Thursday, 13 May 2010

Muvi Camera Review

Amazon UK came good today and I took delivery of all of the ordered items at once, even though they came from 3 different companies Amazon uses. I only chose normal delivery so wasn't expecting the camera to arrive until Friday at best, and Monday at worst.

Packages received:
1 x Muvi Mini DV camera
1 x Extreme Sports Kit
1 x 8Gb Micro SD card

Video Camera
The Muvi camera I purchased is a really quality piece of kit, well packaged & neatly presented. The camera itself has an aluminium case and feels good - not cheap tack, and measures about 2" tall x 3/4" wide x 1/2" deep. The Micro SD card slots in the side (you get a 2Gb card in the box but I ordered separately an 8Gb card which is the max it will take) & there is a mini USB port on the bottom for plugging into your PC for downloading the video and/or charging the camera. On the left side is an on/off slide switch and to the opposite side is the voice activation on/off switch.

To the top of the camera resides the pause/record push button, all of the switches have a very positive feel to them and don't give the impression of any slackness of ability to miss-press which could have lead to them breaking over time. Also on the top is a small recessed indicator LED which changes colour or state depending on what it needs to tell you about recording/pausing/battery life/etc. Next to this are 3 small holes which are probably for the voice activation and I suspect also house the microphone - at least I could see no other place for the mic input.

The top front of the camera simply holds the fixed focus lens and at the back is a small eyelet hole for attaching the supplied lanyard is you desire. The case itself is in the form of a "bathtub" rear with a plastic collar/seal around the rim and then the front cover. I can see 2 small screws through the plastic seal so I assume it is all held together via these and internal clips, so again a good impression of quality is given.

Inside the box you also get:
A clip-on attachment which holds the camera very tightly and allows you to clip it all to your pocket, belt, etc
A USB to mini USB cable of about 1.5m length
A USB to mini USB adaptor
A software utilities CD
Soft carry case
2Gb Micro SD card
Instruction booklet
Option accessories sheet
The camera arrived out of the box fully charged so I could play with it straight away which was nice. I took this short film of the floor at my office (I'm the one holding the camera so you can't see me really. I'll have to practice my film making skills!

Extreme Sports Pack
Amazon UK seem to sell exactly the same pack from 2 or 3 different sellers at different prices. Naturally I went with the cheapest vendor, however having seen what you get inside the box I'm not so sure it was really worth the trouble getting it. I'll evaluate it when I get to fixing the camera to the bike or helmet. I may have been better spending more and going for the "Pro Handlebar Mount" & be done with it.

Inside the box you get:
Weatherproof rubber case*
Cloth/velcro arm carry strap
Yet another soft carry case
Yet another clip-on attachment for your pocket, belt, etc
A wall mounting bracket on a ball joint
A hinged bracket mount - obviously for the helmet or handlebar mounting
Velcro fixing straps

Firstly there is no way the rubber case is weatherproof. It has an opening in it for every port, switch and the lens as well as the open ended top for the camera to slip inside it. The fit is well, but all it probably does is offer a degree of protection to the camera case. Veho do sell as an extra a 10m depth waterproof case if this is required. Oh and you cant use the brackets and clips if the camera is in the case!

If you are buying this to fit to your car dashboard, the hinged bracket mount looks like the one to use however what you don't get is any way to fix it to a flat surface, such as adhesive tabs or screws.
I'm not quite sure as to the practicality of the arm strap as unless you have terminal rigor-mortise you're either going to point it the wrong way or move your arm so much that the viewer will get sea sick before he catches a glimpse of the object of the film.

Micro SD Card
I chose the cheapest 8Mb card I could find on Amazon. Probably part of the saving they pass on is due to it coming loose without a case. On opening the envelope I got a receipt slip folded in 4 and inside that was the loose SD card. As these things are small enough to get lost when you sneeze without even considering accidental damage, I wasn't greatly impressed at the ethnic packaging, but it seems to work okay. Not a lot else to say about it.

I think this is going to be a brilliant addition to the blogging and to our enjoyment of cycling. Audio could be better but really what can you expect from a camera as small as this? I think the safest bet will be to strap it to my handlebars as I can then get at it to pause/play rather than attaching it to the crash helmet. It may get a bit more vibration, but that I can live with I think.

Oh and I did another 10 miles on the exercise bike tonight before dinner. Thats a total so far this month of 41.6 miles. I'm trying my hardest to get that goal of losing 2lb's in a week for this Sunday after just missing it last week.


  1. Look 4ward to seeing ure films Adrian

  2. Ah, you spotted the "weatherproof case" frailties, clingfilm is the way forward, well it might be, that's what we used in the army to protect delicate electronics from the weather anyway.

    Looking forward to more films to watch!

  3. Very nice man! Though, I hope you meant 8gb and not 8mb! I'm impressed with how quick it adjusted to the light from the window. Looking forward to seeing how to does at high speeds on the bike!

  4. Good information. Just what I needed. Thanks