It’s not a big secret that digital is the future of FPV. And it’s not a big secret that DJI has done a fantastic job delivering great quality, of course, at a cost, their stuff is not cheap, and not open, but nonetheless delivers great quality.
The question around the community has been, is it worth it?
There has been a lot of discussion around latency, around the fact that you don’t get a “warning” like in analog when the signal is getting weak, or the fact that DJI signal seems to kill any analog signal around making you a bully when flying with friends. I see all this as excuses to avoid turning the page, or excuses made by other companies trying not to die with the transition.
Yes it may be not perfect, and yes analog still has a big place in the community, but there’s no one stopping the digital train.
Unfortunately for the FPV world, as of today, there’s only one real player, DJI. Fatshark has just introduced their own digital solution. It seems a step forward from analog, but the question still remains, is it better than DJI?. The reality is that it doesn’t matter if it’s better or not, the reality is that Fatshark is already jumping the pond, and you will see that digital will dominate this hobby in no time. Even Mr. Steele is testing digital!
This is an image from my Fatshark goggles’ DVR the first time I flew. It’s almost the worst case scenario since it’s an analog image from a cheap camera, the camera of the original TinyHawk Freestyle.
Here’s the image of the DJI DVR, no retouch, it’s just this crisp.
I was personally giving more time to Fatshark, I don’t know why I like that company, I kind of don’t like the fact that DJI is so closed, but I couldn’t wait more. Customer are writing to me almost daily asking if I will stock my store with DJI stuff, and since for me service and customer experience is the most important part of what I offer at NordFPV, I decided that I need to test this first hand in order to be able to talk to my customers with experience and offer them only tested solutions, or at least very well researched.
The first test just blew my mind. The image quality is too good. You can see details you couldn’t imagine before.
I have to admit, no matter how much I like to fiddle with my drones, that the install and set-up was hilariously easy. You see, new FC comes with a connector to the Air Unit, which means you just need to plug a cable and your FC has “VTX” and “Receiver” done, no soldering, no burning connections, in total, very little error chances, and very little time needed to build your quad.
Binding the pieces is also super easy. You don’t need “three hands” like with a FrSky receiver, the way it works feels much more accordingly the year we are in, it feels more modern.
I have tested the goggles, the remote and the air unit. I’m not a big fan of the remote, but I don’t see it as something bad, it’s just maybe that I’m not used to it.
The goggles are a bit bulky, and the feeling of my HDO2 is much better. The HDO2 has this thing that I can wear without my glasses since you can adapt the lenses to a certain different level, which the DJI has not, but I read I can get the diopters in the DJI if needed.
The menus on the DJI goggle/remote (through OSD) are very simple, and again, kind of according to our era, not like some of the analog menus which seem very 90’s.
All in all if you are not a racing pilot, and you are just looking for a good flying experience, I believe no one can deny that DJI, or digital, gives you just that. I really want other competitors in this area, because competition is healthy, it will make the technology improve, prices to be more affordable, and innovation to grow, so I’m applauding the entrance of Fatshark in this area, but I still think, at this point in time, if what you want is the best experience, you should go with DJI.
We at NordFPV are preparing us for the digital era. Go and check what we have, I’ve created a section called DIGITAL to make your interaction with the webshop easier: https://nordfpv.com/collections/dji
Our intention is to bet to digital, and bring the best in this area the upcoming months.
I was thinking of “gifting” myself the digital set as a Christmas present, but I was “forced” to get them early, but hey, I’m not complaining! But maybe this is the perfect give for yourself this Christmas?