This camera is the successor to the 808 series of cameras, but is the first one to feature 1080p at 30fps. Although there are many other cameras that can operate at 1080p, this camera literally costs 1/2 to 1/3 the price of the other expensive ones out there. I took this camera out for a spin (as a dashboard camera for my car) the day I got it and I have to say that the crispness of the video along with the relative ease of setup pretty much makes this a winner in my book. As another reviewer may have mentioned, the reviewer at techmoan.com gives a pretty thorough commentary about the insides and outs of the Mobius. The camera also has easy to use and downloadable software to change many of the camera settings, a feature that is noticeably missing in other cheap cameras. Also, the manufacturer distributes updates to the firmware pretty frequently and they do listen to the customer requests on the forums at rcgroups.com.
The only gripe that I have about the Mobius camera is that it gets extremely hot after recording video for several minutes. Although there are two exposed heat sinks on the top of the camera, it becomes very hot to the touch. Thus I turn the camera off to cool it down every now and then to avoid my fear of melting the internals.
The Mobius was first widely available from resellers in Hong Kong on the Ebay website. As anyone who has ordered anything from overseas knows, the package takes 3 to 4 weeks to arrive which to me is a really long time. Fortunately, I was able to find a reseller in NYC which is where I live (the reseller is called Spytec). So instead of waiting a month for the camera, I was able to order it online and pick it up at their store, literally a few hours after placing the order. The guy I spoke to (I believe his name was Hector) was very friendly and knowledgeable about the Mobius and a wide range of other cameras. That was a big plus.
I would expect this camera to sell well once more people realize that this is a solid product. But for now, I am quite satisfied with how this little camera can produce such gorgeous video clips.
Personally I LOVE this cam. I was interested in getting GoPro for my RC filming. I race RC Formula One and RC motorcycles. As most will use this camera for flying videos, my intention was to use it on the ground. As the GoPro is way too large for my application, I settled on this cam after reading some other reviews and watching many of the online videos. This camera, when insulated from vibrations well, has less of the "jello" effect than similar available keychain cams... the lens is clear, and the video clarity is superb for the price. the weight is perfect as it's a little heavier than the other cams which helps isolate it from vibrations, but it's lighter than the more expensive "pro" action cams, which allows me to use it in the applications I need it for... Since I race RC motorcycles, I can't have an on-board cam that will affect the delicate balance of the bike at speed, and this one fits the bill nicely. The Windows GUI for programming the basic features of the cam is simple to use, and it's easy to upgrade the firmware in the camera (as the manufacturer is continuously adding features and tweaking the interface). The only negative I have found is that the two surface-mounted heat sinks on the camera get really hot, so using the cam in an underwater case might create too much heat buildup and be a detriment to the camera and the camera's battery system. I hope other lenses will be made available so that we can have filming options, but as for now, you can't get a better 1080P action cam that can be used as an FPV (first-person video)cam,or webcam as well for the money.
UPDATE: Added photos (see end of review). UPDATE: Added 1 Star. Product was updated to support other formats!
Good, but not great
+ Excellent 1080p video quality (True Full HD). + Great low light video quality (night). + Crystal clear sound recording. + Tons of options (customization). + Could be used as webcam. + Direct to the point. Very subtle and not distracting at all. + Wide angle view. + WDR mode. This is responsible for the great picture color. + Excellent seller (SpyTec), the only seller as of this writing. + Price is reasonable (versus eBay, no Prime, and will come from Hong Kong).
× No image stabilization. It's cool if you like to record every bump on the road. × 720p mode is virtually useless. × Cannot compensate to direct sunlight. Again, cool if you like the blinding sun. × No instructions. Confusing if you're stupid. × Non-replaceable battery (but it is user serviceable). × Comes with only the basic accessories, which makes it --- × --- A bit expensive for its class.
What's included (basic package from Amazon): ✓ 1080p Camera ✓ Lens cap (cover) - very useful ✓ Mounting base ✓ Tripod socket, for the mounting base (removable) ✓ Velcro pair ✓ Tiny Allen wrench - for adjusting the lens focus ✓ Mini USB cable - charging and data transfer
Quick Notes: ± Heat sink gets really hot when in, and after use. ± A 5-minute 1080p video with sound generates around 560 MB. ± To use as webcam, remove the microSD. Or push a button (which you have to figure out). ± I wish the windshield mount was included. You have to put it high. I put it under my rear-view camera.
I was looking for a small action camera I could use to mount on my RC quadcopters that could provide good quality HD video. I've used a few other models, but was left disappointed. I purchased this camera after watching several reviews by Techmoan and a few others on Youtube, which praised this little technological wonder. The camera comes equipped with several different mounts and cables. When I first used the camera, I was amazed with the video quality at 1080p (30fps). The entire image was well detailed and most importantly, the camera does a great job at coping with light and dark scenes. I also tried the camera in my car as a dashcam and was equally pleased at the results. I decided to permanently mount it in my car and will purchase another Mobius for my other vehicle. There is a utility you can download which lets you update the firmware and change every conceivable setting on the camera. In the 6 months I've owned the camera, there have been as many firmware updates, which shows continued development for this camera. They have recently added motion sensing and time-lapse through FW updates. This is a great little camera - I highly recommend it!
I just bought the Mobius camera and spent the past few hours getting it set up and installed in my car. Here is what I learned that may help you.
This is a GREAT little car dash camera for around $100.00. There are a few things for potential buyers to keep in mind.
1. Download the manual from the Internet. 2. Download the Quick Setup manual from the Internet. 3. Download the pc Setup software from the Internet. 4. Spend about 30 min reading all of that before you try to do anything. 5. If you purchased a 32 GB or 64 GB sd card, you will need to download a software program that will let your pc reformat the sd card from exFat to Fat32 or the camera may not work. 6. Use the pc Setup software to update the firmware on the camera to the latest version. (Note the sd card HAS to be Fat32 to do this.) 7. Spend about another hour playing with all the camera settings by using the pc Setup software. (For example decide if you want the Mobius to automatically start recording when you plug it into the cars lighter socket or when it receives power. Decide if you want it to "loop" recording when the sd card is full. Decide what movie format type you want it to record as, etc.) 8. Mount the camera in your car. (If you use the typical suction cup mount, you will need to set the camera to "rotating the recording 180 degrees." 9. Go for a short drive while recording. When you get back home, either eject the sd card or take the Mobius out of it's clamp and look at the files on your pc to see if you have the camera pointed in the proper angle and direction. Make any needed adjustments. Wash, rinse, repeat until you are happy.
The item arrived in a plain padded manilla envelope with no receipt, no shipping invoice, no user manual, nor any basic usage instructions whatsoever. Not even a note to say where to get this information. Fortunately there is Google and I found the manufacturer's website; which is pretty awful. There is a reason this camera is cheaper than the GoPro.
That said, once I was able to use it, it does shoot very good quality video and am pleased w/ the results. But getting there was no walk in the park.
As of Feb 2015, I found one possible issue but maybe found the solution after researching some of the forums out there below. I'll be as honest as I can with this camcorder use it as a dash cam primarily. For a dash cam it packs a lot of feature for the price!
Loop Recording Issue Solution: You can use 128GB or higher capacity microSD that's Class 10; but I would recommend using "SD Card Formatter" on this site https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/ and format using "Full Overwrite" with "Format Size Adjustment ON". This will likely solve the Mobius stopping instead of loop recording when the card is full.
Big Pro's: - 1080p/30fps & 720p/60fps (as well as other resolution) - Crystal clear sound with no distortion (more details down below) - Loop record! - Can record & charge at the same time with mini-USB cord in car - Auto record & auto shut off with power including motion detect - Easily configure the unit with a PC or MAC - Dual mode to change recording (say between 1080p or 720p)
Pro's: - Small enough to mount on windshield (more privacy & not an eyesore) - Easily programmable through a simple software - Very easy to manually record, turn on/off unit - Explore files easily within PC (not sure about MAC) - Standard tripod mount screw on the cover - Takes standard microSD card (I have Samsung EVO 32GB Class 10) - 116° wide for wide angle 1080p recording - Great dynamic range (can detect very dark & very bright areas and adjusts quickly)
Some Con's: - It gets very warm during summer (the two silver button looking surface) - No external mic (can be modded) - No GPS (would help if speed was to come in question during an accident, speeding, etc) - Night time recording is 'okay' but you can set to "low light" option or have brighter headlight bulb (H9's, HID's, etc) - 720p records at less than 70° viewing
My setup: - Cheap $7 eBay mount - 10' mini-USB cord into a multi-charger with USB port - Tamrac ZipShot quick release (if you don't want to take out the microSD card)
Recommended setup: - Fotodiox windshield suction cup mount ($6) - Tamrac ZipShot quick release (if you prefer to take off the unit rather than the memory card)* - Long mini-USB cord depending on the distance between the cam & charging area
*I prefer taking off the unit rather than the memory card to reduce ESD related errors which I hear all the time. I never take out the memory card from my DSLR for this reason as well.
Overall Design: It's less than 2.5" long, 1.5" wide and 0.75" thick with the cover on (which by the way is very secure) that has the tripod mount. Very small like a tic-tac box and lightweight. The body has that rubber texture so it doesn't slip away from your hand easily. The three buttons are easy to use and the two silver surface you see is actually a heatsink and not extra buttons. This is where it gets pretty warm and though I haven't had any issues some recommend buying a mini-Heatsink you can buy it here for $5.
I have it setup so the buttons are facing down which can also be configured in the software to record with the correct orientation. The main LED lights up when it's on standby to record while it starts to blink including the tiny red LED near the mini-USB port which is a good notification when you're driving and don't know if it's recording or not.
So some may say less than 116° wide angle isn't "wide enough" which I guess is going to vary. Some like the fisheye-like distortion. While from my view, the Mobius is just right with the 1080p setting. The 720p if you want to record at 60fps has the drawback of 63° view (according to dash cam sites) which may or may not be suitable for your use. Again, while 1080p file is large, you can loop record unless you're wanting the entire footage which I recommend getting additional memory cards.
Memory: Manual says to use "Class 4" card. But the price difference with the 32GB on Class 4 & Class 10 was small I went with the Samsung EVO 32GB that had a faster recording speed. Some are using 64GB just fine if you're looking to record more than 8 hours at a time. I'm recording little over 4 hours or about three days of commuting and loop records (maximum 5-minute segment in loop record mode) at 1080p 30fps mode. With 720p I can get over eight hours of footage without a problem.
Movie Format: The movie records in .mov but can now be switched to mp4, avi and wav/audio only as of the last firmware updated. It can be played back easily using VLC player and for any editing, Sony Vegas Pro 11 which loads the .mov file just fine. One thing I noticed is the movie coming out slightly darker until I enabled the "HDR" option for a better dynamic range.
Setting the Dash Cam: I have the Mobius set right below the registration sticker and parallel with the ground. It's recording at 1080p/30fps which is wide enough to cover most view and see a little bit of my bumper. I never had to readjust the Mobius with this setup and was very much easy to do.
Easy Recording: Without power, let's say you're in the car with the dash cam ready to go, you just hit the power button which turns on the blue light then it switches to orange in about 3-4 seconds once the firmware is loaded. Then you hit the record button and you're ready to go. It's that easy!
Easy Charging: The plug is "mini USB". Don't confuse this with "micro USB" which is common port with Samsung phones but it's the size slightly bigger than "micro USB" port. I bought the long cord (2-pack) here on Amazon which I use one on PC and the other installed in my car. Once it's plugged in, green light comes on and shows that it's charging. I never bothered to look at the battery run time as I have this constantly charging in the vehicle while it's running so I can't comment on the actual recording time on non-dash cam or non-charging situation.
Easy Exploring & Download Files: Once the mini USB is plugged in, Windows 7 at least will recognize the device right away and you can explorer it easily like any other folders without using a proprietary software. You can copy/cut and move the files as you please.
Fantastic Sound! I drive a WRX so it's not the most quiet car. Even then with my music playing, the sound is crisp and haven't noticed any distorted sound. Of course, if you want to use this riding a motorcycle or other fast moving application outdoors, I would look into external microphone hack which will require some soldering.
Simple Software: You download the software on Mobius' site which brings up a large console of all the options. The tooltip shows you what each option means and you can set it accordingly. So something like:
- Setting up resolution - Auto record with power, auto shutdown without power - Loop record on/off, recording segments (3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes etc) - Auto detect motion, timeout, enable/disable - Mode 1 & Mode 2 (which can be switched from the camera)
That's just few of the options you have.
Loop recording IMO is a life saver. I read elsewhere you can record over 4 hrs in 32GB memory card. Which by the way the manual recommend Class 4 but I bought Samsung EVO 32GB that's faster than the Sandisk only for $2 more. Never had any issue so far.
If you live in an big city or areas that you want motion detect sensor this would be the right camera. I know people that purchased two units to run in the front & back of the car. I'm considering purchasing a second unit to use as a rear camera.
******* CONS *******
Obviously there will be drawbacks and some limited feature from a sub $100 camera. But it's not a deal breaker for me as I've had nothing but good things to say regards to the Mobius.
These things may be a deal breaker for some.
NO GPS! Maybe useful for other drivers and users. Time stamp is automatically recorded with the Mobius and is shown on the video but if you want precise data with GPS, this may not be the dash cam for you.
Possibly Heat Issue: I'v read in other areas of the internet that other users haven't had much issue running in 100+ climate. Again, you can buy a mini-Heatsink with an adhesive if you plan to run this in hot area; I personally wouldn't leave this recording in a car without some sort of heatsink and cooler ambient temperature. The unit got warm fairly quickly while it was recording only for 30 seconds in a room temperature. This is probably due to the compact design that has less surface area to dissipate heat.
No External Mic: I've seen plenty of motorcycle and other outdoor application where you may want an external mic hidden away from the wind and all the noise. Again, you can mod the board with some simple soldering if you don't mind hacking and most likely voiding warranty.
Night Recording: 8/12/14: This all depends on your headlight & lumen output. My WRX had H11 stock which is 500-700 lumens short from H9 which I did the simple swap (mod takes less than 10 minutes for both bulbs. Look up H11 to H9 conversion). It made a huge difference! Of course if you have HID's and brighter stock halogen bulbs it may not be a huge issue. If you do A LOT of night time recording and not 100% sure on brightness, I would make sure your headlights are bright enough. Check your bulb application and see what 'lumen' it puts out on the bulb. If you live in a city with plenty of street lights, it would be enough to record with the Mobius.
******* CONCLUSION *******
I'm in love with this dash cam as a long time user of older Flip HD camcorder and even had my Galaxy S3 mounted as a dash cam. A lot of things are automated and while the night time recording may not be up to par, I love the flexibility and the ease of use with this cam. The compact design and being able to mount it discreetly and hidden away from driving view makes it a great little dash cam. For the price of $200+ dash cam, you can own two! Best of all, you can still record with Class 4 card or any microSD card you have and just let it loop record.
We have had two of these cameras for a few months now. We're using them as dash cams so they get a daily workout of at least 45 minutes. To date they have both worked flawlessly. We've also attached one to our bikes (using the Mobius mount - B00DW8CBEK and are happy with the results as well.
Periodically I check the recordings by pulling the micro SD card and attaching it to my computer. The HD daytime quality is very, very good; very clear. The nighttime quality isn't as good as it's mostly dependent on the lighting of our headlights. If something is directly in front of our vehicles license plates are easily read. Plates on vehicles to either side are more difficult to see.
The HD videos are easy to download and watch and again, very good and very clear in the daytime and acceptable at night.
For the very small size this camera is remarkable IMHO.
The only downside so far (and why I gave it four stars) is as others have mentioned, they run hot. The two silver "heat sinks" are quite hot to the touch after a few minutes of the camera being on. Heat can be the enemy of electronics. I hope that the internal heat is being dissipated enough to keep this camera working for a long, long time but it is a concern. Otherwise I'm very happy with it to date.
I will post again if any issues arise, but so far, recommended!
UPDATE - July 2014. We've had two of these as dash cams for over six months now and they are both still working very well. I continue to check the images periodically and they are as clear and good as on day one. The heat sinks still get very hot...too hot to touch after driving for an hour or so on a summer day. That still worries me, but so far I'm very pleased with the overall quality of this little gem.
Whether you use this in 1080p or 720p, both are equally vibrant and crystal clear. I put this on my R/C airplane and doing loops, rolls, nose dives, absolutely no lines, no distortion. The sound is equally amazing as I hear the wind "woosh" doing loops and rolls, it's just like being in the pilots seat. I also purchased a separate mount for my motorcycle. When it arrives, you get a camera, a bracket and an allen wrench but no instructions. No problem! You download the program from the internet and it's super-duper easy to use and program your camera the way you want. You can mount your camera upside down and program it so it records right-side up and vice-versa. This is top-notch quality here, you won't be disappointed.