FPV Product News Roundup-January 2024

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Reviewed by Kristen Ward
Reviewed by Kristen Ward

It’s time for the first FPV new product roundup of 2024! Every month new products come out in the world of FPV drones.

As your trusted FPV expert, I gather them all up for you and dig through to give you the rundown on everything that’s new and interesting so you are aware these products exist.

I’ll also give you my honest, sometimes completely off base, opinion of them too. Hey – I never claimed to be an oracle! But I do fly this gear hard so you can trust my real-world experiences.

Let’s get into it!

1. Skyzone Sky04X Pro FPV Goggles

The first product we’re going to look at this month is the Skyzone Sky04X Pro FPV goggle.

Now, if you’re thinking “Wait a minute, the Sky04X has been out for years, this isn’t a new product!” – you’d be wrong. The Sky04X Pro is a refreshed version of the original Sky04X.

In that sense it’s kind of a good thing, because the Sky04X has always been an A-tier FPV goggle, right up there with Fat Shark’s Orqa and certainly better than the Fat Shark HDO goggles it originally released alongside.

So what have Skyzone changed with the Pro? They’ve updated some features to make it more compatible with modern digital FPV systems. Let’s put the Sky04X Pro on the left here and the Sky04X V2 on the right so you can see what I mean:

The key differences are in the screen resolution and aspect ratios. The V2 had a native 4:3 aspect ratio which is common for analog camera units. But the Pro has a 16:9 native aspect ratio which matches most digital FPV cameras.

Both goggles can be switched between 4:3 and 16:9 modes. But with the Pro’s higher 1920×1080 resolution display, you get a wider, more immersive field of view without losing image quality when flying 16:9 digital cameras.

We can see the field of view is now a whopping 52 degrees, compared to 46 on the V2. Honestly during testing I found 52 degrees almost too wide for my liking – with a wide angle HD digital feed I was struggling to see my battery voltage in the corner of the display!

But for 43 analog mode the extra screen space is just perfect in my opinion.

So if you’re an analog die-hard this is super tempting as a do-it-all goggle. But if you plan to use it primarily for digital FPV, things get a little more complicated regarding compatibility:

The Pro supports digital via an HDMI input port. Which is nothing new – Skyzone goggles have had HDMI for a while. But what’s new is this port supports up to 100fps HDMI input. This means you can view digital feeds from systems that support higher than the standard 60fps output. More frames = lower latency, which is great for racing and freestyle.

Here’s the catch though… you can’t use this goggle with DJI FPV systems – at all, basically. Yes there are HDMI output accessories for DJI but they require you to already own DJI goggles. If you have DJI goggles, you may as well use those!

The Sky04X Pro is compatible with the HDZero standalone air unit, but you won’t get its headline 90fps low-latency mode because the receiver maxes out at 60fps over HDMI currently. So while you can use them with HDZero to get its great 4K DVR capability, you won’t unlock the ultra-responsive experience that has people raving about 90fps HDZero.

The HDMI input is pretty much perfect for Walksnail though. Their standalone air unit can output 100fps to match what the Pro can handle. I tested this exact combination and it works flawlessly.

There will still be ever so slightly more latency compared to using Walksnail’s own goggles due to the HDMI conversion. But as an all-rounder for analog and digital, I think the Skyzones are a smarter choice than Walksnail’s goggles due to the better analog experience they offer.

If you are looking to buy these goggles, please please please make sure you are getting the Pro and not the older V2 model by accident. They look almost identical from the outside. Carefully check the specs and ensure you’re seeing 1920×1080 not 1280×960 for the display resolution to guarantee you have the newer updated model!

Anyway, at around $550 I think the Sky04X Pro a very compelling FPV goggle option right now for people looking to combine analog and digital FPV options with maximum future compatibility. Just decide whether 60fps or 90fps digital video is more important to you when making a buying choice.

2. SpeedyBee 5.8GHz FPV Receiver

If Skyzone is keeping analog alive in 2024 with a shiny new goggle, you’ll be pleased to know there’s also a new analog receiver module from Speedybee too. The plain old SpeedyBee 5.8GHz FPV Receiver.

Now you might be thinking, if you just bought those Skyzones you already have a good integrated receiver module so why do you need this? Well, it’s when people buy used analog goggles on the second-hand market that often the modules are missing, broken or just super old. Upgrading your receiver module can make a world of difference.

This Speedybee module claims real-time signal analysis and fusion, which in normal English means it dynamically combines the feeds from both antenna inputs to create the best possible image with minimal breakup and interference. This tech was first introduced by the famous ImmersionRC RapidFire module, and later replicated by TBS’s Fusion module too. It’s pretty much the gold standard for FPV receivers nowadays.

Previously you’d spend around $120 for this kind of tech in a RapidFire or Fusion module. Well, now Speedybee brings it to market at just $90 with the SpeedyBee receiver. Very tempting!

There is one question we have to ask though… Does it actually work well? Because when Skyzone first brought out their SteadyView module it was plagued with issues – it only worked with certain cameras and would show rolling black screens with others. By this point RapidFire and Fusion have been around long enough to work flawlessly. As a new kid on the block, we’ll have to wait for bold pilots to be the guinea pigs and report back on whether Speedybee nailed the implementation or if quirks still need to be ironed out.

But for $90 this receiver represents seriously good value if it lives up to its potential. Watch this space!

3. Caddx Ratel Pro FPV Camera

Let’s keep talking analog! We’ve got a new camera released this month just for analog pilots – the Caddx Ratel Pro.

Now this has people very excited because this is a day AND night camera. The RunCam Night Eagle 3 is a spectacularly popular low-light cam for night flying. But one of the tradeoffs is it looks like this during daytime:

[Image showing overexposed daytime image with purple hue]

Yuck! You get that strong infrared contamination giving everything a purple-ish hue. Sometimes the Night Eagle will even just display plain black and white during the day which isn’t ideal either.

Caddx claims the Ratel Pro gives you excellent color fidelity in daylight, and crisp black and white images at night with excellent low-light sensitivity. It’s an ambitious claim for sure! Caddx haven’t shown proper sample footage to demonstrate this yet though. The images on their site are clearly just a single photo run through a filter app to create “night” and “day” versions. Super cheesy! Real world performance remains to be seen so watch for full reviews.

But if Caddx can deliver on the promises and give us a camera optimized for both day and night flying, it will be a revelation for the analog world. The days of needing to pick between a dedicated daytime cam and a dedicated night cam may be over! Exciting times.

Stay tuned…

4. Patrios 2-in-1 Tactical LED Light Unit

Hey I just realized we’ve been talking about analog and digital FPV systems, goggles and cameras exclusively. Let’s take a quick break to talk about something completely stupid and ridiculous. Presenting… the Patrios 2-in-1 Tactical LED Light Unit!

[Image of the flashy LED light unit with 4 LEDs]

Now I know what you’re thinking. Wait a hot minute… didn’t he just say this product roundup was for useful, practical FPV gear? Why are we looking at a silly $360 LED flashlight??

Well good question. But hey, if you’re the sort of night owl who flies FPV after dark, having a good powerful light can come in handy for illuminating those cold dark places your FPV camera struggles to make out. Most people will just strap any old LED flashlight to their drone which works fine.

But this Patrios unit has a couple of ‘tactical’ tricks up its sleeve. See those 4 LEDs there? Two are visible spectrum, and two are infrared. So if you pair this with one of those special night vision camera units that have the IR-blocking filter removed, you can see in infrared while anyone else nearby just sees darkness.

I’m not quite sure what the tactical applications of that would be… but hey your imagination is the limit right? Anyway I just had to mention this one because as soon as I saw the name I knew some of you would get a kick out of it. Moving on!

5. HDZero Micro V3 FPV Camera

Alright that’s enough analog and silly LEDs. Time to go HIGH DEFINITION with a new camera from HDZero – the HDZero Micro V3.

Straight away the most interesting thing about this HDZero camera is that it has adopted a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, unlike some other HDZero cams or RunCam models that emulate the 4:3 dimensions common to analog cameras.

As you’d expect from the version number increment, the V3 brings a bunch of improvements over the previous Micro V2:

  • Native 16:9 aspect without vignetting in the corners
  • Sharper optics for improved image clarity
  • Better low light performance
  • Supports full 1080p 30fps high resolution mode

So if airing your cinematic masterpieces in silky smooth 1080p is your jam, this camera will deliver. For racing the smoother clarity of 720p 90fps is still preferable. But the V3 has definitely been optimized to take full advantage of HDZero’s high res modes. Worth checking out for HDZero fans looking maximize image quality!

6. Runcam Night Eagle 2 Vista Version

How about ONE more new camera to round out a bumper month for new FPV cameras!

Runcam have taken their beloved Night Eagle low-light camera, known and loved by analog pilots everywhere… and created a special VISTA version!

So if you fly a DJI FPV drone with Caddx Vista and were less than impressed by the Polar’s night chops… problem solved! Of course the same usual tradeoffs apply regarding daylight image quality. So a side-by-side shootout between the Vista Night Eagle 2 and Vista Polar would be very interesting!

But if the original Night Eagle was your nighttime go-to in the analog days, its neat to now have that option in the digital DJI ecosystem too.

7. iFlight Helon 10″ LR Cinewhoop

Alright, enough cameras… let’s check out some new BNF drones!

First up is this unexpected delight from iFlight – the Helon 10” LR cinewhoop BNF!

Now you might wonder why a 10 inch cinewhoop is noteworthy? Well historically most long-range cinewhoop builds have settled on 7 inch propellers. It seems to be the sweet spot between payload capacity, efficiency, and still reasonable agility. Not too big, not too small!

So why would iFlight ignore convention and go BIGGER with this 10 inch LR BNF?

Well, quite simply… more power! More efficiency! As you scale a multirotor up, each motor/prop combo becomes more efficient. So theoretically, you gain flight time while still carrying chunkier batteries and payloads like large cameras. Of course there are negatives… it won’t handle like a 5 inch freestyle quad, and crashes get real expensive real fast!

But the 10 inch Helon is all about stretching the LR cinewhoop formula to the max with brute force! For $1000 it could be an interesting proposition if you have cash to burn and desire the ultimate long-range camera carrier! Let us know how you get on if you pick one up!

8. GepRC Doman 3.6” & Doman 4.2” LR Toothpicks

More pre-built BNFs up next, this time a pair of new toothpick-style nano-quads from GepRC – the Doman 3.6” and Doman 4.2”.

Yep, despite having different prop sizes, these quads appear to share an almost identical frame and components. In fact the only difference seems to be… the props! Same motors, ESCs, flight controllers – everything.

I must admit I’m surprised they didn’t tweak the recipe slightly across the two variants. For example using a higher KV motor for the smaller 3.6” build. And something around 2400-2500KV for the 4.2” variant. But hey, if it ain’t broke!

GepRC claim both builds will happily carry a GoPro for epic toothpick cinematic adventures. And I’m sure they can lift a GoPro no problem… but actually flying smoothly is another matter! Personally I’d skip the GoPro, throw on an Insta360 Go and shred till the battery dies.

One final note on the Doman series – they introduce GepRC’s new Taker35 flight controller and ESC stack. At around $60 retail it will compete directly with the super popular Speedybee F4 flight controller which has been THE go-to budget FC for the past year.

In fact the specs look almost identical – same sensors, similar MCU power etc. The Taker35 is intriguing but time will tell whether it can match Speedybee’s reputation for rock-solid performance at bargain prices!

9. Ultra-light Digital Builds: iFlight DarkNight 75mm & Flywoo FlyLens85

Remember last year there was a crazy trend for ultra-light builds cramming DJI Air Units into super small 2.5 inch and even 2 inch frames? It was mind-blowing but pushed the limits of what was truly flyable. Sacrificing a lot of performance to shed every last gram.

Well in 2024 the ultra-lights continue to shrink! First up the iFlight DarkNight squeezes the DJI Air Unit into a 75mm build… then Flywoo take it EVEN FURTHER with their FlyLens85 build measuring just 75mm motor to motor! See for yourself:

[Image showing just how tiny the Flywoo FlyLens quad is]

That is genuinely bananas! We thought 85mm builds like the Happymodel Mobula8 were mindblowing. Yet here we are.

Of course the promise of recording smooth 4K DVR even on a featherweight 75mm is super appealing! But there are always compromises when it comes to extreme weight savings. A naked GoPro Hero 10 weighs around 100 grams. So on one of these quads you have over half the weight budget consumed just by the HD video gear!

Performance will be nowhere near a 2.5” quad let alone a full-on 5 incher. These are built purely for flexing, not shredding! But if you value cinematic video above all else, these crazy builds let you chase smooth footage in places no full-size drones can go. Just be prepared to pay for a LOT of replacement parts!

10. FlyfishCN Volador V5 / Tony5 Freestyle Frames

Let’s take a break from cinematics and talk FPV freestyle performance! The FlyfishCN Volador V5 has become a firm favorite frame for freestyle pilots over the past year or two. It just seems to strike the perfect balance of strength, space for electronics, and flight feel.

What ISN’T it known for is being an ultra lightweight build! Which is totally fine by the way – many top pilots actually prefer the stability of a slightly heftier frame. But that does rule out competing in high-level racing events with 250g weight limits for quads.

Well FlyfishCN has been listening to pilots looking for that coveted sub-250 gram 5 inch experience – introducing the new Tony5 carbon fiber freestyle frame! Extensive use of honeycomb composite panels sheds weight while retaining stiffness and crash durability. Just don’t ask me to explain the confusing mix of metric and imperial units in the listing!

If keeping weight down is critical for your needs but the hardcore race frames like the iFlight OMG250 are too skinny and delicate for your tastes, the Tony5 could be a great option at around $120. Let me know what you think if you build one up! Always exciting to see innovation in 5 inch frames which otherwise feel fairly commodity nowadays.

11. Jumper T20 Gemini Radio Transmitter

Remember the Jumper T20 transmitter that came out last year? It blew peoples minds by cramming full size gimbals and plenty of switches into a gamepad-style form factor. Finally a truly portable radio without completely sacrificing hands-on control!

Well Jumper is back again by popular demand with… the T20 GEMINI!

[Image showing the T20 Gemini with its dual antenna setup]

See those dual antennas on top? That’s more than just styling. Diversity refers to radio systems with two individual antenna feeds to increase link resilience. Gemini takes it to another level by having TWO separate transmitters running simultaneously!

This removes what’s called “switching diversity latency” – even brief lag or image glitches when your radio switches between antennas, avoiding interference. Gemini keeps both antenna links live at once. The result is super strong, low latency signal at longer ranges.

I did a full test and review of the first commercially available Gemini module from BetaFPV earlier this year. You can check out my full thoughts in the video linked below. But in summary, Gemini live transmission diversity takes your control link from good to GREAT. For anyone who pushes long range flying or does competitive racing, it’s an absolute game changer being able to maintain a perfect signal out to extreme distances.

Previously the best you could hope for was switching diversity where the receiver picks whichever antenna has least interference at any moment. This usually works great, but there’s always a super brief interruption when it switches over, which could cost you the race! Gemini solves that by blending both antennas flawlessly.

In day to day sport flying you might not notice dramatic benefits from Gemini. But you’ll see major advantages at the limits of range and reliability. Personally I can’t go back after testing it!

Jumper introducing the feature on their awesome T20 goggle-style transmitter is just the cherry on top. No other ready-to-fly radio has this top level tech baked in at a really impressive price. Can’t wait to see some owners hitting insane milestones with the T20 Gemini!

The one potential caveat is that as a new bleeding-edge innovation, there ARE still some quirks with Gemini in terms of radio compatibility and configuring it safely. So my advice would be make sure you carefully check manuals and firmware updates if you dive into these uncharted waters!

12. FlyFISHRC Volador V5/Tony5 Frame Review

Earlier in this roundup we talked about FlyFISHRC and their two frames – the popular Volador V5 plus the new featherweight Tony5 freestyle frame. I realized it’s all well and good me writing about new gear, but what do YOU think about it if you’ve actually flown it?

So I figured why not link to my full review of the Volador V5 which has been out for a while now and I’ve beaten on extensively:

As you’ll see in my review the Volador lives up to the hype in terms of being an absolute tank while still flying great. And spare parts are dirt cheap too which is a rarity! Maybe I should try out the Tony5 too and compare how they both perform… let me know in the comments if you’d find a head to head useful?

Alright, I think that about wraps up the best of the fresh and exciting from January 2024!

Let me know which product you are most pumped to try down in the comments section. And as always, if you do pick up anything using my affiliate links it really does help me keep producing epic FPV content. So thank you for supporting my efforts – now let’s go flying!

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Written By Ben Kline

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