Runcam Racer 2 - Initial Thoughts

Just a quick blog post from me - this isn't a formal review or anything, but I figured it was worth highlighting having now flown a good few packs through the camera. Since the first wave of 'semi-decent' CMOS cameras hit the market around a year ago, we've always strived to get the best image quality, but always fell short at one parameter or another - FoV, Aspect Ratio, Latency, Colour Hues, Build Quality etc etc.

I've been a long time Runcam Swift lover, back in the days of the original Swift - switching all my quads over from the trusty HS1177, and sticking to this platform ever since. As features grew, the size shrunk, moving from the trusty 2.5mm GoPro lens down to new M8 lenses and micro cameras. And they've been great, they provide a consistent but average picture quality, but in that respect they're awesome for racing. But what if it could be better? I think that's where the Racer 2 may have found it's place.

Here's some footage comparison:

Note: I think both of the cameras look much worse in DVR than they do in the goggles. This is a common thing, but apparently it's made worse with the RapidFire module - so sorry about that!

And here's some mixed testing from CollisionFPV which I think better shows some of the differences as he has Sunny testing too!

Positives

  • Much more detailed shadows - this is evident throughout the video, but is clear when looking into the 'sun' and being able to see the Forza gates still - this is a huge thing in both practice and when I eventually come to race it.
  • 'HDR-like' picture, distracting for some but useful for others - I feel like it gives the image more clarity, and having seen other comparisons (like CollisionFPV's video also above), you'll know what I mean.
  • Extra features: lower latency, 16:9/4:3 switchable, PAL/NTSC switchable, camera control/joystick switchable. The big one here for me is the lower latency and PAL/NTSC switchable, as I notice lots are moving towards NTSC for the higher framerate (it's not technically framerate I know).

Negatives

  • Coloured artifacting - this is what I've always hated with CMOS FPV cameras, but at least with the settings on the presets I've found so far the 'red' tints you get are much less noticable and distracting
  • Cost - of course a total switch in racing cameras means a big investment in switching - is it worth it? Only you can decide.

Overall Conclusion

I'll be doing some more personal testing, but from this testing so far it's likely I'll end up switching cameras on the race rigs to this. I was going to run it at the iSeries race, but sadly the production batch were not quite ready and so I only had my single development camera - not ideal because there's too much risk of breaking it!

Oh and unrelated to the camera post, I said I'd upload more posts but have struggled with time. I'm trying to dedicate more time to the smaller posts so expect to see more here! There's a LOT I need to cover, including some funky new quad parts I've designed :)

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