Review: Runcam Eagle 3 FPV Camera

Runcam discontinued the Eagle 2 and Micro Eagle and replaced with the Runcam Eagle 3 FPV Camera. It has the same name, but is a completely different camera and you might or might not want to upgrade.

If you are new to FPV don’t forget to check out my FPV Camera Buyer’s Guide.

The Runcam Eagle 3 FPV Camera uses a different image sensor than the previous Eagle’s, a smaller one to be specific (used to be 1/1.8″, now 1/2.8″). Sensor size is important as it affects low light performance, larger sensors usually do better when there is a lack of lighting.

The discontinued Micro Eagle and Eagle 2 are actually the same camera but in different form factors, so I am just going to refer to both as “Eagle 2” in the rest of the post.

Left: Micro Eagle (V2), Right: Eagle V3

Where To Buy?

You can get the Runcam Eagle 3 camera from these vendors:

Specs

  • Image Sensor: 1/2.8″ Starlight CMOS Sensor
  • Horizontal Resolution: 1000TVL
  • Lens: 2.1mm (M12) FOV155° (4:3)
  • 4:3 / 16:9 switchable
  • Support image mirror and flip
  • NTSC only (NO PAL)
  • Min. Illumination: [email protected]
  • Global WDR (Wide Dynamic Range)
  • Day/Night: Color/BW
  • Menu Control: Cable Control
  • Input Voltage: DC 5-36V
  • Power consumption (current): [email protected], [email protected]
  • Housing Material: ABS
  • Net Weight: 9g
  • Dimensions: 19mm*19mm*20mm

Main Difference – Image Quality

When comparing the image from Eagle 2 and 3 side by side, you can tell Runcam has put in a lot of effort to make them look as close as possible, despite of their completely different image sensors.

The image of the Eagle 3 is very pleasing to look at, detail and sharpness are top notch, and it’s not over-sharpened like a lot of those cheap CMOS cameras.

Shadow detail is on par with the Eagle 2, which is what the Eagle 2 was famous for.

Image color is actually the part that surprised me the most, it looks more natural than the Eagle 2, and it no longer has this blue tint on the Eagle 2 that many people hate.

Change of exposure when facing away from the sun is very fast, but I don’t think this would be an issue for majority of the new FPV cameras these days anyway, they all perform pretty similarly in that regard.

Downsides

The biggest downside of the Eagle 3, as expected, is its low light performance. Because of the much smaller sensor size, you get a lot of noise when flying in the darker areas, and it can be distracting when flying. If you don’t fly when it’s dark, I don’t think this would be a huge concern.

As a day time camera it’s great. If you used to be one of those guys who hated the blue-tint of the Eagle 2, you might find the Eagle 3 more acceptable.

Note that it doesn’t have UART connection, so if you want to change camera settings, you’d have to use the dongle from Runcam (it came with older Runcam cameras). If you don’t have one, you can hook it up to your flight controller using camera control method.

The Eagle 3 also doesn’t have voltage detection – no showing of battery voltage in the built-in OSD. You have to use Betaflight OSD if you want to show voltage on the screen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For prompt technical support, please use our forum IntoFPV.com. I check blog comments weekly.