Foxeer was kind enough to send me one of their new Predator Nano FPV cams. The Predator Nano is a low latency, feature packed, small FPV camera.
The Nano form-factor is 14mm wide and 14mm high and thus a perfect size for your larger brushless whoops - I would recommend to use the Nano form factor on 2S builds, 75mm and up - definitely not something for your super light 1S build. But it might be an alternative for your cuurrent Micro or even full sized FPV cam.
The Predator Nano comes in four different colors and two lens options. You can get it with a 1.8mm or a 2.1mm lens. The Lens itself is of the M8 thread size. Further, you can choose if you want to have a pin header to connect your wires or if you prefer the direct soldered version - this is especially interesting for all the people that want to save as much weight as possible. I got the version with direct soldered wires.
The resolution of the CMOS sensor is 1000TVL which delivers a nice and crisp image with lots of details. The real resolution is of course then limited by your chosen video system - you can chose between PAL and NTSC. The aspect ratio is also switchable - you can either run 4:3 or 16:9. This can all be set up via the included remote control for the cameras OSD.
If supported by your flight controller you can adjust the cameras settings via Betaflight and CamControl instead of the remote.
The camera also has a pin for voltage sensing - so if you are not running the cam on a setup without a flight-controller providing an OSD you can still have some vital information via the Predator Nano’s built in OSD. Other than voltage sensing and alarm you can also display your call sign and on timer.
The latency is super low - just 4ms this makes it a great choice for racing. The WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) is very good and the transitions from dark to bright environment are very smooth.
When using Night, LED or B/W mode the low light sensitivity gets cranked up and you can use it in low light conditions - I was really surprised how well it performed with very little light.
The Predator Nano can be powered from 4-25V so you can basically power the cam directly from 2-6S. The direct soldered version weighs in at 5.74g with all the wires.
The package contains the cam itself, a bracket to make it compatible with the micro form factor (19mm), a remote control to navigate the OSD, a couple of screws, the wire (either directly soldered to the cam or with plugs) and a manual.
As mentioned before the cam is very feature packed, to enter the settings, first connect the remote for the OSD. Now you can enter two different menus:
OSD & cam settings Menu
Press the up button - the one closest to the wire - for about 3 seconds. You are now in the OSD menu. Here you can select when the voltage alarm should be triggered, also here you can disable the voltage and timer display completely.
In this menu you can also choose your video standard, so PAL or NTSC and the ratio - 4:3 or 16:9.
Further, you can choose between 4 different modes: Day, Night, LED, B/W - those modes set some presets for the chosen condition. These modes can also be cycled through by simply pressing the right button for 3 seconds when not in a menu
Short press the center button to enter the picture menu. This menu also allows you to set your call sign (Camera ID as Foxeer calls) - or to completely disable it.
One very important setting is the Day/Night settings, here you can decide if the cam should automatically switch to a black and white image in darker conditions. I find this extremely annoying since it often gets triggered while flying through shadows. I prefer to set it to MANUAL and then to COLOR. If I intend to fly in darker environments I simply set the Mode to Night or B/W and force black and white.
You can also set your preferred language here - English, French, German, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese are available.
The most important sub-menu here is the PICT ADJUST menu which allows you to set all picture related settings: Brightness, contrast, sharpness, hue and color gain. In my opinion the defaults are not too bad - in fact they are quite usable.
Should you need to flip the image of your camera, this can also be done here.
The most annoying thing is the navigation in the menu - I wish Foxeer would make one Menu from which all the settings are available or structure the menus in such a way that all related settings are in one menu, for example all OSD settings are in one menu and all picture related settings are in another menu.
Also I would like to be able to have different picture settings in each mode, currently it is only possible to have one set of picture settings that is applied to all modes.
But other than that, I cannot see any other cons and to be honest, you will most probably only enter the menu once and then be done with it, so it is not an annoyance that you are permanently confronted with.
The Foxeer Predator Nano is a great small cam with a very detailed and crisp image. I can recommend this cam to anyone who is building a 2S whoop and up and is willing to trade some weight for a crisp, high quality image.
I would definitely recommend to go with the Foxeer over the Caddx, simply because I get disappointed every time I use a Caddx cam. Foxeer has not yet disappointed me - reliable cams and the quality control seems to be on top, at least their cams do not come with dust on the sensor.
The default settings are not too bad in my opinion, so you can basically plug and play.
With my setup this cam is on, I mainly fly outdoors while there is still sun or inside, in rather well lit conditions. I do not like to attach the remote to switch modes, instead I strife for settings that work good enough for me in all conditions.
In the end I decided to go with the following settings: In the OSD menu I disabled the time and power display since my flight controller provides me with all this information. Video standard is set to PAL and ration to 4:3.
In the picture menu I disabled the camera ID, set the DAY/NIGHT setting to permanently show color and adjusted the PICT ADJUST settings like so:
Although the DVR does not always tell the truth, I think it is important that you see some sample footage with the default settings so that you can get an idea of what this cam is capable of: