Review: Runcam Micro Eagle FPV Camera

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!

You can buy the Micro Eagle from: Amazon | Banggood

Further Reading:

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
Size 19x19x23mm 28x26x28mm
Weight 8.9g 15g
TVL 800TVL 800TVL
FOV 170° (16:9) or 140° (4:3) 170° (16:9) or 140° (4:3)
Input Voltage 5V-36V 5V-36V
Adjustable WDR Level 1-6 No
Image Flip Vertically Yes No
16:9 & 4:3 Switchable Yes Yes
NTSC/PAL 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.

Micro Eagle Size comparison with standard size Eagle 2

Micro Eagle vs. Eagle 2 (left), and Eagle 2 Pro (right)

Unboxing

The Micro Eagle FPV camera comes with the following accessories:

  • mounting bracket
  • OSD joystick for changing camera settings
  • screws and spacers
  • silicone cables

Closer Look

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.

Micro Eagle FPV Camera

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.

Performance Testing

Latency

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.

Image Quality

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.

Micro Eagle Image Quality

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

Day

  • Brightness: 52
  • Sharpness & Edge: 4
  • Saturation: auto
  • Max Gain: 1
  • WDR: 6

Night

  • Max Gain: 9
  • WDR: 1-3 (the lower, the less noisy)
  • The rest are the same

Conclusion

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!

18 thoughts on “Review: Runcam Micro Eagle FPV Camera

  1. John

    FPV goggles are not a movie theater screen where the director controls the horizon, and the camera is our eye ball and for acquiring maximum information flying we need the same aspect ratio we naturally have. If wider was better we a wider horizontal FOV naturally.

    Reply
  2. Darryl Knighton

    Hi Oscar,
    Thanks for great information and reviews.
    Do you know if the settings are supposed to persist through a power cycle? I use a couple of the Micro Eagles in a non FPV situation and they are always on. I use a Max Gain and WDR setting of 2 each. However, every so often, they get reset to 1, possibly after brief power cycles.
    In the case of one camera, it has a very low level of light coming in and the change between a max gain of 1 to 2 makes a big difference.

    Thank.
    DK

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      All the Eagles I have used save settings reliably even after power cycles.
      Make sure to select “Save and Exit” when finished editing the settings?

      Reply
  3. Alexander Ribchansky

    Hello! Guys had Eagle 2 cam, now need new cam for GEPRC LX5 Leopard frame, what should be better chois, good old Eagle 2 or micro eagel + adapter? Pros for micro eagle are smaller overall size and it might hide inside leopards aluminium cage, cons plastic housing and worse low light performance. Your suggestions? :) Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I think the Micro Eagle might be a bit more future proof as you can use it for frames that are only compatible with micro size cameras. But the Eagle 2 image quality is a tiny bit better, very hard to notice though… Image quality is very very similar.

      Reply
  4. See'r of Future

    I’m gonna get a lot of flack for saying this, but at least I know it going in…LOL
    You guys with 4:3 camera, goggles…Just know that everything will eventually be moving to 16:9 whether you think so or not. That’s because as these FPV cameras get higher and higher resolution, and end up being HD (all they really have to do is solve the latency issue), they will definitely be using the HD format of 16:9. What in this world is still using 4:3? You really think we’re going to have HD FPV cameras that are using the 4:3 aspect ratio? Ahh, No. Look at the Aomway goggles…they know how technology is going to change this and came out with 16:9 on their goggles right from the start. It’s happening, so just expect it.

    Reply
    1. AH

      And why would we want to keep our low resolution goggles when whe enter the HD era? Analog formats are supposed to be 4:3 and I will buy new goggles when HD links are able to handle a lag free video feed.

      Reply
    2. Marco

      As long as there is no HD available including a reasonable price your comment is totally nonsense and offtopic af.

      Reply
    3. Dave

      FPV is a form of visual immersion. Video format is important, and depends on your goals. If you consider VR goggles, that can completely immerse you in the visual experience, the screens are not 16:9. Oculus Rift does use 16:9 screens, but they are actually turned on their side to be oriented vertically- one for each eye, if you add both screens it comes out to a 8:9 ratio. PSVR uses one 16:9 screen divided in half, so each eye gets an almost square 8:9 screen. 16:9 formats are a compromise between traditional 4:3 and even wider theater 2.35:1, but immersive VR/FPV is not of that genre. Widescreen is pretty, and good for showing movie cinematography, but for immersive FPV a broader viewing angle that encompasses more periphery (vertical and horizontal) actually does more to pull you into the scene when viewing through goggles/headset. This hobby is somewhat slave to broader trends, you are correct, but to assume 4:3 format is obsolete is a little shortsighted. We may be funneled into using 16:9 cameras and 16:9 displays, but it will only be because the industry eventually forces us in that direction, and it will only be accepted when (as someone else stated) the latency is undetectable. The only genuine benefit to using 16:9 over 4:3 is that your FPV camera can more closely mimic what your GoPro will record, so it could be a little more useful if you’re actually trying to frame footage.

      Reply
  5. KUB fpv

    Great review and finally some comparison footage!
    I had (and loved) the eagle V1, now I fly (and love) the V2 on my 5″, and finally I can get almost the same wdr and image quality on my 2″ (right nowit has a micro swift on it, which isn’t bad actually).

    I was thinking about getting the caddx SDR1, which seem to deliver good results as well – Im wondering how it would compare to the micro eagle?! – I could probably do such a comparison on my own, but cannot justify buying two new expensive micro cameras for one micro quad (already did that to compare the fxt t80 vs runcam nano – which can be found on yt)

    Reply
  6. R.P.

    Great review. I noticed that in your video you ran it at 4:3 aspect ratio. Have you tried it at 16:9 aspect ratio to see if it crops the 4:3 to make it a 16:9?

    Thanks
    R.P.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Yes it crops both sides of the image to turn 16:9 to 4:3, the FOV is also reduced from 170 degree to 140 degree (according to spec)

      Reply
  7. Chuey Vang

    I can’t wait to get one too! I have three Runcam Eagle v2 on three quads lol. My new build is the Flightclub proton and I need a good micro camera like the Runcam eagle v2. Thanks for the info!.. I guess, I’ll just have to wait for the micro eagle lol

    Reply

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