The Runcam Thumb Mini Action camera is an exciting new cam for micro FPV drones. It’s super light coming in at just under 10 grams, can be powered externally and supports micro SD card for ultra long recording time. This camera has an onboard gyro sensor so the footage can be stabilized with Gyroflow.
It looks quite similar to the Insta360 GO 2, but features and capability are very different. To learn more about HD Action Cameras for FPV, check out this post.
Table of Contents
Where to Buy?
Update: there’s a new version, the Thumb Pro!
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-nib7
- RaceDayQuads: https://oscarliang.com/product-v7kd
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DDDHL2N
You can also get the Runcam Thumb camera with the Flywoo Firefly Nano Quad as a bundle, together they only weigh 33g: https://oscarliang.com/product-fuxy
It comes with the following accessories:
- 1x Mounting Bracket
- 1x 3D printed holder
- 1x Micro USB Cable
- 1x ND16 Filter
- 1x Power Cable
- Some M2 screws and nuts
- 1x Manual
Features and Specs
- Resolution: 1080p 60FPS
- Built-in Gyro (for Gyroflow)
- 150° FOV
- Powered by 5.0V (from USB or Power Port)
- Support Micro SD Card with up to 128G capacity
- Micro USB Port
- Power consumption: At 5V, 200mA when standby, 280mA when recording
- File format: MP4
- Video Bitrate: 20Mbps
- Built-in Microphone for audio
- Weight: 10g
Closer Look at the Runcam Thumb
The Runcam Thumb action camera is easy to use. It turns on as soon as you power it. There’s only one button which starts and stops the recording. You can’t change any of the settings such as resolution and frame rate.
It has a micro USB connector for data transfer, it can also be used for powering the camera.
The camera comes with a lens protector, which can be easily removed and replaced with an ND filter (ND16 included in the package).
The Runcam Thumb camera is not waterproof, there are cooling vent on the top and bottom of the camera.
Here’s the back of the camera.
The camera takes a micro SD card, supports up to 128GB capacity. Yes, you have to spend extra to buy the card, but you can get a lot more capacity if you want to compared to the GO 2 camera which has a fixed internal memory.
The Runcam Thumb has no internal battery, so it’s drastically lighter than the GO 2, but it also means it has to be powered by an external 5V power source, either through the 2-pin input power port or the USB port. When recording it draws around 280mA of current, so the 5V BEC on majority of the FC these days should be able to handle it, with a current rating of 0.5A or higher should be ok.
Mounting the Runcam Thumb camera on a micro drone (GepRC Rocket in this case) with the provided mount. With the long screw slots, it fits many micro frames out there saving you from getting a 3D printed mount.
However this mount is made of quite flexible material and it shows some jello in the footage. I think it’s still best to get some sort of more sturdy 3D printed mount for this camera.
The image actually looks pretty decent for a $50 camera. I wish it had higher resolution than just 1080p so when the video gets cropped down by Gyroflow (the image stabilization tool), it can still maintain real 1080p and not a scaled up one. The bitrate is not particularly high, at only 20Mbps, the image is not particularly sharp either, but it’s still a step up from analog FPV footage, even DVR from the DJI FPV system. For comparison the GO 2 can do up to 80Mbps.
The colour looks pretty low in saturation and neutral at first glance, and fairly close to what we see in real life, that leaves us room for some colour grading. It’s not super over-saturated like some of the older HD cameras from Runcam, which is a big plus. Wide dynamic range struggles a bit when you have shadow and bright sky in the same frame, the sky would get blown out and the shadow just under exposed. But the lighting transition is fast and doesn’t feel distracting to watch.
Anyway, you get what you pay for… after all it’s a pretty cheap camera.
Oh, and using the provided ND filter does help reduce some of the jello.
A demo video from Mofo FPV:
Enabling Gyro Date Recording for Gyro Flow
Out of the box, the camera doesn’t record Gyro data, you have to enable it by creating a csvopen.txt file manually in the root directory of the camera’s micro SD card, then restart the camera.
Note that the frame rate will drop to 50fps after this, and the gyroscope data will be stored in the same directory as the video files in CSV file format, ready to be imported to Gyroflow.
Edit “thumb.conf” file with a text editor, set GCsv=1.
Also it’s recommended to change video resolution to 50fps manually to ensure reliability (due to processor speed limitation), it’s not changed automatically.
You should update your camera to the latest version, the original V1.0.0 doesn’t work well with Gyroflow and V2.1.0 addressed this problem. You will also be able to adjust camera settings after updating, using the “thumb.conf” text file (this file will be automatically generated after successful firmware update).
Here’s how to update firmware:
Download latest firmware from Runcam’s product page: https://www.runcam.com/download/runcamthumb/. Manually copy the firmware file (Thumb.bin) to the root directory in the micro SD card.
Power on camera from 5V power source.
Firmware upgrade status
- green light flashes slowly – firmware is updating
- green light flashes quickly – update almost complete
- LED off – the camera shuts down and the update is complete
Runcam Thumb vs. Insta360 GO 2
The Runcam Thumb has a similar shape to the Insta360 GO 2, but it’s slightly longer, narrower and much thinner in dimension.
- Runcam Thumb is much cheaper at only $50 vs Insta360 GO 2’s $300
- Runcam Thumb is way lighter at only 10g while the GO 2 weighs 26.8g
- Thumb must be powered from external power source, while the GO 2 has an internal battery which is more flexible in terms of application
- The GO 2 uses internal memory to store footage (32GB), but the Thumb requires a micro SD card which supports up to 128GB… you have to spend extra to get the memory card, but it can be much larger in terms of storage
- GO 2 is waterproof, Runcam Thumb is not
- Both cameras has video stabilization, the GO 2 can be done in its own video editor, while the Thumb uses Gyroflow with data from its onboard Gyro sensor
- The Thumb is “dummy proof”, only one button to start/stop recording, no settings available. The GO 2 is considerable more complicated to use but it’s way more flexible and more powerful when it comes to user control and higher quality footage
- The Thumb is designed to be used for recording in the horizontal rotation while the GO 2 can do both vertical and horizonal