Foxeer Legend 1 lightweight quadcopter camera
It seems I have reached the end of my small form-factor camera road-map. This Foxeer Legend 1 is the last model from the “Mobius family” which I have to review. It will definitely be hard for this Foxeer camera to fight with the features of the new RunCam 2.
In my opinion, the biggest challenge of the FPV camera manufactures is to keep the size and the weight on lowest possible values without compromising the image quality. They have to make a good balance between autonomy and weight, higher capacity battery means more weight less flight time.
GoPro alike cameras are suitable for 350 mm or even larger quadcopters (DJi Phantom clones), but what can we do with our smaller racing quads? They need a smaller and ultra lightweight camera with aerodynamic shape. I can’t tell which manufacturer introduced firstly this box matches form-factor, but it was definitely a great idea. Currently there any many similar models like the Foxeer Legend 1 on this market segment and I’m trying to find which one is the best, if there is one :)
The biggest disadvantage of the non standard form factor is the compatibility with mounting accessories and gimbals. It will be hard to find a brushless gimbal that fits for all kind of cameras shapes.
Foxeer Legend 1 review with sample videos
This product was offered by Harvey from SurveilZone for a honest review, thanks again for the possibility to test this camera. I opted for orange color but is also available in black, green and red. The vivid colors makes it more visible and easy to find when is accidentally lost in the flight zone (especially in tall grass).
Foxeer Legend 1 review – First impressions
The Foxeer Legend 1 camera comes in a small and hard carton box which protects it very well during the overseas shipping. I found in the box besides the camera and its user manual only two cables. There are no mounting accessories or lens cap included.
At first sight the camera looks amazing and it has a good rubber touch feeling. On the front part of the camera is center positioned the 166 degree wide angles lens and the microphone. On the rear part are two tiny connectors (micro HDMI and mini USB), status LED, charging LED and reset button hole.
The two control buttons are located on the top of the camera near the heat-sink which becomes pretty hot after short time of usage so you should not cover it.
By long pressing the “Power/Mode” button the camera can be turned ON or OFF. When is powered ON, using the same button the camera can be switched between video mode 1, video mode 2 and photo mode. By default, Mode 1 is 1080p@60fps and Mode 2 is 720p@120fps. Using the “Shutter” button can be started and stopped the video recording or the photos shooting.
Foxeer Legend 1 features and specs
- Ambarella A7LS imaging processor (SoC);
- 16MP Sony Exmor R BSI CMOS image sensor (1/2.3″);
- Approximately, same hardware as it has the popular Xiaomi Yi Xiaoyi action camera;
- F2.5 166 degrees wide angle lens;
- Configuration utility;
- Time-lapse and Countdown mode;
- 3D noise reduction;
- MCTF motion compensation;
- Video-out, UAV and external power via mini USB;
- Digital HD video out via micro HDMI;
- Max video resolution: 1206P@30fps (2304 x 1296);
- Max frame rate per second: 120 at 720p;
- Optimal video resolution: 1080p@60fps;
- Up to 16MP photo resolution (4608 x 3456);
- Available colors: black, orange, red and green;
- Dimension: 75mm (L), 37.5mm (W) and 19.8mm (H);
- Weight: 49g;
The servo cable is the strengths of this camera, none of my other cameras has this feature. It allows not just to get out the composite video signal from the camera but also to remotely stop and start the video recording. The mini-USB cable has 3 pairs of wires:
- Yellow – Composite video out;
- Red – Power input for the camera;
- White – Remote control signal (start/stop record, take photo);
When I tried to test the FPV out of the camera it didn’t worked. Firstly I thought that is something wrong with the camera but, as I am lucky, it was only the servo cable. One of the ground wires from the mini USB connector was poorly soldered and I managed to fix it quickly.
Foxeer Legend 1 review – PC configuration tool
Unfortunately, this Legend 1 camera doesn’t have a Wi-Fi so you must connect it to your computer with the included mini-USB cable.
Through the Foxeer configuration tool can be made some system settings, adjusting the working modes, photo and video quality fine tuning. The tool also allows to set the ISO value (Auto, 100-1600), metering modes (center, spot or multi) white balance and sharpness level.
Foxeer Legend 1 review – Image quality
Adopting the same hardware as the popular Xiaomi Yi camera, I thought the picture quality should be very good. The 16MP Sony CMOS image sensor allows up to 4608 x 3456 photo resolution. In my opinion this Foxeer Legend 1 has the best photo quality, at least in good light condition, among of all small quadcopter cameras that I’ve tested (sample photo).
As we are dealing with a FPV camera, the most important fact is the image quality and video out latency. As you can see on my test video, the video quality is pretty good on default settings. The 166° lens offers very wide field of view, much larger than its biggest competitor the RunCam 2 HD.
Sadly, in terms of video out latency the Foxeer Legend 1 camera does not excel. I’m afraid that the 100ms delay can be a problem when it is being used as first person view camera on racing quadcopters. I definitely will keep my 800TVL camera on the Runner 250(R) and I will use this Legend 1 as secondary camera.
In order to make a direct comparison between the RunCam2 and this Foxeer Legend 1, I’m planning to install both cameras on the same gimbal next to each other. I will have to improvise a little but I hope to get it right :)
Foxeer Legend 1 review – Final words
The Foxeer Legend 1 was the first camera on its market segment that introduced 60fps at full HD video resolution, which certainly makes it a “Mobius Killer”. Personally I was most impressed by the nice design and the photo quality of this camera. The lack of the mounting accessories requires some DIY skills to install this camera on your favorite quadcopter, especially if you are planning to use it together with a brushless gimbal. For those who are interested in this nice FPV camera, it can be ordered from SurveilZone. I have found on their website another interesting product, a Mini DVR for FPV which I’m searching for a while. Probably I will order one or I will ask Santa to bring me one :).
Foxeer Legend1 un-boxing and quick test
What I liked
- High frame rate (60fps at 1080p and 120fps at 720p);
- HDMI out for HD FPV;
- Time lapse function;
- 166 degree wide angle lens;
- Decent photo quality at 4608×3456 (16MP);
- Available in vivid colors;
What I didn’t liked
- No suitable lens cap;
- No mounting accessories;
- Built-in battery.
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Foxeer Legen 1 downloads: