FPV Camera Testing: Micro Eagle vs. Predator vs. Swift 2 vs. SDR1

Here is a comparison between the Foxeer Predator Micro, Runcam Micro Swift 2, Caddx Micro SDR1, and the latest Micro Eagle. In this round up we will test their performance in various locations and under different lighting conditions.

See this page for the updated list of “best fpv camera“.

Foxeer Predator Micro

Light weight, low latency, and with its ultra fast exposure change, I cannot think of a better camera for racing than the Predator Micro. It has very vibrant colour and a contrasty image, but showing shadow detail and working in low light isn’t its strong suit.

Review | Purchase: Banggood, Amazon


Runcam Micro Eagle

The Micro Eagle performs every bit as good as the full size version, it’s even more flexible now with the adjustable WDR level in order to achieve higher contrast in the image. It has an ultra wide FOV of 170 degree and switchable aspect ratio between 16:9 and 4:3. However the Micro Eagle is the most expensive camera in this list, and it weighs about 3g more than other Micro FPV cameras. If you are looking for the clearest image, this is my pick.

Review | Purchase: Banggood, Runcam


Caddx Micro SDR1

The Caddx Micro SDR1 is the cheapest option in this round up. It’s not the best when it comes to image detail and sharpness, however it provides the brightest and most vibrant colour image. It can switch between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio but it’s missing features like VBAT OSD. A overall great day performer but not optimal in low light, if you only focus on flying during the day it’s not a deal breaker.

Review | Purchase: Banggood, Amazon, GetFPV


Runcam Micro Swift 2

The Micro Swift 2 is a tried and tested product, with the exact same capability as the full size Swift 2 in only half the size and weight. There are things that CMOS cameras can do better, such as latency, image detail, WDR, natural colour etc, but If you prefer CCD image over CMOS, then you should definitely consider the Micro Swift 2.

Review | Purchase: Banggood, Amazon, RMRC


Micro FPV Camera Testing

How you like an image to look is very much a personal preference, I cannot stress this enough.

You can find my favorite camera settings in the reviews for each cameras (which I also used in the test). Here is the testing footage:

For the most accurate comparison, please watch the video, the screenshots are only used to assist my commentary and do not represent the cameras’ full ability.

Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) Performance

I first tested the micro FPV cameras in a car park during the day.

When I was standing outside of the building, all the cameras can see pretty well inside the dark carpark, except the Predator. This is where good wide dynamic range comes into play here IMO.

I think the Micro Eagle is performing the best in this situation, although the image does look a bit more washed out than other cameras.

The Caddx SDR1 has the brightest image of all, though I have turned down  “Brightness” from the default 13 to 9. The original brightness level was way too bright for me, it actually loses some image details. However the SDR1 doesn’t look as sharp as other cameras, for example if you look at the yellow “F” sign on the left, it just seems a bit blurry.

Does the Predator have true WDR?

Looking out from inside the carpack, I am blown away by the Predator. It can see the outside environment in bright sunlight totally fine while all other cameras really struggle and just become over-exposed.

This is what confused me, does the Predator have good WDR or not?

It seems the Predator tries to “suppress high lights”, this allows you to see things well in bright light, but doesn’t show you good shadow details, so it’s only doing half of what “WDR” is supposed to do. The Predator image color also appears to have a blue cast in low light, which you cannot seem to improve in the setting.

It was pretty dim inside the car park, and I am happy with how all these camera performed there.

Outdoor Test on a Sunny Day

In the next test I moved outdoor and tested the camera in direct sunlight.

The Predator Micro has a very contrasty image with vibrant colour, but still suffers from the same issue on the Mini, which is the red lens flare.

From Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Predator Micro, Micro Eagle, SDR1, Micro Swift 2

Lens and FOV

The Micro Swift 2 with 2.1mm lens has the widest FOV in all the cameras. In fact the Micro Eagle has even wider FOV of 170 degree when it’s in 16:9 mode, in 4:3 the FOV is chopped down to 140 degree. The FOV of the Predator looks to be around 150 while that of the SDR1 is around 155.

Image Detail and Sharpness

When it comes to sharpness and image detail, both the Predator and Eagle are doing brilliantly. I actually don’t see too much shimmering from the Eagle after reducing its Sharpness level.

However the Micro Eagle looks to be a little more “washed out” than the rest. I found you can actually improve it by reducing the level of WDR in the settings, but it will also reduce your ability of seeing shadow details. Since WDR is the selling point of the Eagle I decided to leave it at max (6).

Anyway I like the Eagle more in this test, it has the clearest image and the best in image detail, you can see the branches clearly, and the buildings in shadow a lot better than the rest.

Low Light Testing

At night under some lampposts, surprisingly all the CMOS cameras performed really well compared to the CCD Swift.

The biggest difference in the CMOS cameras appears to be the image colour. The Predator shows a more realistic orange colour from the lampposts, while the color of the Eagle is a bit more neutral. Somehow the SDR1 has a unpleasant blue hue in low light.

Night Testing

In the following “torture test”, we put these cameras in an extremely dark environment to see how they perform in very little light. Note that most people probably won’t fly in this sort of extreme condition so it’s not the most important consideration.

The Predator has no “black & white” mode, so it’s really not suitable for night flying.

The Eagle performed the best at night, you can still see… ok… though it’s a lot noisier than the full size Eagle 2 in this condition (see the Micro Eagle review for comparison).

The Caddx SDR1 turned “totally blue” in the dark and the noise is pretty high. I set “black & white” mode to auto in the settings, not sure why it wasn’t switching and just stayed in color mode.

The Micro Swift 2 also struggled and appeared to be unsuitable for night flying.

Conclusion

So which Micro FPV camera is the best? I can’t really decide, there is just no clear winner for me because every camera excels at certain areas, it really depends on what and where you use the camera for.

I spent a long time to plan, perform and analyse the test I hope you find it useful. Please consider supporting me on Patreon for more in-depth reviews and tutorials in the future: https://www.patreon.com/oscarliang

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