In this article we are comparing the Fatshark Dominator V3 with HD3 goggles in terms of spec and user experience.
Now that the Fatshark Dominator HD3 goggles are out, many people want to know whether or not they should upgrade. This holds especially true now that some FPV cameras has 16:9 aspect ratio such as the Runcam Eagle and the Connex Prosight HD.
Since both DomV3 and HDv3 have HD capabilities and are essentially designed towards the HD market, they’re perfect to compare.
HD3 Improvements from HD2
The HD’3s have what initially seem to be small refinements. Once you compare in hand (and on face), you can notice that the refinements were beneficial. The screen is clearer, the fit is better, the electronics are slightly newer, the FOV is smaller (which made them clearer) and the goggles adjust automatically to 16:9 for HD. The screen itself was in the works for over a year by the FatShark team. If your HD2’s are still running strong, then you may find that it’s not beneficial to upgrade; however, the HD3’s are definitely worth it in my book. Of course, if you don’t have any HD2’s then you don’t have to worry about upgrading and leaving them behind.
The Specification Differences
When only looking at the appearance of the goggles. the differences between HD3 and DomV3 are subtle. It’s not until you get to the specs and look INSIDE the goggles that you start to really see the difference.
On the outside the only visual difference you can see is the color scheme (white/blue vs white/grey), the head strap color, the faceplate fan design, and the faceplate foam.
Both goggles are capable of 16:9 aspect display ratio. The Dom V3’s stay in 16:9 all the time, whereas the HD3’s only move to 16:9 when switching to HD. With analog video, the HD3’s are 4:3. What’s important to note is that the HD3’s have a bigger field of view (FOV) in both 16:9 and 4:3. When going to the Dom V3’s from the HD3’s, the Dom V3 screen is noticeably smaller.
When you put the goggles on, the first thing you notice is the difference between the faceplate and the foam. You can purchase the new replaceable foam pads from Fatshark, so that should never be a deal breaker.
However, the faceplate itself is different. The Dom V3 goggles feel a little looser on the face when compared to the HD3s. This is due in part because of the foam, but also because of the redesign of the faceplate itself. The curve on the faceplate is just a tad different, allowing the HD3 goggles to have a more precise fit on the face.This is something that I think affects how your eyes sit inside the IPD range.
When comparing the two goggles, the HD3’s fit better. The IPD range remains the same, but my eyes center on the HD3’s better than the Dom V3s. Though this is a small difference in terms of changes, it’s made a big difference for me in terms of feel and IPD focus for my eyes. The HD3’s fit better on my face than the Dom V3s.
The new fan design on the HD3’s is definitely better than that of the Dom V3s. The Dom V3’s looks a bit cheap and doesn’t perform as well as the HD3’s. The fan is also quieter on the HD3s and pulls air and moisture out of your vision quicker.
The BIGGEST Difference is the most important!
Of course, the biggest difference is the screen. The Dom V3’s screen has a 16:9 resolution. It’s a static screen size designed for use with HD systems. The Dom V3’s have worked great for me when flying in Liftoff on the computer (in HD). Due to it’s natural 16:9 ratio, for analog video, the Runcam Eagle should be the perfect fit. A lot of people have been pleased with the video quality when using the Dom V3’s and the Eagle.
Unfortunately, the HD3’s aren’t capable of 16:9 in analog video. However, they are capable of 16:9 when viewing HD video. When using the HD3 goggles in HD on Liftoff, the difference is noticeable.The 16:9 on the HD3 goggles is still bigger than the 16:9 on the Dom V3’s. FatShark sent this image taken on their own testing machines of the screen size comparison in 16:9.
As you can see in the picture, the FOV for the HD3s in 16:9 is still bigger than the 16:9 screen of the DOM V3’s. This has really been the deal breaker for me. The screen on the HD3’s is a higher quality screen than the DOM V3s. This allows for a clearer and “crisper” view in the goggles. It’s also a bigger screen which really makes a difference up close. For me it’s been like the difference in watching a 32 inch TV in widescreen versus watching a 47 inch TV in HD Full Screen. Watching the 32 inch TV in widescreen is fine, until you watch the 47 inch TV, and then it’s hard to go back.
Which to choose?
If I had to do it over again and only purchase one, I would sell one of my quads on eBay, and buy the HD3s. This is of course based on the fact that I could afford the HD3s. If you can’t afford the HD3 price tag – $500, then buying the DOM V3’s still makes a lot of sense.
The HD3s though are better in every aspect except perhaps the lack of ability to handle analog video in 16:9. It’s missing out on many new 16:9 analog FPV cameras. However, from my experience, I think the the bigger, clearer, and overall better image from the HD3’s is still going to win over that of the DOM V3s.
HD3 vs. HDO?
I have another article discussing the differences between HD3 and HDO.
Author：Adriel Perkins Join us as a guest writer.