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Tactic DroneView Wi-Fi FPV Mini Camera Review

The Camera can take stills, video or WiFi FPV with your Smartphone or Tablet.

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Introduction

DroneView Wi-Fi HD FPV Mini Camera by Tactic (1 min 17 sec)


Length: 3.1"/80mm
Width: 1.34"/34mm
Height: 0.9"/24mm
Weight: 1 oz./27.5g
Photo megapixels: 1 megapixel
Video resolution: 720P HD
Run Time: 45 minutes +
Battery Built In: With receiver charge leads
Manufacturer: Tactic
Available From: Tower Hobbies and Fine Hobby Stores Every Where
Price: $79.99 ARF

The Tactic Droneview Wi-Fi Camera is small and light weight for easy transportation. You can attach it to your car dashboard, your bike, skateboard, helmat, drone or any land, water or air R/C vehicle. It records 720P HD video and 1MP still photos and records audio in video if desired. The WiFi makes it FPV capable using the free Droneview App on your Smart phone or WiFi Tablet. The Droneview itself is available at an affordable price of under $80.00 that should be affordable any hobbyist. In my initial testing I found the camera has a fish lens and shoots very acceptable still photos and video. As with other WiFi camera's the range is limited as will be discussed below. Still I was able to practice some close FPV flying with mine using my tablet with the Droneview tablet at a baseball field.

If you are an active individual the DroneView can be attached to your helmet and record your actions as you pursue your activity such as skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, motocross, X Games and more. For me I will be using it with my Radio Control activities and for this review I attached it to the visor of my cap at the AMA Expo, To my friends parkflyer and to my Wasteland Buggy for a ground view. Thanks to the Droneview App I had an FPV ground eye view from the buggy and a birds eye view from the parkflyer on my Galaxy 4 Tablet. The FPV works with Apple 5 and 6 Smartphones and the current iPads as well as Android based smart phones and tablets. Although the camera only requires to be fully charged to be used it is necessary to download a free Droneview App to take advantage of the WiFi using with your Smartphone or tablet. I will try and quickly cover the download and operation requirements for the Droneview and share stills and video I obtain with the camera as well as discuss the WiFi experience.

Kit Contents

Includes:

  • Tactic Droneview Wi-Fi Mini Camera
  • Battery with receiver charge leads
  • Mounting Foam (3 pieces double sided)
  • 4GB Class 10 Micro Memory Card
  • USB Charger and Cable
  • Instruction manual

Promoted Features

Features

  • 720P HD videos
  • 1MP still images
  • 4GB micro memory Card included (can handle micro card up to 32GB)
  • Powered by on-board battery—includes RX charge leads
  • Download or stream images/video with the free DroneView App
  • ZH port for remote function with your radio
  • Audio recording capability

Assembly

No assembly is required. The camera is attached to the desired location using one of three pieces of provided double sided foam sticky tape. While I charged the camera using the included USB charging cord and my computer; I read through the instruction manual to learn how to get the most out of my new Droneview while it was charging. I have also used double sided foam servo tape to secure my camera to objects after I used up the three supplied pieces of double sided foam tape.

Charging

The USB charge cord plugs into the back right side of the camera and a USB port on my computer. There is a series of red LEDs in the back of the camera and when they are all solidly lite the camera's battery was fully charged. The manual says the camera will operate for about 45 minutes with a full charge and I found the was a good ballpark number with my camera. The battery is encased in a plastic holder and is 1S 3.7V 350mAh LiPo. Addition batteries in plastic case can be purchased and as shown in the opening video the changing of the battery is quick and easy. Charge time was advertised as 50 minutes for a depleted battery and mine was usually ready in 45 minutes when depleted at the start of the charge.

Down Loading And Using the Droneview App

The App can be found at the Apple App store or at Google Play. Since I am using my Galaxy Tab 4 I went to the Google Store to download the App. I searched for the App, quickly found it and it was a free download. It created an Icon on my App Icon page. Before using the App I installed a micro memory card into my Droneview and turned on the Droneview by pressing the on/off button on the side of the Droneview. Next, to use the Droneview App I just turned on my tablet and pressed the App button on the screen and the Droneview App opened and the WiFi linked with the image transmitted by the camera in between 30 and 60 seconds. On the view video page there were four buttons that would disappear if not used but reappeared when I touched the screen. Pressing the still camera button on the top right of the screen took a still picture. Pressing the video button under it started the video camera to record and pressing it again stopped the video. The third button down was the gallery button and allowed me to view what had been recorded on the micro memory card. The fourth and bottom button was the settings button. This brought up a second page of controls overlaid over the WiFi picture received from the camera. There are six controls and they are:

Six Settings Controls

  • WiFi Name
  • Brightness with an adjustment bar
  • Contrast with an adjustment bar
  • Rotate camera view
  • Date Code
  • Reset

The Wi-Fi name changes how the Droneview camera is identified in the WiFi network list. The Brightness and Contrast controls adjust these two aspects of the image and affects not only the WiFi image seen on my tablet but also the images for the recorded still pictures and video on the micro memory card. The Rotate camera view flips the image 180 degrees. If the image is upset down as the camera is mounted I simply used this control to have the image right side up both for the FPV view and the recorded stills and video. The Date Code displays the date in the upper right corner when it is turned on. The date has to be update by the app every time it is used. While I tested this function I did not use it after confirming that it was there. The reset button restores the factory default settings. I did not test this function after the first day as it appeared to work as advertised.

Manually Adjustable Lens

As shown in the opening picture gallery the lens on the Droneview can be pointed up about 45 degrees and down about 45 degrees and anything in between. While these adjustments have to be made manually they allow the lens to be set at a desired position before the flight or use begins. The unit cam also be positioned at various angles giving an almost unlimited variety of angles for picture or video taking or for sending an FPV running image.

Multiple Wi-Fi Connections

The Droneview camera can be connected to two devices at the same time and both can share the FPV feed and control the pictures/video. Only export a recorded image to one at a time to avoid the transmission from freezing. They recommend only downloading videos of a minute or less due to the amount of time and battery it will take. I removed the micro memory card and used a micro memory card holder that I had to directly download from the card to my computer.

Control the DroneView with your Transmitter

While a Droneview App is needed to use the FPV the camera can be controlled by using the supplied Receiver Cable. Per the instructions one end plugs into the camera and the other into the receiver. The channel controller needs to be a three position switch, a knob or a stick. With my Futaba transmitter I used a three way switch and by testing the control with the camera in front of me I quickly learned how to take a still picture, a video and to stop a video.

Directly Controlling the Droneview

To take a still picture with the Droneview on I just tapped the PV button. The status LED on the Droneview would flash rapidly for 3 seconds and a picture was recorded on the memory card. When the flashing stopped I could take another picture. To record a video I would hold down the PV button for two seconds and it would start recording. The status LED would flash slowly. To stop the video I just needed to tap the PV button. These controls were tested at the AMA Expo and worked as advertised.

Video Recording Rules

The instruction manual says only shoot a video for five minutes maximum. I shot four minute plus videos but stopped there and had no problems. They also recommend that after stopping a recording wait 30 seconds before turning off the Droneview to make sure the recording is completed and saved before turning off the Droneview.

RANGE

If using a plane I recommend using the Receiver Cable to control the camera for taking still pictures or shooting video. The range is the same as your transmitter for controlling the aircraft.

Droneview App has limited range for both controlling the camera and for FPV. For many functions the range is fine but for an Aircraft you might find the range to be a bit limiting. With my Wasteland buggy I had perfect video at 90 feet and some occasional loss of signal out to 180 feet and then serious problems with keeping the signal. When the FPV signal was lost the image on the screen would remain so a still buggy might look like it was still sending even when it wasn't. A moving buggy was always easy to tell. I had no trouble taking still pictures up to 180 feet. The video recording once started would continue even if the buggy went out of range for FPV. I would drive closer to turn off the camera which could be seen by a red dot over the video camera box on the right of the screen which disappeared when video was turned off.

Testing using a multi-rotor I had no problems at 150 feet up and 300 feet away. Beyond that I would have the FPV lock up. With a parkflyer I found the range was less and the image would come and go as the plane flew in and out of range. Control of taking still pictures or starting or stopping videos could also be lost beyond 300 feet. Being in the air on a copter increased the range over being on the ground on a buggy. I only tested one Droneview and I am only reporting on the range I had with mine. On my copter I had range up to 400 feet away using math. I had recorder control always at 300 feet but some FPV lock-up depending where I was flying. The range was about the same or slightly less with a parkflyer.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

DroneView attached to a parkflyer.

A DroneView video when attached to a plane (3 min 12 sec)

Still photos and a video clip from the AMA Expo 2016 shot with DroneView on my hat.

DroneView video and stills at the 2016 AMA Expo (1 min 17 sec)

Conclusion

The camera supplied 720P HD video and adjustment for brightness and contrast allowed for adjustment for various lighting conditions. The 1 megapixel stills are large enough to allow for cropping and the smaller images were still very good for viewing on a monitor or normal size prints. The videos are shot at 20fps which is not the same as my other cameras but they played well using Windows 10 and were changed into YouTube video as shown above. I was happy with the standard camera results. The First Person Video worked excellent when in range as discussed above uses during this review by family and friends have included: Snowboarding tricks and watching a golf swing followed with replay watching of those short videos using the gallery. Watching our 2 year old granddaughter play and go to sleep after being placed in her crib for the night. I retrieved the camera and turned it off after she was a sleep. Most uses were hobby related. If you can accept the Wi-Fi range limits I strongly recommend the DroneView. It you are interested in trying FPV and have a Smartphone or tablet this is an in expensive way to give it a try. The camera price is about what some other cameras cost with no FPV and as a camera it can be hand controlled as discussed above or controlled at a great distance using the included receiver cable. I have found a lot or uses for it and look forward to using it for a long time to come.

Pluses & Minuses

Pluses

  • Very happy with stills and video
  • Droneview App was easy to obtain and to use
  • Stills were large enough to crop and remove some of the fish lens affect
  • FPV worked to 180 feet or beyond with good results, perfect within 100 feet

Minuses

  • More range would be appreciated

Thanks

I would like to thank Hobbico and Tactic for supplying the Droneview to RC Groups for this review. My thanks to my friends who assisted me in this review, especially Dick Andersen. Finally, Thanks to our RC Groups editor and site manager for their assistance.

Last edited by Michael Heer; Feb 03, 2016 at 05:24 PM..
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Old Feb 18, 2016, 05:48 PM
outbackkanga is online now
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video intro works then its just black screen, Can not find any live out footage of this cam any where.
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Last edited by outbackkanga; Feb 26, 2016 at 05:20 PM.
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Old Mar 01, 2016, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outbackkanga View Post
video intro works then its just black screen, Can not find any live out footage of this cam any where.
Ditto---Author---You might want to re-make these vids as they aren't working...
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Old Mar 03, 2016, 09:17 AM
Reeftech is offline
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Wifi

Thanks. Very thorough and informative review. Just wondering if the wifi signal of the camera could inferfere with the transmitter signal on 2.4 ghz radios? I understand both work in the same range, there are documented issues with the gopro wifi interfering with similar radios. Thank you!
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Old Mar 03, 2016, 12:32 PM
jshambles is offline
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I bought this camera several weeks ago, and so far I'm really disappointed. The picture quality that you have shown in your thread is much better than I've been able to capture with mine.

I've been wondering if a better SD card would make a difference?
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Old Mar 03, 2016, 10:41 PM
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On sale now for $49, seems like a good price point.
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Old Mar 14, 2016, 03:51 PM
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So I bought one, first camera had a dark spot on the lens and that would not come off. LHS exchanged it, second one worked fine.

My feedback, WiFi is useless except for setting up the picture. The manual even says not for FPV. The software is not stable on my galaxy phone, locks up and has problems finding the camera. Battery life looks like about 15-20 min max too. Video also seems to stop recording after 5 min and then starts again.

I like the adjustability and interface to open channel on an RX. The video quality is good and field of view is wide. I'll keep it for $50, but as usual Hobbico products are just not what they advertise.
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Old Apr 04, 2016, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reeftech View Post
Thanks. Very thorough and informative review. Just wondering if the wifi signal of the camera could inferfere with the transmitter signal on 2.4 ghz radios? I understand both work in the same range, there are documented issues with the gopro wifi interfering with similar radios. Thank you!
It interferes with my 2.8 TX. I will be attempting to return this evening.
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Old Apr 11, 2016, 11:14 AM
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I honestly don't know how this review is so positive. The footage from it is horrendous. It is a great looking camera and comes and works well, and has potential, but video it records is worse than anything I've seen out there from the Mobius to the keychain cameras. What is the point in the fancy ability to use WIFI and control with the transmitter if the end result is so poor. I'll have my full review posted to www.realrcreviews.com this week.
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Old Apr 14, 2016, 12:10 PM
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Well, mine is exactly like the original post...., picture quality super!! But I seem to have a problem getting it to function from my Futaba 8 channel. Went through its manual and dont know why the camera does not do anything on ANY of the switches after assigning one to that empty channel. Anybody an input?? Thanks
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Old Apr 15, 2016, 02:41 PM
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Hi guys i need help with this camera, i have one that suffered a crash and blew into pieces. I was hoping soneone can take a picture of the internals of their cam so i can see where the wires go to on the main board from the 3pin connector that goes in contact with the lower half of the camera. Please i hope someone out there can help!
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Old May 21, 2016, 10:08 AM
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Before I return this camera, does anyone know how to reset the stored AP name? By default the camera comes with a cryptic AP name and like many I wanted to reset it to something more meaningful. After typing in a name that not only had spaces but I also used an apostrophe. The manual barely mentions not to use spaces in the WiFi name. The DroneView android app didn't complain and after the app sent the new name to the camera it fails to transmit a signal now. Since the camera doesn't show up as a wireless device anymore the DroneView app can't reset it. A procedure to reset the camera might be to remove the board and short something or, maybe even a file with specific information be placed on the memory card so when the camera boots it would read it. Any Ideas hackers?
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Old Yesterday, 01:57 PM
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Is it possible to stream from these cameras to have a live video feed? The way that we have it setup is with an Iphone as the Wifi hotspot. The camera is on an RC boat. We want to stream live video to facebook, or youtube live etc... Suggestions?
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