Caddx’ Ant line of FPV cameras are very popular, especially with analog RTF micro quadcopters. Almost all analog micro copters released lately come equipped with one of those.
This comes down mainly to weight and price - but the feature set is actually also pretty decent.
Let’s take a closer look at which models of the Ant there are exactly, what they have in common and what sets them apart.
Caddx Ant Models
The Caddx Ant comes in three different hardware options:
- Caddx Ant (Nano form factor - 14mm wide, with mounting holes)
- Caddx Ant Lite
- Caddx Ant Lite FPV Cycle edition
All of them have the same 1/3” image sensor with a resolution of 1200TV lines. All of them seem to use the same board, at least the boards look identical.
The latency of all of them is identical - 9ms on average. As measured with my FPV latency measurement setup. This is just the latency of the cam, not considering video transmission itself or any other components like OSD of the flight-controller in between.
They all have an OSD port, allowing for settings to be adjusted. Unfortunately image ratio is not one of the settings that can be adjusted, so you need to keep that in mind when selecting a Caddx Ant.
Input voltage is 3.7V - 18V on all of them, so you can power them directly from a 1S - 4S battery, but realistically you will power it from a 5V pad on your flight controller anyway.
Only the Caddx Ant comes with the joystick needed to do the adjustments in the OSD, meaning that you need to buy the joystick separately for the Ant Lite - unless you have one from a different Caddx cam, then you can use that one. The joysticks from Runcam or Foxeer are not compatible.
The Ant and Ant Lite come with a variety of different plugs, depending on which RTF you get it with. Some are direct soldered to the cam, some have a plug. But if you are planning on direct it, that does not make a difference.
The Ant Lite FPV Cycle edition comes with a plug instead of a direct soldered wire.
Other than that the main difference is the lens. The FPV cycle edition has a lens hand picked by Bob Roogi (KababFPV) and is slightly sharper than the original Ant Lite. Further it is only available with an image ratio of 4:3, whereas the original Ant Lite is only available in 16:9.
On the Caddx Ant you can adjust the focus of the lens easily - on both lite variants the lens is glued in place and can thus not be easily adjusted.
Although the Caddx Ant and the Caddx and Lite FPV cycle edition are specified to have the same FOV, the original Ant has a slightly larger, and thus, the biggest FOV of the lot, as you can see from my comparison shots on my FOV testing jig:
Caddx Ant (4:3)
Caddx Ant Lite
Caddx Ant Lite FPV Cycle Edition
The FOV specs provided by Caddx are a bit misleading in my opinion, I think they used the absolut maximum FOV, which will be at the most rounded part of the lens. I think the best evaluation of the FOV would be at the center of the image, since this is, where your main focus will be when flying.
Also keep in mind that a bigger FOV comes with a price: more fish-eye effect. the borders of the image will be more distorted and warped at the edge - which you can also see in the images from the FOV test jig.
The Caddx Ant Lite - which is 16:9, clearly has the smallest FPV due to its lens, but also because the image is simply being cropped on top and bottom. I assume this will be exactly the same with the 16:9 version of the Ant Lite
|Caddx Ant||2g||1.8mm||165° (120°)||4:3 or 16:9||$18.99|
|Caddx Ant Lite||1.5g||2.1mm||135° (110°)||16:9||$18.99|
|Caddx Ant Lite FPV Cycle Edition||1.7g||1.8mm||165° (120°)||4:3||$14.99|
The FOV values in brackets are the values I measured at the center of the lens, and are - in my opinion - the better metric.
Here is a video of a side by side comparison of all three cameras:
Which Caddx Ant is the best?
This is a question that cannot be answered in general. It depends, mainly on your preferred image ratio and the available space.
If you are looking for a cam for a whoop - the Lite is the way to go. For everything that provides mounting holes for nano sized cameras, go with the original Caddx Ant.
You can also check my best Nano FPV camera picks if you want to see some alternatives to the Ant.
As many of you know, I am not the biggest Caddx fan, but I cannot deny that the Ant line of cameras is very intriguing: Light weight, good image, adjustable and cheap.
Although I know that there are better Nano sized FPV camera options I think that the Lite versions are a very good choice for toothpicks and all micro builds where you do not necessarily have a mounting option for Nano cameras.
My personal favorite is the FPV cycle edition, 4:3, big FOV, cheap and light - the perfect choice for any light weight whoop without compromising image quality too much.
Chris is a Vienna based software developer. In his spare time he enjoys reviewing tech gear, ripping quads of all sizes and making stuff.
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