This article was updated on January 1st, 2017.
These days, drones are filling the skies as well as the news headlines. One thing that lots of people use their drones for is area photography or FPV racing. On this page, I will reveal the best FPV drone racing cameras.
It is important to note that these cameras are not suitable for aerial photography as they are designed to be small, light-weight so that the drone can fly as fast as possible during a race. Click here if you looking for the best areal photography drone camera’s 2017.
The Runcam Swift 600TVL comes equipped with the standard 2.1mm lens. It also has an IR filter meaning you accrue no damage when looking directly into IR light. Indeed, it has a high grade OSD menu and has DNR (digital noise reduction.) The camera is of decent quality but it only weighs 12g meaning the quality to weight ratio is quite high. Indeed, this camera is almost perfect. It is cheap, lightweight with a good field of vision and camera quality. However, its voltage unreliability was a small issue for me meaning it comes in at number 5.
This is a great micro camera that is specialized for low light situations. The Sony FPV narrow lens (3.6mm) which means that you cannot capture a vast amount of an image when flying in FPV. In my opinion however, I don’t like a lens that is too wide angle as I think it distracts me from flying. However, many people may disagree with me on that point as they prefer to see more of what is going on when they are flying. The other downside of this camera is that it is quite heavy due to the metal casing (it is 52 grams.) This may slow you down during a flight – however, the casing does protect the camera very well and means that it is mounted onto your quad securely. Also the 700p resolution means that you get a high-quality image when flying in FPV. This is a great little camera.
This camera small and compact weighing just 12g (17g with the bracket). It is a very common camera and many drone pilots use it. This is largely due to the fact that this is a lightweight camera with a decent quality video feedback. The lack of weight means that your drone will not sacrifice speed and hey… who know… that may just win you the race? It gives you color video alongside image adjustment support. I didn’t really notice the image adjustment support making a huge difference when trying out this camera. Nevertheless, the Crazepony RunCam Swift 600TVL does what you’d expect a good FPV camera to do. It’s light, cheap and gives you a decent quality video when flying your drone in FPV. You won’t be disappointed if you buy one of these.
The Aomway Sony CCD 1200TVL FPV camera takes a 5V input. This means that a 5V BEC or voltage regulator is required when using it because if you allow more than 5V to flow into the camera, it may cause irreversible damage. With that being said, this camera has some nifty features. You can swap the lens so that you get your preferred range of vision. I find that the 2.8mm field of view is slightly too narrow so I use a 2.5mm lens that gives me a wider viewing angle. It is also one of those ‘plug in and play’ camera’s which means you don’t need to do any of that complicated setup beforehand. It weighs 22g. The 1200TVL has the best image quality of all the camera’s on this list and therefore I do recommend it to anyone looking for a cheap and reliable FPV drone camera.
I really like the Spektrum VA1100 Ultra Micro FPV camera. Spektrum tell us that they
have combined an FPV camera, transmitter and antenna into a single unit no bigger than a thimble – and I have to agree with that! It is really good for micro-quads due to its incredibly small size and easiness to assemble onto the quad. It uses an analog 5.8GHz receiver which means that it is compatible with the big name brands such as Fat Shark and other FPV companies. As previously mentioned, this is an easy camera to assemble – you don’t need to do any of that complex soldering which is a big win in my opinion. You just attach the camera to the quad and plug in an 1S battery. Also, this camera comes equipped with digital head tracking. The VA1100 is a fixed-position camera. However, you can pan and tilt the field of view when you use it with an FPV headset that also has digital head tracking. This will let you look around during FPV without the need of a gimbal camera mount. However, this camera is slightly more pricey than the others and the video quality is not as good.
Thank you for reading this article and the fact that you’ve got this far means you are in a far better place to buy your FPV camera.