Right now the Caddx Ratel is one of our favourite cameras around when considering its performance and cost. But rather than just taking my word this article will look at the 4 cameras performance in various lighting conditions. Read on to see how the FPV cameras perform.
This article shows some direct comparisons between the most popular 1200TVL FPV cameras along with a few of my own personal comments and observations. It will help give you a feel of how each camera performs in typical FPV situations and which will be best for you.
To make the comparison fair, all the cameras have been fitted to a special 4 way FPV camera rig fitted onto a quadcopter. The video feeds are then recorded via there own onboard DVR boards. The 4 video feeds can then be compared post flight. Lets take a look. The screen grabs are synced up as best as possible to make for a fair comparison, so bear this in mind as the side by side images are not all at the exact same time. A special thanks to Gal Kremer for sharing his footage for me to use, be sure to check out his channel for other great FPV videos.
The Foxeer Cat has the best image sensor which outperforms the other cameras in low light. The Caddx Ratel is closely behind in low light and is consistently good across all lighting situations. The Falkor is great, and super sharp in the day but terrible in low light. The Eagle is great in day and decent in low light, but the white flash problem when transitioning from light to dark can be a real pain.
Click image for full screen view
The daylight samples are not particularly interesting to be honest. All of the cameras perform very well. The Falkor produces a great crisp image both in terms of colour and sharpness which is why it is one of the most popular daylight cameras. The Eagle is no longer the holy grail of FPV cameras when you compared to the other two, the image is not as sharp and the colours are also washed out.
Despite primarily being a starlight camera, the Cat produces a great daylight image, having a nice balance of sharpness and colour saturation, but has a low field of view which some pilots do not like. The Ratel produces very nice daylight footage too, however the colours tend to be over saturated, despite this everything looks crisp and it has great dynamic range.
Low Light Samples
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The night footage is quite interesting as it shows that the cheapest camera here (Ratel) consistently produces a great low light image. The Foxeer Cat realy shines in low light as it has the widest low light dynamic range. The Falkor has way to much noise to be able to make anything out, while the eagle is a lot better, it still suffers from alot of speckled noise which can get distracting when trying to hit a gap.
As you can see from the footage, all the cameras perform very well during daylight making it quite hard to choose a clear winner. Many people like the Falkor daylight performance due to the nice and sharp image. I tend to prefer the overall feel of the Ratel/Cat in daylight as it has nice colour and the image is still very sharp without appearing over-sharpened. When it comes to low light, the Foxeer Cat is the clear winner here. The main negative of the Foxeer Cat is that is has a considerably smaller FOV compared to other cameras (around 105 degrees diagonal), this is mainly due to the high apeture lens it uses (to allow more light), so that is something to consider if you are a fan of a wide FOV like me.
After directly comparing the footage (both in post analysis and from flights) you can see why the Caddx Ratel is such a popular camera. It is the cheapest camera here, and consistently performs well in all lighting situations. So the Ratel is still the camera I suggest if anyone asks what FPV camera to get for now. But to be honest since most of us fly in daylight all these cameras perform very well. It just goes to show how far FPV camera technology has come with so many excellent camera options.
Where To Buy
Now that we have looked at some specific details you can view the entire video below to see how they perform in real time, just bear in mind some of the artefacts of YouTube compression and DVR, so its not exactly what you see on your FPV goggles, but its as close as you can get without actually flying it.
Thanks for reading and if you like this kind of content (or not) let us know so we know what sort of stuff to write. And be sure to stop by and say hi on your friendly drone forums or the Discord Server.