The Best FPV Camera for Mini Quad

This article features some of the best FPV cameras, you choice can massively affect your flying experience. Factors including wide dynamic range, latency, FOV, all determine how well you can see obstacles and how fast you can react to avoid a crash.

We will also discuss the features and benefits of each camera, make sure to learn about the basics of FPV camera before making your decision. For other mini quad products recommendation, check out our “Best FPV Product” posts.

Index of Content

All FPV Cameras in a Spreadsheet!

Here is a spreadsheet including all the FPV cameras which I constantly update.

I compiled the specifications of all FPV cameras for mini quad in this spreadsheet so you can compare them more closely.

What’s the Best FPV Camera Size?

There are four FPV camera sizes: Full Size, Mini, Micro and Nano.

In my opinion, micro size is the best for mini quad. It usually has the same performance as the full size camera but in a smaller and lighter package. There are adapters you can use if your frame only support full size camera so they are still compatible.


The Best Micro FPV Camera

FPV cameras keep getting smaller, yet retaining the same performance from full size cameras.

Runcam Micro Eagle – Best All Around Camera

After 2 years since its release, still undoubtedly the best “all around” FPV camera in my opinion. The best things about this camera is the incomparable wide dynamic range performance. It can handles even the toughest lighting condition that other cameras would struggle with. It also works well at low light.

However not everyone like the Micro Eagle, mostly because of the digital processing artifacts. check my review of the Runcam Micro Eagle and decide for yourself.

In this post I compared the Micro Eagle to the Micro Swift 2, Predator and SDR1.

Purchase:


Runcam Phoenix – Best Day Time Camera

Designed for day time flying, this has one of the best image quality of all the FPV cameras in both color and detail. It’s sharp without digital artifacts, and the UART feature allows you to connect this camera to your flight controller for easy access to the camera setting. However it doesn’t perform as nice in low light. Check out some sample footage here.

Purchase:


Caddx Ratel – Best Value Camera

This camera is a relatively cheap camera for the performance it has to offer. Good balance of WDR and contrast, no digital artifacts and natural color. However due to the lower price, it’s not as reliable as the more expensive cameras – there are reports of brand new cameras having unfocused lenses, dusts on the sensors etc… But these are generally easy fixes.

Purchase: 


The Best Full Size FPV Camera

Runcam Swift 2

Runcam Swift 2 - top 5 best fpv camera

The Runcam Swift 2 is basically the original Swift with some additional features: OSD for timer and voltage monitoring, audio, wider input voltage and more flexible mounting solution. There are 3 lens options available to meet all your FOV requirement (2.1mm 165°, 2.3mm 150°, 2.5mm 130°).

This is just a simple OSD that reports voltage, you can’t do PID tuning or other advance stuff like that with it. If you don’t need the OSD you can also turn it off. A lot of FC these days offers OSD capability, but if yours doesn’t, then the Swift 2 would make your day a lot easier.

Review | Purchase: Banggood, Amazon, GetFPV


Runcam Eagle 2

The Runcam Eagle 2 is probably one of the most recommended FPV cameras for its outstanding image quality and amazing WDR ability.

The wide dynamic range and light handling is phenomenon IMO and it’s just as good as those CCD’s if not better. In the V2 they’ve lowered the latency to be on par with the Swift, and it handles low light even better in this version with very close performance to the Owl 2.

The Eagle 2 exists in 4:3 and 16:9 versions, so you can choose whichever matches the aspect ratio on your FPV Goggles or display.

However this cameras have some digital processing artifacts which some people really hate. Please see my review to decide whether this is for you.

I personally prefer the “Eagle 2” over the “Eagle 2 Pro” due to the more superior low light performance. Although the Eagle 2 Pro supports both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio, but the 4:3 image is cropped and therefore the FOV is too small for my liking, which I think it’s better for those using 16:9 goggles. The Pro version has added several new features which makes it a better choice for some people.

Review | Purchase: Banggood, Amazon, RMRC


Foxeer HS1177 V2

HS1177 - top 5 best fpv camera

A very basic, tried and tested camera, capable of producing decent image quality. I would say it’s very close to the performance of the Runcam Swift 1. Main difference I have found is the image colour.

The HS1177 is made by Foxeer and it’s been around the longest in this list. When it came out in 2015, and it kind of revolutionized the FPV camera industry by its compact form factor. HS1177 took over board cameras as the new dimension standard. Since 2016, nearly all mini quad frames are designed to support the HS1177 form factor cameras, and all popular cameras nowadays followed this size.

Because it came out to the market early, many people adapted to it and are still using it today. Due to the high popularity, there are clones being sold more cheaply. Therefore be aware when searching for HS1177, as there is no guarantee on performance of the counterfeit.

Purchase: Banggood, Amazon


Runcam Night Eagle 2 Pro

The military grade” Night Eagle is designed strictly for low light FPV. It only does black and white mode but it’s really magical as it allows you to see clearly in extreme darkness when you think it’s impossible.

Only get this camera if you plan to only use it at night, I’d steer away from this camera for day time flying.

Purchase:

Best Nano FPV Camera

Performance of Nano cameras is not as good Full size or Micro cameras due to the smaller sensor and lens. I’d only use Nano cameras under extreme restrictions of weight and size, like in a whoop or 2.5″ micro.

In this post I tested all of the popular nano size cameras.


Runcam Nano 2 – Best Budget

It works well for the most part out of the box. Easy to use as you don’t have to mess with the setting.

Purchase:


Runcam Racer Nano – Best Performance

It allows you to change settings and have full control of the camera, more powerful and works better in a wider range of conditions.

Purchase: 

I’ve tried several other nano size cameras, but considering all factors including WDR, low light performance and price, they are just not worth recommending, including the Caddx EOS2, Kangaroo and Predator.

Edit History

  • Mar 2017 – Article created
  • Oct 2017 – Updated Eagle 2, Added Micro Swift 2, Remove Runcam Owl 2
  • Dec 2017 – Added Foxeer Predator
  • Feb 2018 – Updated Micro FPV Cameras, added a test between popular options
  • Sep 2019 – Updated products

11 thoughts on “The Best FPV Camera for Mini Quad

  1. Echo

    Hi everyone,
    Sorry to disturb but I am having huge difficulties with my Foxeer Arrow V3. I have tried many different settings and configurations, but every time the image is really dark and I can’t make out any details. It is definitely not the VTx as I have tried 3 different ones and it can’t be the antenna. I can see perfectly well inside, but the moment I go outside, all details go really dark and I can hardly see anything. I can still see the sky well though. Please can someone help me as this is my first mini quad and I am stuck on LOS as I can’t see a thing through FPV. I also recently added a capacitor and it only helped to remove noise and nothing else. Now I have a nice noise-free video feed which is still dark.

    Kind regards.

    Reply
  2. Chris C

    What country are you in? I just assumed it was the US until I saw the smaller cars, license plates, and the lack of SUVs.

    Reply
  3. Sean Morison

    In some ways I preferred the Caddx, definitely needs brightness and color adjustment. The light adjustment is worse on the Caddx, but perhaps because it has a high brightness setting, it is adjusting a lot more.

    Curious how my F1 will be.

    Reply
  4. M Argus Chopin Gyver

    Are there post need to be updated?
    I mean really, we have a really good micro camera that can shaved your multicopter weight and can deliver so similar picture quality with the bigger one

    Just sayin :)

    Reply
  5. Kavin

    Can you to be honest with your followers? you are misleading, why you list all the new version Runcam, but list very very old Foxeer cameras, I am using Monster V2, it is better than eagle and cheaper, and Foxeer is first make this size camera, Runcam follow, then Foxeer add OSD in the camera, Runcam copy, what is next?

    Reply
  6. Aldo A.

    Oscar.

    Foxeer also has their “pocket” version of the CCD camera, marketed as XAT600SM. It doesn’t have a fancy case like the swift mini, but it is the direct contender.

    surveilzone.com/dc5v-22v-17-17mm-super-mini-600tvl-sony-super-had-ccd-super-fpv-camera

    Reply
  7. Craig Fisher

    I am very new to flying quadcopters. I have a strong need for some type of camera that I can view and record on my Samsung S-7 Smartphone. It appears to me that the WiFi signals from the best cameras will only send a signal 10 meters. I need to be able to view a live signal on my drone at least 300 meters. Will the FPV format allow me to do this and if so, what all to I need besides the camera? I suspect there has to be some kind of receiver that can transmit the signal to my Samsung 7?
    Any help at all would be appreciated.

    Reply
    1. Ben Portman

      You’d need a wifi booster on the quadcopter… but it’s not really your quadcopter that’s the problem, it’s your phone, most phone’s wifi antenna are truly shyte. That’s so we get small phones! I’d watch this youtube.com/watch?v=NgLFhU5Mbh4 , Andy there does a lot of good stuff and it’s worth subscribing to his channel.
      You seem to want to go a different root to most of us use, that would be an FPV system..let’s say a Eachine TX03, which has a flyable camera and a video transmitter combined , it needs a 5v supply (from you flight controller?) to send back a good image to some goggles, say Hobby king Quanums or Furibee vx 1’s if you’re really looking for cheap stuff, I use JJr pro somethings.
      On larger quads, and I’m talking larger as being over 120mm these days! to record full 1080 most of us would use a mobius mini, mobius, runcam… the rich blokes would use a go pro. There are so many action cams out there (Aldi are selling a 4K action cam for £45 right now) you just strap that on, point it where your FPV camera points and press record before you fly.
      Using a phone for FPV right now is complicated and probably won’t give as good results as the system I suggested above. The latency involved in send a full 1080, even 720 makes anything more that cruising about very diffcult, and you would loose quality. I know the Samsung has an excellent screen (maybe overkill for the size of it) but It’s going to be hard to get an image of that quality back to it from a quadcopter at this point in time…in 2 years…. well….

      Reply

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