First the basics. What is the best FPV Drones? FPV is an acronym for ‘First Person View’. It basically means that the user can see whatever the drone sees, usually from the front of the drone. You see as if you are sat in the drone piloting it.
How is this done? Usually via a camera mounted on the front of the drone that streams directly to a screen or headset that the user views.
Racing drones are one particular category that usually have a first person view…..In fact, its essential given the very nature of drone racing!
What do FPV Drones have?
FPV Drones come in different flavours but in general all FPV drones have the same basic equipment :
- A drone. This is usually a quadcopter that has 4 motors and 4 propellers as well as all the control gear and batteries that come with it.
- A camera. All FPV Drones require a camera as the whole point is that you can see what the drone sees. It might surprise you to find out that racing drones usually have analogue cameras and transmitters where as photography drones are usually digitally transmitted for better quality. The reason for the analogue cameras on racing drones is the speed at which the images reach the viewer. Digital just isn’t fast enough. Cameras are usually fixed on FPV Drones but sometimes they are on a gimbal or other position controller.
- A transmitter. Once the camera starts rolling the feed needs to be transmitted somewhere. This is done by the transmitter. A VTX video transmitter is usually strapped to your drone and streams the feed in real time.
- A receiver. A video receiver grabs the feed from the VTX transmitter mounted on the drone and passes the received signal to either head mounted goggles or a monitor screen.
- Head mounted goggles or monitor screen. The preferred way to view a feed from a FPV Drone is via head mounted goggles as this gives the most immersive experience but some people use a screen instead.
5 Best FPV Cameras
There are a lot of cameras suitable for FPV Drones but the most popular manufacturers are Foxeer, Runcam, Aomway and Caddx. These are popular for a reason, because their camera are reliable and built for the job!
|1||Foxeer Micro Predator 4|
|2||RunCam Micro Swift 3|
|3||Caddx Ratel Starlight|
Foxeer Micro Predator 4
What you want from a drone camera is good quality feed, reliability, light weight and pretty much indestructible build quality.
The micro predator 4 has all this. It weighs just over 2 ounces and has extremely low 2ms latency. It is weather proof and has night and day modes…..And all for under 40 dollars!
RunCam Micro Swift 3
This bright orange camera certainly stands out in the crowd.
This tiny camera weight 6 grams (0.16 ounces) so is considerably lighter than the camera above, it is however a classic ccd. It has 6 different scene settings.
This starlight camera is incredibly popular. The reason is the rave reviews. The picture quality and the low latency make it an excellent FPV Drone camera.
It weighs 8 grams and performs excellent under most conditions but note that it doesn’t come with a mount.
5 Best FPV Goggles
As with anything there are also lots of options with the FPV goggles. A lot of it is personal preference but some goggles just seem to be more popular than others. Some people take the opinion that goggles are goggles, but that’s not the case and at high speeds you need low latency.
A good set of FPV Goggles can make or break your drone experience. Here is a list of the most popular FPV Goggles.
|1||DJI Goggles Racing Edition|
|2||FatShark HDO Dominator|
DJI Goggles Racing Edition
DJI are seasoned pros in the world of drones so you would expect their FPV drones goggles to be the best. And they are definitely up there!
As with other first person equipment, one thing you want with FPV goggles is low latency, and the the DJI racing editions certainly have that.
You get a full HD screen experience with 5g transmission but note the manufacturer does say that they are only compatible with certain drones.
An expensive but good FPV headset.
FatShark HDO Dominator
Fatshark are another manufacturer that seem to be dominating the drone market. This an excellent, lightweight headset that anyone would love to own.
The OLed Screen gives great colors and excellent contrast. Fatsharks are clearly pros at this and this display has been designed specifically with FPV drone racing in mind, the latency is mind blowingly low.
Beware the dreaded flat battery though. Manufacturer states you can use all day but this simply isn’t true. Expect to get 2 hrs max before you need a recharge.
The skyzone is our cheapest headset on the list but is it the worse? NO!
It supports 3d as well as 2d and has a fan to stop fogging and you can swap batteries out in the field for standard sized batteries.
The Skyzone also comes in different colors rather than just boring white or black. It has a 48 channel reciever but just be aware that it isn’t full HD like the other headsets….But then it is nearly 100 dollars cheaper!