For some time several vendors in Hong Kong has offered HD video cameras for below USD 50. There are several versions of these cameras. Some cameras are good and some are not so good. Over at RCgroups http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1556994 they have done extensive testing of the type 808 #16 camera.
The inside details and the chassis can be seen in the above pictures. In the left picture, it can be seen that the designer has used a image sensor that has been designed for the cellphone industry. There is a detachable lens (with threads in some of the sensors used) and the lens is attached to the mainboard via a flexiprint and via a controlled impedance and controlled delay connector. The sensor has the type designation OV9712. It can deliver 1280×800 in 30 fps or 720p WXGA HD format. The sensor has gain control, color balance control, and can even correct distortions caused by optics on die. Here is the datasheet of the sensor: http://www.ovt.com/products/sensor.php?id=29 There is a memory chip and a System On Chip (SOC) on the printed circuit board. The SOC has the designation NT96632BG. This SOC appears to me manufactured by the Taiwanese company Novatek . Their website was slow when I visited it, but here is the link http://www.novatek.com.tw/products/SoCSolutions.asp The manufacturer says this about their chip: “Novatek provides DSC/DV SoC solution, which features high image quality, high performance, excellent digital still image capturing and video streaming capabilities at a cost effective base. It is targeted for the application of VGA to 32M pixel DSC/DV resolutions. It can be easily adapted to many CCD and CMOS sensors with on chip programmable interface timing approach. Novatek’s DSC/DV controller provides sophisticated video processing methods with built-in hardware acceleration pipeline. Hardware H.264 video CODEC is embedded with The HDMI 1.3 Tx.“ A significant feature would be analog low latency video out. Then this camera would be ideal for FPV RC flying.
There is a reliable Ebay source for this camera here: eletoponline365