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Old Aug 07, 2010, 02:02 PM
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Derek_S's Avatar
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Best Camera for under $30

So the camera thing is maybe a bit of a topic that is beaten to death, but I would like to know for us cheapo's, what camera have you found for under $30 (including shipping) that is pretty good? I have seen many from $50 and up that look good, but I would really like to push the limit of budget so I can get a few cheap spares for banging around a little.

Here is the only one I have that qualifies at right at $25 or $30 after shipping. The Panasonic GP-Cx-161. This camera is one that seemed to have good reviews here on the forum, but when I got it, I thought it sucked. My only complaint is that is is very difficult to see when the sun is in the FOV. It is really bad, IMO. Here is an example vid. From teh beginning you can see how dim it gets, but when it is flying away form the sun, it is quite nice for my purposes:

FPV 006 (6 min 12 sec)


Any one else have a favorite for the el-cheapo in all of us?

***On a side note I have a KX 191 which does not qualify at about $120, but it has some bad reviews here ain regards to darkening with the sun in th FOV, but I have found it to work perfectly in this scenario... maybe some revisions have been made to some models..?***
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 07:15 PM
Flying FPV from the lab.
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my cx-161 with the 1.9mm lens sucked big time. I have an older cx-161 with a 2.8mm lens, which is much, much better. Its almost as if they aren't the same camera.

My favorite is a security cam from "QSEE" that I ripped apart down to a board cam. Its got excellent light handling, its sharp and durable!!!
http://www.q-see.com/products/securi...?ProductId=138
I dont know how much this cam was, it was laying around at work after a security system install. Its only 420tvl, but still gives a good sharp picture.
Playing Chicken with a Wind Turbine FPV (2 min 37 sec)

this is a vid with the above camera. I love it.

I also own a kx131 (5v version), 540tvl cased cam from securitycamera2000.com. The kx-131 comes in a close second to the qsee.
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 07:26 PM
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The http://www.securitycamera2000.com $40 540vtl OSD camera is currently my best pick, and I normally swear by $150 Pixims, hence spending a little more goes a long way in my humble opinion.

Cheers,

Sander.
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ssassen View Post
The http://www.securitycamera2000.com $40 540vtl OSD camera is currently my best pick, and I normally swear by $150 Pixims, hence spending a little more goes a long way in my humble opinion.

Cheers,

Sander.
Sander, I cant seem to find the particular one you are talking about? The search does not pull it up specifically?
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 07:51 PM
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Sander, I cant seem to find the particular one you are talking about? The search does not pull it up specifically?
They even lowered the price, now it certainly is a steal!

http://www.securitycamera2000.com/pr...Security-.html

The only downside is the connector to the camera, that's just rubbish, with the supply pins almost touching (= video gone) so that needs either soldering direct, or replacement with a properly fashioned cable.

Cheers,

Sander.
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 07:54 PM
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Did you mean the price went up? It shows $50 for me, or am I misunderstanding? either way, I think $50 is reasonable for a cam, I was just curious how far I can stretch $30.
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 08:07 PM
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Sander, Is looking at the Euro I believe $36.87 now.
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 08:08 PM
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Nope, it's $50 USD.

Can also be found on ebay. Search OSD Camera
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 08:18 PM
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Sander, Is looking at the Euro I believe $36.87 now.
Ah yes, indeed, my mistake

Cheers,

Sander.
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 08:41 PM
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Ah, thanks!
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 08:57 PM
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I have really been wondering about this one. I have seen some posts, but am not fully convinced.... I think it is called the "$24 ebay cam form toolsworldwide" here on the forum.

http://cgi.ebay.com/CCTV-Camera-Boar...32516540236593
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 09:02 PM
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That's the one Derek, I've got a couple of those, as well as an older CX-161 with the bigger lens (2.8 is it?) I like them both a lot, and they are different, but I think I'd put them both on the same level. It's hard to be either one for what they cost...
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 09:14 PM
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Keith, funny you reply, I was just looking at a video you posted with it. Unfortunatly, it looks like it does the same thing my CX161 does, it gets very dark when the sun is in the FOV...? Is this your opinion as well?

Here is the particular video I was looking at. In it, the position of the sun is similar to when I fly most (early morning). For example look at bith vids around the 13-15 second mark.

Testing Camera (5 min 44 sec)
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 09:21 PM
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Yeah, that's something they both do, but to be fair most other cameras will do it too unless you spend a lot more for something that doesn't The Sony board camera is a little better in this situation than the Panasonic CX-161 though I think. The key is to keep about 2/3 of the frame showing ground and not sky, and it's better. Having tilt makes it easy, but you can play with the angles on one without tilt and get a nice compromise too.
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Old Aug 07, 2010, 09:32 PM
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$20 over budget but like Sander says it's real good. Using my setup instructions I keep posting lately you will see the ground much better than any non osd or pixim camera.

http://cgi.ebay.com/SONY-CCD-Chipset...efaultDomain_0

This is with the 480 version but the effect is exactly the same.

Tour of Locust Hill Golf Course -- from long range (8 min 45 sec)
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