Why is my drone’s LCD so dark? And what is DJI CrystalSky?
Why is my drone’s LCD so dark? And what is DJI CrystalSky?

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about drone LCD brightness and DJI’s CrystalSky monitor. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

Hey Drone Girl,

I am new to the drone world. I am hoping to incorporate the aerial photography into my roofing consulting business. I purchased a DJI Phantom 3 Professional and love its user-friendliness; however, I cannot seem to get a clear view of what the camera is viewing. It is taking video and stills but the view is dark. I have adjusted the brightness up all the way to no avail. I have tried using my iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy and iPad, and the results are the same. I have tried using a glare shield, which is a slight help. I was wondering if I need to purchase those goggles I see others using? Maybe I should put my head into a pillow case or box? 

-Bill

Hey Bill,

No need to put your head in a pillow case! But you’re right; drone LCDs with low brightness are a serious issue.

Such a serious issue, that in fact, DJI announced at CES 2017 a prototype for a new product called CrystalSky, a monitor with an ultra-bright screen designed to be clearly visible in sunlight. With 2000 cd/m² of brightness, it’s more than four times as bright as most mobile devices. The monitor is designed to function with a range of DJI’s drones, including the Inspire 2 and Inspire 1 series, Phantom 4 series, Matrice series and the Phantom 3 Professional, which you have.

It is expected to be released later this year, which unfortunately means you can’t use it now.

That being said, there are some other alternatives:

  1. Turn up the brightness all the way on your phone or tablet.
  2. Buy a DJI Phantom monitor hood. DJI sells them for just $12-16. I’ve also seen cheaper, off-brand versions on Amazon that get good reviews, though I haven’t tried any of these myself.
  3. As for those goggles you mention, those are FPV goggles. Those could certainly help solve your problem, however, keep in mind that if you are used to flying line of sight (being able to see the drone), then this is going to be a very differently flying experience. FPV goggles mean you see what the drone’s camera sees. Personally, I find it more difficult to fly this way because I learned how to fly line of sight style. If you want to get FPV goggles, I recommend the FatShark Dominator goggles. I have a pair myself and they are fantastic (and they are compatible with your DJI Phantom 3 Professional).
  4. Another possibly interesting solution is the Brother AiRscouter goggles. The AiRScouter is a hybrid solution for looking down at your smartphone screen vs. looking solely through FPV goggles; this is a headset with a screen on one eye that displays exactly what your drone’s camera sees. That leaves your other eye to maintain visual line of sight with the drone. I reviewed the AiRScouter goggles a few months back and it did take some getting used to, so if your eyes already struggle with brightness on the tablet, they may also struggle with the brightness of the AiRscouter.

Have you struggled with video screen brightness and come up with an awesome solution? Let me know in the comments below!

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About the Author: Nana Gastaldi