The best FPV mini camera for micro quadcopters top list

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Are you looking for the best fpv camera for micro racing drone and have no idea , which one to buy? We’ ve got couple advices 🙂 and couple of examples  of great mini fpv cameras, perfect for little racing quads 🙂

What we took into consideration:

Weight and size of camera

If you have micro drone , the camera should also be micro. In the case of little quads the weight is very important. Every parts should be as small and as light as possible and fpv camera shouldn’t be an exception. The weight of micro cameras for micro quads might be about : 1.2g -6g.

The size is also important, beacuse FPV camera need fit smaller frame and camera mount. It must to be also well secured. In case of micro quads we have less space for camera , then in case big racing quadcopters, so camera must be mini 🙂

Latency

In case of fast racing quadcopters latency is very important parameter (not only in micro racing quadcopter case), that might decide if you gonna crash or not.  The FPV camera should have low latency, which means that your FPV camera is processing fast the FPV view and have no lag. When the lag is big, you cannot react on time, because FPV is from reality. In this sport every mSec is important.

For the procesing of the view in camera is responsible sensor =CCD is faster then CMOS. Also reslolution is important -TVL. That means higher resoltion = more processing view = high latency.

CMOS and CCD sensor vs. Power consumption

CMOS is the most popular sensor if we speak abour micro racing drones. The new technolgy is coming and it might change rapidly, but now almost all micro size fpv camera have CMOS sensors. But micro cameras with CCD sensor start to appear lately on drone market, so we will speak about them to. The important for us differences between CCD and CMOS sensors, you can find here:

CMOS or CCD senor ? These two have advantages and disadvantages, but is to find avantages for micro quads 🙂 So the best advice will be to pick up less power hungry option. In case of big quads there will be no difference if you pick up power hungry fpv camera with CCD sensor, it won’t the decrease its possibilities. But in case micro racing drone better option is fpv camera with CMOS sensor, which will use less power and allows to power up other parts, without decresing of time of flight or “steal” the power of motors, ESC or FC. Today CMOS sensors have really nice quality and the differences won’t much noticable.

CMOS sensor is also lighter and smaller, as was said before the weight is important in case micro quads. CMOS sensors are also cheaper- it’s always a pro 🙂

To sum;  Power consumption of FPV camera and weight  is important, when we are flying micro quads,that’s is better to choose CMOS. But… In the case you don’t care about power consuption, you want better quality of the view, small fpv camera with CCD sensor are coming:

The Micro Swift is possibly the smallest and lightest FPV camera with CCD sensor on drone market- new technology. Why? 5.6g of weight, so the reduction is big compare to RunCam Swift series… The power consumption is not low -5V@ 150mA, but in example of very powerful micro quads like Lizard 95 or bigger -130mm, powered by 4s battery, the loose of power might not that painfull. And Foxeer Arrow Micro v2 2.1mm 600TVL… but that later:)

TVL ; Horizontal Resolution

If you you want to buy good fpv camera, you should act like you would like to buy TV 🙂 So choose this with the better resolution . Resolution is the number of pixels (individual points of color) contained on a display of camera, expressed in terms of the number of pixels on the horizontal axis and the number on the vertical axis.

The highest TVL = better resolution =the better quality of fpv. The TVL parameter brings clear and sharp fpv view. But you need to remember  the highest TVL, also means higher latency. The quality of the view would be also decreased on analog FPV systems due to limitation of transmission.

Aspect ratio

Aspect ratio always the same 4:3 or 16:9. Most FPV  cameras has apsect ratio 4:3, but the newst models like has 16:9 aspect ratio; The Foxeer Monster or Runcam… Every fpv user knows that 16:9 is better. The truth is that aspect ratio of camera can stretch and squashed due to the aspect ratio of your goggles or dispaly supports, that you are using with FPV camera :

  • stretched  = 4:3  display aspect ratio + fpv camera with 4:3 aspect ratio
  • squashed  = dispaly 4:3 aspect ratio + 16:9 aspect ratio of fpv camera

The point is that every fpv goggles on the market have 4:3 aspect ratio.

Video recording format

Might be two signal system PAL / NTSC and it depends where you are live:

NTSC  video is a little bit smoother than PAL because it is recorded  at a frame rate of 30fps  and PAL at frame rate of 25 fps.

FOV

FOV-, which means field of view.  The wider FOV=the wider view of environment.  This parameter is very subjective; for one user 120 degrees FOV might be distorted, for another very comfortable. FOV depends mostly of the size of the lens; small micro fpv cameras have usually 1.8mm- 2.8mm and different FOV;decent FPV camera starts from 120 degrees to 175, so  the best way is just to try different options of cameras and read the descrpition .

The vertical range of the visual field in humans is 150 degrees and in the most fpv micro cameras FOV is near 140 degrees and for most fpv pilots it’s eyes friendly option 🙂 The only advice is that every fpv pilot should look for FOV, nearly close to his natural viewpoint.

The other subject is eye defects and vision organ disease… Like I said FOv is very individual…

Pick up the the best FOV for you:

The FOV should be to wide in case not big lenses in fpv cameras to avoid fisheye lens:

and not to narrow, because you won’t see nothing and you gonna hit the tree ;(

FPV.tv  types of micro fpv cameras for mini racers , worth your attention are:

Runcam Micro Swift 2

Like was said before the smallest fpv camera with CCD sensor with the maximum reduction of the weight 5,6g. Still power hungry: 134mA at 5v: but brings great, sharp fpv view and has low latency 33.8 ms . It’s also quite expensive  35$ . Extra feature is OSD.

Specifications:

Image Sensor:1/3″ Super HAD II CCD
Horizontal Resolution:600TVL
Weight:5.6g
Size: 19mm x 19mm x 19mm
Lens and FOV :2.1mm (M8) FOV 160°/2.3mm FOV 145°
Recording System:PAL / NTSC
Aspect ratio: 4:3
Extra: OSD
Power consumption: 12V@60mA / 5V@130mA
One Key Scene:Personal / Lightrax / Outdoor / Indoor / Cloudy / Twilight
S/N Ratio >60dB (AGC OFF)
Electronic Shutter Speed : PAL: 1/50~100,000; NTSC: 1/60~100,000
Auto Gain Control (AGC) : Yes
Minimum Illumination :0.01Lux@1.2F
WDR: D-WDR
DNR: 2DNR
Day/Night: Color/Auto/B&W
Power: DC 5-36V

Cheap “no name” super mini 1000 TVL camera

Great quality of the view, extremaly light and small, 1000TVL CMOS camera and  cheap- 12$.

Specifications:

Resolution:1000TVL
Sensor:CMOS
Lens and FOV : 2.8mm 170 Degrees
Weight: 1.2g
Seize: 8×8 mm
Sensor: 1/4″CMOS
Resolution: Ultra High Definition 1000TVL
PAL: 1280 X 960
Aspect ratio:4:3
Lux: 0.008Lux
Format:PAL
Input Voltage: 3.3-5V
Power Consumption: 80mA 5v
Operating temperature: -10 to 50°C

Foxeer Arrow Micro V2 600TVL 150 Degree

The newest small FPV camera with CCD sensor on the board. Small but not exactlty light; 9,6g… Not exactly cheap 39$… But with amazing quality of the view and low power consumption 70mA at 5v. Compact beast from great brand. High quality.OSD on the board.

Specifications:

Sensor: 1/3” SUPER HAD II CCD+Nextchip 2040 DSP
Color: Blue,Black,Orange
Size: 19×18.5mm
Weight: 5.5g
Recording system PAL 976(H) x 494/NTSC 768(H)×494(V)
Resolution: 600TVL(color) 650TVL(B&W)
Synchronization: internal
Min. Illumination: 0.01Lux
WDR: support
OSD programming board: support
White Dot Repair: support
DNR: 2D DNR
Camera Title: support
Image Adjustment: support
OSD: Edit Name, Power, Flying time,preset several whether mode, reserved 2 modes for users
Input Power: 5-40V
Storage Temperature: -40 C ~ 60 C
Working Temperature: -10 C ~ 50 C
Power Consumption: 70mA
Low voltage alarm: Support
Preset mode: DEF, VIVID, SUNNY, CLOUDY,USR1,USR2

KingKong 800TVL 150 Degree Camera

Small and comapct camera from KinKong. Very light -2g and with really good view… Also very cheap -9$.Really low power consumption option 70ma at 5v.

Specifications:

Sensor:CMOS
Horizontal resolution: 800 TVL
Size: 12mm x 12mm x 12mm
Weight: 2g
Pixels: 5 million
Minimum illumination: 0.5LUX
Signal-to-noise ratio: ≥ 48dB
Gamma: 0.45
Recording system: PAL 50 fps; NTSC 60 fps
White Balance: Auto
Audio: Mono
Video output: 1Vp-p 75 Ω
Lens: 1.8mm
FOV: 170 degrees
Operating temperature: -10℃ ~ +50℃
Supply Voltage:module 3.3-5V
Power consumption: 70mA

You can watch the review of Micro Swift 2, Kingkong 800tvl and 1000tvl camera here:

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