Runcam has just released the “Nano” FPV Camera, their smallest FPV camera so far. It’s an interesting product yet it might not be for everyone. In this review we will take a look at it closely and check out the image quality.
Unboxing and Spec of the Runcam Nano FPV Camera
The Runcam Nano camera has the following features:
- CMOS Sensor with 650TVL resolution
- It takes 3.3V – 5.5V voltage, it can be powered directly from an 1S LiPo battery or a regulated 5V source
- Using 2.1mm lens with 160° FOV, which seems to be the same lens used on the Micro Swift 2
- Size: 14mm x 14mm x 17mm (W, H, L)
- Cable length: 33mm
- Latency is very low, at about 15ms (FPV Camera latency results)
It comes with no accessories except a spare lens ring. Given the fact that it’s using the same lens as the Micro Swift, it makes sense for them to include a spare lens ring, because we’ve seen multiple reports where the ring breaks in the Micro Swift due to crashes.
The cable on the back has a connector that is the same as other camera’s connector (e.g. the Swift). There is no OSD for battery voltage reading, nor any way to change camera settings.
The Runcam Nano is considerably smaller than the Micro Swift, here is the size comparison between the Runcam Swift, Swift Micro and the Nano.
What do I think of the Runcam Nano so far?
First off, I think Runcam is going in the right direction with their product development. We don’t see enough options in nano-size FPV cameras like this, and the Nano makes Runcam’s offering more complete.
However I think the Runcam Nano is not giving people enough reasons to use it, there are other options out there with even smaller and lighter profile.
Since the Nano weighs at 3.4g which is about the same as some of the AIO camera with VTX (such as the CM275T), I don’t see the Nano being used on 1S micro quads yet. Not to mention the lowest supported voltage is 3.3V, which is not really low enough for 1S builds (voltage can drop below 3V at times). Perhaps it would be more feasible for ultra light-weight 2S micro quads for example.
I think they could probably use an even smaller lens on this camera. But I guess there is a trade-off between weight and performance. You cannot shave too much weight without sacrificing image quality.
Another potential usage of the Nano would be an upgrade to the Micro Swift for the ultra light racers.
Image Quality Testing
So here is the test finally! On the left, is the Runcam Nano, on the right is the Micro Sparrow. Please beware that this is not meant to be a direct comparison, take it as 2 separate tests happened to be in the same video. :)
The first thing I noticed with the Runcam Nano is that it has a very fast exposure handling.
Although it has a relatively good WDR, but it’s not as good as other regular size FPV cameras like the Eagle 2 despite being both CMOS cameras. The rapid changing exposure can compensate for the weaker WDR capability.
The exposure changes quickly but it still takes time to happen during which you might be blinded and not able to react. Some people might also find the frequently changing exposure unpleasant, but I suppose that’s a personal preference. Another problem with this is you can barely see what’s on the ground when pointing at the sky… but I guess this shouldn’t be a problem if you just use this camera on a micro quad which you mostly only fly close to the ground.
Overall the image quality is excellent for a camera of this size. The image is very sharp and the colour is comparable to a decent regular size FPV camera from Runcam. I also like the large FOV, which is similar to that of a Micro Swift 2.