Runcam has just released a smaller version of the Eagle 2 Pro – the Micro Eagle FPV Camera! In this review will be checking out the performance and how it compares to the full size Eagle 2.
It’s cool that we finally can have the performance of the Eagle 2 Pro FPV camera in a tiny form factor of a Micro Swift!
Specification of the Micro Eagle
The Micro Eagle is similar in size as the Micro Swift, and have the following features and spec compared to the full size Eagle 2 Pro.
The Micro Eagle FPV camera even has features that are missing in the full size version, I don’t know how they are doing it :)
|Micro Eagle||Eagle 2 Pro|
|FOV||170° (16:9) or 140° (4:3)||170° (16:9) or 140° (4:3)|
|Adjustable WDR||Level 1-6||No|
|Image Flip Vertically||Yes||No|
|16:9 & 4:3 Switchable||Yes||Yes|
|Min. Illumination||0.001 Lux @1.2F||0.01 Lux @1.2F|
|VBAT & OSD?||No||Yes|
With the adjustable WDR, maybe we can improve the shimmering image by sacrificing some ability of showing shadow detail? Also it’s interesting to know the Micro Eagle has a lower minimum illumination which means it should perform even better in low light.
The housing is made of ABS, and has the same red as the original Eagle 2. But the lens on the Micro Eagle looks to be the same lens on the Eagle 2 Pro.
The Micro Eagle FPV camera comes with the following accessories:
- mounting bracket
- OSD joystick for changing camera settings
- screws and spacers
- silicone cables
The PCB is attached to the lens/case with Epoxy and there is no screws holding them together like the Micro Swift. I guess that’s because there is simply no space for the screws to go through in the PCB. Hopefully that’s strong enough because the case will take most of the impact anyway in a crash since that’s where the mounting holes are located.
The screw holes on the sides are metal inserts.
Unfortunately the OSD ability of displaying battery voltage, timer and pilot name on screen has been removed from the Micro Eagle, possibly due to the lack of space for the additional hardware. For me it’s not an issue at all, most flight controllers these days have integrated Betaflight OSD anyway.
Although the Micro Eagle has the same mounting as the Micro Swift 2 or the Micro Predator, it looks considerably larger mainly due to the size of the lens. The lens also contributes an extra 3g to the weight of the camera, making it slightly heavier than other micro size cameras.
But bigger lens usually means wider FOV and better image quality in my experience, I cannot wait to test it out.
Finally, you can now flip the image vertically, however it doesn’t flip the OSD menu so if you mounted the camera upside down (which works better for some frames), you will be looking at the OSD menu upside down too.
Latency is about the same as the Eagle 2 Pro, at about 26ms average.
Check out this post for all my latency results on FPV cameras I tested.
Here is the test video:
The first test took place in a car park during the day.
Surprisingly the image from the Micro Eagle appears to be less washed-out and more constrasty. In fact you can make it even more constrasty by reducing “WDR” level in the settings, there are 6 levels and I was using the highest – 6.
Default sharpness was 6, and there was some digital noise in the image. I reduced it down to 4 and it now looks much closer to the Eagle 2 (with sharpness of 5).
But still, I find the image from the Eagle 2 slightly smoother and has less digital artifacts. Not much, just slightly, maybe we can further reduce the sharpness of the Micro Eagle to 3?
Wide dynamic range performance is nearly identical to the Eagle 2, but again you can see the Micro Eagle has more contrast in the image, just overall looks better in this part of the test.
In the next test we moved outdoor and tested the Micro Eagle directly under the sun.
The image colour of the Micro Eagle under bright sun light seems to have more magenta in it, while the Eagle 2 seems to look slightly warmer and more natural.
Both cameras showed equally good WDR capability in this test.
When we moved away from the sun, both cameras produce images that look nearly identical. The FOV in both cameras also seem to be the same.
Finally, we tested the cameras at night under some lampposts.
The image from the Eagle 2 might look a fair bit more “orange”, but that’s actually exactly how the lighting looked like, so the Eagle 2 definitely shows more realistic color.
The Micro Eagle seems to have the “capability to neutralise” the orange colour from lamposts. Good or bad? This is probably a personal preference :)
I also tested the camera in the open when it was nearly, completely dark at night (see the end of the video). I doubt anyone would fly in this sort of condition so treat it as a “torture test” :) But it’s just interesting to see how these cameras perform in extreme lighting condition like this.
Comparison to other Micro FPV Cameras
My Final Settings for the Micro Eagle
- Brightness: 52
- Sharpness & Edge: 4
- Saturation: auto
- Max Gain: 1
- WDR: 6
- Max Gain: 9
- WDR: 1-3 (the lower, the less noisy)
- The rest are the same
The Micro Eagle did not disappoint! It retains the same performance from the Eagle 2 Pro but in smaller form factor. If you like the Eagle 2 and Eagle 2 Pro, but requires a smaller camera? Get the Micro Eagle.
But you are probably wondering “how about other micro cameras such as the Micro Predator and the Micro SDR1?”. I will do a comparison of these cameras soon :) Stay tuned!