshark HDO or Sky03 achieve.
These units have RF sensitivity that is rated better than the AC1. The DVR module that's built-in is considered to be one of the best. Other than it's price, the AC2 doesn't have any weak points.
The starting point is about $440 which is only $50 less than Fatshark HDO. It comes with a 45-degree FOV which is a fantastic feature but may not be enough to justify the $440 they're asking for. For those who haven't ever owned an excellent set of FPV goggles, however, the AC2 might be a good choice.
The Fatshark HD3 s come with a broad view which is a 42-degree FOV, and the AC2 goggles have an even broader view with 45-degree FOV. Because the view of the HD3 is the biggest of any of the Fatshark models, the AC2 gives a bigger view. Some say it's almost like watching a good movie inside a theater.
The only drawback to this large viewing area is the fact that the edges sometimes are blurry and this may mean you end up needing to move your eyes a bit to see everything clearly.
Having a 45-degree viewing area is absolutely at the upper limit for flying drones, and this is especially true when freestyling because it's necessary to be aware of the surroundings when you want to do tricks which may mean the larger viewing area might sometimes be a hindrance.
Standard IPD’s will support 59mm up to 69mm. For those who have a set of goggles with vast views, you may want to consider a 72mm IPD to give you a more comfortable viewing experience.
These type of goggles can allow you to hook into your computer or Xbox and view in 720p or 1080p. If you're only using this to fly, then it may be a moot point. For some, it may be a bit weird to sit close to the TV while wearing goggles and playing with their controller.
High-end goggles will typically come with 800 by 600 resolution which is considered standard and most owners will not want to have anything less than that for this type of price point.
An analog FPV is good enough for most and generally provides a sharp and nice image. The receiver will have as many as 64 channels, and this gives you access to eight bands. This, however, is more or less marketing banter by the Chinese manufacturers because the L-band isn't legal inside the US without special certification.
The average person flying needs only 40 channels along with 4 bands.
Any system having more than 5 bands is just hype that is used as an excuse to have a higher price. Having a diversity receiver is good, however, because it means you don't need to buy an external one.
It also means you get a high DPI patch antenna along with a cloverleaf antenna which allows you to start flying right out of the box without having to get an antenna. Having the diversity receiver also allows you to manually change channels by pushing buttons that are located on the top of the goggles or you can do an auto scan to find a channel. You will also be able to scan channels to see the next broadcast when you're flying together with several people.
This unit also has head-tracking that's built-in, and you're able to remove that module if you want to. This feature is not necessarily an important one for mini quads but it's, and it's fun when using it on an model rc plane or a GPS-enabled drone. By just moving your head around you can get a full view which makes it lots of fun. The DVR is standard.
This is used to show you what channel and band you're using and also indicates the battery voltage. This lets you see how much power you have at any time. If you use something like the Fatshark units, you basically play a guessing game because there's nothing on the screen to indicate the amount of power left. The only way to do it is to remove the battery and check it with a LED indicator.
Using Oculus Rift as for FPV? The idea may sound a bit too far fetched, but it isn't. Some people have started to use Oculus Rift for FPV flying. Some have gone as far as creating augmented reality test flights by hooking up Oculus Rift goggles to a quadcopter.
3D FPV is every drone enthusiasts dream. If you can have a full immersion HD 3D experience while piloting your quadcopter, few things can beat that. That would be almost like being in the pilot's seat - while your feet are still firmly planted on terra firma. But from the looks of it, the technology isn't quite there yet.
Now, you obviously will not be able to use the Oculus Rift for FPV flying like a pair of ordinary FPV goggles. You will need a pretty powerful gaming computer that can handle a video frame rate of at least 90 fps.
Your computer will need to have at least an NVIDIA GTX 970 graphics card, an Intel i5 or higher processor (or its equivalent), 8GB+ RAM and two USB 3.0 ports. Mind you, that's the least required.
You will also You will not be able to just plug it into a DVR or an fpv monitor while you fly your quadcopter.
The folks who are using the Oculus Rift for FPV attach the camera to the quadcopter. The received signal is converted to a webcam video stream, and this is then inputted to the Oculus.
While all of this might seem very good, there are some problems you will need to know about beforehand.
Latency is one of the most significant issues. Especially if you are going to be transmitting the input from the receiver wirelessly to the Oculus Rift. To avoid this, you will need excellent VR hardware for your PC. This can get a bit expensive.
Right now, hooking up the Oculus Rift to your quadcopter might seem like a great idea, but doing it will need you to spend quite a bit.
If Oculus Rift is something your budget does not allow you to get right now, but you still want to experience 3D FPV, then your best bet might be to get a Blackbird 2 3D fpv camera from getfpv.com. While this costs almost $200 and isn't exactly cheap, this isn't very expensive either.
You will need at least a Fatshark Dominator V3 for this. But even with those, the resolution isn't very good. This is because there's only one video transmitter being used.
Getfpv.com also has a higher end 3D fpv camera that uses two transmitters and two receivers. The Skyzone 3D fpv camera. Pair it with good FPV goggles and your 3d fpv experience should be significantly better.
This is possibly the cheapest option if you want a immersive 3D fpv experience without spending $1000s on an expensive gaming PC + Oculus Rift combo.
Quick note : this page is regularly updated; For the latest deals and offers on sites like ebay, amazon and more you would want to come back often.