Need help finding the best (and lightest) DVR and camera combination

I’m trying to fit a camera on a brushed silverware whoop WITH a built-in DVR to get the best, clearest video quality possible. It needs to be a brushed silverware whoop because I want it to be small, relatively inexpensive, and stable like an alienwhoop. The purpose will be to get cool “HD”-ish videos of tiny whoop freestyle/proximity flying and NOT racing, so the ability to speed around as fast as possible will not be a concern.

NOTE: I know it will be heavy and impractical and look nothing like a GoPro.

However, I know it can be (and has been) done with varying degrees of success. There seem to be three main approaches:

  1. The Easy Way: Buying a Turbowing Cyclops 3 (or similar knockoff). The problem with this is the video is just decent and, in the Cyclops especially, there is horrible latency which makes it very difficult to fly with any precision.

  2. The Medium Way: Buying a standalone DVR unit. This is the route I’m trying first. I ordered an AKK A5 camera/VTX from Amazon which is supposed to be pretty good for a whoop camera, and an HMDVR-S. Without the case, the DVR is only 2.4 grams. Still will be a heavy build, but I’m hopeful. The other issue is that the HMDVR-S requires a lot of power, and I’m not sure what that will mean exactly. Video will cut out? Recording won’t work? Motors won’t have enough power to lift? Battery will only last 10 seconds?

  3. The Hard Way: Hacking up some other cam/DVR like the SQ8. From the few youtube videos I saw, this seems to provide the best results picture-quality-wise but seems very complicated from a build perspective. Apparently you have to completely dismantle the unit and combine it with another camera somehow.

Aside from the problem of somehow getting a DVR on a tiny whoop, the other main consideration is making sure the picture quality is the BEST possible for such a small craft. I was watching whoop camera reviews and looking at TVL specs all week when I learned that the LENS is actually one of the most important parts. For example, this video here is using the Turbowing Cyclops 3 which is not a particularly impressive camera, but it looks stunning simply because the dude put a different lens on it.

Anyway, I know this is a lot to throw at the community, but I’d like to get some ideas for things I maybe haven’t thought of. For instance, some other micro camera not intended for drones that still might work similar to the SQ8? Or using TWO cameras (one for DVR, and one for FPV)? Etc.


Got my HMDVR-S, added it to my little brushed whoop, and… it worked! Tested it out and it recorded things just fine. Felt a bit heavy obviously, but very flyable.

Then I took it outside and crashed it into the ground and now the DVR doesn’t work.

I also got a Cyclops 3 to use as a standalone DVR unit, but I’m having trouble getting it to turn on.

Another complicated way. Buy existing DVR. Hot air unsolder components. Reverse engineer and transfer to thinner smaller pcb. Could probably save a gram. :smile:

1 Like

Some incredibly good and light DVD boards are the runcam and hglrc nano DVR boards. They work great, are like 5g, and the reviews are great.

1 Like

I found some of the post image processing this guy did with his cyclops to be very impressive.

1 Like

I broke the power button on my Firefly cam so I ripped it apart and found a hidden screw.

Haha, take it out and get .25g lighter!