This article compares the specs of all the popular AIO FPV camera and VTX combo (all in one) for tiny whoops and micro quads. We will also give our views on their image quality and value to help you decide which is best for your need.
If you are into Tiny Whoops or micro quads in general, don’t forget to check out my run down of all the latest whoop flight controllers and how their specs compare to each other.
What’s an “AIO Camera VTX”?
AIO Camera VTX is an FPV camera and video transmitter combo that comes in one single unit, hence the name “AIO” (all in one).
AIO camera VTX is widely used in micro quads, because it’s very compact, light weight and extremely convenient. All you need is to connect power and you can receive video on your goggles. It’s also easier to mount in a quad, less headache when it comes to building.
Common Features and Considerations
VTX Power and Channels
These AIO camera VTX units are all very similar in terms of specs, the standard has become a 25mw VTX that can transmit on 40 to 48 channels (5 to 6 bands). What really separates these products is mainly the camera image quality, and their ability to deal with light changes (for example how well/quick it handles transition from light to dark).
SmartAudio and Betaflight OSD Support
Some of the latest AIO camera/VTX support additional features, such as SmartAudio (allows you to change video channels from your transmitter) and the ability to use Betaflight OSD (on screen display of flight info and menu for changes of setting). These are definitely make them more desirable, once you are spoiled by these features, it gets tough to fly without them.
There are two main types of antennas used – dipole antenna (whip antenna) or circularly polarized (CP) antenna. See my FPV antenna guide to learn more about the differences between the different types of antenna.
As to which type of antenna we should use depends heavily on the particular setup as well as the environment. For general flying, I personally prefer dipole antennas for the simplicity, durability and light weight. We don’t generally require much more range on those micro quads than what these antennas provide anyway.
Even if there was a particular antenna you prefer, usually it can be swapped out fairly easily.
Separation between Camera and VTX
Traditionally AIO camera VTX combo have the VTX hard mounted on the back of the camera, and the connection are made via solder pins.
Some of the newer AIO’s have separate camera and VTX modules, and they are connected by silicon wires.
This accommodates a wider range of mounting styles, and creates more creative opportunity for a lower stack when building a low profile micro. One popular approach to have the camera mounted at a slight angle with the VTX laying flat on top of the FC.
Another benefit is that it allows you to cut the video wire between the VTX and camera, and connect them to the flight controller in order to use Betaflight OSD.
Comparison Table of All AIO Camera/VTX
I’ll be comparing prices and specs, as well as leaving recommendations on the top of the range, as well as best-for-budget products.
|Click for Info||Price||Weight||Output||SmartAudio||BF OSD||Antenna||Image Quality|
|BetaFPV Z02||$28||4.2g||25mW, 200mW||Yes||Yes||Dipole||Really like the colours, good transitions going from bright to dark|
|BetaFPV H01||/||3.6g||25mW||No||No||Dipole||Bad at low light, cant see much, flat colours, overall not great|
|BetaFPV H02||$25||3.6g||25mW||No||Yes||Dipole||Saturation a bit high but nice picture, okay at variations in light but have seen better|
|BetaFPV T01||$22||3.3g||25mW||No||Yes||Dipole||Performance unknown|
|Eachine TX02||$18||4.6g||200mW||No||No||CP||Flat colours, clunky white balance|
|Eachine TX02Pro||$16||5.8g||200mW||Yes||Yes||CP||Performance unknown|
|Eachine TX01S||$23||4.0g||25mW||/||Yes||Dipole||Good colours, good response to light, looks nice|
|Eachine DVR03||$29||6.8g||25mW, 200mW||No||No||CP||Okay colours, not great with light changes but has DVR|
|Eachine TX03||$21||6.0g||25mW, 200mW||No||No||CP||Quite flat colours, a bit dark when looking at clouds|
|Eachine TX04||$12||4.0g||25mW||No||No||Dipole||Mediocre colours, blown out sometimes indoors|
|Eachine TX06||$23||2.8g||25mW||Yes||Yes||Dipole||Okay cam, colours a bit off and doesn’t deal with dark very well|
|Eachine F7 (US65 Spare)||$23||3.4g||25mW||Yes||Yes||Dipole||Good, dull colour but adjusts to light changes well|
|Turbowing Cyclops V3||4.2g||25mW||Yes||Yes||Dipole||Has DVR, good colours on the recording, reacts okay to light|
|Turbowing Cyclops V2||3.3g||25mW||Yes||Yes||Dipole||Nice cam, colours a bit weak but deals well with light changes|
|Caddx Beetle||3.0g||25mW||/||Yes||Dipole||Slightly less colourful but very good with light management, nice camera|
|Caddx Firefly||$25||4.2g||25mW||Yes||Yes||Dipole||Decent image, good colours, deals with sun very well|
|FX806T||$40||2.1g||25mW||No||Yes||Dipole||Doesn’t deal very well with bright lights, colours okay|
|FX905TW||/||3.4g||25mW, 200mW||No||Yes||CP||Not the brightest image, okay colours, handles light okay|
|FX798||4.5g||25mW||No||No||CP||Quite flat colours, white balance too low seems blown out|
Best of the Best – Caddx Firefly & BetaFPV Z02
The Z02 from BetaFPV, and Firefly from Caddx are the standout products in the list. They both provide a boat load of features, have a great image and are priced reasonably.
Get the BetaFPV Z02 from:
- GetFPV: http://bit.ly/30OL4sT
- RDQ: http://bit.ly/2zDkk2j
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MNqp51
Get the Caddx Firefly from:
- Banggood: http://bit.ly/34g9nSA
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ZAASXl
- RDQ: http://bit.ly/2ZAEAjX
They cost $25 and $28 respectively and both weigh about the same. The image quality of these two cameras are comparable, despite the Caddx claiming a much higher “1200TVL” over the BetaFPV’s “600TVL”.
TVL stands for “TV lines”. Higher TVL should give you sharper image. However, I couldn’t really tell much difference between the image quality of these two cameras. It’s entirely possible that TVL is just a made-up number by manufacturers just like C-Rating in LiPo batteries.
Personally, I found the Z02 to have slightly flatter colours whereas the Firefly has a tad higher saturation. Both cameras however do look very good for the compact size. They both have decent wide dynamic range (WDR), and react quickly to changes in light conditions without being completely blown out.
Z02 winning features: offers 25mW to 200mW output, so if you want more power for penetration, for example, flying through your house, you can easily change it via BF OSD and SmartAudio using your transmitter.
However, having 200mW may only be useful when you’re by yourself. If you used 200mW while another pilot was only on 25mW, you would find your video heavily bleeding over the other pilots’s feed and causing them video issues. Using channels that are as far away as possible will help, but it will still limit how many people you can fly with at the same time.
Firefly winning features: offers the flexibility of having both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, so those who prefer 16:9 FPV goggles will no longer have to see the distorted, stretched 4:3 image. It also outputs in both NTSC and PAL (selectable) which is another useful feature.
Overall, you really can’t go wrong with either the Z02 or the Firefly for the price. Before buying, I would suggest checking some videos on Youtube to see which image you prefer, and question how often you will need the 200mw output power, which would be great for extended range and flying behind obstacles, but not “group friendly”.
They both have a whip antenna, and both connect the camera to the VTX via wires, giving a lot of flexibility on mounting, and allowing for a lower profile stack when building.
Best Budget AIO – Eachine TX06
Buy the Eachine TX06 from: http://bit.ly/2ZH99Eq
The Eachine TX06 offers a reasonable image with okay colours for only $12. it doesn’t deal with large fluctuations in lighting condition very well, but for the price you can’t really go wrong, especially if you’re mostly flying indoors where the lighting doesn’t change.
It gives you the ability to use BF OSD AND Smart Audio as the cables from the camera aren’t not soldered onto the VTX, giving you premium features for an incredible price.
If the VTX is separated from the camera and isn’t hard mounted on, this would easily be one of my favourite AIO’s. Personally, I do not like the VTX orientation as it makes the drone taller due to the upright VTX antenna. However, if you aren’t fussed by this and just want to make a cheap micro, this would be a great purchase for you.
I found that the cameras in a lot of these AIO’s, such as the Cyclops v2, Eachine F7, and the Eachine TX04, are all very similar. But they either offer less features, cost more or weigh more, hence why I feel the Eachine TX06 is the best camera for the value.
Worthy Mentions – FX806T & Eachine F7
Buy the FX806T from: http://bit.ly/2LfpJU9
Buy the Eachine F7 from: http://bit.ly/2NKh3qg
These products had more drawbacks than the above, hence why they weren’t rated higher in this article. They do however have some strong points that are definitely worth mentioning.
First off, the FX806T appears to be a really good choice overall if your budget can stretch to the $40 asking price. (Update Sep 2019, it’s currently on sale on GETFPV for only $27)
It doesn’t offer Smart Audio capability but you can use Betaflight OSD.
The highlight of this AIO camera VTX, is the weight. It’s the lightest product on the list coming in at only 2 grams! For someone wanting to squeeze the most performance out of a micro drone, trying to shave every gram possible, this is definitely the camera VTX combo for you.
Next we have the Eachine F7 (US65 spare part). This camera is in every US/UR65 micro drone, and you can buy this AIO as a spare part to use on any other drones. I like to call it the F7 because it has “F7” printed on the PCB. This might be one of the most widely spread cameras that people don’t even realise they have.
It deals well with quick light changes, has slightly flat colours but overall is a good camera that many people use. It offers all the features you would expect such as SmartAudio and Betaflight OSD, and is a solid AIO for only $23.
Not For a Whoop? Eachine DVR03 & TX02Pro
Get the Eachine DVR03 from: http://bit.ly/32lefUJ
Get the TX02Pro from: http://bit.ly/2Zt3vqj
These camera VTX combo’s might be a little too heavy to be on a 65mm brushed/brushless tiny whoop. I think where these two cameras would really excel is on a small wing or plane.
I feel that the built-in DVR on the DVR03 would be wasted on a tiny whoop because it would add too much weight and reduce the manoeuvrability of such a small quadcopter. However on a micro plane or wing would be great for recording flight video directly from the camera, that is higher quality than the DVR on the goggles.
As for the TX02Pro, having only 200mW output on a micro quad will be troublesome when flying with others, but not a problem when flying by yourself.
Both products are also quite bulky, so making a compact micro quad with these would be quite difficult.
The Rest of the AIO Camera VTX
There is nothing inherently wrong with all the other cameras that haven’t been mentioned, but they don’t really stand out to the point where I felt they needed mentioning.
However, if you see a camera that matches your requirements in the list, feel free to write about your views on them in the comments. This will certainly help out others that may be wanting something similar to your setup.
I must admit I would be wary of 200mw on an AIO. The normal 25mw types get pretty hot on a whoop, so much so that if fixed with hot melt glue, the glue is likely to soften. I imagine 200mw would be worse.
I have some Turbo Cyclops V2 types and the image quality isn’t brilliant, but adequate. Rather dark, a bit fuzzy.
The absolute lightest (very important for a brushed 65mm) I have come across are LST-S2+ from Amazon.
This is a nice review, what I mis is if they are filtering noise. I got a brushed 65mm quad, and did buy a cam who doesn’t filter at all. Did try 1s lc filter and different elco’s but its unflyable.
So I need a aio tiny lightweight cam who also filter noise.
Who can tell me?
Hello, did you really test the Caddx Beetle v1? I (and a friend of mine) have one and none of them can work below 3.5V, so not usable at all on a Whoop. Reminder: the spec states that it works from 2.5V to 5.5V…
Get a receive with video out, and a car dvd monitor
Missing the AKK cameras! They are cheap and very effective, and offer features no other current camera does! One of my favorites is the AKK A3-OSD. This is 25mW / 200 mW switchable. The solder pad for the dipole accepts a normal UF.L connector allowing you to swap to a more quality UF.L Antenna like the Lumenier Micro AXII Shorty. But best of all it has a built in OSD! This allows you to go get flight time, battery voltage, callsign, channel, and output power, even without a flight controller! This makes it ideal for retrofitting FPV onto things like 1S planes, small cars, and so on!
The FX806T does not weigh 2.1 grams. The camera alone w/o the VTX weighs 2 grams
Were are all the AKKTEK camera’s?
The Caddx Beetle is my go-to for around the house whooping. $10-12, clip the video pin and wire from the cam to video in on the FC and video out on the FC to the vtx and boom, you’ve got OSD. I prefer the camera to the Firefly (which is supposedly nicer). Great little AIO.
The caddx beetle is my go to whoop camera its as light as any and handles light changes extremely well. I haven’t tried the tx06 yet though because I can get the beetle for $10 give or take a dollar and the beetle get really good range when I put a tuned dipole on it.
Yes they make a usb receiver for your phone but, it adds latency to the fpv feed this may or lay not be an issue depending on the rc car you plan to use. I would instead suggest getting a stand alone rx and hooking it to your tv or getting a cheap monitor with vrx built in. There is also the box goggle option but, for anything decent it’s going to be a bit more than a stand alone vrx or small 4.3in fpv screen.
I’m looking at getting one of these to put on an rc car for a project but don’t want to buy expensive goggles; can you an get inexpensive receiver and stream it to a computer or Android?
You can but the latency would make it really hard to control