Tuesday 18 December 2018

3mm depron thermal glider

Now called the N3UTRON thanks to YouTuber Richard from 28th St. Air Land & Sea.
"why not go all the way? it’s the N3UTRON. its a subtle reference to Ed’s photon, the u glider 3 channel, and andrew’s last name"

Here are the dimension of a 3 channel motor glider made using 3mm and 6mm depron and a woven CF
arrow shaft.

Armin wing construction with 6 x 1mm CF strip spar.
HobbyKing contact glue and hot glue.
Document laminating film wing and tail covering. Scotch Tough tape fuselage covering.
Flying weight is 300g with a 950mAH 2S LiPo
Motor and 5 x 3" prop from the U-Glider
Spring / Pull control
2 x 13g metal geared servos
Wingspan 140cm.
Chord width 14cm.
Chord thickness 14mm

Build overview video

Flight video

Spring / Pull control example

Document laminate covering

Saturday 1 September 2018

Action Camera Roundup

This page will evolve over time. Newly reviewed cameras with links will be added.

I frequently review Action Cameras on my YouTube Channel and am often asked for recommendations. This page will list all the cameras, with links and notes. I will update the list as I try more cameras in the future. Sensors and chipsets for each camera are listed where available.

I mostly use Action Cameras for recording product reviews, onboard footage and hatcam recording of RC Planes and recording scuba diving.

Generally I prefer lower contrast and lower saturated results, or at least have control over them, and prefer not to have a touch screen so I don't accidentally change settings. 

Check out my Action Camera Review Playlist on YouTube - PLAYLIST

Top Of The Range - GoPro competitors, true 4K
Price range A$290 to A$150 (US$220 to US$120)


Sony IMX377
Ambarella H22 S85
Top recommendation, this is the best quality action cam I have used. 4K 60fps and Gyro stabilised 4K 30fps. 2.33" touch screen. Good audio apart from too much noise cancelling in wind. External microphone and underwater housing available.
Review video
BANGGOOD purchase link

Xioami Mijia Mini
Sony IMX317
Ambarella A12
Bigger than all other action cams with a 2.4" touch screen. Superior quality video with image stabilisation at 1080P 60fps. No external mic unfortunately.

Sony IMX377
HiSilicon Hi3559V100
True 4k 30fps with stabilisation. 2.35" Touch screen. Blutooth remote. Sharp and saturated results but let down by significant colour fringing in the corners from the cheap lens. EIS works very well at 4k. 1080P not so good with poor sharpness unfortunately. 

GitUP F1
Sony IMX317 maybe
Ambarella A12
This is a superior quality flat-form 4k 30fps action camera. Has excellent image stabilisation at 1080 resolution and sparkling clear 4k recording. Would benefit from more subtle image adjustment options but otherwise it is amazing. Has PWM control which means it can be operated from your RC transmitter.
Review Video

True 4K Cameras based on 
Sony IMX117 sensor and Ambarella A12 chip
Price Range A$200 to A$120 (US$150 to US$90)

The cameras in this group are all very high quality with almost identical image quality. True 4K 30fps with EIS at 1080 60P. Smooth tonal gradations and natural colours. Audio can be muddy and slightly out of sync. Firmware updates may have improved this. All highly recommended. My current favourites are the Fireflys.


Firefly 8SE 170º Touch Screen
Best of the A12 chip Sony 117 sensor cameras. 
Improved audio quality and sync, comes with external microphone.
Superior video and photo quality. Can use touch screen and manual navigation buttons.
Available with 170º or 90º lens.
Review 1 Unboxing
Review 2 Results

Firefly 8S 170º 
Banggood 170º - https://bit.ly/2vJ3H3R

Firefly 8S 90º 
Banggood 90º - https://bit.ly/2w0RsPs

Firefly External Microphone - https://bit.ly/2B899Cn
Gearbest 170º or 90º - http://shrsl.com/140w1

Foxeer Legend 3
Sony IMX117
Ambarella A12
Superior quality True 4K flat-form action cam with a very useful OLED screen. Very similar quality to all the other cameras using this chip and sensor

SJCAM SJ7 (Touch screen) 
Great quality video, touch screen, metal housing

ThiEYE T5e 
Same great quality video with no touch screen giving lighter weight, longer battery life

Eken V8s
Pan MN34110 14MP sensor
Ambarella A12 chip
This is a true 4k 25fps action cam with full time Electronic Image Stabilisation. Smooth and natural colours and decent audio with no sync problems. Not quite as sharp as the best but still very good.

Mid Range
Good performers, less expensive, usually not true 4k
Price Range A$180 to A$130 (US$140 to US$90)

The cameras in this range are usually not true 4K but capable of an interpolated 4k output. That means the lower resolution video is increased by the software. Video results are sharp but often too contrasty.


Panasonic MN34120PA 
Novatek NT96660 chip
Best quality mid range camera with rear touch screen and front info screen. Exactly the same size as the GoPro3 but 10g heavier at 82g. Gyro image stabilisation works very well. 

Firefly 8
Sony IMX117 sensor
Novatek NT96660 chip
Good mid range action cam if you like lots of contrast. It uses the high end Sony IMX117 sensor but matched with the lower spec Novatek 96660 chip. That means it cant do 4k 30fps but it does have good quality audio.
Review video

Sony IMX206 sensor
Novatek 96660 chip
This is the camera I use for the wide angle workbench views in all my reviews.
Much cheaper and better results than my GoPro 3+ Silver. Vibrant colours and sharp video and great still images too. Video Out for FPV, gyro image stabilization, 

Elephone REXSO Explorer K
Panasonic MN34120
HiSilicon HI3559
Good image quality but focussed closer than infinity, OK for close in action. Audio not great.

ThiEYE V5s
OmniVision OV4689 4MPx sensor
Allwinner chipset
A unique 4K 30fps action cam with UV and polarising filters included.
Build quality and accessories are excellent. Image quality is good but I had audio problems on my iMac and firmware upgrades are limited to PC.

Cameras based on 
Sony IMX078 sensor and Novatek 96660 chip

There are many cameras based on this combination of sensor and chip. They all have similar video quality which is very good for the price. Can be contrasty and over sharpened, with noticeable posterisation, pink banding and compression artefacts in areas of smooth blue sky. Better than the cheapest options.

SJ5000 Elite
Sony IMX078 sensor
Novatek 96660 chip
Another very good 2K 12Mpx action cam. Quite contrasty results.
Review video

Andoer AN5000 

Sony IMX078 sensor
Novatek 96660 chip
Comes with an excellent storage case, heaps of accessories and spoken mode settings.
The image quality is better than you would expect for the price of the camera. Video and stills are very sharp with contrasty and saturated colours. The down side is that the cheap lens produces a lot of colour fringing and occasional pink banding in blue sky.
Review video

Andoer AN300 flip screen
Sony IMX078 sensor
Novatek 96660 chip
Unique flip screen version of the AN5000 with the same image quality
Review video

Firefly 7S 90º lens
Sony IMX078 sensor
Novatek 96660 chip
Great if you want the narrower field of view. Less distortion than the full 170º fisheye cameras.
Review video

4K UHD Sports cam
Sony IMX078 sensor
Novatek 96660 chip
Very similar to all the above mid range cameras.

Onboard HD and FPV cameras.

Flat form, Splits and Cube

MOBIUS flat form cameras
Aptina AR0330 sensor
Novatek 96650 chip (possibly - according to dashcamtalk.com)
I love the Mobius cameras, simple cheap and great video results. Only 1080 30fps but the video looks better than most alternatives. Audio is Loud and there are lots of video adjustments available in the setup.
Beware when buying, there are many inferior fakes out there. The following links are verified sellers.

Mobius C2 is my most used onboard camera (widest FOV)
Mobius D for hatcam (narrower FOV)
Works very well with external microphone mod

Mobius Mini
Great little camera, 1080 60fps video, narrower 110º angle of view. Pefect for hatcam and onboard flight recording. Works for FPV as well. Useful for onboard smaller models that wouldn't handle the full sized Mobius with the added bonus of 60fps. WDR is not great, best for sunny days

Mobius Maxi
This is the big brother to the Mobius Mini, with an M12 lens available in 135º or 150º versions, bigger battery, Image stabilisation, G-Sensor image flip, Time-lapse photos, WiFi and PC setup apps (no Apple apps yet) and setup via FPV screen. 1080 60fps video gives the best image quality but it also does 2.7K 30fps and 4K 24fps. Audio is excellent but image quality is not up to the Mobius D and C2 versions unfortunately. Not as sharp or saturated, and anything above 1080P looks flat, grainy and blocky. Not really a good upgrade to the Mobius D and C2.
Review Video

Firefly  Q6 
Sony IMX078 sensor
Novatek 96660 chip
Very sharp video and stills, slight pinkish hue compared to Mobius, struggles with clear blue sky in some lighting and produces a pinkish band and blue fringing. Audio quality is very good, a little lower volume than Mobius. Gyro image stabilisation works well. Cheapest decent quality flat form action cam
Review video

Runcam 2
This is a popular 1080 60fps HD recording and FPV camera. FOV is not as wide as some action cams at 130º. Excellent image quality. Very low audio recording levels, good for onboard but not good for voice recording. Settings via smart phone app or FPV OSD. The big bonus is removable battery, and it's the same battery as the Runcam 3S.

Runcam 3S
Cheaper alternative to the discontinued GoPro Session. Video quality is a bit odd, with strange colours, purple fringing and extreme fisheye distortion. Limited to 1080 60fps, but that is a good resolution for most uses. Specifically designed for the mini quad market but it works well in the nose of a flying wing like the Sonic AR. Would be brilliant with a better quality lens and higher resolution.

Runcam Split
This is a unique FPV and HD recording camera designed specifically for mounting on a mini quad. The camera and processing recording board are separate and connected by a cable. RunCam Split is a split version of RunCam 3 for FPV. Supports recording 1080P 60fps and WDR. Built-in microphone, WiFi module.
HD recording looks great. SD card mount is poorly designed. 4:3 FPV view.

Runcam Split 2
Much better Runcam! This is the updated version of the Runcam Split and it's excellent. Wider input voltage - 2S to 4S, proper SD card slot, and can be operated by your transmitter via flight control board or PWM receiver. Slight vignetting and pink hue on one side, but looks good otherwise.  4:3 FPV view

Runcam Split Mini
Smaller and lighter version of the all in one HD recording and FPV camera.
Good quality 1080P 60fps HD recording. 4:3 FPV view

Foxeer Legend 1
Sony Exmor R BSI sensor
Ambarella A7LS Chip
Excellent image quality HD cam with 1080 60fps. Video-out for FPV and RC switchable shutter for video and stills. Audio is better than Runcam HD but not as clean as Mobius. Only configurable on PC (no Mac app at this stage)

Foxeer Legend 2 (now Legend 2+)
Sony Exmor R BSI sensor.
This is potentially a very nice HD cam (1080 60fps) with EIS, 4k 24fps probably interpolated. Using the stock settings the video and images are a bit too saturated and contrasty for my liking but there are lots of adjustments available through the smart phone app. The app needs improvement to make settings stick but otherwise it works well. Audio levels and quality are both better than most other similar cams apart from the Mobius.

Foxeer Legend 3
Sony IMX117
Ambarella A12
Superior quality True 4K flat-form action cam with a very useful OLED screen. Very similar quality to all the other cameras using this chip and sensor
Review Video
BANGGOOD Purchase Link
GEARBEST Purchase link

GitUP F1
Sony IMX317 maybe
Ambarella A12
This is the highest quality flat-form 4k 30fps action camera. Has excellent image stabilisation at 1080 resolution and sparkling clear 4k recording. Would benefit from more subtle image adjustment options but otherwise it is amazing. Has PWM control which means it can be operated from your RC transmitter.
Review Video

Budget Range - Less than A$100 (US$80)

Eken H9R
OmniVision OV4689 4MPx sensor
SPCA6350 chip
1080P sensor, has all the accessories including a remote control and waterproof housing, and performs surprisingly well for the money. No image stabilisation.
Review Video

ThiEYE i30+
PS5220 Sensor
SPCA 6330 Chip 
1080 30fps quality is OK. 4k 10fps is not worth using.
OK first action cam, or one for the kids, or for situations where you wouldn't want to risk an expensive camera. Results are usable but not high quality.
TOMTOP purchase link

4K 1080 sports cam
SONY IMX179 sensor
For the price the image quality is OK but there are some serious bugs. Sound recording is out of sync by about 1 second and movie files need to be converted to MOV for iMovie. Hopefully firmware updates will fix these issues.
Not recommended.