Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why salmon why? Goofin around with the 808 keychain camera

This was shot with my 808 keychain camera mounted on my handlebars. Anything I would say in general comments or evaluation of the 808 would pale in comparison to the excellent sites which have made the species something of an obsession: ChuckLohr (amazing),  The Real #11 thread on RC groups (the camera I'll buy if I get another of these), and HD808 #11 on Techmoan (review). But I will say a couple of specific things about this model on a bicycle. (and thanks to David Hembrow for first bringing these to my attention)

Handlebar mount: it's small!

Size, cost, and weight are the main positive attributes for cycling. I think the strange sound once I get going in the vid above is actually the wind buzzing the mic. And the lens is kind of narrow and causes the cars to look a little closer than they really were. 

In use, its controls are bizarre, at least to me. One button pressed turns it on, causing the little yellow indicator light to go on, then pressing the other button starts recording, turning the light OFF. So you can't tell by looking if it's recording or not. Also, if you turn it on but then don't hit record right away, it turns itself off after one minute to save batteries. Therefore, you need to double-check the light is on, which is hard to see in daylight with sunglasses on, before you hit record, then you don't know if it's recording or OFF when you look at it again. In addition, I think, although can't be sure because of what I just stated, that this one sometimes turns itself OFF while recording due to vibrations or bumps in the road, not that you would notice that based on the light. Actually I think it's really taking a JPG still because it goes into that mode when you press the buttons a certain way, then powering down. I think I could tell that if I could see how the light flashed when I pressed the button but as I said it's hard to see the light in the sunshine with sunglasses on. Anyway, for $20 (+ bring your own memory micro sd card) it works pretty well, and is fun to play with. The video is so-so, for sure, but it looks like I'll have to upgrade to the HD808 #11 to do better. The top video was shot in what is low light to the camera, although not to me. Here's a video in better light.

If you have to have one, then both ChuckLohr and the RC Groups sites above list sources, just make sure you read up on the subtle differences in order to have a better chance of receiving the one you want. It's cheap electronics which may work but caveat emptor. But for $20 and pretty good quality, and not a tragedy to lose or break, and probably worthy of further bicycle experimentation. Get up. Go ride.


  1. Is there a purpose mount or was that Velcro?

  2. Steve that is 3M Dual Lock, my go-to fastener for micro-cameras and squishy figurines.


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