The Micro Swift 3 FPV Camera is using a standard size M12 lens for better image quality, as well as the latest UART camera control technology! In this review we will take a close look at the new features and improvements.
What’s Special about the Micro Swift 3 FPV Camera?
- New camera control method using UART (Tutorial)
- OSD pin is replaced by TX and RX pins, you can no longer use the joystick controller to change camera settings, only via FC
- The Micro Swift 3 is now using the larger M12 camera lens for better image quality
Why Replacing OSD Pin with UART?
The GND and OSD pins have been replaced by TX and RX pins on the Micro Swift 3.
This allows you to connect the camera directly to the flight controller for camera control without any additional resistor or capacitor.
There are benefits and downsides to this solution however:
- More reliable performance and easier to setup, it doesn’t require any additional resistor or capacitor to work
- More versatile as it allows more complicated commands and data, such as “long press” to change scene, which wasn’t possible before with the PWM signal via the OSD pin
- You can only change camera settings on the Micro Swift 3 using a flight controller, you can’t use a joystick anymore
Spec & Unboxing
- Input Voltage: 5V – 36V
- Aspect Ratio 4:3
- IR Blocked
- NTSC / PAL optional
- 2.1mm lens
- Weight: 10.9g
- Supports On-Screen-Display (OSD) to display timer, battery voltage, etc
The Micro Swift 3 camera includes a silicone wire harness, a metal mounting bracket, and various screws and spacers. It doesn’t come with the little joystick since it’s no longer needed.
The mounting screw holes on the camera are metal inserts.
Just like the previous Micro Swift 2, the lens/housing is fixed in place on the PCB by two screws at the corners. This also means the Micro Swift 3 will be compatible with Runcam’s TX200 video transmitters.
Comparing to the previous Micro Swift 2, the latest version is considerably longer and heavier. That’s the one thing you need to consider when choosing cameras for your frame, if the lens would stick out of the frame too much. Some compact frames might not have taken into account the use of longer M12 lens on micro cameras.
Image Quality Testing
Here is the image comparison video between the Micro Swift 3 and Micro Swift 2. Although the image quality is very similar, but there are some subtle differences.
I tested both cameras using the “Outdoor” preset settings.
The Micro Swift 3 has a slightly wider FOV despite the fact that both cameras are equiped with 2.1mm focal length lenses.
The colour of the Micro Swift 3 is warmer while the version 2 has a more vibrant colour which I like better.
However when I zoom in, it’s pretty clear that the Micro Swift 3 FPV camera has much better sharpness and image detail over the version 2.
When testing inside the wood, it’s really hard to tell the two cameras apart. But if you look carefully enough you will notice the slightly sharper image with the Swift 3.
Lastly, the Swift 3 has much faster exposure change than the 2, which is a great advantage.
In my opinion the Micro Swift 3 does have better image quality over the version 2, but not much! So if size and weight are more important to you, you might still want to get the Micro Swift 2. But if you want a CCD camera with the best possible image quality in a micro form factor, go for the Micro Swift 3.
I also like the much easier camera control feature via the UART port on the Swift 3. However, the downside is you cannot change camera settings anymore with a joystick controller, you can only do so via a flight controller. So if you still want to use the joystick, you would have to stick with the Swift 2 for now.
As far as I know, Runcam will continue to offer both versions, so you can still choose between the two cameras depends on your requirement.