Tactic DroneView FPV Wi-Fi Mini Camera Review
Image Credit: Tactic
Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
Video Resolution: 720P
Photo Megapixels: 1
Operating Time: 45-60 minutes
Weight: 1oz (27.5g)
Width: 1.34" (34mm)
Length: 3.1" (80mm)
Height: 0.9" (24mm)
App required for use with your phone
Tactic DroneView Wi-Fi Mini Camera
4GB Micro SD Card (expandable to 32GB)
Battery with Receiver Charge Leads
USB Charger and Cable
Remote Receiver Extension
Three 0.79 x 0.79" (20 x 20mm) Foam Mounting Squares
- Well made
- Easy to use with the app
- Easy to control with transmitter
- Adjustable camera angle
- Comes with everything you need
- Max video time of 5 minutes, if you go over, it starts a new file
- Really bad quality footage :(
There are a gazillion action cameras on the market right now. There are a gazillion FPV cameras out there right now. Not all are great, some are adequate, some are bare-bones and some have tons of features. Prices range from $20 all the way to several hundred dollars. The DroneView, by having FPV in the name, gives you the impression that it is for FPV. Also, it's form factor, weight and mountability also put it in the genre of action cameras. Read below for my HONEST impressions of the DroneView camera.
Out of the box:
I ordered the DroneView FPV Wifi Camera from Tower Hobbies to get the extra few bucks off using their coupon codes (I had to order a few other things too). Like other Tactic products, the DroneView comes with everything you need to get going and very nicely packaged. It's a good idea to keep the box for storage for that matter.
So now for the confusing part. This camera has FPV in it's name, though that word is followed by the word Wifi. Those of us with a little FPV experience know that a Wifi video feed is NOT adequate for a true FPV experience. Those without that knowledge might actually look at this camera and say, "Oh hey, that's a great price for an intro FPV camera with action cam features to boot!" Unfortunately, they'd get home and hopefully read the manual before they started flying. Page 20 has a note in the middle of the page that says:
NOTE: The FPV feed is for the purposes of displaying what the camera is recording to improve the quality and accuracy of videos and pictures with respect to the operator’s intended fi eld of view. We do not recommend attempting to operate a R/C vehicle using just the FPV feed. Delays in the FPV feed can cause the image shown in the app to not represent the exact current position of the vehicle. Any interruption of the FPV feed will not be present in the video fi les saved to the memory card.
Now, I appreciate the honesty, but dang, that NOTE should be on the product page, the box and the first page of the manual, not way back on the twentieth page! I will say, even being able to see what you are shooting through a screen is beneficial. It is a feature found on high end cameras like the Go Pro line. I use their app to get a wifi view when I fly with my GoPro mounted just to get a good idea of the camera angle and all that stuff. So no real FPV is not a total deal breaker.
So as far as downloading the app, and getting the camera to work with it, it is easy peasy. It is really light and relatively small, so even a Dromida Vista can carry it. Setting it up to work by using an open channel on your transmiter is excellently explained in the manual and very straight forward. All of this ease and fanciness of it's own app gave me high hopes for this product. Made by Tactic, sold by Tower, I was already thinking of the great things I was going to say about this camera.
So I mounted it up to my most stable platform, my Spedix 250 racing quad. It is strong, can carry a decent amount of weight, has all the props balanced and is quick. I attached the DroneView on the camera platform on my Spedix that already has dampeners as well. I made sure this would be the least bouncy of an experience as possible for the camera. I even flew it on a pretty calm day so no major turbulence either. So I shot a quick video, and was excited to get it copy it over to my Mac to watch it on a big screen. You can watch it on your phone, but I wanted the full experience.
I have posted the footage of the flight below. I should stop writing now and let you see for yourself, but if you don't want to watch the video, let me just tell you, the footage is bad. The wide angle lense distorts a little too much, and the amount of jello effect is pretty intolerable. I see better footage from Mobius Action cams and heck, even those Chinese ebay keychain cameras. I was so disappointed, that I started to think perhaps it was my fault, that my Spedix 250 wasn't as smooth as I thought. So I got the camera and took it outside and just held it as steady as I could and panned around the view from my porch. This footage, also posted below in the same video, was not a whole bunch better. I don't know which part of the camera makes the footage so bad, but whatever it is, I think Tactic needs to go back to the drawing board and swap it out for a better part.
I have to say, it is such a massive disappointment when 95% of a product is awesome, but one MAJOR thing is bad... it ruins the whole product. They had everything so well done, perfect even, but the video quality is just pretty much unusable. I really hope this review, along with other customer complaints will get them to revisit this product. Even if they added a few bucks to the price for better quality footage, I think people would be willing to pay for it. Now I got it on sale for $49 bucks, so I'm not as hurt as I would be had I paid the full price of $79 or $71 with coupon codes. I'll can give it to someone who can probably make good use of it, but I don't see an application I could use it for.
Tactic got this product near perfect. It works seamlessly with everything you can imagine. It has a great quality look and feel to it. The package comes with everything you need to start shooting video. It is backed by on of the best companies in RC, but it ultimately fails for two major reasons. The first being, you CAN'T use it for FPV flying, and second, the video quality is just too poor. For now, if you are looking for a good sub $100 dollar action camera, go for the Mobius. It doesn't have all the cool features the Drone View has, but it shoots great video at 1080p and is roughly the same size.