Its time for mini review! Did you remember this camera which i reviewed many many weeks ago? Ya? No?....ok turn around and read back my previous RUNCAM HD review. Click to read the original RUNCAM HD (F2.0 Aperture) review.
First and foremost thanks to RUNCAM.com for sponsoring this camera for supporting my FPV project, honestly speaking i was looking forward to purchase another one but a day later they sponsor me another latest camera for review....only a few days into flight using it i fell in love with the latest F2.8 lens upgrade. This one right here is the 'other' latest release camera from RUNCAM with same model but different lens. The lens have F2.8 aperture claim to have less visual curve distortion and have sharper focus than stock F2.0 which reviewed earlier in my other page. So what the big improvement i see? After mounting the RUNCAM HD F2.8 on my newly build foamy multirotor the FPV-600 i can see there's slight differences between the old and the new lens, also i need to mentioned that i've upgraded the internal firmware to " file: RUNCAMHD.bin-18.104.22.168" before flight took place.
Here's my finding :
- Sharper center video/images.
Yup very sharp...80% in the center i say.
- Less curve distortion on video/images.
Not actually perfectly straight but slightly eliminate Fish Eyes effect if the camera is pointed slightly 10 degree down against the horizon angle.
- No Lens Flare.
Been flying all morning facing the sunlight routinely, i do notice the lens flare from bright sunlight have been minimized on F2.8 aperture compare to the original F2.0 type lens. I don't see those hallow lights flaring on my video/photos.
- High contras and rich colors.
I'm not sure if its was the lens factor or the firmware updates that improve this visual but definitely it produce beautiful eye candy video and photos especially when i fly during bright sunlight at high noon over the lakes.
- Blur focus on the outer edge of the lens.
The visual sharpness and quality seems to be focus on the center of the lens but as it goes towards the edge of the images the focus seems to be slightly blurred but not that catastrophic..just acceptable range . For those who are sensitive about full quality of stills shots they will notice this effect however with fast pace video published on Youtube this doesn't seems to bother overall audience view.
Model: RUNCAM HD F2.8
Vendor links: http://shop.runcam.com/runcam-hd/
Support files: http://www.runcam.com/download.html
Manual in PDF: http://www.runcam.com/download/RunCam-HD-manual.pdf
Support community: RunCam SKY HD is in debug phase now. Coming soon!
Support community (firmware & software): The updates of RUNCAM HD Firmware and Configuration software
My usage status: Actively used flown on DIY FPV-600 foamy quadcopter.
Here are sample of video of unboxing, testing and FPV flight on RUNCAM HD i posted on my Youtube channel, i will keep update on latest video on this product with every releases of latest firmware to improve the video quality:
Download RUNCAM HD apps tools:
Download RUNCAM HD APPS tools for your smartphone now: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.runcam.hd&hl=en
What do i think about it?
Having many types of high end FPV HD camera from simple lightweight 808 #16 to GoPro HERO 4 black in my inventory i must say RUNCAM HD F2.8 is a good run for the money....i repeat again good run for your "Money" without burning you wallet. Priced at 59.99 (updated: June 2015) you can't go wrong with the quality, its great bargain consider the fact the visual 1080P and shots quality were sitting between HERO 3 black edition and HERO 4 with minor problem on blurry visual on the near edge of the lens. The fact is RUNCAM manufacturer seems to favor more yellow tint in its visuals to replicate GoPro visual signature. When compare against shots taken with my GoPro HERO 4 black mounted on my DJI PHANTOM it seems both quality almost 70% identical in 1920x1080 resolution when published on the web...let me highlight it for you...."on the web" (compression quality reduced to meet web standard). Normal web/online audience won't notice a thing.
Value for money as per-quality
If you compare with choices of FPV camera available in the market vs RUNCAM HD there few factor why i favor this as my trusty FPV camera. Below are some versus at 1080P setup and why:
- Versus SJCAM 4000
Can't say anything about its quality, there's huge differences in term of sharpness quality and color tonnes. Too far left behind Mr 4000. RUNCAM still win even on stock lens.
- Versus SJCAM 5000/+.
Although the SJCAM 5000 offer fast FPS and latest Novatek/Ambarella(+) core processing power, the bulk size, weight and wind drags doesn't favor me much and cost twice than RUNCAM.
- Versus GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition (non +)
I have this camera., but comparing snapshots taking on 1080P videos it seems RUNCAM have more sharper visual advantages. Of course HERO 3 have better FPS and white balance. But for quality snapshots presentation on the web RUNCAM HD F.28 wins and costly better. But will lose if to HERO 3+ black edition.
- Versus GoPro Hero 4
Ok any RUNCAM will lose both sharpness quality and FPS speed when compete with this but no one going to chuck in USD$450 for a camera which you simply doing for a FPV joyride unless you're doing it for commercial favor or being professional. Again very obvious for $59.99 cam RUNCAM does the job without risking losing it to mother nature.
- Versus MOBIUS HD
Both are actually closely competitors/rivalry in term of community based support and pricing. They both have the same weight and form factor however RUNCAM lens are in the center so it doesn't look so "off-set" when viewed from your flying platform. I favor RUNCAM HD F2.8 because of closeness to GoPro yellow like tint signature (firmware factor) and the quality F2.8 lens. Only stock original RUNCAM F2.0 could tie them both while with F2.8 aperture it escaped the gravity of rivalry.
- Versus HORYZON HD4
Hmmm....it does win in 14MP quality, manual lens focus capable, interchangeable lens and on the field setup via tiny LCD module. However overweight, pricey, bulkiness, complexity and plaques of firmware problems deter me for having it on my miniature size FPV platform. For quality and performance its very obvious HD4 wins but RUNCAM wins the simplicity and lightweight department. With F2.8 lens it just one step above HD4's head.
Cheap, lightweight, simple, easy to use, plug and forget FPV camera with quality and rich colors on 1080P video and snapshots. The F2.8 aperture really helps to improve the sharpness of both video and stills photo shots. Being small and handy size that fits on any standard size flying platform play important factor being best affordable HD device for aerial FPV photography.