Review: Caddx Tarsier 4K Camera

After using the Caddx Tarsier 4K camera for a while now, here is what I think. I am going to keep this review brief and go straight to the good and bad things I noticed while using it.

I am testing the camera in the Beta85X 4K Whoop (review), so thanks to BetaFPV.

Buy the Caddx Tarsier 4K Camera from here: http://bit.ly/tarsier-4k (currently on sale)

Dual Cameras

I am sure 99% of the people who are interested in the Tarsier because of the dual cameras.

At first I thought the dual camera setup looks cool and could be some fancy stabilization technology, which is widely used on smartphones. But not really, the top camera is for HD recording while the bottom camera is used for the FPV feed.

This is essentially a 4K HD camera sitting on top of an FPV camera, this ensures low latency with better FPV image quality. I do like how the FPV image looks, especially WDR and light handling. It’s better than the Turtle and the Split, because their FPV feed is shared with the HD recording. I will upload some FPV footage shortly.

But the extra camera means extra hardware, and that’s why there are two PCB’s.

What You See Isn’t What You are Recording

With Split style camera with only 1 lens, like the Runcam Split or Caddx Turtle, what you see in the FPV goggles is exactly what you are recording in HD. However, with the Tarsier, that’s not the case since now there are two separate cameras.

If you are shooting very close to an object, the HD video will appear to be shooting at a higher angle than what you see in the goggles. That’s not a problem though when you are shooting from a distance. But still that’s a bit annoying as you have to constantly remind yourself of this when flying.

And the vertical FOV in HD seems to be significantly smaller than that in FPV feed. I guess he top and bottom of the frame are cropped in order to fit the 4:3 frame in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Mounting Requirement

The Tarsier takes a lot of space to install due to its bulky dual-PCB design. The mounting holes are 20x20mm, so for the majority of builds that uses 30x30mm or 16x16mm FC stack will need some sort of adapter.

Make sure to mount the camera in a rigid frame/bracket to avoid jello in the HD footage.

Convenient WiFi App

The Tarsier has built-in WiFi and you can connect it to a smartphone to change settings, just like the Runcam Split 2. First you have to download the CaddxFPV app and I really like the APP design. Settings include ISO, Video Encoding, Brightness, Contrast etc…

Blurry Flying Video

The image is quite sharp when holding the camera in my hand, but it loses sharpness noticeably in flight when recording in 4K 30FPS. The blurriness gets even worse if your quad has oscillations and wobbles.

Using lower resolution (e.g. 1080p or 1440p) with higher frame rate seems to be an improvement, and footage appears to be slightly more fluid. But that defeats the purpose of the Tariser since it’s marketed as a 4K camera.

ND Filter

Caddx made an ND filter (ND8) for the Tarsier: http://bit.ly/2xJOGiL

But why did they design it to cover both camera lenses? It makes no sense to dim or create motion blur for the FPV feed.

Split Huge Video Files

I tested the Tarsier using 4K 30fps with the highest bitrate. You have to set bit rate in the App, because by default it’s using medium.

The video files are split every 3 minutes, with an average file size of 1.6GB. It will fill up your SD card really quickly, so you should get 64GB or larger cards.

Here is my SD card recommendation.

Sample Footage

Here are some demo footage of FPV, HD, with and without ND filter in 1080p:

Here is the raw 4K footage uploaded to Youtube:

10 thoughts on “Review: Caddx Tarsier 4K Camera

    1. Esp1

      With this: banggood.com/no/Caddx-Camera-Flight-Controller-FC-Cable-Wire-Support-OSD-Configuration-for-Tarsier-Turtle-Ratel-FPV-RC-Drone-p-1516621.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=CN

      Reply
  1. Matthew Diamante

    I would have to agree… For slow flight footage, the 4k does pretty well… but not being at 60fps make it tough for get crisp video on faster flying. 2.7k can do 60 fps, but the warped video doesn’t look good to my eye. The 1080 at 90fps is excellent, and I think the colors and over all picture quality look better than the turtle v2, not to mention you can slow the video down in your favorite video editor to 33% and it stays silky smooth. If they can make the v2 of this, doing 4k at 60 fps I think they will have a hit!

    Reply
  2. Max

    I have a Cinebee 4K and my SD card slot doesn’t click when I install the card and when I try to eject the card it doesn’t unlatch and I have to basically pull it out with a pair of tweezers. So my thought is that I can just buy a Caddx Tarseir and swap it out with mine, but what concerns me is that the camera in my Quad appears to be upside down according to the ribbon cable when compared to all the pictures that I seen of the camera. Do you think that I am going to run into any issues with this if I decide to just buy another camera setup instead of waiting for IFlight to help me? I don’t remember seeing any settings that will flip images.
    Thanks

    Reply
  3. Sunol FPV

    Agree with your review. I do think it is better video quality (both FPV and HD) than the Split v2 or Turtle v2. However, the two boards use pins between that are subject to failure (happened to me). In the end, better quality for increased failure rate.

    Reply

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