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Daniel Wee

Some comparative camera tests

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I just got hold of some new tiny cameras and wanted to do some tests to compare how they fared against my current cameras. What I have now is something very similar to the KX-131, KX-151 but not identical. They are 1/4" and 1/3"-inch CCD respectively and seems to exhibit the same kinds of issues that the KX-models do. The new one is smaller than the KX-131, and is a 1/3"-inch CCD camera. Let's call them cameras A, B, and C respectively. Here are some of the test results:-

Cam1-1.jpg

Cam2-1.jpg

Cam4-1.jpg

Cam1-2.jpg

Cam2-2.jpg

Cam4-2.jpg

(continued)

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Cam1-3.jpg

Cam2-3.jpg

Cam4-3.jpg

Cam1-4.jpg

Cam2-4.jpg

Cam4-4.jpg

My conclusions so far are that the new camera, camera C, has comparable AGC compared to camera A. It has different gamma which results in wider dynamic range. Saturation is lower but sharpening is too high. Resolution is a bit better than camera A and similar to camera B. Camera B has slow AGC.

Daniel

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Good find Daniel!

Looks like a tough call on camera A & C. Camera A does seem to have nicer or more realistic colors, but camera C, like you said resolution is better & nice AGC. Still these are smaller than the already small KX131, then not bad at all! BTW nice black case in front of your PC! ;)

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Err... what black case? Heheh.

I think the lower saturation comes with the wider dynamic range. It's quite easy to boost saturation though and usually lower is better than higher because once you blow out the colors, it's gone.

Take a look at the clouds, see how cam C has the details while Cams A and B don't.

Size wise, this guy is 20mm by 20mm. If I'm not wrong, the KX-131 is 30mm by 25mm? Even the uncased version is 25mm by 22mm so this one, with casing is smaller than the KX-131 no matter how you look at it.

Better yet, it uses a SONY CXD3142R DSP, which means we can probably re-program the parameters with an I2C connection, unlike the KX-131 which uses a locked NextChip DSP. You can check it for yourself here:-

SONY CXD3142R Datasheet

Daniel

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Nice and relaxing flight but you really have to lay off landing on those poor bushes... what did they do to you? :lol::lol::lol: Just joking with you Daniel!!! Too bad that parking lot doesn't give you much to land in. So now onto the camera.... does look kind of whited out once pointed to the sky. Is it me or am I correct on that observation?

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Well, last evening turned out to be not much better. This morning it was still hazy but at least the sun was shining so I decided to give it a go anyway. The haze will, however, reduce the apparent contrast. What is interesting about this video is the dynamic range of the camera - I have tried to show those scenes which involve bright clouds. Amazingly, even when pointed at the sun directly, the details of the clouds around it are still preserved. I'm actually very happy with the DR of this little camera.

FPV Flight 11 - Camera Dynamic Range test (WMV, 58MB)

Daniel

Edited by Daniel Wee

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So any idea what camera C will sell for? I wouldn't mind trying out for myself Daniel. :D Oh are they 5 volt or 12 volt?

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It runs on 12V but I'm powering it off around 9V currently so I am guessing that it will probably work down to about 7V. As for pricing, haven't quite thought about it - these sort of things usually Mark takes care of. I'm usually just messing with the equipment ya knows - lousy businessman here.

Daniel

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It runs on 12V but I'm powering it off around 9V currently so I am guessing that it will probably work down to about 7V. As for pricing, haven't quite thought about it - these sort of things usually Mark takes care of. I'm usually just messing with the equipment ya knows - lousy businessman here.

Daniel

Yeah but you get the fun part of the job! ;) Anyhow I will wait patiently until Intelligent Flight is ready to market this camera. :)

Edited by JMS

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Ohhhhhh it's killing ME! :D ok I feel better now.... :D Hey very impressive! Kind of like the KX 151 but the components are pushed back instead of spread out in four directions.

BTW what are the number labeled on top for?

Edited by JMS

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Actually I'm not sure - looks like some sort of production run number. My main interest was originally in the very low profile of this camera. Sometimes it is hard to fit a camera into a scale cockpit, for example, because of the profile of the camera and I was looking for something that could fit into a Piper Cub for a friend of mine. The fact that it did everything else so well came as a surprise to me. Actually I've seen even smaller ones and they're not all that bad either.

Daniel

Edited by Daniel Wee

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Daniel,

Awesome footage, what really interests me is how you have some sort of an OSD and autopilot running? Care to tell me what this is exactly? I'm putting together my first serious attempt at an RC video/photography platform and I must say that looks very appealing.

Best regards,

Sander Sassen

http://www.hardwareanalysis.com

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Hi Daniel :)

Nice comparative. I´m looking for a small/light setup and I´m interested on this camera, looks promising

Any news about price/availability?

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I have a 1/3" color cam with SONY CXD1341R chip. Its somewhat larger type of pcb camera consisting of 2 42x42mm boards.

What's interresting is that it has 4 holes where I could solder in a connector, and according to your CXD1343R datasheet there are SCK / SO / SI/ and XCS signals available on these pads.

Do you think I can connect SCK to SCL and SI to SDA of a microcontroller (and select the CXD chip with XCS) and try to reprogram the camera? using I2C ?

I've been having some problem with this camera, which although giving a detailed picture has been delivering too bright (washed out) video. I was alway wondering whether I could tweak it somehow and mayby this would be an option...

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It's possible. 4-pin interface loks more like SPI than I2C though. But you're in the wild as to how to access the registers (Sony datasheet are usually very vague on that).

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Sony datasheet are usually very vague on that

That qualifies as the understatement of the month :D

Cheers,

Sander.

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