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If this will be your first time ordering from Banggood, you should know a few things.

Once upon a time, analog video was the only way to fly FPV. It was low resolution and had breakup and static, just like old broadcast TV. At least it was inexpensive. But lots of people wondered: why can’t we have digital HD systems for FPV like we do for everything else? Today, we can. All of the video systems on this page transmit at least 720p resolution with digital signals, so you can finally enjoy FPV with an image quality that looks like something out of this century!

This page is going to compare and contrast HD video systems from DJI, Walksnail, and HDZero. The assumption here is that you’ve decided to go with a digital system and you’re just trying to figure out which one is best for you.

What if you’re still on the fence about analog? Here’s who might still be best served by analog video today.

  1. Analog cameras, video transmitters, and goggles can be between one-third and one-fifth of the cost of digital. People on the tightest of budgets should still choose analog video.
  2. If you’re serious about racing, analog might be best for you. It’s cheaper to outfit a fleet of racing quads with analog. Analog has low, consistent latency, which makes more and more of a difference the faster and more precisely you fly. Analog works perfectly with race timing systems and DVRs used at large races. DJI and Walksnail are rarely used by racers. HDZero has been designed to emulate the desirable characteristics of analog, and so is used by some racers, but the increased cost and lower durability of the system have limited adoption.
  3. If you fly primarily drones from about 95mm wheelbase and down, or with a weight of about 150 grams or less, then analog may be best for you. Analog vTX is much lighter and smaller than DJI and Walksnail. However, HDZero has a vTX specifically designed for small quads that is similar in weight and size to analog vTX.

If you don’t fit into one of the above categories, then there’s a very good chance you will be happiest with one of the digital systems described on this page.

DJI FPV SYSTEM V2

The DJI FPV System v2 refers to the DJI FPV Goggles and DJI FPV Goggles v2, which work with the DJI Air Unit, Caddx Vista, and Runcam Link video transmitters. The successor to the FPV Goggles V2 is the (enragingly named) DJI Goggles 2 which is covered in a separate section of this page.

The DJI digital high-definition FPV system was the first to actually make HD FPV “just work”. The range is as good or better than 5.8 GHz analog systems but in glorious HD resolution. And the stability of the digital signal means that the usable range can be significantly more than analog. Latency is excellent at best and tolerable at worst. Setup and installation are simple, especially with flight controllers that are designed for a one-plug connection to the Air Unit. The goggle screen is huge, bright, clear, and colorful. The menus are intuitive and easy to use. Everything about the system has the polish and performance that DJI customers have come to take for granted

Like all digital systems, the cost is higher than analog. Since all the digital systems are similar in price, this isn’t too much of a differentiation. As of late 2021, DJI has reduced the price of the Goggles v2, giving this system a slight edge compared to the other digital systems.

The latency of the system refers to the length of time between the camera picking up the image and the goggle displaying the image. The DJI FPV system has slightly higher latency than the best analog systems, but more significantly, the latency goes up and down as the link quality changes. Lower and more consistent latency gives a more connected feeling and allows more precise control of the aircraft–especially important for racing and proximity freestyle; not too important for high-in-the-sky long-distance flights. Racing pilots almost never seem to use the DJI system; freestyle pilots seem to feel that the increased image detail and penetration offset the disadvantage of the latency because a huge number of freestyle pilots swear by this system.

The DJI Goggle V2 has been around long enough that it’s proven itself beyond all doubt. The hardware is nearly indestructible. The range and penetration are absurd. And now the price has even come down. The main reason you might hesitate to pick this system is that it’s no longer the latest and greatest. The Goggles 2 and O3 air unit have even more impressive specs (but are more expensive). Other digital systems like Walksnail and HDZero have some features that DJI lacks.

DJI DIGITAL HD FPV GOGGLES V2

If you want to use the DJI FPV system, you must use the DJI goggles. It doesn’t work with analog goggles–not even those that have an HDMI input. The FOV of the goggles is adjustable from 30° to 54°. The screens are 1440×810 resolution; the video link is 720p resolution at 120 Hz. The screens are LCD, not OLED, so you won’t get quite as bright, contrasty, and saturated image. However, the optics are very good, producing a large image with forgiving eye placement so most people can get a clear, sharp image edge to edge.

Can you use the DJI goggles with your existing analog vTX? Sort of. The DJI goggles don’t have a built-in analog receiver, but they do have an AV input that can be connected to a ground station, and several manufacturers make adapters that let you mount a traditional analog module onto the goggle. The AV input has about 15 ms more latency than a dedicated analog goggle, but some pilots find it acceptable.

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DJI FPV REMOTE CONTROLLER V1

Let’s get one thing out of the way: you do NOT have to use the DJI controller to use the DJI FPV system. You can use the Air Unit and Goggles as a self-contained video system. You can continue to use your existing controller and receivers to control the quad. In fact, you might want to keep using your existing controller, because modern control links’ range is greater than the DJI system.

Who should be thinking about buying the DJI controller? The DJI controller has excellent build quality. The main thing going against it is that it only works with the DJI Air Unit and Caddx Vista. And no, it doesn’t work with the O3 air unit either (and no, it doesn’t look like it ever will). You also can’t fly any non-DJI quad with it. So if you only intend to fly aircraft with the DJI system, the DJI controller offers a much easier-to-use and better integrated solution. But if you intend to fly any aircraft without the DJI system, you would probably want to skip the DJI controller and get something else.

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DJI VIDEO TRANSMITTERS AND CAMERAS

When the DJI FPV system was first released, there was basically only one choice to make: which vTX do you want? The full-sized Air Unit or the smaller Vista. Now, the situation has gotten more confusing. DJI has handed off the distribution of the FPV system to Caddx and Runcam, meaning there are more products to decide between. But the decision isn’t actually as complicated as it seems.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the video transmitters (vTX) are all identical. Whether you buy a Caddx Air Unit Lite or a Runcam Link vTX doesn’t matter. They’re completely identical in every way, and we even suspect (but can’t prove) that the vTX is manufactured by DJI and just re-labeled as Caddx or Runcam. The cameras, on the other hand, are manufactured by Caddx and Runcam and are not the same.

First, you have to choose which vTX you want. There are two choices: the full-sized Air Unit (Caddx calls this the Air Unit Micro), with two antennas and an SD Card slot, or the smaller Air Unit Lite (previously known as the Caddx Vista vTX). The Air Unit Lite saves about 20 grams compared to the Air Unit and doesn’t have a built-in DVR. It has 20mm mounting holes and will fit in the rear of most 5″ freestyle frames, as well as many smaller frames. For a typical freestyle build, most pilots prefer the Air Unit Lite. If you strongly prefer to have an onboard DVR, such as if you don’t plan to carry a GoPro, then the full-size Air Unit would be your pick. Bear in mind the larger Air Unit requires a larger frame, so the weight difference between the two ends up being more than just the 20-gram difference between the two vTX.

Second, choose a camera. The main distinction between cameras is whether they support 120fps or 60fps refresh rate. The 120fps cameras have lower latency of about 25 to 35 ms, while the 60fps cameras are more like 35-45 ms. Pilots disagree over whether this small difference matters. It depends a lot on the type of flying you do. Although it’s not directly related to the framerate, 120fps cameras can also adjust image settings like exposure, saturation, and white balance. They can also switch between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio; all of the 60 fps cameras are a 16:9 aspect ratio only.

120 fps cameras include the original DJI camera and the Caddx Nebula Pro. These have the best image quality, in addition to the other advantages of their high framerate. Caddx has also released the Nebula Pro Nano, which is a 14mm (nano-sized) 120 fps camera for the smallest drones. Image quality isn’t quite as good as its larger cousin, but it’s the best 14 mm-sized DJI camera you can get. Make sure you DON’T buy the Nebula Nano (vs. the Nebula Pro Nano), as the Nebula Nano (non-Pro version) has very poor image quality.

If you’re ok with a 60 fps camera, then you’ll choose based on image quality and size/weight. The Caddx Polar and Runcam Phoenix HD both have worse image quality than the 120fps cameras, but still acceptable to some. Neither one is clearly superior to the other, and you should compare them in reviews to decide which one you prefer.

For night-time use, the Caddx Polar Micro is the only DJI camera with great low-light sensitivity. It’s a 60 fps camera, but that’s a compromise you’ll have to accept.

The Runcam Wasp deserves special mention. It’s a 120fps camera, so it has lower latency, but it’s the only 120fps camera that doesn’t have adjustable image settings (exposure, saturation, etc) and it only operates in 4:3 mode. It also can’t switch from the 120fps low latency mode to the 60 fps high-quality mode. Basically, if you only fly in low latency mode, and you’re ok with a 4:3 aspect ratio, the Wasp is an acceptable choice, but the Nebula Pro or Original DJI camera is only $10-ish more and has better image quality and adjustability.

CADDX VISTA W/ ORIGINAL
DJI CAMERA (120 FPS)

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CADDX NEBULA PRO MICRO VISTA
(120 FPS)

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RUNCAM WASP

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NAKED VISTA
W/ NEBULA PRO NANO

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DJI ANTENNAS AND ACCESSORIES

TRUERC X-AIR MKII
ANTENNA UPGRADE

If you want to get the longest possible range from your DJI FPV system, you need antennas like these. They focus the antenna beam in front of you, more than doubling your range in the direction they’re pointed. But be careful! The range in front of you is increased, but the range to the sides and behind you is decreased. If you need to go really far in one direction, the TrueRC X-Air is the one you’ll buy.

As good as these antennas are, the big disadvantage is that you can’t put your goggles into a case without taking the antennas off. This isn’t just an inconvenience. The constant screwing and unscrewing of the antennas wear out the SMA connectors in the goggles prematurely. Many people prefer a lower-profile antenna design, even if it doesn’t have quite as much range.

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BDI DIGIADAPTER V2
ADAPTER

BEST ANALOG-CAPABLE ADAPTER

Can you use DJI goggles with analog quads? Yes. The DJI goggles have an analog AV input plug. And DJI has fixed any previous issues you might have heard of with latency and poor reception on the AV input. So if you want to use DJI goggles with analog quads, all you need is an analog FPV receiver module and some way to stick it to the goggles. The BDI Digiadapter is the best way we’ve found to do that.

Here’s why the BDI Digiadapter is amazing. It replaces the existing faceplate with two screws. No warranty-threatening surgery on the goggles is required. It is precision-molded so it fits perfectly. It holds the Fat Shark receiver module securely so there’s no worry about the module falling out, like with some homemade module bays. The BDI Digiadapter is just super high quality.

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LUMENIER AXII HD 2 /
IFLIGHT CRYSTAL SKY

BETTER RANGE AND SLIM DESIGN

Want to increase the range of your DJI FPV system? These high-performance antennas increase range compared to the stock DJI antennas. Like with any patch antenna, there is a tradeoff: you get more range in front of you, with less range behind you. If you typically stand at the edge of your flying area, these antennas are for you. If you typically stand in the center of your flying area, stick with omni antennas.

Both antennas replace the entire metal front plate of the DJI goggles (it’s only a 2-screw change though). The slim form factor of both of these antennas allows you to put them into a case or backpack without removing anything. Both antennas combine two patch antennas with two omnis for a best-of-both-worlds solution. If you want the absolute maximum penetration, you’ll want a higher-gain system, with four high-gain antennas, such as the VAS Cyclops. But be aware that you’ll significantly reduce coverage behind yourself if you go in that direction.

The main difference between the Axii and the Crystal is that the Axii has built-in 15 degrees of uptilt, so more of the signal is sent up into the air where your aircraft is. Of course, you can also just tilt your head back a little and accomplish the same thing. Although prices change, at the time of this writing, the Axii patch+omni combo is significantly more expensive than the Crystal combo; the patch by itself is about the same.

Final note: most tests have shown that it’s best to attach the patch antenna to the two bottom SMA connectors and put the omni antennas on the two top SMA connectors. This is true regardless of if you have V1 or V2 DJI goggles.

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VAS CYCLOPS MINI

MAXIMUM PENETRATION AND RANGE

The VAS Cyclops Mini perfectly balances size and performance, providing 10.25 dB of gain in a 120-degree “flight beam”, and mounting neatly to the front of the goggles with four stiff coaxial cables (easily removable if you need to). Compared to the Axii HD, the Cyclops Mini has about 2 dB more gain. In addition, the Cyclops puts a directional antenna on all four connectors instead of only two. So the Cyclops gives extreme range in front of the pilot with little coverage behind. The Axii HD is more of a general-purpose solution with somewhat better coverage in front, but still a little coverage behind.

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TRUERC STUBBY SINGULARITY

The stock DJI antennas are actually really good. So why am I suggesting you replace them with the TrueRC Singularity Stubby? Because the stock antennas are long enough that some people don’t feel comfortable stuffing them into a case or backpack. The TrueRC Singularity Stubby is similar in performance to the stock DJI antennas but smaller. That’s about it.

Like the stock antennas, these are omnidirectional. That means they’re going to work best when you stand in the middle of your flying area and fly all around yourself. If you tend to stand at the edge of your flying area and fly in front of yourself, then you will get a better range from a patch combo like the Axii HD or iFlight Crystal.

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DJI FPV GOGGLE FOAM

One of the biggest complaints about the DJI FPV goggles is their fit. The factory foam has light-leak for most people. This aftermarket foam is the best we’ve found ad addressing this issue. It’s thicker than the factory foam, so it seals better, and it has a separate V-shaped piece for the nose, to help seal out light. Some people still have a little bit of light-leak around the nose, but most people agree this foam is hands-down better than what DJI ships with.

One caveat: if you normally wear your glasses underneath the DJI goggles, this foam’s thickness may mean the goggles don’t fit any more. This depends on the size of your glasses, of course.

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DJI FPV GOGGLE AFTERMARKET
HEAD STRAP

The other big complaint about the DJI goggles is the head strap. Because it’s thin, it tends to focus the weight on small areas of the head. A thicker strap such as the ones linked here is a worthwhile upgrade. The big question will be whether you want a 1.5″ strap or a 2″ strap. Many people feel the 2″ strap is superior, but personally, I don’t like how it rubs on my ears, and I like the 1.5″ straps.

All of the FatStraps linked above are 2″ thick. They come in a huge variety of prints! The Rotor Riot strap is 1.5″.

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RHO-LENS TADOR
CORRECTIVE LENS

BEST CORRECTIVE LENS FOR DJI

If you’re tired of wearing glasses underneath the DJI FPV goggles, or if your glasses don’t fit, the RHO Lens Tador is what you need. RHO-Lens cuts the lens to your exact prescription, out of high-quality optical coated glass, then mounts it in a plastic housing that attaches securely to your DJI goggles. These lenses are expensive when compared to cheap, generic, plastic alternatives. But the difference in image quality has to be seen to be believed.

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DJI GOGGLES 2

The DJI Goggles 2 refers to the goggles released in late 2022 with the Avata drone. The Goggles 2 are the successor to the DJI FPV Goggles v2. (Can whoever decided to name these products please be fired?) The Goggles 2 are smaller and lighter than the V2 goggles. They’ve got 1080p OLED screens instead of LCD, so the image is richer, brighter, and more saturated. But the main appeal of the Goggles 2 is that they are compatible with DJI’s new OcuSync V3 protocol. This protocol has 1080p resolution instead of the 720p or 810p used by the previous generation. And somehow, it has an even better range and penetration!

The Integra is a more affordable version of the Goggles 2, which a few features removed. Whether the Integra or the Goggles 2 is right for you depends on how much you care about those missing features.

The Integra has the same 1080p 100fps OLED screens as the Goggles 2, so the overall image quality will be the same. The Integra removes the internal focus adjustment of the Goggles 2, although it does come with a set of lenses at various diopter values, that you can install on the goggles. The change in optics also means that the image on the Integra is a little smaller than the Goggles 2 (from 51 degrees FOV down to 44 degrees).

The Integra has a built-in battery pack that lasts about 2 hours. The pack mounts on the back of the head strap, which balances the weight of the goggles, but also means you’re carrying an additional 200-ish grams on your head. If you run out of juice, you can use a USB power bank to power the Integra. It doesn’t have any DC input like the Goggles 2.

The Integra replaces the Goggles 2 touchpad with a joystick. Frankly, I think this is an improvement, as the touchpad is kind of finicky to use sometimes.

The Integra removes the WiFi video streaming capability of the Goggles 2, as well as the built-in head tracker. Frankly, almost nobody was using this anyway, so I don’t think it matters.

At the time of this writing, the Integra is about $150 cheaper than the Goggles 2, and for most people, that’s going to make it the clear winner. Although the Goggles 2 has a few things that the Integra lack, it’s hard to argue they’re worth an additional $150.

As you think about what hardware to get, keep in mind that the Goggles 2 and the V2 goggles both work with the O3 air unit and the older Vista-generation air units. The O3 air unit will do 1080p resolution with the Goggles 2 and 810p resolution with the V2 goggles. The Vista-generation air units will do 720p resolution with both goggles.

So which air unit should you choose? The O3 air unit’s increased resolution has led some pilots to skip the GoPro entirely and use the O3’s onboard recording instead. This saves a massive 120+ grams of weight, and the price of a GoPro when you crash. On the other hand, the dynamic range of the O3 is much worse than the Vista-generation cameras. You can’t see as much shadow detail in the O3 camera, which makes flying into dark areas challenging. And the low-light sensitivity of the O3 is very poor, so if you’re used to flying at dusk, maybe stay away from the O3. The good news is that the Goggles 2 are backward-compatible with Vista-generation air units and cameras, so you don’t have to commit to the O3 if you don’t want to.

 DJI GOGGLES INTEGRA

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IFLIGHT DJI GOOGLES 2
SPONGE FOAM PADDING

One of the biggest complaints about the Goggles 2 is the fit. If they’re uncomfortable on your face, the upgraded foam may be the solution. And the iFlight foam is one of the best we’ve tried. Especially nice is that it includes foam for the nose-piece so they’ve got a little padding if they touch the bridge of your nose.

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LUMENIER UNIVERSAL ANTENNA ADAPTER KIT
FOR DJI GOGGLES 2

The top antennas of the Goggles 2 are removable – just pull up on them and they’ll detach and slide out. (The Integra antennas are NOT removable.) But you won’t be able to use most common aftermarket antennas because the goggles have MCX connectors, and the antennas have SMA or RP-SMA connectors. That’s where the Lumenier Universal Antenna Adapter comes in. The adapter slides into the goggles and converts the MCX to an SMA or RP-SMA so you can use just about any aftermarket antenna you want!

Before you buy this product, keep one thing in mind: the factory antenna on the O3 air unit is linear polarized. So are the factory antennas on the Goggles 2. Most aftermarket antennas are circular polarized. Practically speaking, what this means is that you won’t actually get much better performance if your aftermarket antenna is less than about 5-7 dBi of gain. You can overcome this by installing aftermarket circular polarized antennas on the O3. But in a lot of cases, the cost of all those aftermarket antennas won’t really be worth the marginal improvement in range. In short, a lot of people would be better off just sticking with the stock O3 and Goggles 2 antennas.

After extensive real-world testing of this product, I’ve decided it’s usually more hassle than it’s worth. Yes, you do get increased range by using higher-gain directional antennas. The product does what it says it will do. But the adapters are constantly falling out of the goggles during normal handling, and in some cases, the adapter just breaks in half and leaves half of itself inside the goggles. In specific cases where I need increased range and penetration, I still sometimes pull these adapters out. But for day-to-day use, the stock DJI antennas have a good range and are significantly more durable and easy to pack away.

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TRUERC X-AIR ANTENNA
FOR DJI GOGGLES 2

If you are looking to increase the range and penetration of your Goggles 2, these antennas are your best bet. The X-air is a proven design from one of the most respected manufacturers in the FPV space. Unlike the Lumenier adapter, these antennas come with a molded plastic housing that holds them securely in place.

One caveat: You’ll probably need to take these antennas off the goggles when storing them, which will add up wear and tear on the Goggles 2 MMCX connectors. Eventually, this may result in decreased range and penetration, although the exact number of mating cycles isn’t really known.

Another caveat: These antennas are left-hand polarized. The antennas on the O3 are linear polarized. Any time you have polarization mismatch, you’re going to lose some amount of range. So the benefit of these antennas will not be fully realized unless you also replace the antennas on your O3 with left-hand circular antennas.

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FLYFISHRC
DJI O3 ANTENNA

This antenna is a drop-in replacement for the stock antenna that comes on the O3 air unit. The O3 has two antenna connectors, and if you look closely at the stock O3 antenna, it has two wires coming out of it. But it only looks like one antenna! That’s because there are two linear-polarized antennas mounted inside the shell, in a 45-degree orientation to each other.

Most of the time, if you buy aftermarket antennas for the O3, you’ll need to buy two of them. And they’ll be circular polarized, while the Goggles 2 antennas are linear polarized. So you’ll get a little shorter range.

So the FlyFish antenna is basically the only aftermarket antenna that matches the specs of the original O3 antenna. And it’s available in multiple lengths: a stubby antenna for improved durability and an ultra-long version for better range (by moving the antenna further from the body of the quad).

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WALKSNAIL AVATAR

The Walksnail Avatar system was made in partnership with Fat Shark, who released their own version of the Avatar goggles as the Fat Shark Dominator. Dominator goggles are identical to Walksnail goggles. The only difference is the color, and who you contact if you need support or repair.

In many ways, the Walksnail Avatar system is similar to the DJI v2 system. They use similar hardware to encode and transmit their signals. Some have even speculated (without evidence) that the Walksnail engineers once worked at DJI. What sets Walksnail apart from DJI is their connection to the FPV community and their hunger to improve. Walksnail is responsive on social media in a way that a huge company like DJI seldom is. They have listened to community requests and released much-demanded features–some of which DJI had ignored for years.

However, the Walksnail system wasn’t feature-complete at launch. The performance of the system, although acceptable for many, still doesn’t match the range, penetration, and image quality of the DJI v2 system. Several of the system’s features don’t work as expected, or are missing entirely. Firmware updates come frequently, which shows that Walksnail is working hard on improving the system, but some users wish that it had been more polished before it was launched.

Like the DJI systems, Walksnail has variable latency, making it less than ideal for racing. For freestyle pilots, we said that the increased image detail and penetration of the DJI v2 system offset the disadvantage of the latency. This isn’t quite true for the Walksnail system, which has a little higher latency than the DJI v2 system, and which has larger and more-often spikes in latency. In addition, the DJI v2 video transmitters are nearly indestructible, making them perfect for bando-bashing, while the Walksnail vTX is only of normal durability.

One area where Walksnail excels is in long-range cruising. The DJI v2 system is hard-capped at a little over 13 km maximum range, no matter what output power or antenna you use. Walksnail has been flown to 31 km at the time of this writing (with high-gain antennas, not the stock setup). If Walksnail has a maximum range cap, we don’t know what it is yet.

FAT SHARK DOMINATOR GOGGLES

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The Avatar/Dominator goggle has top-tier specs for an FPV goggle: 1920×1080 OLED screens running at 100 Hz. 46-degree field of view is large enough to be immersive, without overwhelming your peripheral vision. Goggles include focus adjustment for -2 to +6 diopters, so many people will be able to use them without corrective lenses. They support USB-to-HDMI video output, which allows easy mirroring of the video feed to external screens or HDMI capture devices.

One major limitation of the goggles is that they don’t have any secondary video inputs. No AV input for an analog receiver module. No HDMI input for another digital system, or even for using the goggles as a display to play your favorite simulator. If you buy these goggles, you’ll only be using them for this system. And if you want to fly any other system, you’ll need to buy a different set of goggles.

WALKSNAIL VIDEO TRANSMITTERS AND CAMERAS

WALKSNAIL STANDALONE
VRX

The standalone vRX lets any goggle with an HDMI input receive signal from a Walksnail video transmitter. The vRX sends video to the goggles via an HDMI input, so any goggle that can take a 720p or 1080p input is compatible. This is a huge benefit to people who have perfectly good goggles and want to try out the Walksnail system.

The vRX has all the features and performance of the Walksnail goggles, but there are some potential tradeoffs. Some goggles have extra latency on the HDMI input or the screens. Additionally, almost no goggles support the display of a 100fps signal, so Walksnail is forced to operate only at 60 fps, which adds about 10 ms of latency.

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WALKSNAIL AVATAR
V1 VTX

The Avatar video transmitter supports up to 1200 mW of output power, similar to the DJI system. The camera can be set to either 720p @ 60 fps, 720p @ 100 fps, or 1080p @ 60 fps modes. The 1080p support seems like it would give the system an edge over the DJI FPV v2 system, but the Walksnail system doesn’t show much if any, improvement when switching from 720p to 1080p. This is, presumably, one of those features that Walksnail is still “optimizing”. The Walksnail system also supports 25 Mbps and 50 Mbps channel widths, but as with 1080p, the 50 Mbps mode doesn’t seem to show as much improvement in image quality as would be expected, and the stability of the link even seems to go down sometimes in 50 Mbps mode. For the time being, I fly this system in 720p, 100 fps, and 25 Mbps. In this mode, it’s pretty decent, but I can’t help the feeling that I was promised more.

The Avatar vTX includes two left-hand circular polarized antennas.

The Avatar camera fits in the standard 19mm “mini” size that’s supported by most frames today. The Avatar video transmitter has 25mm square mounting holes. This style of mounting is not directly supported by many frames, although the number is growing slowly. We recommend mounting this vTX using double-sided tape and zip-ties or some other similar improvised method. If you use double-sided tape, make sure to install screws and nuts into the vTX mounting holes, otherwise, the heat sinks will come off in crashes.

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WALKSNAIL AVATAR
VTX V2

The core features and performance of the V2 Walksnail vTX are the same as the V1, so range, penetration, and image quality are unchanged. The biggest changes are that the V2 can be ordered with 32 GB of onboard video storage compared to only 8 GB on the V1. And the V2 can be ordered with two new cameras: the Pro and the V2.

The V2 camera has similar image quality to the V1 camera. Its big difference is that it has a native 4:3 sensor and supports 4:3 mode, which has a much larger vertical field of view. If you prefer to fly in 4:3, finally there’s a Walksnail camera for you.

The “Pro” camera has a Sony Starvis sensor on it, which gives it extraordinary low-light sensitivity. It provides a flyable 100fps image in near-total darkness. It can output 4:3, but it’s got a native 16:9 sensor, so you don’t get a larger vertical FOV. You just crop the sides of the 16:9 image (pointless).

The V2 camera and the Pro camera also add a gyro sensor so that their footage can be stabilized by the free, open-source GyroFlow software. Be careful because the V2 camera also comes without the gyro, so make sure you order the one you intend to order.

The V2 vTX has solder pads next to the plug, in case the plug breaks off or if you just don’t trust plugs. The V2’s antenna retention screws are normal-sized unlike the microscopic ones used on the V1. The V2 has 20mm mounting holes so it’ll fit more easily in more frames. On the downside, the V2’s main plug and USB plug are different size than the V1, so you won’t be able to swap it into a V1 build without re-soldering the wire harness. Finally, the V2 drops down from two antennas to one, for a simpler install. Surprisingly, this doesn’t seem to have reduced performance at all.

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WALKSNAIL AVATAR
MINI & MINI-LITE VTX V1 KIT

The Mini vTX has the same core features as the full size vTX, except that it only goes up to 350 mW output power. It can be powered from 3.1v to 5v so it can run off a 1S battery or a 5v regulator – but if you run it off a 5v regulator, be careful, because voltage spikes over 5v can kill it!

There are two versions of the 1S Mini vTX – the regular “mini” and the “mini lite”. The regular mini has a heat spreader on the main chip, comes with a circular polarized antenna, and has a 14mm camera. The “mini lite” has no heat spreader, comes with a linear whip antenna, and has a barebones camera that’s intended to mount in a Whoop canopy. The difference between them is that the Mini Lite overheats faster and the Mini Lite is only ~7 grams while the Mini is ~9 grams.

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WALKSNAIL AVATAR
VTX V1 & CAMERA KITS

The Avatar vTX can be purchased with two different cameras: a micro camera (19mm wide) or a nano camera (14mm wide). If you’re not sure, look up what size camera your quadcopter frame is designed for, or just put a ruler between the camera plates and measure. Most quads down to about 3″ prop or 95mm wheelbase use micro cams. Smaller ones usually use nano cams.

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WALKSNAIL AVATAR
HD PRO CAMERA

What makes this camera stand out is its Sony Starvis sensor, which gives it exceptional low-light sensitivity. It’s not a true thermal camera, so it can’t fly in total darkness, but even on a moonlit night, or under street lights, it gives a flyable image. Amazingly, you don’t really give up anything in terms of daylight performance. This is the best all-around camera for flying under mixed lighting conditions, such as in dark bandos or at dusk.

The Pro camera also has a built-in gyro sensor, which means its footage can be stabilized using the free, open-source GyroFlow program.
Although the Pro camera supports 4:3 output, its sensor is native 16:9, which means the 4:3 mode just chops off the edges of the screen. It doesn’t actually increase your field of view.

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WALKSNAIL AVATAR
HD CAMERA V2

This camera’s killer feature is its native 4:3 sensor. This gives it a much larger vertical field of view, which some FPV pilots strongly prefer. The camera can output 16:9, in which case it will chop off the top and bottom of the image.

This camera can be ordered either with or without a built-in gyro sensor. The gyro sensor means that its footage can be stabilized using the free, open-source GyroFlow program.

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WALKSNAIL ANTENNAS AND ACCESSORIES

TRUERC X-AIR 5.8 MK2
PATCH ANTENNAS

Don’t let the fact that this antenna is labeled as “for DJI” throw you off. It’s perfect for use with the Walksnail system as well. This antenna has two X-Air Mk2 antennas mounted in a single housing, with two antenna plugs coming out the back. So you’d buy two of these and screw them into the two left and two right connectors on your Walksnail goggle.

The advantage of this approach is that you have four directional antennas on your goggle, which gives you the best possible range and penetration in front of you, but reduced range and penetration to the sides and back. You can still fly to the side and rear of yourself, you just won’t get as much range in that direction as you would with a pair of omnidirectional antennas on the goggles.

If you usually stand at the edge of your flight area and face into the flight area, flying in front of yourself, then these antennas are a fantastic choice. If you usually stand in the middle of the flight area and fly all around yourself, then you’d be better with one of the other sets on this page that combines two directional and two omnidirectional antennas.

Confusingly, the antenna comes with one SMA and one RP-SMA connector, but the goggles have all RP-SMA. You will need this adapter to attach the antennas to your goggles. The antennas include a right-angle adapter, which works for the DJI goggles, but the Walksnail goggles need a straight adapter. Make sure to install the adapter on the front-facing goggle connector.

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TRUERC X-AIR 5.8 MK2
PATCH ANTENNAS WITH OMNI’S

The stock antennas that come with the Avatar goggles don’t give the best possible range and penetration. The Fat Shark Dominator goggles don’t come with any antennas at all! We recommend the TrueRC X-Air Mk2 and Stubby antennas for most people looking to upgrade. The combination of a higher-gain directional antenna on front of the goggles with an omnidirectional antenna on top gives a good balance of improved range and penetration in front of you, without compromising too much coverage to the side or behind.

TrueRC sells these antennas in a combo with either Stubby or OCP omnidirectional antennas. The Stubby antennas let you easily store the goggles in a case or bag without removing them. The OCP have longer stalks, which lets them stick up above your head and gives better coverage. Other stores may not sell the X-Air in a combo, and you may need to buy the omni antennas separately.

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TRUERC X2-AIR 5.8 MK2
PATCH ANTENNAS

The X2-Air Mk2 is an even higher gain than the X-Air, giving 13 dBi of gain instead of the X-Air’s 10 dB. This equates to about 1.4x the range in open air. The tradeoff is slightly reduced vertical beam width, so if you tend to drop your head while you fly, you’ll want to break that habit.

The X2-air is best with a set of omnidirectional antennas on the top two connectors of the goggles. In theory, you could use four X2-airs, but it’d be pretty difficult to mount them on the goggles. Some stores sell the X2-air in a combo with a set of omni antennas; other stores require you to buy the omnis separately.

These antennas are sold in either RH (right-hand) or LH (left-hand) polarization. Walksnail video transmitters are all shipped with LH antennas, so you would buy LH for the goggles as well. Only buy RH if you know for a fact you have been buying RH antennas and swapping them out for the factory antennas on your video transmitters.

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HDZERO FPV SYSTEM

HDZero uses a completely different method of encoding and compressing the video signal from DJI and Walksnail. The argument goes that DJI and Walksnail have higher latency, but what matters more is that the latency is always changing, so the pilot can never learn exactly how much to “lead” the quadcopter to compensate for the latency. In addition, DJI and Walksnail lose video frames when the signal gets weaker, which makes the video appear to “skip” or “stutter”. The result is a less connected feel and less precise control of the aircraft.

HDZero has very low latency–faster than DJI and Walksnail, and even faster than some analog cameras. More importantly, its latency is constant. And when the signal gets weak, the video never stutters or skips. Instead, small blocks of the image turn white, similar to the way an analog signal gets staticky.

This focus on smooth and low-latency video is why HDZero is the HD video system that racers prefer (although most of them are still on analog). In addition, HDZero was designed to be compatible with the frequencies and timing systems used by analog pilots, so it fits right in at races, and it doesn’t require any new training or procedures to avoid interfering with analog pilots at your flight line.

The tradeoff for HDZero’s approach is that it gives less range and penetration than DJI and Walksnail, watt-for-watt. And some people feel that the “sparkly static” way that the HDZero signal breaks up is less usable than the “blocky” way that DJI and Walksnail degrade. You can watch videos and try to compare for yourself, but unfortunately, it’s difficult to judge until you’ve tried to actually fly an aircraft through the environment using both systems.

HDZero has focused on making video transmitters for many different needs. There’s a 1 watt vTX for freestyle pilots and an ultra light-weight vTX and camera for tiny whoops. Although some people have managed to build smaller quads around DJI and Walksnail vTX, HDZero is the only digital FPV system that even approaches the lightweight and small size of analog.

HDZERO GOGGLES

If you use the HDZero system, the HDZero goggle is, hands-down the best experience you can get. But the HDZero goggle may also be the best analog goggle, and the best Walksnail goggle as well.

For users of the HDZero system, the HDZero goggle’s 90 fps screens mean it is the only goggle that lets you use the 90 fps camera. This, combined with the goggles’ end-to-end transmission sync, means you get 14 ms consistent, locked latency with 90 fps updates, for the smoothest, most connected feel of any FPV system today (lower latency even than analog)!

Analog pilots can plug their receiver module into a module bay that mounts on the side of the goggles. This isn’t just an afterthought, though. The HDZero goggles have comb filter and high-quality deinterlacer for the best-looking analog video you’ve ever seen.

If you want to use the Walksnail standalone vRX, the HDZero goggles have an HDMI input that supports the 720p/100fps mode. They are the only FPV goggles to support 100fps input, which gives lower latency than the 60fps modes supported by all other FPV goggles. The HDZero goggle doesn’t have quite as low latency as the Walksnail Avatar goggles though, so if you fly the Walksnail system exclusively, you should get the Avatar goggles. The HDZero only makes sense if you want to fly Walksnail and some other system like analog or HDZero.

There are SO MANY reasons to choose these goggles that I can’t sum them up. You should definitely watch my full review, linked below.

Watch JBs Review of the HDZERO Goggles!

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HDZERO STANDALONE RECEIVER MODULE

Most users of the HDZero system will purchase this standalone receiver module, then connect it to a separate set of FPV goggles or another display device using its HDMI output. The HDZero receiver only outputs digital video via HDMI, so legacy displays that lack HDMI input won’t work. The receiver has a bracket to mount to the front of Fat Shark goggles. 3D-printed brackets have been designed for other goggles.

We say “most users will purchase this receiver” because there are a few screens and goggles that were produced in the past with built-in HDZero receiver. Examples of this include the Fat Shark Scout HD and the ByteFrost screen. These haven’t been manufactured for some time, but if you come across them, they’re fully compatible with modern HDZero video transmitters.

The HDZero receiver module requires four antennas, which must be purchased separately. There are some recommendations below.

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HDZERO VIDEO TRANSMITTERS AND CAMERAS

HDZERO FREESTYLE 1W VTX

The Freestyle vTX outputs up to 1 watt of power, for the best range and penetration available in the HDZero system. It’s also larger and heavier than other HDZero vTX, so it’s not ideal for smaller builds. For regulatory reasons, the vTX is shipped locked to 200 mW max output power. Follow the unlock procedure in the manual to enable the full 1W output power.

HDZero cameras must be purchased separately from the vTX. The Freestyle vTX includes a right-hand polarized antenna.

The Freestyle vTX has 30mm square mounting, the same as many larger flight controllers. Most frames have 30mm center mounting for the ESC and flight controller, but they typically don’t have enough height to put the FC, ESC, and Freestyle vTX in the same stack. If your frame has 20mm rear mounting, another alternative is to mount a 30mm ESC and the vTX in the center, with a 20mm FC in the rear. If you’re starting from scratch, the best approach is to choose a frame with 30mm rear mounting, or of course, you can always use double-sided tape, zip ties, and/or 3D-printed brackets.

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HDZERO RACE V2 VTX

The Race vTX is made to fit the 20mm mounting pattern used on smaller, lighter racing drones. It maxes out at 200 mW output power, which gives it less than half the range and penetration of the 1W freestyle vTX. But racers typically run at 25 mW anyway, to avoid interfering with each other. And race courses are typically designed to accommodate this output power. The Race vTX is also designed to minimize the use of very small surface-mount components, which is intended to increase durability.

HDZero cameras must be purchased separately from the vTX. The Race vTX does not include an antenna; you will need to source your own. We have some suggestions linked below.

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HDZERO WHOOP VTX

The HDZero Whoop vTX is designed to fit into a Tiny Whoop build. These small 65mm wheelbase quadcopters typically use diagonal 25mm mounting holes for their flight controller and ESC; the HDZero Whoop vTX mounts right on top. But the Whoop vTX is useful for larger builds too! Many types of lightweight quadcopters up to about 3” prop size use Whoop-style mounting for their electronics, and the HDZero Whoop vTX will fit perfectly in these builds.

The Whoop vTX supports up to 200 mW output power. The camera and antenna must be purchased separately (see below).

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HDZERO
WHOOP LITE BUNDLE

The HDZero Whoop Lite bundle includes an ultra-light HDZero vTX and camera, specifically designed to be mounted onto a “tiny whoop” style quadcopter. The mounting matches the 25mm diagonal mounting holes typically used in this class. The Nano Lite camera weighs only 1.5 grams and fits in the 14 mm-sized mountings that most Whoop canopies expect. The vTX can output up to 200 mW of power.

Most people will purchase this vTX and camera in a bundle, however, the Whoop vTX and camera can be purchased separately if desired. The Bundle includes a dipole antenna.

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RUNCAM
HDZERO V2

Most image sensors used in FPV cameras today are native 16:9 aspect ratio. So if you prefer to fly in 4:3, you end up cutting off the sides and get a smaller field of view. The Runcam HDZero V2 has been optimized for use when flying in 4:3 aspect ratio. Although the sensor is 16:9, the lens’s coverage circle has been designed to cover a 4:3 square out of the center of the lens. This means that you get a generous 155° diagonal field of view. It can be switched to 16:9 mode as well, for those who prefer it, but the FOV will only be 145°.

The other thing that sets this camera apart is its extreme configurability. Image settings like color balance, sharpness, and more are at the user’s fingertips.

The HDZero V2 is available in two sizes: Micro (19mm wide) and Nano (14mm wide). The Micro camera has a larger M12 lens, while the Nano has an M8 lens. Although the sensors are the same, the larger lens of the Micro camera gives it slightly better optical image quality. Buy whichever one your frame is designed to fit.

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RUNCAM HDZERO
NANO 90

HDZero’s biggest advantage has always been its low latency and smooth, jitter-free framerate. The Nano 90 camera takes this to the next level with 90fps framerate (50% more than other cameras). When used with the HDZero goggles, this brings the glass-to-glass latency down to just 4 ms – faster than even most analog cameras! Bear in mind that currently, only the HDZero goggles support the 90fps mode. If you’re using any other HDZero receiver, you can use this camera, but there won’t really be any advantage compared to the Runcam Micro camera.

This camera completely blew me away when I first tried it. I’ve flown low-latency, low-framerate analog systems before, and I’ve flown high-framerate, high-latency digital systems before. The combination of low latency and high framerate is really something else. You can check out the video below to see my reaction, but honestly, you have to try it for yourself to see if you agree with my reaction.

Watch JBs Review of the RunCam HDZERO Nano 90

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HDZERO ANTENNAS AND ACCESSORIES

TRUERC X2-AIR 5.8 MK2
PATCH ANTENNAS

The X2-air Mk2 is an even higher gain than the X-Air, giving 13 dBi of gain instead of the X-Air’s 10 dB. This equates to about 1.4x the range in the open air. The tradeoff is slightly reduced vertical beam width, so if you tend to drop your head while you fly, you’ll want to break that habit.

Another disadvantage of the X2-air is its larger size. Fortunately, the mounting rail system on the HDZero goggles makes them easy to remove when it’s time to put them away.

TrueRC sells these antennas in a combo with the OCP omnidirectional antenna. These have longer stalks, which lets them stick up above your head and give better coverage, but they would have to be removed before storing the goggles. You could choose to buy Stubby antennas separately if you prefer.

These antennas are sold in either RH (right-hand) or LH (left-hand) polarization. Most people using HDZero will have RH antennas on their video transmitters, and so they would buy RH for the goggles as well. Only buy LH if you know for a fact you have been buying LH antennas for your video transmitters.

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TRUERC X-AIR 5.8 MK2
PATCH ANTENNAS

Putting a set of directional antennas on the front of your goggles gives improved range and penetration wherever you’re facing. The best all-around performance of the HDZero system is achieved by combining a set of omni antennas on top of the goggles with a set of directional antennas on the front. The omnis give “ok” coverage to the sides and back; the directional antennas give “wow” coverage in front.

The HDZero goggles have mounting rails on the front for accessories. These TrueRX antennas are designed to mount on those rails for a super low-profile setup that tucks easily into a bag or case.

TrueRC sells these antennas in a combo with the OCP omnidirectional antenna. These have longer stalks, which lets them stick up above your head and give better coverage, but they would have to be removed before storing the goggles. You could choose to buy Stubby antennas separately if you prefer.

These antennas are sold in either RH (right-hand) or LH (left-hand) polarization. Most people using HDZero will have RH antennas on their video transmitters, so they would buy RH for the goggles as well. Only buy LH if you know for a fact you have been buying LH antennas for your video transmitters.

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