Getting the best FPV camera for racing is a daunting affair. This is because of their high numbers in the market coupled with the fact that most of us don’t know how to sieve out those half-baked products in order to remain with the best ones.
For that reason, I have dusted off all the shelves in an attempt to find the best products for you. Before that, however, I will give you some of the criteria you can use to identify the best FPV cameras for racing.
Why does FPV racing require a dedicated camera?
While other FPV drones are okay with the use of a normal camera, FPV racing requires one to use dedicated cameras. This begs the question; what is the difference? Well, basically, dedicated cameras have lower latency which means that video and images are delivered in time.
Given the fact that FPV racing requires fast speed, using the normal cameras would jeopardize the safety of your FPV drone. This is because a delay could mean failure for you to notice an obstacle in time. Failure to see an obstacle in time means that you will not be able to avoid it as well. This could result in an accident. This is the reason why FPV racing requires one to use dedicated cameras.
What do you need to consider when choosing the best FPV camera for racing?
When looking for a good FPV camera, there are numerous factors you need to consider. They include:
Field of view is quite crucial when it comes to getting the best FPV camera. The FOV will greatly determine how many details you will be able to capture.
A wider FOV allows you to view a wider environment while a narrow FOV only allows you to see very little. The main problem associated with a wide FOV is the fact that the horizon will appear curved which makes much of the details at the center appear further than they actually are.
Look at the image below taken using a wide FIV camera:
On the other hand, when the FOV is too small, the image will also have some defects. For instance, the image will most likely appear zoomed-in making it look altered. In general, wider FOV are better since they allow you to see a wide space.
2. The camera’s TVL.
TV line is a critical element for any FPV camera as well. It is a measure of the camera’s resolution. Basically, TV line affects how clear an image appears, how many details are captured and how real the details appear.
A low TVL could alter some colours as well as some details on an image.
A higher TVL gives better image quality.
For that reason, you need to confirm the TVL before you settle for any FPV camera. TV line basically represents alternating black and white lines hence determine how the colour scheme appears on any image. Although cameras with a higher TVL are slightly expensive, they are worth their price.
Look at the image below for instance:
3. The nature of the imaging sensor.
The nature of the imaging sensor greatly affects how clear an image appears as well as affects the delay of video display.
Basically, there are two options when it comes to FPV camera sensors. The CCD and CMOS are the two sensors used for imaging in FPVF cameras. While CCD has been in use for quite some time CMOS have proven quite reliable.
For this reason, you need to consider the imaging sensor used in any FPV camera before you settle for it.
What are the differences between these two imaging sensors?
Well, while the major difference between the two types emanates from the quality of images they can produce. CMOS have better resolution and colour which translates to better image quality than the CCM. Although CMOS are quite expensive compared to CCM, they are the best imaging sensors.
4. The video encoding standard.
It is equally important that you check the video encoding standard used in any FPV camera before purchasing it.
There are two encoding standards which mean that you have to be clear on which standard you wish to use.
Whether you decide to use NTSC or PAL, each standard has its own specific features. Although some countries are clear on which standard they allow for use, PAL offers the highest quality images due to its impressive resolution.
On the other hand, NTSC offers a better footage due to its higher frame rate. For that reason, you need to pick the camera which supports the standard that will help you achieve your plans.
5. The latency.
Latency is yet another important factor that needs to be looked into before you purchase any FPV camera for racing.
This is because it affects several details which could jeopardize the overall safety of your drone. Latency is basically the delay in displaying of the video and images. A delay when you are racing could result in accidents since you do not get to see obstacles in advance.
For that reason, you need to ensure that your FPV camera has a very low latency for the overall safety of your drone.
Which are the best FPV cameras for racing?
Although there is a plethora of FPV cameras in the market, there are some which have out-muscled the rest with their excellent features. They include:
FPV camera comparison chart
PAL (1280H x 1024V)
NTSC (1312H x 1069V)
1. Aomway CCD 1200 TVL:
This FPV camera has numerous features which make it quite impressive. Although I find it slightly disadvantaged due to the fact that it uses CCD imaging sensor, the TVL of 1200 need not be over-emphasized.
It can provide the highest quality images and videos thanks to its amazing TVL. Given its weight, coupled with the fact that it is a plug and play FPV camera, I think it is quite awesome.
2. RunCam Swift 600TVL:
As the name suggest, the TVL is evidently excellent.A TVL of 600 is simply impressive and can produce awesome images.
What’s more, this FPV camera comes with an IR filter which ensures that you are not affected by the IR light.
Given its lightweight coupled with its awesome price and excellent quality, it is an impressive camera for your FPV drone.
3. Spektrum VA1100 Micro Camera:
This is yet another impressive FPV camera available on the market.
Given its impressive size, Spektrum FPV camera is quite impressive. The image quality is out of the question and its 5.8 GHz receiver makes it even better.
If you are looking for a quality FPV camera which is easy to assemble, this is exactly what you should be going for.
4. Summitlink Sony 700TVL:
I would like you take note of its impressive TVL.
This is even higher than that of RunCam which means that you are able to capture finer details.
The FOV is quite wide which in some cases brings about the issue I had addressed earlier on. However, this camera is generally impressive.
Armed with this information, I believe getting the best FPV camera for racing is just a snap! Just make sure that it fulfils the parameters outlined above!