The Foxeer Falkor is a new CMOS camera featuring “Global Wide Dynamic Range” (G-WDR). It’s a feature that offers superior performance in showing bright and dark objects clearly in the same frame.
Learn more about FPV camera for drones in this tutorial.
Where to Buy?
- Banggood: http://bit.ly/falkor-camera
- GetFPV: http://bit.ly/2CyAX3P
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Qfzjqe
- RDQ: http://bit.ly/2MThek1
Foxeer Falkor Specifications
The Falkor offers 4 case colours: red, blue, white, black, and 2 lens options of different focal length and FOV: 2.5mm (145°) or 1.8mm (160°).
It’s designed as an all-around camera that would work well under different lighting conditions. The Foxeer Falkor is switchable in the menu between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio and PAL/NTSC video formats in the settings, which makes it a great option for all FPV goggles and displays.
- 1200TVL CMOS Image Sensor (What is CMOS?)
- Supports OSD: Pilot name, battery voltage, timer
- Min. Illumination: 0.01Lux
- Supports Color and B&W
- Input Voltage: 5V – 40V
- Dimension: 28x26mm
- Weight: 13.5g
What’s Included in the Box?
- Instruction Manual
- OSD menu joystick
- Mounting bracket
- Screws and spacers
Finally, Foxeer has added a ground pin for the OSD, so now you can connect the OSD menu joystick directly to the camera without the need for an adapter harness. This also makes it easier to connect it to your flight controller for camera control.
This is a “full size” camera (like the HS1177). On the manual there is an image of the Micro Falkor which I think might be released soon in the future.
I tested the latency of the Falkor, the average delay is 33ms, which is higher than the 15ms of the Predator, and even the 25ms of the Runcam Eagle 2 Pro.
OSD Needs Work
If you plan to use the built-in OSD inside the camera for pilot name, and voltage, you are going to be slightly disappointed.
Firstly, pilot name is fixed to “FOXEER”, and you can’t change it. You can only turn it on or off.
Secondly, if you use the pin “VSEN” to monitor your battery voltage, you might notice you get a very early “Low Voltage” warning from about 3.7V percell, that’s 14.8V for 4S. I don’t see a way to change this. Maybe I miss it somehow?
If you only use Betaflight OSD, then this is not a problem at all.
Image Quality Testing
Really great image quality and sharpness! Wide dynamic range is just as good as advertised. Take a look at the sample footage during a sunny day and low light in sunset.
The default settings work well for most situations, the only setting I recommend changing is sharpness. The default value is a bit too high and I found setting it to 1 or even 0 produces far less digital artifacts, the image looks a lot smoother.
Also you should use the correct image profile (under Special Settings), such as “Sunny”, “cloudy”, “Sunset” and “Indoor”.
Falkor vs. Eagle 2
Here is my comparison video between the Foxeer Falkor and Runcam Eagle 2 (not the pro, I don’t really like the pro).
Contrast and Color
The Falkor has a really outstanding looking image with much higher contrast and clarity. On the other hand the Eagle 2 looks a bit more “washed out”.
The color of the Falkor has a bit more green and cold tone to it, while the Eagle 2 is has a bit more magenta and warmer tone. But I personally think the Falkor produces a better color overall, it’s more vivid and natural to look at.
The Falkor also has a sharper image than the Eagle 2 without having too much digital artifacts. You can bump up the sharpness settings in the Eagle 2 too, but I found once you go over 5, the image becomes noticeably noisy, so I had to keep it at 5.
In the comparison, I prefer the sharpness of the Eagle 2. It’s smooth and nice to look at. I’ve set the Falkor to the lowest sharpness value and it still felt a bit over-sharpened for my taste.
WDR and Shadow Detail
When it comes to wide dynamic range (WDR), and showing shadow detail, actually both cameras performed equally well on a sunny day. I can’t quite tell which is better in this respect.
I get a bit more sun glares in the Falkor (reflection in the lens). When the camera is facing the sun at certain angle, it produces multiple big red circles and they take up a good part of the frame which can be distracting.
I am surprised that both cameras did a decent job in low light. When I was testing them, it was very dark and getting difficult to see the surrounding clearly with the naked eyes.
The Eagle 2 still has an advantage in low flight, because it’s showing the colours and detail very well. The Falkor is beginning to struggle, the colour is getting very dull, and the shadow detail is also getting too dark to see clearly.
High Light Handling
Not sure why, but with the Falkor, I am getting this black dot in the middle of the light source. For example, when I point the camera at street lamps or car head lights.
Don’t Set Auto Day/Night
There is a bug with Auto Day/Night mode. At certain brightness level it would repeatedly switch between color and B/W, causing the screen to flicker. This should be an easy software fix by Foxeer, but it’s only likely in future batches.
Set it to either color or B/W for now.
The prettiest camera isn’t always the best camera, but the Falkor is just too pretty to be true :D I really love the beautiful image quality, probably one of the best in that regard!
The Foxeer Falkor has awesome image color, detail, WDR, and FOV. However it suffers from bad lens flare like the Predator we tested previously. Maybe it’s a problem caused by the similar lens they use on these cameras?
Another downside is the slightly higher latency. But it shouldn’t be an issue at all for casual pilots, considering it’s on a similar level as the Runcam Eagle. But if you are really serious about racing, then you might want to consider faster cameras like the Runcam Racer or the Foxeer Predator v3 :)
- 08 Sep 2018 – Review created
- 22 Oct 2018 – Added comparison with Eagle 2