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Fatshark Dominator V3 – Full Review

You can purchase the Dominator V3 goggles here.

The Fatshark Dominator V3, along with the HD V2s, are the next line of premium goggles from Fatshark and we at DroneInsider bought ourselves a pair of Dom V3s to see if the latest in Fatsharks long line of market leading FPV goggles was up to the challenge.

dominatorv3-goggles

 

Specs:   

Optics:

  • FOV (field of view): 30° diagonal
  • Optics Type: Plastic optics (binocular 6p direct view optical engine)
  • Interpupillary Distance (IPD): 59 to 69 mm (adjustable)
  • Optional Diopter Lens Inserts: -2, -4, -6 dpt
  • Display: 800 x 480 WVGA LCD NTCS/PAL auto selecting Side/Side 3D HDMI Support 720p

Audio:

  • Stereo

User Controls:

  • Channel Selection
  • Volume Control
  • Mode Selection (Wired/Wireless)
  • Display Control
  • DVR Control
  • HT Control

Electrical:

  • Power Supply: 7 – 13 V (2S/3S supply) (fan plate to 9V only) Power Consumption: 390mA wireless/ 230mA direct mode (no RX) (@7.4V nominal)
  • RF Modules: Infinite channel support on multiple bands
  • Head Tracker: Modular (sold separately)
  • DVR: MicroSD support to 32Gb 6Mbps record rate (MJPG compression, 30 fps, AVI) File playback (native recording, no codec support) PAL/NTSC continuous scan auto detect/mode change Auto save if power removed

Interface:

  • 3.5mm AV in/out port
  • Power in port
  • 3.5mm 3p earphone port
  • MiniDIN4 data port (head tracking)
  • MicroSD insert slot RF modular bay MiniHDMI port

Mechanical:

  • Ergonomic molded headset w/ adjustable headband

Dimensions:

  • 169.2 x 80 x 45.5 mm
  • Weight: 152 g
  • Size: 212 x 134 x 87 mm

 

Initial Impressions:

The unboxing experience was a pleasure. The Fatsharks arrived in a small white box and all the items were beautifully packaged. The goggles came with a number of accessories, including the necessary HDMI cables to connect to a HD Video Downlink and most importantly a black carrying case. All I had to do was add my own module (more on that later), charge the included 1800mAh battery and I was ready to go. Compared with DIY goggles like the Quanum V2 this was a much welcomed change. Fatshark have always prided themselves on their relative simplicity and easy of use which is why they have remained market leaders for the past 3 years.

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Module Support:

This is a huge selling point for the Fatsharks over alternatives like the Headplay and Skyzones. The module bay allows you to swap in either a 5.8Ghz, 2.4Ghz or 1.3Ghz module so you can receive video for all your different frequencies that you use. This is great if you fly 5.8Ghz on your quad and lets say 1.3Ghz for you planes and larger GT quads, as you an easily and quickly switch between the frequencies. This also means there is a competition between different suppliers to see who can create the best modules with the greatest range for the least amount of cash. Currently the, La Forge Diversity Module from UBAD is proving to be the most popular, with rave reviews all over the forums, as it has auto channel scanning, a spectrum analyser, and most importantly, diversity. However it does not come cheap at $100. We have found the with the considerably cheaper recommended Fatshark module to be very good and it only retails for $30.

fatshark_dominator_5.8ghz_nexwaverf_race_band_receiver_module (2)

 

16:9 v 4:3

This is currently the major debate all over the RC forums and facebook groups. Is there any noticeable difference between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio? Some say that using a 16:9 aspect ratio monitor/goggles with the 4:3 cameras that we currently use on our FPV Ships, is detrimental to ones flying ability. However, others argue that there is little to no difference and once you get used to it, it is just as comfortable as flying with a 4:3 display. Here at drone insider we saw little difference when we used the 16:9 aspect ratio of the Dominator V3 compared to the 4:3 of our previous Attitude V2s. Once we had completed around 5 flights with the Dom V3s we noticed no difference to our flying and the only impact of the wider screen is to increase immersion and FOV. Another point to stress is that there are a number of new cameras reaching the market that have a 16:9 aspect ratio, we featured the Fatshark 960 TVL in our Top 5 FPV cameras article but it hasn’t taken off as much as fatshark anticipated. Finally the key point we must stress is to TRY the goggles before purchasing, then you can decide if you can perceive the difference between the 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio.

dominatorv3-goggles-2

 

Flying

This is what it all boils down to, what was the flying experience like.

It was glorious. As soon as you took off you could see the higher image resolution over the old generation. The colours were much sharper and the adjustable contrast was extremely useful for switching between two different quads with different cameras. There was no blurring around the edges of the screen, an issue that plagued the Dom HD V1.

Here’s a video of the DVR Footage, it contains no editing apart from a bit of music and a title. One interesting thing to note is that the DVR Captures in 4:3 aspect ratio, not the 16:9 that the goggles display in. And this is the only thing about the goggles which find irritating. Seeing as 90% of video media these days uses 16:9 its seems logical that DVR should be recorded in 16:9, but Fatshark clearly felt differently.

 

Conclusion:

We are very impressed by the features offered by the Dom V3s, and the quality it provides when flying is out of this world. The price is justifiable if you have a medium to large budget for the hobby, or if you fly professional Aerial Photography jobs. However the performance to price ratio is not great and easily trumped by budget goggles such as the Quanum V2. It is undeniable that Fatsharks are the greatest for portability though, as you can very easily put them in your bag or even your pocket. Compared to the huge space occupied by the Quanums and the Headplay HD.

 

Overall: 8/10

We feel the high price of the goggles as well the DVR recording in 4:3 looses it two points. But all things considered this gets our seal of approval as a good buy!

You can purchase the Dominator V3 goggles here.

 

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One comment

  1. Any chance you could do a review of these against the HD v2s? Comparing image quality and resolution with side by side images?

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