If you want a DJI digital VTX for your FPV quad, there are now new options with a low light camera: the Caddx Polar Vista and Polar Air Unit feature a new camera with a sensor that is more than twice as large as the sensor in the Nebula Pro and Nebula Nano. How does it look? Here’s a hands-on test by Albert Kim and Nick Burns.
- Resolution: 720p @ 60fps, 50mbps bitrate
- Sensor Size: 1/1.8 inch, which is 2.2x larger than the 1/3 inch sensor used in the Nebula Pro, Nebula Micro, and Nebula Nano. In fact, the sensor is probably larger than the sensor in GoPro (although GoPro does not publish its sensor size).
- Aperture: f/1.6, which is about 2/3 stop wider than the f/2.1 aperture of the Nebula Pro.
- Field of view: The field of view is 162 degrees, which is wider than the 150 degree FOV of the Nebula Pro.
- Camera size: 19mm x 19mm, which is the same size as the Nebula Pro and larger than the 14mm x 14mm Nebula Micro and Nebula Nano.
- Weight: The Polar Vista with camera is 28grams and its antenna is 2.5 grams. The Polar Air Unit with camera is 42.6 grams with a 3.9 gram antenna. The camera without the Vista or Air Unit is 9 grams. By comparison, the Caddx Vista with Nebula Nano is 26.5 grams, or 27 grams with Nebula Pro.
- Latency and range: Latency is unchanged at around 32ms, with a range of 4km in ideal conditions.
The Polar camera appears to offer better image quality than other cameras for the DJI digital system. In low light, the Polar camera has far better shadow detail. In daytime, in my opinion, it looks like it has better dynamic range than Nebula Pro.
The new camera has a few downsides. First, like the Nebula Nano, the only aspect ratio available is 16:9. Second, the only resolution and frame rate is 720p @ 60fps, compared with the Nebula Pro which has 720p @ 120fps. Third, like the Nebula Nano, there is no Low Latency video mode (unlike the Nebula Pro). Albert hinted that there is another camera in the future that will offer low latency.
Here’s another hands-on, this one from Nick Burns:
Can you add the Polar camera on a Caddx Vista or Air Unit?
The new Polar camera is compatible with the current Vista or Air Unit and is available to purchase separately without the Caddx Vista for around $56 without coax cable or $62.90 with 12cm cable. This is similar to the price of a Nebula Pro (around $59) but substantially more expensive than a Nebula Nano (around $37).
Price and availability
The Polar Air Unit, Polar Vista, and Polar camera are available from Caddx. The Polar Vista is $159, while the Polar Air Unit is $179. I ordered a Polar Vista to test and will post my review when I get it.