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 I've just received my keychain camera, targeted at attaching it to my Syma X1 Quad Copter to take videos while I fly it - just for fun. I've played with the camera for about 2 hours, watched instruction videos on youtube, and spent quite a bit of time on the Chuck Lohr web site.

I've uploaded a video I shot of my 3-year-old grandson at open gym today. Sadly the video was downgraded during the upload to Amazon because it simply isn't as good as it is on the original file on my computer. I hoped you could see the quality of the video, color reproduction, sharpness, and light capture capability in this video. The video shows the gym lit about the way it looks with the eyes. The music is coming from a boom-box about 50' away. Most of the tilt in the video is due to the way I was holding it. But I found that laying the camera on a flat surface there is a slight (5%?) built in tilt as well.

As many have said the instructions are very difficult to decipher, but it can be done. I won't try to give instructions on how to use the camera because apparently there are different models and you don't know which one you'll receive. The three cameras look the same but react differently to the two buttons. There is a ton of help on the web site chucklohr dot com.

My camera seems to be a type #11 but with upgraded firmware because it seems to have some of the #16 characteristics. No big deal, as I'm just playing with this cheap toy I'm not looking for the optimal camera.

Clearly mine is a type #11 because the battery wires are soldered onto the board while the #16 has a connector. But rather than a short push of the power button to turn it on, as indicated in the #11 user manual, mine requires a long push (about 3-5 seconds) to turn it on which is a #16 characteristic.

Some things I found.
- I didn't think the computer would communicate with the camera through the USB cable but it does. In my case I insert the USB cable with the camera turned off and it automatically turns on. At that point I can access it from my computer, change the date, view videos, and view photographs.

- The Videos are stored on the micro SD card in the DCIM->100MEDIA folder.

- I could view the videos with the Windows Media Player or the Windows Movie Maker but not with the VLC Media Player. Strange because the VLC player usually works better than other media players.

Pros:
- It was cheap
- It works.
- It takes rather surprising video - about as good as my feature phone. Not great but for under $10 acceptable.
- Color reproduction isn't great but acceptable.
- The auto-focus responds quickly and seems to work quite well.
- The sound captured with the video isn't bad at all. I was using it in a completely quiet room and recorded my voice from about a foot away from the camera for this test.
- The box that it comes in is one of the better features of the camera. It is made of thin but rigid cardboard and has a magnetic latch. This has nothing to do with the camera but it's cool anyway. I wish the paperwork was as good as the box.

Cons:
- The low light capability is just not good. Things, not well illuminated, that I can see with my naked eye are black on the video.
- The instructions are terrible.
- It doesn't always connect to my computer when I plug the USB cable into it. I have to do it 2 or 3 times.
- My version doesn't have some features that the #16 version has. The most interesting would be for the light to flash during video which mine doesn't. There is no indication if you are taking video or not.
- The micro SD card must be plugged in upside down, with the contact of the SD care facing up. Okay fine. But the gap for the SD card is about twice as tall as it needs to be. Once when I tried to insert the SD card it went easily and fully into the keychain case completely missing the card slot. When I shook it I could hear the SD card rattling around inside. I had to take the screws out and open the case to fetch the card.

For under $10 this is surprisingly good, but you have to do your homework because there is very little that comes with the camera in the form of a user manual.
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on January 27, 2014
Pro's:

The price
Lightweight
Very simple plug and play system
Basic controls that are easy to use
LED functionality is adequate
Good battery life, decent charge time

Let me go over the cons:

The video and photo quality is very poor. Surprisingly, it's the still photo's that look worse. But I don't mind that as I got this for video. the downside to it being so lightweight and so small is that even the most slight movements will look very jarring on video. And let's say you are recording while walking, and you try to walk as smooth as you can, and hold the device as still as you can, it will still look like you recorded it while driving offroad in a Jeep.

Also the fact that the back is curved means it will not sit completely flat, and that the video image will be tilted. Also the drawbacks of not having a viewfinder really become significant. I had to have a handful of "practice sessions", where I would go out and record so I could get a good idea of how the aiming works. Because the camera lens is so small, it is difficult to really know where the camera is pointed and the borders of it's capturing. You simply have to learn this with repeated use. In the beginning I learned I had it tilted too high up.

The audio is okay. The video I found is very poor quality for the first second or two, but if you keep the camera still, the image quality improves. Also the camera, like most cheap cameras, do not perform well at all in low light conditions, but thats okay and it was something I anticipated. Also there are 1 second gaps where there is no audio. It's not too often and its so brief that it's not a big deal.

The one glaring issue my device has is the time/date stamp is static and cannot be changed. Videos always begin with the same date and time (2008, Jan 1, midnight). There is no way to edit or remove it without some in depth modification that will risk ruining the device. If you have experience with modifying electronics and are comfortable with soldering and working on circuit boards, then this might be acceptable to you. I was not comfortable with soldering circuit boards, or using custom firmware that could potentially brick my device, so unfortunately the incorrect time/date stamp will remain, and I will have to resort to post editing if I need to remove it.

The device is very inexpensive, it is silent and discreet as advertised, but the video quality makes my iPhone 5 camera look like a $950,000 IMAX Cinematic camera. The cost is also compounded by the fact that you will likely be spending $7-$10 on the MicroSD card for it.

Also be aware there are around a dozen different variations of this device and they range in quality. You can google "keychain 808 camera" for more information on the different types, and ask the seller if they can tell you which one they will be sending you. And the instruction manual included has very poor english, and when I looked up online for better translated directions, the directions given did not work for mine because it was for a different firmware. But I figured it out, and once you do it's pretty straightforward.

If it performed better and had better video quality, I could see myself using it in a larger variety of situations. But as it is, I will only be using this camera when being discreet is a must, and I cannot use my phones camera.

This is a luck of the draw kind of situation. You could end up getting a device that works better and has a higher quality camera in it. Or you could do worse and have a device that doesn't work at all. For the price, it's worth a gamble.
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on September 2, 2014
It works OK but it isn't great. It would not work with my 16gig memory card. I bought a 4 gig memory card and it started working. The video quality actually isn't too bad with plenty of natural daylight. Since I want to use it with my model rockets it will probably be OK and if I lose it, I haven't lost a lot of money. The video quality was degraded when recording inside at night with normal room lighting but passable. The audio is barely adequate. It drops a lot video frames while recording or hesitates. I assume this is while it is writing to the memory card. Like other reviews I recommend taking a look at http://chucklohr.com/808/index.shtml
The version I received didn't exactly match any of the versions shown but mine most closely matched the type 23 I hope to upgrade to an official full HD version at some point but don't mind using this one as a guinea pig for a few rocket flights.
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on January 25, 2014
I am happy that I received this product before the expected delivery date (YEAH!!), but the instructions that came with the product are absolutely no help. Of course, this item has had a long trip to me (from China, to Supplier, then to me), so it's still charging... so I'll update this review after it completely charges and I have a chance to use it. My PC (OS=Vista) recognized the 'camera', and it looks like it has setup a default folder for downloading both pics & vids (separate folders) to my PC. The best resource(s) I have found, because of the lack of ENGLISH instructions, have been from other successful uses on YOUTUBE. Their advice, so far, has proved very valuable. Thanks Guys/Gals. I'll update this later with results as soon as I have some. But delivery was quick.... I also bot a pocket-pen with a camera, but limited (compared to this unit) recording time / options. At least I can later compare the two (I'll look at how long these have been available in the States, as well as their comparable performance).
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on October 16, 2013
This little car remote keychain camera is fantastic. It takes good quality video and photos. Its not an HD image or anything but its not super grainy or bad at all. I can clearly see every detail in the video. The sound works great as well. I have had no problems with it what so ever. I recorded unnoticed on several occasions. The target even seen it and looked right at it but dismissed it as a normal car remote. I mostly us it indoors and have no problems. I used it outdoors once just to see how it did in natural light and have no complaints there either. I give this thing an easy 5 stars because it does the job better than I expected for less than $10. I recorded non-stop for 45 minutes using a 2GB card. When I stopped it it still had battery left to go and at least 500 more Mb of space. It seems to use about 250 Mb per 10 minutes (thats a close estimate not exact). You will need to buy a Micro SD card to go with this as it does not come with one. I have not done a test to see just how long the battery lasts on a single charge but I know it will go AT LEAST 45 minutes. Another cool feature, it saves the video every 30 minutes. I'd estimate you can get an hour out of of easily.
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My second one, I may buy a third. Really works nice if there is enough light. Of course the Chinese directions are a F'ing joke but you can see demos on how to use this on U Tube. pretty simple. I agree with many of the positive reviews here. The clock is hard to set (I never did). Video quality is good if scene is well lit. Does not work in most rooms at night lit by electric lights, not enough light. This is not a 'wide angle' lens, it is the equivalent of perhaps a 50mm photo lens. You have to have it back a bit so it can get everything. Will record for about 80 minutes or more. Download and/or recharge by simply plugging cord into it and a USB port. When you do so Windows will see it as a separate drive and you can view and/or save videos immediately. While you are filming there is no light or beep, it is clandestine.
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on February 18, 2015
I was going to strap this to a model rocket like a lot of people and the video quality and picture quality are absolutely terrible,, unusable, no to mention my battery last about 90 seconds each use, and while just testing it out I was only able to get about a 20 second video and 4 pictures before it died...dead, I mean it doesn't work at all anymore, won't charge, won't power on, nothing.
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on July 12, 2014
When I first saw this video cam for $8, I thought this will never work, but it is worth a try for this low price. I received it yesterday and all I can say is, I am impressed. It is a nice little toy, it works as expected. The video is good quality. The user guide is written in poor English, but it seems the manufacturer realized that from prior reviews and included a small piece of paper with the instructions on how to use this video cam in a much better English, also included is a small card asking the user to contact the manufacturer if the see any problem with the unit, rather than leaving a bad review. This tells me that the manufacturer actually cares about his product.

Anyway, having said all the above, it like this video cam, it is useful and useable, I purchased a 2gb memory card, as I do not expect to save long videos. Bottom line this is a nice toy, that comes in handy.
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on December 30, 2015
It works as in the button, lights, charging, everything comes on, but once I plug to the computer, pshh, idk I can't fight out how to setup to work, like I'm not sure if its actually recording or not, it acts like it, but I cant get from the device to the computer to work, maybe I got to install some more stuff idk but its NOT User Friendly when it comes to the computer part, if your a crazy computer nerd, and can understand 1010010 and squares and or programming maybe you can get it to work, but I just don't understand what to do to see what I have recorded, so based on that, ill have to give it a 1, if I figure out how to use, ill re-right this review and you wont be reading this.
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on January 30, 2014
At first I wanted to give this little DVR Camera a minus one star because of the terrible English instructions, no clear way to adjust the date and time (Yes I even watched the YouTube Videos, lol) BUT after playing with it for awhile I decided that it wasn't too bad for the fact that it is a nice novelty item and a pretty decent video camera to boot.
I agree with several other reviews about the low light problems when you take a picture and/or video. My expectations were not that high in the first place. I had something similar once before and it was basically the same as this Remote Keychain DVR camera. Its cheap but surprisingly took a fairly decent video with OK sound as long as you were within a few feet of your subject. The camera also takes a decent picture, low quality but fairly decent.
If you are looking for quality, then by pass this item, but if you are looking for a fun novelty item then try this little gem. Yes you get what you pay for but it is a fun item so just because of the fun factor alone, I give it 3 stars.
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