2013-Aug - Color comparison with 808 #16 keycam and with Mobius with firmware version 0.44.

With the release of the successor to the 808 keycam, there are more comparisons to make than just between the 2 models of keycams.
Canon, GOAL
resized from 4000x3000
#16 20203 Auto,
Standard, +1 saturation
Mobius, WDR on,
resized from 1920x1080
Click to enlarge
All frames are captured from the .mov video file. Those filenames ending in c indicate it was cropped to match ratio and/or location of the scene.

The color shifting problems from older Mobius firmware versions seem to be mostly fixed now, [archived first Mobius review], and although the image now looks less over-saturated, the colors are still quite vivid. So the "washed out" feel seems to be coming only when in the shade or pointing up-sun.
As these photos show, when pointed down-sun in bright and sunny weather, the frames are clear and bright. Very nice and clear.
Even in the shade, the edge in the sun is still over-saturated, so the remaining issue is not that.

New 0.44 white balance hunting bug is on a separate page.

2014-Jan - Mobius step 2 firmware released. Some comparisons of color tint etc. are no longer current, but new tests will have to wait for spring.

2013-Jul - Measuring EMR emissions that may interfere with other devices (GPS most notibly), and sensitive people too.

Yes I noticed the Mobius is noisier (emits more unwanted electro-smog) than the #16. Those that click through my pages will find this is a subject I am very experienced in, and affected by.
device being measured Acoustimeter
at zero distance, and
distance for audio to disappear
Zap Checker 180
at zero distance, and
distance to get 5 at 10
at zero distance
at zero distance,
and distance to
get <= 0.2mG
GS meter
808 #16 Keychain Mini DVR 0.06 V/m

5 feet (152 cm)
80 at sensitivity 6 (bottom)
20 at sensitivity 5 (top)
6 inches (15 cm)
0.010 mW/m² 12 mG

2.5 inches
(8 cm)
Sound recording of Power On, Auto Record 10 sec. Shutter off. Power Off.
Mobius Action Cam DVR

Causes RFI (interference) with GPS devices
0.38 V/m top
0.13 V/m bottom
9 feet (274 cm)
30 at sensitivity 6 (bottom)
50 at sensitivity 5 (top)
8 inches (20 cm)
0.032 mW/m² 9 mG

2 inches
(5 cm)
Sound recording of Power On, Auto Record 10 sec. Shutter off. Power Off.
Carcam HD Car DVR
pre-IR night vision
and HDMI
0.11 V/m

10 feet (304 cm)
100 at sensitivity 6
10 at sensitivity 5
8 inches (20 cm)
0.020 mW/m² 5 mG

5 inches
(13 cm)
5200mAh Li-Ion battery
0.06 V/m

8 inches (20 cm)

FM radio:
12 ft. (366 cm)
30 at sensitivity 4
6 inches (15 cm)
Below calibrated threshold,
Test mode detects
approx≅ 0.0015 mW/m²
0.6 mG

1 inches
(2.5 cm)
Using this battery as a power source to run the 808 camera does cause significant (40 ft.) interference with FM radios of passing vehicles. It is not recommended for stealthy surveilance. The USB cable acted like a broadcast antenna, although just the EZO alone caused significant EMR and RFI.
6000 T-Pocket Power
5000mAh Li-Lipo battery
USB (4 blue leds)
0.23 V/m

49 inches (124 cm)

FM radio:
12 ft. (366 cm)
40 at sensitivity 6
13 inches (33 cm)
Below calibrated threshold,
Test mode detects
approx≅ 0.0017 mW/m²
3.5 mG

2.5 inches
(6.4 cm)
Solar Charger USB
2600mAh Li-Po battery
<0.02 V/m

1 inch (2.5 cm)
5 at sensitivity 10
0 inch (0 cm)
Below thresholds 4 mG

2 inches
(5 cm)
Using this battery as a power source to run the 808 camera does cause damage to the battery and charging circuit, as it is unable to deliver the needed 5.0V under load for more than 2 hours.
Just Mobile PP-08 Mobile Power Pack
4400mAh Li-Po battery
<0.02 V/m

0 inch (0 cm)
75 at sensitivity 7
3 ft. (91 cm)
Below thresholds 0.2 mG

0 inches
Recommended: Using this battery as a power source to run the 808 camera. It does deliver 11 hours of run time.
Auto USB Charger N10117 Z528 <0.02 V/m

0 inch (0 cm)
10 at sensitivity 10
0 inch (0 cm)
Below thresholds 0.22 mG

0.1 inches
(0.2 cm)
Mains AC Adapter USB Charger Model KY-758 0.76 V/m

10 inches (26 cm)
15 at sensitivity 10
5 inches (13 cm)
Below calibrated threshold,
Test mode detects
approx≅ 0.0012 mW/m²
10.5 mG

15 inches
(38 cm)
113 gs
Mains AC Adapter USB Charger Model KY-02 0.65 V/m

7 inches (18 cm)
15 at sensitivity 10
2 inches (5 cm)
Below thresholds >13 mG

12 inches
(30 cm)
230 gs

2013-Mar - Color comparison of the 808 keycams with newest firmware versions

With spring arriving, the outdoor colors are no longer shades of white. Now testing 808.16 v2 with 0.67 firmware color settings, and 808.11 v2 with 2013-03-01 firmware.
Canon, GOAL#16 20202 Auto,
Standard, Normal
24252 Florescent,
Warm, Normal
#11b auto, normal11b auto, low saturation11d auto, normal11d auto, low saturation
Click to enlarge
All frames are from a mov file.
11b and 11d refer to two different #11 version 2 cams that I have. It becomes apparant the two lenses are not identical.

Firmware startup time comparison

Video quality is not everything to make a good camera. Clear audio is also important. The #16 (that I have) has a lower signal strength, less noise to signal ratio. The #11 has excellent signal strength, but clips loud sounds with a very noticable pop.
Boot up time to record is a very big consideration. The #11 running the #18 firmware 2012-12-06 is ready to start recording after 3.5 to 4 seconds from clicking the power button. Recording begins at 4.3 seconds.
The #16 running firmware 0.49 - 0.67 with auto-record on, starts recording at 6.9 seconds. A fairly significant difference.

Which camera is better? The horse-race continues...

2013-Jan - Firmware updates

I have installed the #18 MOV firmware in my ver.2 #11 by renaming the firmware file to the filename expected by the #11 bootloader. The camera version I have does work with this un-official combination.
Now my #11 has good color without the Kodachrome over-saturation. Much better :)
However when I tried loading the new AVI firmware, it did not load. Also I can not revert to previous versions.

Since it is winter, there are not the perfect scenes (with lots of color) to properly make good comparitive videos of.

2012-Oct - Now testing 808.16 v2 with beta firmware for color settings:

The 5-digit number refers to the 5 new color settings, I am changing the 2nd, 4th, and 5th.
Canon, GOAL20202 Auto,
Standard, Normal
24202 Florescent,
Standard, Normal
24203 Florescent,
Standard, +1 saturation
21202 Daylight,
Standard, Normal
20252 Auto, Warm, Normal20253 Auto, Warm,
+1 saturation
20254 Auto, Warm,
+2 saturation
24243 Florescent,
+1 saturation
21201 Daylight,
Standard, -1 saturation
20203 Auto,
Standard, +1 saturation
20204 Auto,
Standard, +2 saturation
808 #11 v2 JPG
or mov frame
Click to enlarge
I'm still not finding the right setting I want to match the goal.
The last series including the blue barrel (and generally representing much of the spectrum), link to the original JPG files in photo mode. These contain the meta data, and are specifically for the developer. All the other scenes are frames from a mov file.

Hard to beat image quality, the 808 key-cam

The best way to test the scan rate of a camera is to take pictures of something moving fast, and what better test than to ask if license plates can be read at highway speed, in these examples, a combined 110 mph.

2012-Aug Newest versions side by side:

808 #11 v2 frame samples:
808 #16 v2 Lens A frame samples:
Click to enlarge
Whereas before the #11 (version 1) was clearer, now the #16 is sharpest most of the time. The exception was looking down-sun, when the #11 exposure time was fastest.

The color saturation is still not real to life, and shows the lack of red most in the left column above, rendering the tree leaves all green, when in actuality there are orange and browns, that do show up in the #11 better. The saturation in the #11 really is too much, and the colors on the #16 are somewhat muted, closer to what it looks like on a cloudy day instead of when the sun is shining.

We need pictures that are true-to-real-life colors, to provide a real comparison on the color issue.

Color comparison between 3 cameras

Real to life colors from Canon Powershot, taken at 4000x3000 pixels, resized to 1024x768
808 #11 v2 frame samples:

808 #16 v2 Lens A with firmware v0.36 frame samples:
Click to enlarge
There are two frames for the 808.11 in the left column, because the saturation or brightness changed, as it went through a white balance seeking cycle.

Archived comparisons:


Notice the tire treads are not blurred on the original #11 (left frame), but are on the #16 v1 (center 2 frames).

808 #11 v1 frame samples:
Click to enlarge

808 #16 v1 with firmware v0.17 frame samples:
Click to enlarge

Also another test is how fast the vertical scan is. Vertical lines become slanted as they approach the edge, and pan faster. (right side frames)
Although being careful to compare at the same speed, with the angles admittedly not identical, I can't make a direct comparison. However I measure between 1 and 8 degree slant on the #11, and between 5 and 15 degrees slant on the #16.

Comparing distance focus, I see I may have to open the #16 and attempt to adjust the lens after all.

Does the v0.18 firmware fix the shutter speed in daylight?? No. Maybe a fraction better, but not really the change I'm looking for. Next I attempted to adjust the focus.

2012-Feb-22 Update:

I found my micro screw driver and upon opening, I see a couple cracks. May be a problem. Can't seem to turn the focus wheel either. Can't remove the glue without things falling apart. Send back for replacement.

2012-May Update:

It was a bad batch of lenses.
The new replacement improves the sharpness, fixing the bad lens or focus. But the shutter speed is still not as clear as the #11. The difference is less noticable in daylight conditions, and more noticable in evening and low lighting. The #11 also slows down at twilight, but is still better quality, as the #16 has a "twilight bug" where the encoding changes to a very blurry condition at the same time of day consistantly, in the evening.

This negative part of my review only applies to the version 1 of the 808 #16 cam.

Other neat snapshots: Putting cam to good uses:
snow plowferry ramp at low water
Click to enlarge

808 #11 Video:

Cantering Cowgirl 6 seconds H264 MOV 1280x720 7.5Mb

2013.Mar.04 Stewart riding Rowan 8 seconds MPEG4 AVI 720x480 3.0Mb

I frequently shrink these videos to a smaller size, and reencoded to save space. My internet connection is only by dialup, so a 4Mb file takes 40 minutes to upload.

All videos and story-line related to the dog attack and reckless driving endangering and threatening me on my horse have been moved to their own page.

Comparing the 808 to the CarCam HD Driving Recorder

I have tried one Carcam HD Car DVR, but find it falls short of the advertised specs here
  1. The frame rate is not 30 fps, but more like 11. It skips every other frame, which would be 15 fps, but also has longer skips of null frames.
    I have tried different SDHC cards, class 6 which tests at a write speed of 5.5 Mb/sec elsewhere, but in this device only writes at 0.5 Mb/sec. This write test is likely limited by the USB port, as read speed is also slow, at 0.99 Mb/sec.
    During a 13.6 sec. recording of 397 frames, there are only 175 unique frames. The rest are null or duplicates of the previous frame.
  2. It is not Night Vision as advertised. Turning on two white LEDs does not count! which are not that bright or useful, as it actually creates a reflection in the glass, and makes it hard to see out. Real night vision would use IR and switch the video accordingly.
  3. It is not a Low noise sensor (as advertised), but is very grainy in low light.
  4. Compared to the 808, the frames are blurry.
  5. I can not flip the cam lcd side up, as the up button only changes the video orientation, not the added date stamp. It can only be mounted with the lcd side hanging down.
  6. I don't see how the lens rotates 180 degrees, which might be the solution to #5.
  7. It has the same USB vendor/id sequence as the Syntek gum cam, which was also of poor video quality. Not to be confused with Sunplus gum cam, which was of excellent video quality.
  8. The AVI files are un-editable. ffmpeg and avidemux both fail to handle the encoding.
  9. The RF EMR emissions are too strong, radiating outward 10 feet.
Either this cam is a poor copy of better car-cams, or it is of poor design, replaced now by newer versions with 5MP 1080p and real night vision.

808 #11CarCam
 Click to enlarge

To get current firmware, or find sellers, visit the forums at:
808 #16 Forum Read the first post for sellers, and links to comprehensive reviews of all mini DVR cams.
808 #18 Forum
Mobius (successor to the 808 #16) Forum
Do not ask questions in these forums without first reading the first 5 posts!

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Stewart Andreason
Republic, Washington 99166

compare808.html   Updated 2014-Jan-08