Newer, better designs for Chinese Mini DVR’s… AND.. lower prices. Frank’s Tech Help is a great site for info on these gadgets. His reviews are good, and he has several operational guides for the MD80, which I am fiddling with this weekend.
Car DVR’s are getting way cheap. There is one called the DVR D011 reviewd by Techmoan (another good gadget review)..and he gives it a thumbs up. The D011 can be had on Ebay for $20, shipped. Techmoan likes the DV011. These are alloy metal, not plastic, and the video looks good, with no dropped frames. A wider angle lens would be better. The video is continuous, and it can take video while charging.
A even better one that costs about $135 is reviewed by Frank’s Tech Help and Techmoan.. it’s the HD 720P which Frank really likes. It puts out HD Video in H.264 format, has a wide “fisheye” lens..a 2.5″ LCD monitor, and video is very, very good. Frank loves it. Not a dropped frame. Smooth, unjerky video. Techmoan has a review of it also. Between them, these guys give good reviews of many of the latest gadgets. “Awesome” is what Frank calls it. On Ebay, they are being sold for about $140, shipped to the USA. This one has a wide 120′ angle lens. He loves that thing. Note that there are several models of this DVR. The one that Frank reviewed was the DVR037. This has night vision.. HDMI output, and REAL 720P output. There are cheaper, less capable versions the DVR007, the DVR017, and the DVR017s. These do NOT have night vision, and do not have true 720P output. You need to be careful, because their appearance is identical.
My MD80 is an old one, but I just started exploring it this weekend. The video quality is very good, better than the than the gumcam. BUT.. it is not as good as the #3 KeyChain Cam. The color is better though than the key cam. The color is very rich on the MD80’s I’ve had.
The neat thing about the MD80 is it’s “sound activation” feature. It is very small, about the size of a woman’s thumb. It comes on when a sound is detected above 60DB. This I found to be about the sound of a door shutting normally. It comes on, and stays on for two minutes. If no more sound is detected, it switches off. The standby battery life is 250 hours, optimum. The lens on the MD80 is a wide angle too. The color is rich, but the video a little blurry when action and motion are present.
You can see what use this might be. It could be left in one place for several days, to monitor an area. You might ask why a poor guy like me would want such a device. Because in this ‘hood, the shit is always hitting the fan that’s why! Lots of people are petty thieves. People who are just on the edge of the system. Never went to the prison, but are in and out of county jail. Prostituting, using and selling drugs, drinking, etc. Drunks, fights. Sometimes, things get really serious.
The thing about the MD80 is it’s low price. You can have them for $14 or so on ebay, and just $17 complete with a 4GB SD card. They use the mini SD cards After a while, you get the hang of them. I normally prefer the regular SD cards, but the mini’s are O.K. once you get used to dealing with them. I use a toothpick or little dental pick tool to deal with them. The MD80’s are very small, very unobtrusive, and give a pretty good picture, even with just normal room lighting at night. Very good audio.
These cams can also be fitted with different lenses. The “jelly” lens is on ebay for as little as $1.99. It’s a small lens with this rubbery mounting that just sticks over the old lens. When you are done, just peel it off. People are fitting these to MD80’s and the KeyChain Cam, which sells for $10 or so. There is a extensive page for the keychain cam, where hobbiests are modding the daylights out of it. It’s Chuck Lohr’s Website. This site is pretty exhaustive. I wish there were sites like this for all the cams. The “Jelly” lenses are originally designed to enhance Cell phone cams, and there is a wide variety of them. There’s even a telephoto lens, designed for cellphone cams, that would probably fit the MD80. I just watched the review of the Jelly Lens.. it’s really a neat idea, and they are dirt cheap. There is a large variety of lenses available.
Note that there are TWO types of MD80 being sold. The “original” AEE MD80 which still sells for about $70. The “clone” MD80 is the cheap one. The video is still good.. but mine, well the battery has trouble charging all the way. They are the cheaper version.
There is a NEW Keychain Cam being sold on Ebay. This one I am buying uses the better, #3 chip, and adds sound activation. These are cheap, about $17. The Keychain cam’s video is better than the MD80’s in that motion does not blur. The MD80’s color is a little better, very rich. I will get one of the New KeyChain cams sometime and review it.
There are a lot of new Car Dash DVR’s coming out. I always wanted one of these when driving a semi truck around the country. The CDV600 has not been reviewed that I know of, but the video on YouTube looks good. The top Car DVR now seems to be the HD720P with HDMI output.
There is another one being sold, that has a GPS Data logger on it. This would be good for the semi truck, and other applications. There are a lot of them coming out..and the price is dropping and dropping. I just saw a HD720P for $67.50 shipped. It appears to be the same one that Franks Tech Help reviewed. The video from that one was great.. it was superb actually.
There are so many of these coming from China that I cannot find reviews on them all. The better ones will cost over $80. I will order one of the DVR D011’s soon. I like this one, but it does not have the latest features, however, the price is right at just over $20 on Ebay. Some features to look for:
- TRUE HD output, not Interpolated.
- H.264 output.. so video can be taken straight to YouTube.
- Continuous recording
- Records in increments.
- Night Vision
- GPS Logging.
- Can record while charging.
- Motion Detection and/or Sound Detection Recording.
- Starts recording when vehicle is started.
- Wide angle lens over 120
- Alloy construction.
- LCD screen.
Man.. what a BLAST.. and on the CHEAP!