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Thursday
Aug042011

Jumbo 808 Micro HD Camera Review

I’ve decided to grab the bull by the horns and do something about the naming convention of these cameras because it’s getting out of hand….. let me explain.

If I were to go on Google with the intention of finding a review of the Sony HDR-TG7 camcorder, I’d search for “Sony HDR-TG7 Review” and amongst all the spam link-bait sites, I'd get some results that met with my requirements.

Unfortunately it's not as easy for people trying to find out information about this camera. The manufacturer goes by at least eight different names and they don’t have a homepage. The camera itself doesn’t even have a defined name. The previous model was known as the 808 #11 only because Chuck Lohr had been diligent enough to determine that it was the 11th Revision of the 808 camera. Versions 1-10 had varied resolutions between 640x480, 740x480 and upscaled 1280x960.

Version #11 of the 808 camera was the first one that recorded using the h264 .mov format in 1280x720. Prior to this model coming out, version #3 was generally considered the best one – but most of them had circuitry that was made by a number of different manufacturers incased in the same car keyfob case design.

This latest larger model has already been referred to as the Jumbo 808, the HD818, HD828, the V3 etc. So to make things easier for myself from now on I’m going to simplify things.  

I’m going to call all these mini cameras that use MicroSD and record in HD – “Micro HD Cameras” and I’m going to call the older camera the “808 #11” and this new one the “Jumbo 808”. Hopefully this will make things easier to undstand.

So with that said,  below is my review of the Jumbo 808 camera. I originally intended to just make a brief update – but in the end I decided upon making a full review. So if you’ve seen my 808 #11 review then you'll know most of this info already.

There are two important bits of information below that will hopefully pre-empt the majority of queries.

BUYING A JUMBO 808

Here is a link to Eletoponline 365’s Jumbo 808 Auctions on ebay UK - You will find the camera here.

SETTING THE TIME & DATE

                      &

FLASHING THE FIRMWARE

I've made a video that’s only been posted on this blog – because of it’s limited interest. This video explains how to change the Time & Date or flash the firmware. These procedures are identical whether you are using the 808 #11 or the Jumbo 808.

I put this instructional video together so that I can send people a link to it when I get asked about either of these procedures.

I have uploaded the firmwares used in the video on my Files & Drivers page. I am aware that people were having problems with some of the firmwares I’d uploaded in the past, I have no idea why as they all always worked for me. So again I’ve tested these firmwares and they work for me but I can’t guarantee that these are going to work for everyone.

There are only two firmwares this time to make things easier.

One that creates a new file every 50 minutes and overlays the footage with the Time & Date stamp and another that creates a new file every 20 mins but without the Time & Date stamp.

The stock firmware that came on my camera recorded in 20 minute segments with a Time & Date stamp. 

Now, other firmwares may be available from other places (RCGroups Forums for example) but I’m only going to post these two here. Now, if you do somehow manage to knacker your camera up – you are on your own, so please take care.

 

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Reader Comments (80)

Quality info on this site. Don't change your style Techmoan, that party-popper nearly gave me a stroke!

August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWilko

I've search the internet, but i wasn't be able to find an supplier for this camera, where i dont need paypal to pay for it. I cannot use paypal any more because of an issue with them (they wanted to break some privacy laws such as sending a id copy to unblock my account)
So i need to find an supplier which also allow to pay by bank transfer.
Do you know a supplier wich supports that?

thanks in common.

(sorry for my poor english)

August 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRutger

@Rutger. The is only one retailer who both manufacturers and sells this camera. The company is Eletoponline365 on Ebay. They have a number of different Ebay accounts/stores with different names, but they are all connected and therefore have the same trading restrictions. If you cannot buy one from here then you won't be able to buy one at all.

August 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

@Rutger . me too wanna buy this camera but i have a couple of problems 1st one is, in my country there is no paypal service available and the 2nd one, is ebay didn't ship thier products over here in my country. if u ever kown about any supplier or dealer for this camera plz send to me thier link. thanx & take care

@ Techmoan. hey Techmoan,
u know there r alot of people like me and Rutge who want to buy Jumbo 808 but have difficulties
plzzz request the Eletoponline365 on Ebay on our behalf that we seriously wanna buy this camera. therefore they make is possible for us to buy our own Product
thanx & take care

August 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnees

Is this still the best option for in car recording? is there any firmware options for continous recording loop?

August 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStef

I can confirm that my jumbo 808 as per this pic:

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$(KGrHqJ,!hgE458,EttYBOWzyBmYV!~~60_3.JPG

Can have its lens/sensor rotaed 90 degrees. I have just done this myself no problem. i used a dab of car body filler to secure the lens in place as it wants to rotate back a few degrees from 0.

The only thing to bear in mind is. The sensor has to sit a bit further back into the body to achieve this and as such the hole inthe cmaera body needs to be about 5mm in diameter to prevent edge darkening - small price to pay to have a 90degree cam.

here is a pic of my modden jumbo

http://i250.photobucket.com/albums/gg252/rubbalad/img_7229.jpg

September 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

@Matt I thought you meant that you'd tilted it back so that it would point out the top or bottom of the case (like a periscope, or the KGB spy cam). But you've rotated it 90 degrees so that you can hold the camera narrow side up and still get a horizontal picture. I assume that you've got a special use case for the camera that resulted in this mod... can I ask what it is you do with it...I'm guessing remote controlled aircraft....am I close?

September 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I finally got the jumbo 808 via a friend of mine. I dont know if this is new, but it hasn't got a time stamp on the footage. I din't change the firmware, but maybe they have don that in the factory already.
It took 11 days from buying to getting it in holland.

how can i be sure that it is recording at 720p?

September 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRutger

reply to ....I'm guessing remote controlled aircraft....am I close?

nowhere near close - I made a collar cam - as in a camera mounted to a collar as I need to film a 1st person view for my projects :)

September 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Greetings. I'm interested in getting an 808 #11 or a Jumbo 808, but would like to get your input on the following two points:

1. Is there a firmware that allows it to auto-start upon charging (for journey logging purposes)?
2. On a related note, is there also a firmware that allows for looped recording (ie when it reaches the capacity of the card it deletes the oldest file and starts over)?

September 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIvan

@Ivan. It's No & No unfortunately.

September 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Excellent videos! I was wondering what class of micro SD card I would need to ensure the Jumbo 808 didn't drop frames. Thanks and keep the vids coming.

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

@Brian These cameras only need a class 4 card.

September 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hey! Thanks for the reviews and info!

I've got a few questions I hope you can help out with (from most to least important).

1. I've got an 808 #11 (missed the jumbo review) and have been trying to edit the MOVs in Adobe Premiere CS4. When I bring them in they are a great deal darker and contrastier than the originals and trying to adjust them to the original does no good. I've tried Quicktime Pro, VLC and Avidemux to convert the original videos into something that CS4 will accept with no luck. It's either dramatic quality loss or nothing.

2. I've heard that there's an 808 #13 that still isn't as good as the 808 #11 Jumbo...any news of what's coming down the pipe? Battery life in a keycam is my main concern.

3. Why do I always want to listen to "The White Album" in it's entirety every time I watch your videos?

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDom

I thoroughly enjoyed your review of the Jumbo #11 camera.

The party popper at the beginning probably wasn't enough to satisfy the Morons that found you boring, but it made me laugh anyway.

As many others have already said on here, excellent work, you've helped me with my choice of HD cam immensely, and saved me a lot of money and disappointments along the way.

The bulk of Youtube "review" videos by would-be presenters are full of "umms" and "aarrs", and the script is painfully non-existant. Yours are very polished, you have the balance between accuracy, fact, and humour just right.

September 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

I've taken the plunge and ordered one of their Jumbo 808 cameras in black, that looks like a BMW keyfob.

You mentioned that style in your video review, and it looks the same spec, so hopefully it is ?

Interesting how it looks as though they've even replicated the flip out metal key, though maybe that's just part of the plastic case moulding.

I've ordered the one with the external USB battery pack and the car USB adapter. I scanned through all of their ebay listings carefully but couldn't see any mention of the extra battery life with the external pack, or it's mA capacity. There's just an annotation on one of the photos that mentions "4 hours", but is that to charge it, or how long it runs for ?

Presumably (hopefully !) the Jumbo 808 camera itself is identical to the one you tested perfomance-wise for stand-alone use (nearly two hours). I believe the firmware on this one is 50 minute segments, but with timestamp, from the ebay description. Would your other firmwares work on it to remove the timestamp ?

Thanks again, great website....

September 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

@Paul. The camera you've ordered is internally identical to the one I've reviewed & therefore has the same performance. The key is part of the case and doesn't flip out. The firmwares will work fine. You'll have to experiment with the USB power pack, if it's the same as the one I had then it adds one hour on, but it's of such poor quality (flimsy and easily unplugged) that you'll only ever use it once.

September 25, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks for the quick response TM.

Re the battery pack, it's quite a different one to the one you tested in the review that I read.
If I've got my facts rights, the one you felt was poorly made was the round cylinder that took a single AA cell.
This one that they're offering now is a flat casing slightly larger than the camera, with a rechargeable battery inside, with two USB sockets, a mini and a standard. A short USB to USB lead appears to be supplied (about 3") and I suppose the battery packed is charged in the same as the camera, with the supplied USB to mini USB lead.

The suppliers listing was unfortunately very light on detail, but it certainly looks like a lithium battery pack, and if it fills the case then it's about three times the size of the internal cam battery. Fingers crossed, it may add 4 or 5 hours recording time...

September 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

I have tried one with some good results, video here.

http://www.freeflightbrighton.co.uk/Pages/Video/Alfriston_High_Over/Danger_Paragliding_High_Over.html

September 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRob Chisholm

@Rob That's great stuff. I've only ever seen Paragliding from afar so this gave me a new perspective, fascinating.

October 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

The Jumbo camera has arrived, after just over a week, very fast service from China, excellent.

The extra external battery pack looks very good, and would appear to be a useful accessory in it's own right. It comes with a variety of mobile phone power connectors, so it could be used with them as well. The flat shaped rechargeable battery is 500ma, so hopefully will at least double the 90 mins of the camera's internal battery.

I bought the kit that included that battery and the neat little cig lighter plug that Techmoan mentioned. A very nice little set that I can use on my bike, car or boat.

Thanks again for the very detailed and unbiased reviews, guiding me straight to the best value cam with no wasted purchases.

October 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Hi.

Thank you for the great reviews!

I'm planning to get a Jumbo HD 808 #11 to capture candid videos of people on the street for a short film project. The reason I need to use a spy cam is because I aim to capture how people behave etc. Pointing a camera at them kills the spontaneity... So I would like to ask you a few questions...
1. In the video, when you shoot people on the street (the musicians, the dancing stoned guy etc.) howwere you holding the Jumbo: Did you point it towards the people like you would a camera or a cell phone, or did you hold the camera inside your hand with your arm aligned with your body?
2. Is it possible to shoot candid films with this or is it really suited more to attaching to stable objects (helmet etc.)?
3. I guess it's possible to shoot for a minute, then hold the device in standby mode, then start shooting back after a few minutes, and repeat this cycle... Do you think it would drain the battery to keep the device in standby mode for minutes like this?
4. When in standby mode a new video is created or not?
5. Would the film be shaky if taken while walking?
6. Are the buttons hard to press or soft; I mean does one need to struggle to push the button hard each time?
7. Can the device be charged by the battery extender that you do not recommend to buy?

I apologize for the question bombardment. I'll be thankful if you could reply them...

October 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFilmmaker

I hope Techmoan doesn't think I'm taking a liberty in responding to some of Filmmaker's questions, but my own experiences of the past few days can provide a definite answer, as I had wondered the same things !

Standby mode only lasts a short while anyway, about a minute or two, before the camera switches itself off automatically (while not taking video).

Each time record is pressed, even in standby, a new video file is created.

I've tried several ways of holding or mounting the camera, but walking always makes the picture shudder, (even when taking "mincing" steps !!)

I think when mounted on a boat or cycle, things will be much steadier while moving.

The NEWER battery extender, the (flat rechargeable one), does effectively recharge the internal battery, since it connects via the same USB socket, but I guess they would "level" at some stage.

It's interesting you mention the buttons. I bought a different casing to the one that Techmoan tested, the one with a black top and three very large buttons. The problem was that they were all very easy to click by mistake, especially the main on/off button. This resulted in it being hard to pick the camera up or put it in your pocket with switching it on ! Techmoan's choice would be better, because it has the much smaller round on/off button. I got round the problem on my one by opening the case and trapping two tiny pieces of foam rubber under the on/off button, either side of the internal switch. This increases the pressure needed to click it, and it's now perfect !

AS Techmoan's tests show, the quality of the video is amazing, as long as the camera is not jogged up and down.

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

thanks for the excellent reviews! You mentioned that there are two versions of the 808 #11 - one that records 7 mbps and one that records 10 - have you come across different versions of the Jumbo too? what's the bitrate of your model?
cheers phil

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterphil

I have an answer to one of my own questions. After much experimentation the best way to transfer (and alter) H264 footage and edit in CS4/5....

1. Using Avidemux 2.5 (when importing) don't use B frame switch option.
2. VIDEO: MPEG2 FORMAT: MPEG 16:9 ratio
3. config: 2 pass video size, 2000, 256, 5600, 16:9
4. FILTER: alter to your needs

This worked for me....

October 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDom

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