Let’s check out the Caddx Turbo SDR1 FPV camera, a CMOS Mini/Micro size FPV camera that is designed specifically for drone racing.
Caddx is a new player in the racing drone industry, which has been mainly involved in security cameras and only recently started making FPV cameras.
They offer two size variants for the Turbo SDR1 camera:
Further Reading: Learn how to choose a good FPV camera
The two different sizes have nearly identical hardware, except the size and lens.
The Mini SDR1’s size is 22x22x27mm, weighs 12 8g. similar to the Runcam Mini Swift or the Foxeer Predator Mini,
The Micro version’s dimension is 19x19x19mm and weighs 5g, similar to the Swift Micro or the Arrow Micro / Predator Micro .
- Voltage Input: 5V – 40V
- 1/2.8″ SONY Exmor-R STARVIS CMOS sensor
- NTSC / PAL switchable
- 16:9 / 4:3 switchable
- Min. Illumination: [email protected]
I am also interested to see how the different TVL is going to affect image quality and latency in our testing.
The SDR1 has the same Min Illumination value as the Eagle 2 so I am expecting great performance at low light or night from the SDR1.
The Caddex SDR1 Mini FPV camera comes with standard accessories:
- Bracket mount
- Mounting adaptor
- 2 cables
- OSD dongle for changing camera settings
- instruction manual
- various M2 screws, nuts washers and wrenches
Closer Look at the Caddx SDR1
The SDR1 comes with 2.0mm lens, and there is no other lens choices. I don’t have a problem with this because I quite like wider field of view, but for those who prefer narrower FOV lenses like 2.5mm you might be a bit disappointed. Anyway I should compare the FOV with other popular cameras in my testing later on.
The SDR1 doesn’t have VBAT input which mean you cannot display info such as your battery voltage, pilot name and timer on the screen.
Another thing that is missing would be a dedicated ground pin for the OSD dongle, or even a separate connector for it. You can use the cable provided and it breaks out the wires for the OSD dongle, but it’s a male to male cable which is inconvenient in my experience. (It should have been a male to female at least…)
Here is how you can modify the OSD ground breakout cable.
When it comes to mounting, Caddx is doing it right and it’s very flexible. The camera has 3 screw holes on the housing, and it can be mounted directly in the frame if supported. It also comes with a metal bracket, and a mounting adapter which allows it to be installed like a standard size FPV camera.
Some close-up shots of the PCB and image sensor.
Micro SDR1 Camera
There have been some complains about bugs with the first batch of this camera related to changing settings:
- When you change certain settings such as PAL/NTSC or Aspect Ratio, the image will flip. Restarting the camera and it will flip back and returns to normal
- Sometimes the camera goes into black screen after changing and saving a setting, a power cycle is required to get the image back
- Holding down a key for longer than 10 seconds on your OSD remote can “brick” the camera…
I have not observed the above bugs myself, but I did “kill” an SDR1 Mini when I pressed save in the menu, the camera just died and it’ss now showing only statics. I am not feeling confident about Caddx’s cameras at this point, every time I change a setting like brightness or aspect ratio I fear the camera might just suddenly die and never wake up again…
The average latency of the SDR1 FPV camera is about 37ms, which is a bit high for a new CMOS camera, note that the figure for the Eagle 2 is only 25ms
I think it’s missing the “image flip” feature, which would allow you to mount the camera upside down.
Comparison to other Micro FPV Cameras
My Personal Setting
- Brightness – 10
- The rest just default
Not designed for night flying, but you can use B&W mode to improve it. Turning off WDR can remove some of the noise in low light, experiment with it see if that works for you.