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HomeCreative IdeasHawkeye Thumb: Extremely Mild 4K digicam for FPV drones

Hawkeye Thumb: Extremely Mild 4K digicam for FPV drones

Hawkeye 4K Thumb

At first look, the Hawkeye 4K Thumb digicam is a superb selection for those who discover the GoPro too massive or costly however nonetheless what to document stabilized UHD movies. Weighting simply 15.5 grams, it may be put in on nearly any drone dimension. Within the case of micro FPV drones, Gyroflow stabilization is an actual different to built-in digital picture stabilization (EIS) resembling Hypersmooth and Rocksteady.

Gyroflow is a free post-processing video stabilization instrument, which makes use of gyro knowledge for correct movement compensation. With the assistance of exact lens calibrations, rolling shutter correction, and tweakable stabilization algorithms, it may produce gimbal-like stabilization with no or minimal weight penalty. The truth that it’s a time-consuming course of, is a serious drawback of gyro stabilization know-how.

GYROflow main interface

Most standalone 4K motion cameras are typically heavy because of their giant sensor, LCD display screen, battery, and extra elements. As an alternative, “bare” cameras, such because the Hawkeye 4K Thumb, have inside solely the minimal {hardware} required to document movies. To be as gentle as potential, their circumstances are additionally minimalist, making them extra susceptible to wreck from water, mud, and bodily impacts.

Hawkeye FireFly 4K Thumb overview

Disclosure: I acquired this 4K drone digicam from Hawkeye FPV to check it and do an in-depth overview. Though the product was provided free of charge, all opinions on this article stay my very own, with no sponsor’s affect.


Hawkeye’s Thumb 4K digicam is packed in a clean not too fancy cardboard field with the next equipment: three video cables (USB Sort C to three.5mm RED, USB Sort C to three.5mm Black, and three.5m feminine to RCA), three stability energy cables (3, 4 and 6s), two filters (ND16 and UV), and 5key management board.


The tiny thumb-size digicam measures 49×22×13.5mm and weighs nearly 16 grams. On the entrance, there’s a super-wide angle F/2.0 lens, energy/mode button, and standing LED. It has two ports on the again:

  • 4pin for energy, video out, and distant management
  • 2pin for management keyboard

The crimson USB – AV cable with the “DJI” label could be related on to the Goggles V2 video-in port. Because of its low latency, you may join a VTX for FPV flight flights by way of the video-out pin.

On the left is a multi-purpose Sort-C socket with energy, video-out, file switch, and WEB digicam options. Information switch is fairly quick at 27MB/s. Downloading 1GB (4 min flight video) takes nearly 30 seconds. It information the movies on a micro SD card and the gyroscope knowledge in a separate file (*.gsv), which could be loaded immediately into Gyroflow software program.

Micro SD slot safety locker

You should use Micro SD playing cards with a dimension of as much as 64GB. Be certain that it’s a Class 10 UHS 3 card that may deal with 4K decision. The Micro SD card is accessible from the precise and has a security flap that forestalls ejecting the cardboard throughout a crash.

Two lens covers are included, one with clear UV glass to guard the lens and the second with an ND16 filter for shiny sunny days.

UV and ND16 filters

Mounting choices

The FireFly 4K Thumb digicam has an built-in mini 3mm GoPro mount that lets you set up the digicam horizontally in your drone. Should you want a unique mounting resolution, on Thingiverse yow will discover a lot of 3D printable (horizontal and vertical) undertaking information.

Horizontal 3D printed TPU dumped mount

Energy choices

It’s superb how HawkeyeFPV made a 15.5-gram digicam that may document 4K video with gyro knowledge. Sadly, the light-weight design has an enormous compromise. With out a built-in battery, the Hawkeye 4K Thumb can’t be used as a standalone motion digicam just like the Insta360 GO 3.

The Hawkeye Thumb 4K digicam is meant to be powered by the drone’s important battery.  It may be powered by something between 5V and 23V. The producer consists of 3S, 4S, and 6S stability LIPO energy cables. As a completely charged 6S LIPO has 25.2v, the producer modified the 6S connector right into a 4S one.

Power cables

Bear in mind when powering by way of USB, be certain to make use of a devoted charging cable from a PC or energy financial institution. If knowledge traces (RX/TX) are related, it’ll robotically go into “Mass storage” mode and you can’t document.

Controls and configuration

As I beforehand talked about, the Thumb 4K has solely a single button that permits to start out/cease recording and toggle between 4 resolutions -each mode is confirmed by totally different LED coloration: 

  • 4K/2.5K@50fps (4:3) : Pink + Blue
  • 2.5K@50fps Pink
  • 1080P@50fps Blue
  • 4K@30fps LED off

To activate the “Webcam” mode, it’s essential to press and maintain the ability button for 8 seconds. Home windows OS will robotically detect the digicam, and 1080p@30fps video decision might be chosen.

Configuration menu

The Thumb 4K doesn’t have a show, however it has a video-out that makes an awesome tandem with the Hawkeye Little Pilot Grasp monitor when the superior configurations are made. Moreover, due to the built-in playback characteristic, you may overview your flights proper on the flight subject. Utilizing the included 5D keyboard, you may alter parameters resembling Publicity, WDR, Sharpness, Distinction, ISO, FOV, and extra. Picture rotation for upside-down set up, auto-recording, and audio on/off can be configured by way of the OSD menu system. The digicam has a “trg” enter for distant management by way of Betaflight. The entire instruction information could be downloaded from right here.

Hawkeye 4K Thumb: Picture high quality

Out-of-camera, the movies are too “pure” with a lot of movement. It is advisable to post-process them within the Gyroflow app to make them smoother. On my i5 pc, the processing velocity was 4 frames/second. Due to this fact a 3-minute 4@30fps footage (180sec*30fps=5400 whole frames ) would require about 23 minutes to use stabilization. The APP crops within the video to acquire the specified outcome, so the FOV might be narrower than within the “RAW” video. Audio is current however just about ineffective for flight footage.

As you may see within the video above, there’s plenty of jello as a result of TPU mount that flexes lots. For additional assessments, I’ll use a extra inflexible digicam mount hoping it’ll repair the jello.

Stabilized 4K movies could be recorded solely at 30fps. The digicam additionally helps 50fps at 3840 x 2160 pixels, however the picture format is 4:3 (sq.), not 16:9.

Video formats

The picture high quality isn’t excellent, particularly if you’re used to GoPro cameras. Virtually you get what you pay for. The footage just isn’t too sharp and has issues with dynamic vary. As an alternative of a lovely blue sky, one typically sees solely a washed-out white. Even utilizing H.265 codec, the common 30 Mbit video bit fee doesn’t present movies wealthy intimately.

Pricing, availability, and choices

The FireFly Thumb 4K digicam could be ordered by way of platforms like Aliexpress and approved retailers like Makerfire. The superior package with included ND16 filter, proven on this overview, is priced at $87.22, and the usual package at $82.10. Moreover, the 3D-printed digicam mount could be ordered for $10.23.

Installed on CineWhoop

FireFly 4K Thumb: Technical parameters

Picture sensor SONY 12MP
Discipline of View (FOV) 170°
Video Decision 4K 50/30FPS, 2.5K 4:3 50/30FPS, 2.5K 16:9 50FPS, 1080P 50/30FPS
Video with gyro knowledge 4K 30FPS, 2.5K 4:3 50/30FPS, 2.5K 16:9 50FPS, 1080P 50/30FPS
Video format  .mp4/H.265
Storage SD Card 8-64G(U1 or above)
Connectivity USB Sort C
Video out PAL/NTSC
Enter voltage DC 5-23V
Dimensions 49×22×13.5mm
Weight 15.5 grams
Firmware improve steps:
  1. Delete all of the information and folders within the SD card(counsel:8G/16G).
  2. Obtain the newest Thumb 4K firmware and replica the *.bin file to the micro SD card.
  3. Insert the SD card into the digicam.
  4. Energy on the digicam. The replace course of will begin robotically. When updating, the LED will repeatedly flash.
  5. When the replace course of is completed, the LED will cease flashing.
  6. The digicam will reboot once more.


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