FPV Camera Differences Explained | Drone Racing Report | Vol 26

FPV Camera Differences Explained | Drone Racing Report | Vol 26


Whether you’re building a new quad or upgrading
an existing one, you’ll want to make sure you pick out the right FPV camera for your
setup. We will take a look at the FOV, resolution,
sensor, aspect ratio, latency, as well as the connections and extra features. Find out which are the most important when
selecting an FPV camera. The first choice to make is the physical size FPV cameras come in nano, micro, and mini
sizes in addition to the standard size camera. The size you need will depend on the frame
you have and options for mounting holes. Your next decision will be the type of sensor
you want: CMOS or CCD The primary difference between the two is
the type of shutter. CCD cameras have a global shutter, which means
that the entire sensor is exposed all at once. A CMOS camera uses a rolling shutter, meaning
the sensor is exposed from top to bottom. What this means is that high-speed action
is tougher to catch smoothly with a CMOS camera, and sometimes results in a vibrating image. This effect is called “jello”. CMOS cameras have their own advantages however. The most important is that they have lower
latency than CCD cameras. This means the image gets to your goggles
more quickly, and is the reason you can’t fly (yet) using a GoPro as your FPV camera. CMOS FPV cameras are also much cheaper to
produce, and the technology is improving rapidly. Most new FPV cameras on the market now are
CMOS designs. The aspect ratio and resolution should compliment
your goggles. This isn’t always obvious to many pilots,
but is important if you want the best FPV image possible. The aspect ratio is the dimensions of the
screen. Older tube-type televisions and many traditional
cameras use a boxy 4:3 ratio, as do CCD sensors. High-def TV’s, widescreen displays, and
CMOS sensors use a 16:9 ratio. Your FPV goggles will have a native aspect
ratio for the display screens. Your FPV camera will ALSO have a native aspect
ratio. For the best image possible, make sure to
match the ratio of your camera to that of your goggles. If they don’t match, your goggles will have
to either stretch or cut-off part of your image in order to make it fit the screen. Likewise, be sure to utilize the full resolution
of your goggles if possible. The resolution on FPV cameras is typically
listed in TVL, or “television lines”. This is the horizontal resolution of the camera. You will see cameras listed at 600TVL, 800TVL,
1000TVL, etc. If your goggles display a max resolution of
640×480, then a 700TVL FPV camera would be a good match. An 800TVL would cover goggles that display
800×600 resolution, and so on. There is a practical limitation however in
the amount of bandwidth your video transmitter will have. In most cases, 800TVL should be enough. The field of view is something else to consider Field of view is your angle of vision. Some cameras advertise the FOV, but you can
also approximate it by finding the focal length of the camera lens. As a point of reference, the human eye has
a focal length close to 3mm, which is about a 127 degree FOV. This is a good starting point for FPV cameras. The wider your FOV, the more you can see to
the sides. Going too wide however can distract some pilots
with more in the frame and less focus on the center, and can also introduce distortion
effects just as a curved image or fisheye look. Experiment to find the FOV that works best
for you. Latency is simply how long it takes for the
camera to process the image and send it to the video transmitter While this number is often not advertised
on an FPV camera, it is one of the most important. With a quad moving at 80+mph, it is easy to
see why latency can be so crucial. Every millisecond counts, and seeing an image
slightly behind where your quad actually is on the track can be the difference in making
it through a gate or slamming into an obstacle. Online reviews and camera comparisons are
your best bet for learning about the latency ratings for the different camera models. Here are some other features and options to
be aware of: Check the video format to make sure it matches
your region. For most of North America, Japan, and South
Korea, it is NTSC. Most of the rest of the world uses PAL, though
there are some other formats. The dynamic range will affect the image quality. Cameras with a wide dynamic range will deliver
good detail in situations with a large difference in light, such as sunny areas combined with
shadows. Better cameras typically have a better dynamic
range. Some cameras have a built-in video transmitter. This is a great feature for micro-quad builds,
but we prefer a separate dedicated transmitter for larger builds. Some cameras might also come with an On-screen
display or a built-in microphone, and new features and designs are being constantly
added. Have any questions about FPV cameras or anything
else related to FPV? Let us know in the comments, or visit us at
the Drone Racing International FPV Facebook group. Be sure to check out ArchangelFPV.com for
some upcoming exciting news and racing drone products. See the description for links. Thanks for visiting Dronucopia, and happy
flying!

7 thoughts on “FPV Camera Differences Explained | Drone Racing Report | Vol 26”

  1. Being someone who's not interested in recording video but rather enjoying the view within the FPV I'm struggling to find a camera that would suit that need. Seem's everything I find or see shows extremely distorted or fuzzy FPV view. Is that really how everyone flys?

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