Runcam Split 2 Camera Review and Testing

The Runcam Split V2 is here! The first version has been extremely popular as far as we can tell from the views of our last review, however there were some minor issues with it. In this latest Split V2, most issues have been addressed and we will take a closer look at the improvements.

For those who aren’t familiar with this product, basically the Split is a compact HD action camera that is capable of capturing HD footage ([email protected]), while it can be used as a low latency FPV camera for flying. It can be stacked on top of your FC, which makes your build cleaner, lighter, and cheaper by merging 2 cameras into 1.

Here is my review of the Split V1.

Update (13/Oct/2017) – Purchase is available at Runcam.com and Banggood.com

Improvements Summary

  • Takes 5V to 17V input voltage with onboard voltage regulator – Runcam confirmed that they have taken into account of the possible voltage spikes in a mini quad, so it should be relatively safe to use with 4S lipo
  • USB reverse current” bug fixed
  • More reliable SD card slot
  • JST connector replaced by solder pads (video signal, power, TX & RX serial port)
  • Comes with GoPro lens by default (RC25G)
  • WiFi module redesigned for more user friendly connection
  • Stronger lens/board ribbon cable connector
  • Better cooling
  • New microphone

The camera with the main board and heatsink weights 25.4g.

What I reviewed here is just a prototype of the Split V2 camera, so there could still be some minor changes to it, but we can only expect it to get even better.

If you cannot wait you can still purchase the V1 here: http://bit.ly/runcam-split

Runcam Split V1 - the older version

Runcam Split V1 – the older version

Runcam Split V2 - the new version

Runcam Split V2 – the new version

A closer look at these changes

The biggest improvement of the Split V2 in my opinion is the wide input voltage support of up to 17V. This means you can now power the Split directly by a 2S, 3S or even 4S LiPo battery, no more worrying about additional BEC and current rating. With the built-in voltage regulator circuit it also fixed the “reverse current” bug that might happen when connecting the power and USB cable at the same time.

At first glance, I noticed a piece of metal that is added on top of the Split V2 camera. I was told this is for two purposes:

  • Holds the SD card in place
  • Acts as a heat-sink for better cooling

The Split V2 camera has gone back to the traditional “push ejection” SD card slot. To remove the SD card you just need to lift the piece of metal that is preventing the card from flying away, and push the SD card to eject it. This is way more reliable than the previous design IMO.

This piece of metal is held in place by the 4 standoff’s, and it is removable. Runcam is also considering adding damping (possibly O-rings) to the four screws and hoping it can reduce the impacts to the board in crashes.

I am very excited to see that they’ve changed the WiFi module design, and use a Mini HDMI connector so you can plug the BT module in horizontally. Previously it was nearly impossible to use the WiFi module after you install the Split inside the frame, as the WiFi module has to be plugged in vertically.

I personally don’t think the WiFi module is actually that useful, apart from allowing users to preview what is being filmed. All the settings can be changed in the OSD anyway (and hopefully through FC/Betaflight too in the near future), so I asked them if they could maybe remove it and make it cheaper and smaller.

Not everyone is going to like the new solder pads, but I prefer solder pads over JST connectors. Whoever is using the Split must also build their own quad and has access to a soldering iron right? Soldered connection is much stronger and more reliable, and you can connect as many wires as you need.

Lastly, we were told that every Runcam Split V2 will come with the GoPro lens (RC25G) as the stock lens, which is a good move IMO because I prefer the colour and image much more than the original lens. (check out my comparison testing in my Split V1 review)

Some close-up’s of the PCB:

Testing

So far we have gone through all the hardware changes, the next part of our review will be looking at the image quality. I will be comparing the Split V1 and the Split v2, stay tuned.

55 thoughts on “Runcam Split 2 Camera Review and Testing

  1. Dave D

    Hey Oscar I’m with you, if people aren’t currently running some filtering AND watching where they’re running their esc signal and power wire (ie:get them as faraway as possible from the board and video signal, which is not easy) are asking for glitches and problems. Latency yes I can deff see that could be a hindrance for racers where this product seams a natural fit for, but seeing as I don’t race, my vote goes for getting more recording datarate. Plus getting more robust replacements for those fragile power/mode buttons, as I did have to get mine replaced cause one of the buttons stopped working. Oh yeah people if you have problems with your products and it’s under warranty TELL runcam they just sent me a new board totally free!!!

    Reply
  2. JB

    Hi oscar was just about to buy the v1 but may as well wait. So does it display voltage since I’m not running telemetry ? Also how cool would it be to make a micro 2 axis gimbal for this lightweight camera.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      It doesn’t have OSD built-in, but most FC these days have Betaflight OSD on them so that shouldn’t be an issue :)

      Reply
      1. Kevin

        OSD is in the works…

        Had a reply from Runcam saying they’re working on an OSD similar to the max7456 system.

  3. Geoff

    Thanks Oscar for your beta review and look forward to catching your full review.
    Could you provide these dimensions? Yes, these could change. (It’s a prototype :-)

    COMPONENTS (TOP)
    +=====================+
    COMPONENTS (BOTTOM)

    Reply
  4. Christopher

    I hope there is a basic in flight OSD with ability to show pilots call sign in the FPV feed/ This was not an option in V1 and was a major let down.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      OSD has been a request before the V1 even came out. I think the hold up is due to the limited space on the board. Hopefully they can come up with OSD in the future.

      Reply
  5. Scott McClarin

    THIS! is what I have been waiting for! now to see when it can be purchased online? who will get it first?

    Reply
    1. Scott McClarin

      Just preordered a Split V2 direct from Runcam; Expected release date is 18th Oct 2017 you can preorder direct from RunCam here: shop.runcam.com/runcam-split-2/

      Reply
  6. Pablo

    My runcam split v1 stop working (the red led is blinking all the time and the camera don’t power up…
    Anyone knows when the v2 its going to be available?

    Reply
  7. Banner

    A lot of people dont like the latency on the split 1, if runcam can half it or make it the same as the swift 2 then ill definitely be buying it. I notice a big difference latency wise when i use the split compared to the swift 2. Wonder if they fixed the jello issues too, have had 2 splits with gopro lens and both had crazy jello till i changed the lens, after that the jello died down a bit

    Reply
  8. TODD LANDEN

    I HAVE 4 OF THE V1’S. THREE ARE STILL NEW IN THE BOXES. I FOUND A WAY TO SOLDER A POS/NEG WIRE TO POWER THE SPLIT ALONE WITH A 1S BATTERY SO YOU DONT HAVE TO POWER YOUR DRONE TO DOWNLOAD VIDEO TO YOUR PHONE/APP. FPV RACERS NEED TO REALLY LOOK INTO THIS. THE QUALITY OF FEED AND DOWNLOAD VIDEO IS AMAZING.

    I’D SURE LIKE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT TRADE IN POLICY FOR THE GUNIEA PIG V1 TO A V2. DONT SEE THAT HAPPENING HOWEVER

    Reply
  9. jo

    I agree with Scott and Lamaule. Many people had severe issues with the Split so far. I bought three from different dealers and different charges and already received three(!) more for replacement. None of all these worked correctly for more then 5 flights. 2 or 3 I had to reset or reflash already three times each. I finally stopped any setups with split and saved my time and motivation for less frustrating projects.
    If you call this “minor issues” it’s a slap in the face of money people and I start to doubt that your reviews are still neutral and objective. It would be a pity if not.

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I used 2 of the Split V1 and they all worked as expected. So you think my reviews are not objective because I didn’t have the issues that you had? That’s an “objective” comment? :D
      It’s not going to help you get your money back by moaning on my blog you know. Talk to Runcam! :)

      Reply
      1. Kevin

        From my experiance, some SD cards that function well wih PC’s, don’t work well with other devices. Had this issue with several Samsung SD’s in Samsung cell phone no less. Swapping to another brand of the same spec’s solved the issue. Not even sure why this would be an issue with what should be compatable products.

  10. Azhar

    Bluetooth module uses mini HDMI? Looks like a micro HDMI port.
    Interesting choice, does it mean we can also use the bluetooth module on any other micro hdmi device (like a gopro and get live feed?

    Or we can plug in a micro HDMI cable to a screen?

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      It’s the Wifi module not BT module :)
      And no, it doesn’t do live feed :) it’s purely designed for wifi :)

      Reply
  11. nub

    Can the v2 output 16:9 FPV feed without letterboxing?
    And they should have a trade in program for the poor saps, like me who beta tested their super buggy v1.

    Reply
  12. Scott Durham

    Please give Runcam feedback to redesign the fpv feed so that it is live all the time it is powered. I have had multiple frozen screens with the fpv feed causing multiple crashes. I now only use it as a stand alone recording camera because I can’t trust it. Thanks for the review Oscar!

    Reply
    1. Lamaule

      Agreed, I have had the same issue. I’m frustrated with runcam, this isn’t a new unit this is just addressing the flaws with the old one – which were substantial! Runcam should really recall the v1 and issue customers with an upgrade to the one that actually works!!!

      Reply
      1. Scott Durham

        I agree! I love the idea of the Runcam Split but with the issues it has it is not safe to use! An upgraded safe version would be a show of awesome customer support!

  13. Ed Scott

    I don’t think 17volt is enough to handle the voltage spikes of some ESC can throw on breaking, I could be wrong but the early foxeer arrow v1 only had 20 volts or so and would burn up. Mayeb they added some spike filtering? Please find out before I upgrade. Also no OSD

    Reply
    1. nub

      i’d agree, expect voltage spikes of around 22V-24V on ESC’s that are considered to be low noise, seen some ESC’s giving voltage spikes of 27V+ lol

      Reply
      1. Oscar Post author

        I don’t know about you guys… but I would never connect my VTX/Camera directly to LiPo without having additional LC filter and/or voltage regulator in between :) usually i only power my FPV system with regulated 12V :)

  14. Jerome Demers

    if the Betaflight OSD integration come to life, do you think it will be compatible with simple software update or it will need new hardware aka V3?

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I believe it would be possible through serial port (UART) which is already available on the Split. But it’s still a very early stage for this feature and things could change.

      Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      As I asked Runcam about this, they confirmed the Split V2 will have built-in filters to protect the camera from voltage spikes.

      Reply
  15. Blake

    Nice! Thank you for the article Oscar! When you post the performance review, please let us know if there’s still horizontal bars in the upper right corner of the HD recording. :)

    Reply
  16. Marek

    The reinforced ribbon cable will fit into Split V1? Also, can i just buy PCB and ribbon cable and connect it to V1 lens? That’s so awesome that they improved Split. Maybe it will be good this time :D

    Reply
      1. Faawks

        I’m also been interested in the latency, it will either make or break this camera, I simply can’t fly right with a lot of latency.

        Thanks for your review, I’ll keep my eyes on this one.

    1. Oscar Post author

      Runcam came back to me about this saying they have taken into account of the possible voltage spikes in a mini quad, so it should be relatively safe to use with 4S lipo.

      Reply

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