Help selecting a new FPV camera / recorder
« on: September 07, 2020, 09:02:01 pm »
I'm wanting to buy a new FPV camera and wonder if anyone has experience with some of the current stuff.

onboard recording at least 720p@30fps
NTSC/PAL output with minimal lag <100ms
decent night performance
light weight < 100g
OSD screen configuration

I would really like:
no recording time limitation

I would like:
higher recording resolution than 720@30, 4k might be overkill unless I do post processing...
NTSC/PAL output with minimal lag <50ms
decent moonlight only performance
light weight < 50g
small size low drag

Nice to have but not expected:
image stabilization

Other than image stabilization and "no recording time limit", there seem to be several that I ran across in a day of searching, but I would really like to remove that recording time limit.  Anybody have opinions on what brands they like or what to avoid?  It helps to actually own both the one you like and the one you don't like.  :)


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Re: Help selecting a new FPV camera / recorder
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 09:11:24 am »
I'm interested, too. Seems, however, no one here has such setup.

I'd also like to add one more important feature, at least for me: OSD (MinimOSD) compatibility of the FPV camera output.

Re: Help selecting a new FPV camera / recorder
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2020, 07:45:06 am »
Are you talking about camera sync level issues?  I recall reading here about some people who have camera/OSD problems but I guess I was lucky with my one setup.  I initially thought that the user problems were PAL/NTSC issue but I also remember something about sync levels too... maybe floating (capacitively coupled) output vs direct connect and that "cheap import cameras" were more compatible with MinimOSD?  Or is this from long ago when OP OSD was discussed?  :)

I built my own MW-OSD firmware.  I got the very last free ShikOfTheRa scarab-osd (v1.6.8.0?) from git.  I got the one just before it became non-free.  It's been a few years, but I think I am running ShikOfTheRa firmware and LP configurator.

I've bought several of those tiny square MinimOSD boards at a good price  ::) on eBay.  Hardware problems turned out to be "no boot loader" and I got them working.

Here are the two issues I have seen.  I think I fixed one.:
- OSD would go away and come back, but only during flight.  I think I finally traced that down to the fact that the 12V OSD power was coming directly from the 3S LiPo motor battery and would apparently go too low at higher throttles, especially later in the flight when the battery voltage was lower and the added drop from current draw caused too much sag.  I don't "over prop" so the voltage was not really that low.  My initial fix was adding a lot of filtering to the 12V, and that did not fix it.
- OSD only displays on every other field.  I recall seeing the OSD in my goggles, but not in my recordings?  Cheap recorder (supposedly D1/640x480) in goggles probably only got one field.  For other users that don't know, each frame (at 30/second or 25/second) is made from 2 interlaced fields, one that has all the odd scan lines in the frame and the other that has all the even scan lines in the frame.


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Re: Help selecting a new FPV camera / recorder
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2020, 03:44:24 pm »
I use the same Micro MinimOSD boards you refer, they work fine for me once I've learned to filter their +5V power supply and avoid ground loops in video signal circuitry. I'm running them with personalized firmware based on LibrePilot MinimOSD code.

However, I recall I've seen reports in the net that some FPV cameras don't work well with these or similar OSD modules. I'm under impression that (probably) 1000TVL or 1200TVL cams output signal cannot be correctly processed by MAX7456 and it cannot properly detect sync pulses.

I've myself never experienced such a problem as all my FPV cams are 700TVL or 800TVL (Runcams Nano, Eagle2, Micro Eagle). Video feed from Mobius Mini is also fine for MinimOSD.

Btw, Banggood stopped selling these Micro MinimOSD boards. But they can still be found on AliExpress, ebay, xt-xinte.


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Re: Help selecting a new FPV camera / recorder
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2020, 08:06:19 pm »
I've been flying various versions of the orange Runcams, most recently the 4K. There is no time limit that I'm aware of but it does break up videos (at least in 4k) into 8:45 chunks - which are about 4 Gbytes each. Excellent resolution, viewing into the sun doesn't white out the display. I feed a 5.8Ghz NTSC vidxmtr but no OSD on it currently.
The wifi is occasionally useful for field reviewing. Adjustable resolution. Decent in low light. Wide input power range.