The Best FPV Camera for FPV Drones

by Oscar

This post features some of the best FPV cameras for FPV drones. Your choice of FPV camera can massively affect flying experience because of the different performance in wide dynamic range, latency, FOV etc. All these factors determine how well you can see obstacles in different lighting conditions and how fast you can react to avoid a crash.

If you are new to FPV drones, make sure to check out my tutorial on the basics of FPV camera. For other mini quad product recommendations, check out my “Best FPV Product” series.


The Best DJI Compatible FPV Cameras

These cameras might be from different manufacturers, but they are all compatible with the DJI FPV System. Note that they can’t be used with analogue FPV system, only DJI.

In my opinion, the main consideration when choosing a DJI FPV compatible camera is whether they can do 120fps or 60fps refresh rate. The 120FPS cameras support low latency mode, which can bring your latency down to around 30ms while 60FPS cameras typically has a latency around 40ms.

Also 120fps cameras allow you to adjust image settings like switching between 4:3 and 16:9, white balance, saturation and exposure, while 60 fps cameras are 16:9 aspect ratio only.

Best DJI Camera for Day Time: Caddx Nebula Pro

The Nebula Pro basically has identical image quality to the original DJI camera, which I like the most personally for day time lighting condition, and it’s also a 120fps camera. If you are already using the Original DJI camera, you don’t really need to switch, but if you are buying a new camera today, this is the one I would recommend because it has a micro size mounting which fits majority of the frames available today. The main downside of the Nebula Pro is its low light performance, for that you probably want to get the Polar if you mostly fly at night.

Buy Nebula Pro:

Best DJI Camera for Low Light – Caddx Polar

Caddx Polar Fpv Camera

After testing the Caddx Polar, it’s clear that it’s the best when it comes to low light performance. In fact it performs pretty well too during the day, making it a decent all round FPV camera. The main downside however, is that it’s a 60fps camera, which has a bit more latency than the Nebula Pro’s 120fps, and it’s locked to 16:9 aspect ratio.

Buy Caddx Polar:

Best Smallest DJI Camera – Caddx Nebula Pro Nano

The Caddx Nebula Pro Nano is great for small FPV drones. It’s simply the smaller version of the brilliant Nebula Pro, supports 4:3 aspect ratio as well as 120fps. However, image quality isn’t quite as good as the larger Nebula Pro due to the smaller sensor and lens, still, it’s the best you can get in all the nano size cameras. Note: DO NOT get confused with the Nebula Nano, which is pretty disappointing.

Buy Nebula Pro Nano:


The Best Analogue FPV Camera

Top Of The Line: Foxeer T-Rex

Creator: Gd Jpeg V1.0 (using Ijg Jpeg V62), Quality = 80

The Foxeer T-REX is one of the best cameras in terms of image detail and sharpness. Whether or not the advertised 1500TVL is true, the T-REX does indeed give you outstanding image quality. Even though analog FPV is nowhere near the level of HD video when it comes to image detail, you can still tell how much more you can see with the T-REX compared to other cameras.

Buy Foxeer T-Rex:

Best Value: Caddx Ratel 2

Creator: Gd Jpeg V1.0 (using Ijg Jpeg V62), Quality = 80

The Caddx Ratel 2 has been around for years and gained considerably large amount of positive reviews. It’s a relatively cheap camera for the performance it has to offer. Good balance of WDR and contrast, no digital artefacts and natural colour.

Buy Caddx Ratel 2:

The Ratel 2 is too big for your frame? Try the nano size (14x14mm) Baby Ratel 2. It’s affordable, lightweight and has great image quality.

Buy Caddx Baby Ratel 2 Nano

Popular for Racing: Foxeer Predator Micro

Probably one of the most popular FPV cameras among FPV racing pilots. The reason is simple, it has ultra-low latency, and the high resolution and image contrast really make obstacles to stand out. It also has a wide field of view which is desired in racing, and it’s pretty cheap too.

Buy Foxeer Predator Micro:

Need an even smaller Predator? Check out the Predator Nano with 14x14mm size.

Buy Foxeer Predator Nano:

Best Low Light: Foxeer Micro CAT 3

Creator: Gd Jpeg V1.0 (using Ijg Jpeg V62), Quality = 80

The Foxeer Micro CAT 3 is a great camera fo low light FPV with its high light sensitivity. Most other starlight cameras either only does black and white, or barely useable during daytime, however the CAT is actually a useable camera for day time flying too, although that’s not really what it’s designed for.

Buy Foxeer Micro CAT:

If you need a Nano size camera for night time flying, the Toothless 2 Nano starlight is a pretty good choice. Make sure to get the Starlight version for low light though.

Buy Foxeer Toothless 2 Nano Starlight

Best Nano FPV Camera

Performance of Nano cameras is not as good Full size or Micro cameras due to the smaller sensor and lens. I’d only use Nano cameras under extreme restrictions of weight and size, like in a whoop or 2.5″ micro.

In this post I tested all of the popular nano size cameras.


Caddx Ant – Best Budget

It works well for the most part out of the box. Easy to use as you don’t have to mess with the setting.

Purchase:


Runcam Phoenix 2 Nano – Best Performance

It allows you to change settings and have full control of the camera, more powerful and works better in a wider range of conditions.

Purchase: 

All FPV Cameras in a Spreadsheet!

Here is a spreadsheet including all the FPV cameras which I constantly update.

I compiled the specifications of all FPV cameras for mini quad in this spreadsheet so you can compare them more closely.

Edit History

  • Mar 2017 – Article created
  • Oct 2017 – Updated Eagle 2, Added Micro Swift 2, Remove Runcam Owl 2
  • Dec 2017 – Added Foxeer Predator
  • Feb 2018 – Updated Micro FPV Cameras, added a test between popular options
  • Sep 2019 – Updated products
  • Mar 2022 – changed URL, updated products, added DJI compatible FPV cameras

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14 comments

Oscar 18th May 2022 - 1:43 pm

Hi Oscar, could you also add split cameras shootout in your comparisons? Like Firefly V4.0, Runcam hybrid, Caddx Loris, etc… I think they’re great alternatives for people who can’t afford analog camera + recording camera combo. They might be the next FPV improvement, independently from analog to digital conversion we’re seeing currently.

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Marcelo 2nd May 2022 - 4:39 pm

Oscar, always you are one the best in information, thanks for share

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Merin Kumar 17th March 2022 - 5:52 pm

I have a T-rex, want to know what camera settings I need to change for good FPV/Freestyle from defaults?

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Echo 16th April 2018 - 10:14 pm

Hi everyone,
Sorry to disturb but I am having huge difficulties with my Foxeer Arrow V3. I have tried many different settings and configurations, but every time the image is really dark and I can’t make out any details. It is definitely not the VTx as I have tried 3 different ones and it can’t be the antenna. I can see perfectly well inside, but the moment I go outside, all details go really dark and I can hardly see anything. I can still see the sky well though. Please can someone help me as this is my first mini quad and I am stuck on LOS as I can’t see a thing through FPV. I also recently added a capacitor and it only helped to remove noise and nothing else. Now I have a nice noise-free video feed which is still dark.

Kind regards.

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Chris C 2nd February 2018 - 4:35 pm

What country are you in? I just assumed it was the US until I saw the smaller cars, license plates, and the lack of SUVs.

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Sean Morison 2nd February 2018 - 4:29 pm

In some ways I preferred the Caddx, definitely needs brightness and color adjustment. The light adjustment is worse on the Caddx, but perhaps because it has a high brightness setting, it is adjusting a lot more.

Curious how my F1 will be.

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M Argus Chopin Gyver 14th September 2017 - 1:24 pm

Are there post need to be updated?
I mean really, we have a really good micro camera that can shaved your multicopter weight and can deliver so similar picture quality with the bigger one

Just sayin :)

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Oscar 18th September 2017 - 4:28 am

yes we try to keep these posts updated every couple of months, I just need to find the time to do it :)

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Kavin 10th June 2017 - 8:39 am

Can you to be honest with your followers? you are misleading, why you list all the new version Runcam, but list very very old Foxeer cameras, I am using Monster V2, it is better than eagle and cheaper, and Foxeer is first make this size camera, Runcam follow, then Foxeer add OSD in the camera, Runcam copy, what is next?

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Oscar 12th June 2017 - 4:57 pm

The result is based on our survey, we have no control on what people prefer to use.

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Owen Hayes 25th April 2017 - 6:07 am

I would add the fatshark 1207 (16:9, 960 tvl) to this list, especially if you have a dominator v3.

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Aldo A. 29th March 2017 - 8:40 pm

Oscar.

Foxeer also has their “pocket” version of the CCD camera, marketed as XAT600SM. It doesn’t have a fancy case like the swift mini, but it is the direct contender.

surveilzone.com/dc5v-22v-17-17mm-super-mini-600tvl-sony-super-had-ccd-super-fpv-camera

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Craig Fisher 27th March 2017 - 7:52 pm

I am very new to flying quadcopters. I have a strong need for some type of camera that I can view and record on my Samsung S-7 Smartphone. It appears to me that the WiFi signals from the best cameras will only send a signal 10 meters. I need to be able to view a live signal on my drone at least 300 meters. Will the FPV format allow me to do this and if so, what all to I need besides the camera? I suspect there has to be some kind of receiver that can transmit the signal to my Samsung 7?
Any help at all would be appreciated.

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Ben Portman 29th March 2017 - 9:44 pm

You’d need a wifi booster on the quadcopter… but it’s not really your quadcopter that’s the problem, it’s your phone, most phone’s wifi antenna are truly shyte. That’s so we get small phones! I’d watch this youtube.com/watch?v=NgLFhU5Mbh4 , Andy there does a lot of good stuff and it’s worth subscribing to his channel.
You seem to want to go a different root to most of us use, that would be an FPV system..let’s say a Eachine TX03, which has a flyable camera and a video transmitter combined , it needs a 5v supply (from you flight controller?) to send back a good image to some goggles, say Hobby king Quanums or Furibee vx 1’s if you’re really looking for cheap stuff, I use JJr pro somethings.
On larger quads, and I’m talking larger as being over 120mm these days! to record full 1080 most of us would use a mobius mini, mobius, runcam… the rich blokes would use a go pro. There are so many action cams out there (Aldi are selling a 4K action cam for £45 right now) you just strap that on, point it where your FPV camera points and press record before you fly.
Using a phone for FPV right now is complicated and probably won’t give as good results as the system I suggested above. The latency involved in send a full 1080, even 720 makes anything more that cruising about very diffcult, and you would loose quality. I know the Samsung has an excellent screen (maybe overkill for the size of it) but It’s going to be hard to get an image of that quality back to it from a quadcopter at this point in time…in 2 years…. well….

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