RunCam 5 Review
Despite all the laws and regulations, drones are still incredibly popular. Especially the drone racing genre, which has seen a real evolution in technology. The new camera tech has gotten much cheaper and available in smaller forms. Which is perfect for racing drones as they have a limit for weight and size. And the RunCam 5 is the latest FPV action camera for these type of racing drones. It has the good old GoPro Hero Session shape that was unfortunately dropped by GoPro. And it’s strange because it had a lot of fans. So let’s see how well RunCam has done to keep that design alive in our review.
- Dimensions: 38×38×36 mm / 1.5×1.5×1.4″
- Weight: 56 g / 1.97 oz
- Sensor: Sony IMX377
- Field of View: 145°
- Video resolutions: 4K 30 fps; 2.7K 50 fps; 1440p 60 fps; 1080p 120/60 fps
- Bitrate: 60 Mbps
- Photo: 12 MP
- Features: TV-OUT support, QR reader, Gorilla Glass
- Ports: Micro USB, MicroSD card slot
- Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 128 GB
- Battery: 900 mAh Li-On
- Battery life: 60 minutes of 4K at 30 fps
In The Box
- RunCam 5
- 2x Velcro
- Micro USB to USB cable
Design & Accessories
The RunCam 5 is a cube shaped action camera with a dimension of 38×38×36 mm / 1.5×1.5×1.4″. It’s a design that first got popular when GoPro released the Hero Session. Not only is it much smaller but it’s also lighter as it weighs only 56 g / 1.97 oz. Which means that you can use the camera at places where you might not otherwise. Like on drones for example. It has a lens in the center, which is perfect for creating FPV videos from flying a drone.
But besides that, the RunCam 5 is also designed for it. It’s made out of thick and durable plastic that keeps the camera safe during crashes. Besides that, they have also covered the lens with Gorilla Glass! It’s usually the weakest point of a camera so I’m glad that they have fixed that. They have also added a cover to the side to protect the MicroSD card slot. Unfortunately though, there’s no threaded tripod mount underneath. Which means that you can’t really use the camera anywhere else, unless you pair it up with a frame. At the moment the only available frame is designed for drones.
RunCam has also limited the amount of buttons and ports. There’s only one physical button on the top and a small LED light. The button is used for powering on the camera and recording videos. That’s it. There’s also a Micro USB port on the side, which is used for charging the camera. It also supports the TV-OUT function. Unfortunately the TV-OUT cable isn’t included, so you’ll need to buy it separately if you want to transfer the live video directly to a screen.
You have also probably noticed that there aren’t any LCD screens or navigation buttons. And you are right, you can’t change any modes or settings directly from the camera. I’ll cover more about that under the Features section.
The downside of the RunCam 5 is that it doesn’t really have any accessories. And I’m not just talking about the stuff that’s included in the package. I’m talking about overall. The only compatible accessory I have seen is a 3D printed frame for mounting it into onto a racing drone. And unfortunately that’s not included. The camera only comes with a Micro USB to USB cable and 2 Velcro straps. Oh and by the way the battery is also built in.
Video & Features
The RunCam 5 has the extremely capable Sony IMX377 sensor. It can capture videos at up to a 4K resolution at 30 fps. If you require higher fps, then you can also switch to 1080p, with which you can record at up to 120 fps! Some of these resolutions are also available in both 4:3 and 16:9 ratios. And the 4:3 ratio is the most interesting because you can achieve Superview while recording at 1440p 4:3! Overall pretty good specs for an action camera this small.
Here’s an example of raw 4K footage captured with the RunCam 5! As you can see the image quality is fantastic. Sure there’s some blurriness on the grass but that’s fine considering the amount of detail on the screen. Other than that though, it does a great job at capturing the scenery as clearly as possible. I also really like the vibrant colors that give depth to the video. Overall excellent quality for such a small camera.
Here’s another example of what you can do with this action camera! You can record videos at a 1440p resolution and 4:3 ratio. You can then take that video and resize it to fit a 16:9 ratio. There are a couple of more steps that go into it but you can basically create this feature called Superview. It basically provides a more first person view feel. And as you can see from the video example, the quality is still awesome. You can read more about the steps required to achieve Superview in the videos comments.
As I mentioned before, the RunCam 5 doesn’t have built-in WiFi. That said, you’ll still need to install the RunCam app on your smartphone if you want to change any of the settings. Changing the settings generates a QR code that you later just have to point the camera at. The camera will read the QR code and change the settings internally. It’s a pretty unique solution that actually works really well. Sure it’s not as convenient as pairing it directly to your phone but then again, how often will you really be changing the modes on a drone camera.
If you are looking for an action camera to place onto a racing drone, then the RunCam 5 is the best choice at the moment. It doesn’t really have any actual competitors both in its price range and video quality. The only other camera I’d compare it to is the GoPro Hero5 Session. I’d say that they are pretty much equal in terms of video quality. The only difference is that it’s got Superview included as a mode. But unfortunately it’s discontinued so it’s pretty hard to get your hands on it. That’s why the RunCam 5 is a better choice.