Fat Shark FSV1065 Dominator SE Review
Image Credit: Fat Shark
Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
- Modular receiver bay
- Modular Head tracker bay (No head tracking module included)
- Integrated DVR
- 0.44" VGA LCD display
- NTSC or PAL Auto Switching
- IPD Range: 59-69mm IPD range (adjustable with sliders on the bottom)
- Display: VGA 640×480 LCD Display
- Format: NTSC/PAL auto signal selection
- Power: DC In: 7~13V for 2S or 3S batteries
- Dominator SE Headset w/ fan equipped face plate
- Raceband 5G8 Receiver module
- Spironet RH Omni antenna
- 7.4V 1000mAh battery with LED indicator
- Battery charge adapter cable
- Tall Zipper Case
- 2 sets of foam and the walcro plate
- One set of two -2 Dioptre correction lenses
- Lens cleaning cloth
- Faceplate is comfortable
- Built-in fan keeps lenses from fogging
- Built in DVR
- Nice size screens
- Easy to use
- Quality feel
- Ready to go out of the box
- LOOK GREAT!
- No HDMI
- Included battery is only 1000mah
For this review, I would like to start with a bit of a disclaimer... I am not Charpu, Shampoo, Trappy or Trapeze or whatever. I am a relative newbie to the world of FPV, but I have owned a few sets of FPV headsets to know what I like and what I don't like and why. I have bounced in and out of FPV goggle forums, but I usually get lost or confused by the overwhelming amount of nerdspeak and stop following them. My review here is more or less aimed at the average RC guy/gal who finds themselves on the fence deciding which headset they want to buy. Most name brand goggles are not cheap, so this is not a decision to make hastily or without doing your homework. My apologies if this is not the technical review you were looking for.
To give you some background, my first set of goggles were the Fat Shark Attitude V2s. They were much better than the Teleporters I had tried on at the hobby shop, but I could never get used to the eye-cups. If I wore them too tightly, my long eyelashes would hit the lenses and make smudges. If I wore them loosely, the felt like they were falling and I had to raise my cheeks to get them to sit properly. I ended up selling them and decided to try a set of HeadPlays. I have really enjoyed the HeadPlays. The image is great, they are comfortable, and the menus are easy to navigate. My only issues with the HeadPlays are their bulk and the absence of a built-in DVR or video out port.
I don't like to waste much time in this section as the list of included items above pretty much tells you what's in the box. The box itself is a minimalist design, and gives you a feel that you are buying a new gadget from Apple. I was very pleased with the quality and size of the carrying case. You can put your antenna and battery in there with your goggles without the fear of damaging something. I was a little disappointed with the 1000mah 2s lipo, but at least it has the indicator lights built onto it to let you know quickly how much charge you have left. One majore note... DO NOT BALANCE CHARGE THIS BATTERY! I was about to do just that but I just happened to pick up the manual before I could hook my battery up. The plug that looks like the balance plug is actually just used for powering the fan. Do not try to balance it using that plug. If you don't have the charging adapter, Fat Shark gives you one so you don't have to buy it separately.
There are a couple sets of foam for the face plate to accommodate your face. I liked the feel of the thicker one, so I use that one. It goes on with a velcro-like material, so if you try one on and don't like it, you do not have to commit to it. Comfort-wise, the newer faceplate design is genius! It is such an improvement over the eye-cups that were on my Attitude V2s. From what I understand, at this point, Fat Shark has added the faceplate to the Attitude V3 goggles and all models of the Dominators.
Once I got my goggles set up and ready to go, I fired up my Whoop for a spin around the house (1st video below). I was really pleased with the comfort and view the SE's provide. The larger screens actually made it feel like I was flying with my HeadPlays. It was a good feeling compared to my original Attitude V2s. Unlike the HeadPlays, I don't feel like I have any significant weight on my head. Not that the HeadPlays are really heavy, but the small Dominator form factor feels really nice.
Navigating through the functions of the SEs is easy peasy. I adjusted brightness and contrast easily as I switched flying locations. Recording your flight footage is just a button press away. I know most of our models can carry some sort of action camera, but there is something really satisfying about recording exactly what you saw through your camera and goggles. It is of particular advantage if you are flying a micro quad or plane that can't carry an action camera. I definitely feel the field of view is really quite adequate–I can't imagine having a larger field of view. As I recently participated in my first ever drone race (second video below), I had no trouble navigating through the gates (slowly mind you).
One thing I was concerned about were these "blurred edges" some Dominator wearers have complained about. I didn't notice anything initially, but I think I know what they are talking about. If you look around to the extreme edges, your eyes misalign with the screens and you see a little blur on the edges. You can adjust the IPDs to sharpen the edges but you do so at the expense of misaligning your center. You can also use the included diopters to remedy this a bit but in MY OPINION, this is a non issue. In normal flight you will NEVER see the blur as it really only appears if your eyeballs move to the extreme sides. Do not let these reports you read dissuade you from any of the Dominator goggles. I wear glasses, but for seeing stuff at a distance. I thought I would need diopters for to correct my view of the screens but I don't. If you are far-sighted, you may have to buy the positive diopters to clear your image up a bit. Also, the other comments I've heard about light seeping through the orange plastic are unfounded. I have flown in bright conditions and have not noticed any light entering through the orange. Also, I'm a goth boy at heart, so I love the Halloween colors :)
At this point, I have been flying with my SEs almost daily since I got them and with pretty much every flight, I like them even more than the previous flight. I bought Fat Sharks 1800mah battery and I have yet to fly enough FPV in one sitting to drain it. I know some folks like to make their own batteries for their headset, but I am comfortable with the quality and fit of the Fat Shark batts.
The Fat Shark Dominator SE are a great set of goggles at an awesome price. They do everything I want them to do, and yet still offer room to grow with them with their modular design. They are a great value at their current $350 price tag, though if you can find a coupon code somewhere, you can score them as I did for $315 #winning! :) Sorry about that, but I was psyched to nab these for that price. I don't know what people use the HDMI function on the other Dominator goggles for, so I don't feel like I am missing anything. I absolutely love the ability to record from my goggles and their small size allows me to pack them in my flight back with my batteries and charger, which is great. I still love my HeadPlays, but they have become my spectator goggles. I take them to the field for folks to compare the two or to just wear them while we fly. If you can find someone to let you try these on before purchasing, that is always the best approach, but if your previous experience was with the eye-cupped Attitudes or Teleporters, you'll find the faceplate design to be a massive improvement.
If you want an entry into the higher end of the FPV goggle world, grab a set of these while you can. They won't be around forever as they are a limited run. Just so you know, this is not a sponsored review, I paid out of my own pocket for these. That said, I think you should too, you won't be disappointed.