New Modular Cameras - Olympus AIR (A01) and Vivitar IU680

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.

Views: 3715

Comment by Vladimir "Lazy" Khudyakov on November 29, 2015 at 7:51am

Olympus and Sony sell this cameras for 2 year. New?

Comment by eduardo on November 29, 2015 at 8:44am

kkkkk another time traveller news ..... from the past to the present.

Comment by Sigitas Ciapas on November 29, 2015 at 1:51pm

Yeah, and those cameras available only in US. There are no in Europe.

Comment by Andrew Tridgell on November 29, 2015 at 2:20pm

can any of them take photos and get the photos at full resolution over USB? Or if only wifi, can they do 5.8GHz WiFi?

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 29, 2015 at 3:34pm

I don't think either of your two key requirements are very strong requirements.  These are stills cameras, not video cameras.  Why have 4k video anyway?  So you can have YouTube crunch it down to 16MB/s so it looks worse than uncompressed 720 video?

I'm with Tridge.  What is more important is their picture taking and communications abilities.

If you want video, get any number of dedicated video camers.  I just picked up a Sony CX430 for a song, and it's superior to most stills cameras.  And even has it's own internal brushless gimbal.

Comment by Rob Campbell on November 29, 2015 at 4:44pm

I've had my eye on the Air A01 since it came out last year with it in mind as a stills camera. Paired with the 12 or 14mm prime lenses, this thing would be a great camera.

Olympus has claimed this camera is an "open" platform, though I haven't seen any projects making use of that yet. Their docs are pretty minimal.

Unfortunately, I don't see USB cable control mentioned anywhere even though Olympus' other cameras do have a wired release capability. Their wireless protocol is well-defined, but works on 2.4GHz so might interfere with flight controls.

I'd really like to make one of these work. :)

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on November 30, 2015 at 3:32am

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.

Comment by Rob Campbell on November 30, 2015 at 12:38pm

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

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on November 30, 2015 at 4:32pm

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.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on December 1, 2015 at 3:26am

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?


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