image of Olympus AIR A01

The latest trend in camera products - modular cameras - is good news for us as drone users.

With Sony releasing products such as the QX100 and QX1 it seemed like high quality alternatives to the gopro we're becoming available.

Now with Olympus and soon Vivitar being the latest companies to add their own modular camera to the list, it looks like 2016 will be an interesting year for modular camera technology.

Here is a shot of the new AIR A01


And the yet to be released Vivitar IU680 Model


Unfortunately two key requirements have still not been met from what information we have available.

1 - The ability to record 4k video

2 - A simple Analogue Video OUT for FPV

In addition it seems there are very few reliable options for stable camera gimbals that have been designed for these cameras.

Hopefully the options will get better in the very near future.

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  • Developer

    The BlackMagic looks to have a lot of potential. Definitively aiming at the pro crowd with heavy focus on dynamic range and global shutter.

    Sony... as usual has great hardware, but they are probably one of the most consumer hostile companies in the world. Open is not a word in their playbook. And based on their many, many past sins, I try to avoid them as much as possible.

  • Rob. L when i got my hand on a Sony Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-QX100-Lens-style-Camera-640x353.jpgone in a store it was Bluetooth and NFC so wifi as well here is the manual

  • I have my eyes on the Black Magic Micro Cinema


  • Developer

    The biggest reason for the price difference is the E1 being a low quantity niche product, while the A01 is a mass production unit from a established manufacturer.

    And to be fair the E1 has built in display and is a full 4K video camera (2160p30, 1080p60, 720p120), while the A01 is a mainly a stills camera only supporting video at 1080p/720p 30fps.

    The main problem with A01 as I see it, is that you are limited to WiFi/BLE for control and live video. Maybe the USB port can be used also, but haven't found any information on this yes.

  • The E1 looks like the most exciting camera being developed at the moment, thank you John for sharing! Just looking at their site - - the price for pre-order is 800 Euros. That is without any sort of lens. Add a gimbal and we are up past 1000 euros. With that sort of money you could build a quad and buy a AIR A01 + Lens and gimbal...

    For this to be compelling it needs to be at least close to what a qx100 cost - EUR400

  • Developer

    As I said, early days when it comes to firmwares. But we have been promised serial control (VISCA) and also usb control when the sdk becomes available. I have not tested but the I/O port is supposed to have composite video, and the HDMI also has clean output.

  • What, a Kickstarter hardware project shipping?!  Unpossible!

    I'll be very interested in watching how this works out.  Could be a game changer.  I believe it does have wired communications?  Don't have to use WiFi or BLE?   Does it have A/V out too?

  • Developer

    Got mine a couple of weeks ago. Probably gonna re-balance a Zenmuse Z15 gimbal for it, so that I can put some good optics on and not worry about weight.

  • That would totally do the trick. Looks like they've started shipping to backers. Hope they make it over the line with this one.

  • Developer

    My button is still on the E1. It's still very early days when it comes to completed features and firmware development. But the devs seem very open oriented (official github account for the camera) and the hardware and form factor is good.


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