Monitors — a super bright option — that enables pilots to fly their drones when the sun is shining brightly. Because most phones and tablets have not been designed to compete with the sun, on a bright and clear day, it can be impossible to see all the data displayed on the phone while flying.
One nit = one candela = is the amount of light one candle spreads over three square feet (one square) meter. The more candelas per square feet, the higher the nits — the brighter it is. Because the typical phone is probably 400 or possibly 500 nits, such brightness is not enough when flying a drone on a sunny day. The alternatives to this are: The CrystalSky High Brightness monitor, which pumps out 1,000 candelas per square meter (three feet) or the Ultra Brightness version pumps out 2,000 cd/m², that is, 1,000 or 2,000 nits.
The DJI CrystalSky monitors are very popular because The Android-based devices make it possible to download the latest software and run it the same way as the phone or tablet. That’s part of what pushes the price up. While the CrystalSky monitors are ultra-bright, they are not ultra-cheap.
The Spanish Solution
PNBE is a non-profit company based in Spain whose vision is to provide quality photographic and video products to its creators at cost. And, part of this vision is starting to manufacture super-bright — LED displays — that are made in Spain.
PNBE makes 4K-capable monitors ranging from 5″ to 7″ diagonally and the brightness is dependent on what is selected, whether they are models rated at 2,000, 2,500, or even 3,000 nits. Three thousand nits is theoretically bright enough for flying a drone on the brightest day that is even surrounded by snow.
There is a draw-back, however, since LED does not have an Android operating system. This is not a serious problem if the product features an HDMI out in the controller. In the case of the Phantom 4 series, an HDMI adaptor that screws onto the back of the existing controller can be added.
This super bright option is also the first product that PNBE has produced, and it is part of its vision that videographers, photographers, and drone pilots have access to an affordable solution. Since flying drones is virtually always done outdoors in daylight where a high brightness unit is essential.
The 7″ monitor is made of plastic that seems solid, and the brass metal tripod threading, which PNBE has put one on all four edges, appears to be solidly fastened. It has a full-sized HDMI in and out, in addition to a standard USB input. It has a hot shoe adapter can be mounted on a camera and swiveled forward or backward to the ideal position before locking it with the included hex key. And this comes in a compact semi-rigid case.
Although high-brightness monitors are not inexpensive, the price is comparable to far dimmer portable monitors.
While this initiative of producing The CrystalSky High Brightness monitor by PNBE is another important advancement in drone technology, many anticipate the day when drones will be sold with controllers that include integrated screens with 2,000-3,000 nit brightness.