FAQS - Buying a Video Camera for your Bicycle

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FAQS - Buying a Video Camera for your Bicycle

Postby GraemeL » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:02 pm

Bicycle Camera FAQ’s


Part One


Bicycle Cameras - What to Look For

For those that are new to cameras, there are a few things you should know when trying to decide which camera is best for your needs. You may find the following information useful.

This is a rough guide only and you should do as much research as possible before you make your purchase.

A very good site with a lot of information is >>> RigidMount <<<


Related information about cameras and mounts, can be found here:

>>>Camera Listings<<<

>>>Mounting FAQ’s - DIY and Third Party Mounts>>>


Something to Think About

Most cameras that are used for cycling are easy to use and are not complicated. The hardest part is finding a decent mount for the camera and maybe editing the video footage. There are a lot of free editing programs out there and you can always have a go at making your own mounts, if you decide to buy a camera that does not include any decent ones.

The mounts that come with some cheap cameras are either, flimsy cheap plastic things, or they don’t come with any. It is important to have a good mount because of vibrations, if there is any play in the mount or the camera, this will make any small vibrations worse and the video will look awful.


HD (High Definition) or SD (Standard Definition)?

It’s important to look at the cameras specs. There are some EBay sellers out there that are selling cameras that are advertised as being HD but are only SD. So it pays to be careful when buying a camera off EBay. In the Camera Listings (link at the top of this page), I have included a link to the EBay seller that I used, their service is excellent, both in terms of delivery times and also support.

HD (High Definition) is much more preferable to SD (Standard Definition). When using a HD camera videos are clearer and sharper than SD and when you are trying to capture number plates, the more detailed the better.

Things to look for are video format. High Definition will typically have a movie format such as .MOV, H.264 compression. Resolution will be something like 1080p = 1920×1080 pixels (16:9), 30 fps, 960p = 1280×960 pixels (4:3), 30 fps, 720p = 1280×720 pixels (16:9), 60 fps, 720p = 1280×720 pixels (16:9), 30 fps.
Standard Definition will typically have a video format that is either AVI, or MJPEG. The Resolution is something like, 640 x 480 or 720 x 480 and some maybe up scaled from 640 x 480 to 1280x960.


Lens Viewing Angle

Some cheap cameras will have a viewing angle of approx 70º, this is pretty narrow. While others such as the GoPro have a viewing angle of 170º ultra wide angle in 720p and 127º wide angle in 1080p.
The advantage of wide angle is that it allows for a lot more action to be captured on camera. Depending on what you use the camera for, 70º maybe to narrow, while a viewing angle of 170º tends to give a “Fish Eye” affect and some people don’t like this, but it captures the most action. 127º is the probably the best all round viewing angle.

Another thing to keep in mind, is the narrower the field of view, the harder it is to line the camera up properly. The cheaper cameras do not have a built in screen, so it can take a few tries before you find the correct recording position. The mid to high end cameras usually come with either a screen or laser, this makes lining up a lot easier. If the camera has a viewing angle of 170º all you need to do is face the camera forward. After viewing the footage you may need to alter your mount to get it cantered properly.

Here is an animation I made showing different video resolutions and the field of view from each.



Recording Times

Battery life is a big deal. Preferably you want a battery that will last around 2 -3 hrs using HD.

The cheaper ones like the MD80 records SD in AVI format and will only last for approx 45minutes to 1hr, while the Jumbo 808 records HD 720P and will last for approx 1.5hrs. This can be extended by using an External Battery Pack, which will give you approx 4hrs recording time, depending on the external battery used.

Other cameras such as the GoPro, Contour and Extreme Cam, which record in various HD resolutions will give you approx 2 -3 hrs. These cameras generally have removable batteries, so you can always take a spare battery and swap them over when you out and about.


Low Light

Most cameras, even the expensive ones do not perform very well in low light. These cameras are designed mainly for sports and as such perform at their best in daylight. Although some of them are still usable at night, depending on the lighting, because it still allows you to see movements of cars, lane changes etc.
But you will have a hard time trying to get number plates because they will more than likely be over exposed from your bike lights, car headlights or there will be too much noise (artefacts) in the footage to get a clear picture.


Water Proofing

This is another thing you need to take into account when deciding on a camera. Will you be riding through winter or anywhere you may get it wet? If so then you want a camera that is waterproof or weather resistant.
The cheaper cameras tend not to be water proof. Some have the option of buying a water proof case. Most mid to high end cameras are either waterproof or weather resistant, or come with a case that is waterproof.
You could always make you own case if you are handy, See the DIY and Third Party Mounts Section for some tips. The links are at the top of this page.



Unfortunately, if you want water proofing then the audio will suffer in most cameras. The cheap cameras like the MD80 and Jumbo 808 have fairly decent audio. This is because they do not have a waterproof case, so the microphone is not enclosed. With the cheaper cameras, such as the Jumbo 808, I have found that using the DIY TicTac case or the Mint Tin case, not only help to keep the elements out, but they also allow the audio to be picked up reasonable well while fully closed.


Timelapse and Still Photos

Are these important to you? Do you want to be able to take snapshots of the kids, family and friends while at picnics or BBQ's etc?

Some cameras allow you to take either still photos and Timelapse photos. They also allow you to record while powering the camera from a wall socket, PC or external battery pack or car cigarette lighter, for such things as Timelapse photography and recording video for extended periods.


Changing Settings

While the cheap cameras such as the MD80 and Jumbo only have one resolution. Other mid to high end cameras, allow you to change various settings within the camera. Something to take into consideration, is how easy will it be to change these settings while you are out using the camera.

Some cameras will allow you to change the settings on the fly, while out and about recording video or taking photos. Either by using the built in screen, like the Extreme Cam, or through the use of an LED screen, such as the GoPro. Other cameras, like the Contour’s, need to be connected to a PC before you can change the settings, this can be a pain if your are out and need to change a setting. Don't quote me, but I think some Contours have Bluetooth and allow you to connect to a phone etc to change settings.



The cheaper cameras come with USB cables and some of these can be dodgy, the connections may not be soldered properly. Most will charge via a normal USB cable and also transfer data to the pc. Other higher priced cameras may come with all sorts of cables, USB, HDMI, and Composite etc, so you can plug the camera into a TV to watch your movies or photo's.
There are some cameras that have Bluetooth capabilities, so this may be something that might interest you.



Mounts are a crucial part of the system, because they can introduce vibrations if they are not secured properly or if the camera is allowed to move while connected to the mount, this can ruin a video.
Cheaper cameras tend to have cheaper mounts. These are usually just cheap plastic things that can flex. They may not allow the camera to be secured tight enough or may break after some use.
RigidMount make mounts for some cameras that work extremely well. >>> RigidMount <<<
You can also have a look in the >>> Mounting FAQ’s - DIY and Third Party Mounts <<< to get an idea of how to mount the camera.

Most mid to high end cameras will have a good selection of mounts, either included or for purchase. There are also other third party companies that produce some very good mounts for the more expensive cameras.



You should decide what you intend to use the camera for and whether or not it will be taking a lot of bumps and knocks.
If you are doing mountain biking, you would probably need something that can take the knocks. If you simply want one for commuting or road riding, then you don’t need to worry too much about how tough the camera body is.

If you plan on using it as a family video recorder, you might want something that can handle a little bit of rough handling.
If you intend to use it for other sports and they involve water, then obviously you would need a camera that is waterproof.


Other Uses

There are also other uses for some of these cameras. Such as mounting in your car and using it in the same way as you do when riding. It may come in handy. I have my GoPro mounted to the underside of the rear view mirror.
Some video cameras have the ability to take still photos, this can be handy if you don't have another camera and want to take some photos or video of family and friends at a BBQ or picnic.
Some of these cameras can be used in just about any type of sport, surfing, skiing, golf, diving, skateboarding, parasailing, motor sports etc.


What’s the Best Camera

As for what camera is best. It depends on your budget and what you want or expect from a camera. But typically you get what you pay for. More money will generally get you a very good camera that will give you ease of use, the least amount of problems and last you many years.
If you are looking for something that will give you hassle free recording and money was not a problem. I would use something like a GoPro, Contour or Extreme Cam (Crocolis HD Extreme Cam). Because they have been proven to work extremely well, the build and video quality is excellent, the battery life is good, they are water proof, usually with a case and generally have a very good selection of mounts.
Some of these will also charge and record at the same time, connected to the mains, PC, TV or car cigarette lighter, until the memory card fills up. They also allow you to take photo's, timelapse, or use other resolutions and frame rates and they tend to have a wider field of view.


What's the Best Value Camera

The best bang for the buck IMHO is the Jumbo 808 #11 price approx $47. It records in 720P, battery life is decent at 1.5hrs or 4hrs using the external battery pack, it’s small and only weighs 64g. You will have to come up with your own mounts though, so have a look at the DIY and Third Party Mounts (link at the top) to get an idea on how to make your own.

Here is some footage to compare the Jumbo 808 against the GoPro HD, this will give you an idea of the quality between the two. Both are 720P @30fps. If you don't need a camera that has all the bells and whistles, then the Jumbo does the job nicely.



What about those $10 Cameras like the MD80?

It is only 640 x 480 AVI, if this is all you can afford or need then it does the job and is better than nothing. It will read number plates, as long as the car is close and directly behind or in front of you.

But there are some issues.
From my experience, the one I have does not always save the file when the battery dies, so you risk losing the lot, I have to remember to stop and start the recording at regular intervals. It records for 1hr to 1hr 10mins, sometimes and 45 - 50 minutes other times.
It also seems to leave a lot of fragmented files on the memory card and you need to format of the card on a regular basis.


Part Two


Camera FAQ's

This is information I have come across on various web sites on the Internet. As well as some of my own solutions to problems I have had found to work.
As usual if you decide to try anything mentioned here, you do so at your own risk, always research as much as you can before doing anything to the cards or cameras.




1) Q: What size memory card do I need for my HD Camera?

A: The information below is a guide only, it will depend on what type of format and compression etc is used in recording.

• 720P (AT) 50fps for 2hrs its approx 13.4 gig. A 16 gig would be ok. For 2.5 hrs its approx 16.75 gig. A 32 gig is needed.

• 720P (AT) 25fps for 2hrs its approx 7.25 gig. An 8 gig would be ok. For 2.5 hrs its approx 9.1 gig. A 16 gig is needed.

• 1080P (AT) for 2hrs its approx 12.7 gig. A 16 gig would be ok. For 2.5 hrs its approx 15.9 gigs. A 32 gig is needed.

• Using my Jumbo (AT) 720P @30fps for 2hrs its approx 6 gig. An 8 gig card is needed.

• If you are like me and are using the External battery with the Jumbo, which gives approx 4 hrs video then a 16 gig card is needed.

• Using the MD80 (AT) 720x480 for 50 minutes its approx 1.6 gig. A 2gig is needed.

Cheap No Name memory cards may not be able to keep up with the reading and writing. Using them may result in corrupt video files. You may also find your video is jerky.
A Name Brand Class 4, 6 or 10, is recommended and brands like, Sandisk, Patriot, Kingston and MaxFlash etc. The best bang for the buck is a Class 4 16 gig card.
I use a MaxFlash SD/SDHC class 6 in my GoPro and it works perfectly at 720P and 1080P.
For my Jumbo's and MD80, I use Sandisk Class 4 Micro SDHC. These work perfectly as well.

Class 4 cards are considered the minimum for video recording. The faster the card can read and write, means the video will be smoother and there will be less chance of lost data due to corrupt files.
Name brand Class 6 cards are the middle ground and would be a good choice, Of course if you have the money and want the best, then buy a class 10 card.


2) Q: What is the best way to format a memory card?

A: The best way to format the card, is in the camera if it has a setting. It is recommended that you format a new memory card in the camera it is being used in. If you cannot format the card in the camera, then you can use a card reader and a program such as SDFormatter. >>> Download it here <<<
Using SDFormatter results in better memory card performance and speed, it improves its overall lifetime. You can of course use windows, but I would recommend using SDFormatter.


3) Q: I don’t have a card reader, can I format the card while it’s in the camera?

A: If your camera has a format setting, it is recommended you use that. If it doesn’t I would recommend buying a card reader. You can still use SDFormatter or Windows to format the card while it’s in the camera. Although when I formatted the card while in the camera, using SDFormatter, I got an unknown error near the end. I put the card in the card reader and formatted again using SDFormatter and did not have any issues.


4) Q:My camera was working ok, but now it won’t record video?

A: It may be a problem with the memory card

• Try formatting the card using >>> SDFormatter <<<

• Check the card for errors using >>> H2testw <<<

• Check the pins on the card, they may be damaged or dirty, if they are dirty, give them a clean using a rubber, if they are damaged, replace the card.

• Try a different card, even if it's a 2 gig, as long as it records even 1 minute of video, if it works replace the old card.


5) Q: I bought an 8 gig card online, but it only stores 2 gig?

A: If you are not getting the correct amount of storage you can use >>> H2testw <<< to check the cards total capacity, it will also check the card for errors. This will give you some ammunition to send to the seller and demand a refund.


6) Q: I checked my memory cards storage using Windows Explorer and it reports that there is a large amount being used on the card, even though it is empty?

A: Format the card using >>> SDFormatter <<<
Select Full Overwrite in the options. This will remove any hidden junk files, when you look at it in explorer again you will see it shows the full capacity. It is a good idea to do a full format of your memory cards on a regular basis. It removes junk files and improves performance.


7) Q: Is there any way to check my memory card for errors?

A: Check the card for errors using >>> H2testw <<< It will check the card for errors and also do a read and write speed test.
Another program you can use for read and write speeds is >>> Crystal DiskMark Utility <<<




1) Q: I have transferred my video files to the hard drive, but when I try to play them they don’t work?

A: There could be several reasons why they don’t play. Make sure you have the correct Codec’s installed to start with.

• You can try another player such as VLC which plays just about anything, it's free. >>> Get it here <<<

• See if the file will play in another PC, if it plays ok on another PC chances are the codec’s are not there or corrupt. Download and install the codec’s again.

• I use x264vfw codec’s >>> Get it here <<<

• If after installing x264vfw it still won’t work, download >>> FFDshow <<<

• If it still won't play I would be wondering if the camera is saving out the files properly. Look for a firmware update, this may solve the problem.


2) Q: I have seen some cameras that use Motion JPEG, what is it?

A: Motion Jpeg is one of the oldest video formats, unlike MPEG or H.264 formats, M-JPEG takes a very different approach to video compression. Instead of compressing the entire video as a whole, each frame is compressed as an independent JPEG image, and strung together to make a video sequence.
The downside of Motion JPEG is that it does not use any compression, because they are already Jpeg images, so the resulting video files can be quite large. A H.264 encoder can, reduce the size of a video file by more than 80%, compared with the Motion JPEG format and as much as 50% more than MPEG-4, without any loss of image quality. JPEG also has a problem with sharp edges which is unavoidable, partly because the standard was meant to compress natural images like scanned photographs.


3) Q: My video stopped recording, while out riding, even though the battery is fully charged and the memory card is empty.

A: The battery may have jolted loose and is not connecting firmly to the contacts.

• If it is a removable battery, check that the battery is firmly seated. Some batteries may shake loose from the connections use some electrical tape to hold the battery in place.

• If it still happens check your memory card.

• You could also try a reset by using a toothpick, paper clip or similar and putting it into the reset hole if it has one.




1) Q: My cameras microphone picks up a lot of wind noise. Is there anything I can do to make it less noisy?

A: Cut up a small piece of fluffy material and glue it over the microphone hole.


2) Q: My camera is in a water proof case and the audio is just about nonexistent. Is there any way to improve it?

A: You can drill a small hole into the case where the microphone is. Cover it with a small piece of electrical tape. Doing this will obviously negate the water proofing, but it should still be weather resistant.


3) Q: I When I view my footage, I notice I tend to get a lot of noise from the bike is there anything that can be done to reduce it?

A: Check that the camera is secure and is not rattling against anything. if you are using electrical tape, try using a thin piece of rubber. If there is any movement inside the case, use some of those really small "stick on felt pads" or very small "stick on silicone pads"
You could also use a wooden mount. I have found using a wooden mount does not transfer as much vibration through to the camera. Take a look in the DYI Mounts Section for some ideas.




1) Q: I When I try to edit my footage my PC is really slow to respond?

A: If you are editing HD footage you will need a reasonably fast PC. If your PC can't handle 1080P and you find it slow going when you try to edit 1080P footage, try recording in 720P and you should notice quite a difference.


2) Q: What is a good player?

A: There are a few to choose from.

• >>> VLC <<< , is probably the best player out there, it plays just about anything.

• Windows media Player

• >>> Apple Quicktime <<<


3) Q: Is there a nice simple and easy editor that is free?

A:Yes, these are for simple editing and are very easy to use.

• >>> Windows Live Movie Maker <<<

• >>> Windows Movie Maker <<<

• >>> ShaderTFX <<< ($15) is a custom plug-in for Windows Movie Maker v6.

• >>> Avid DV <<<

• >>> Video Spin <<< requires free registration to download.

• >>> ZS4 <<<


4) Q: I want something that is free and has better editing capabilities?

A: Here are a couple that you might like.

• >>> VirtualDub <<<

• This gives some info on using the >>> x.264vfw codec with VirtualDub editor, and codec configuration settings <<<

• >>> AviDemux <<< is a very good free converter and basic editor(cut, join, filters). It supports most video input formats like avi, mov, wmv, asf, mkv, mp4, flv, vob, mpg and can convert to many video formats like avi xvid, avi-dv, mpg, mp4 h264, flv. If you don’t like using VirtualDub give this a try.

• >>> Zwei-Stein <<< is a freeware non-linear, non-destructive video compositing and editing system which offers many advanced features unavailable elsewhere. Cropping, panning and custom effects are easy with automatic key frames.


5) Q: I want to use Window Live Movie Maker to edit my Mov, Mp4 files, but it won’t import them?

A: Download >>> x264vfw Codec <<< and install it, restart your PC and see if it works.

• If that doesn’t work, download >>> FFDshow Codec <<<


6) Q: I really like VirtualDub but it won’t let me edit my MP4 files. I just get a popup window saying the file is unsupported.

A: VirtualDub will open MP4 files but you need to install a Plugin for it.

• First off make sure you have the correct Codec installed. If you haven’t done it, download it >>> x264vfw Codec <<< and install it

• Next download the >>> QuickTime Plugin for VirtualDub <<<

• You will also need to download and install >>> QuickTime Player <<<

• If you have VirtualDub running, close it

• Install QuickTime Player

• Unzip the QuickTime Plugin you just downloaded, you will see it has two files named QuickTime.vdplugin (32bit OS) and QuickTime64.vdplugin (64bit OS)

• Now you need to create a folder INSIDE the VirtualDub folder. Open the VirtualDub folder and create another folder, if you have a 32 bit operating system name it Plugins32. If you have a 64 bit operating system name it Plugins64. Make sure there are NO Spaces

• Next, go back to the unzipped Plugin folder and select the correct Plugin for your OS, You need to copy and paste it into the folder you created inside VirtualDub.

• That’s it, now start VirtualDub and select your MP4 file. You should now be able to open and edit it without any problems.


7) Q: I need to convert my files, what program can I use?

A: You can use >>> MP4Cam2AVI<<< it doesn't recompress video, that means no quality loss and it’s supposed to be pretty fast.


8) Q: I have seen some videos that have cycling data overlayed on them. How can I do that?

A: This is done using >>> DashWare <<< ($50) PC software that lets you visualize your data with sleek, fully customizable gauges. You need GPS data as well.
DashWare allows you to add data overlays to your videos. You can choose from a huge list that come installed or you can create your own and customize it any way you want.
All gauges can be altered, change the color, transparency, text size etc. Some of the data fields that can be added are Heart Rate, Lap Timers, Altitude, Watts, Speed, Time, Distance and Vertical Speed Etc.

Here is an animation I made, showing some of the gauges...



9) Q: What other editing software is there?

A: There is a bucket load of different video editing programs out there, here are a few.

• Adobe Premier
• Adobe Premier Elements
• Sony Vegas
• TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works 5
• Final Cut Pro
• CyberLink PowerDirector
• MAGIX Movie Edit Pro MX Premium
• QuickTime Pro


10) Q: Do know of any decent tutorials for VirtualDub?

A: There are tons out there, but for beginners, here are a few to get you started.

• This is a tutorial showing how to do Slow Motion using VirtualDub


• >>>Beginners Guide to VirtualDub<<<

• >>> VirtualDub FAQ’s<<<

• >>> Here is 14 assorted VirtualDub tutorials <<<

• >>> How to Capture Video Using VirtualDub <<<


11) Q: What Filters and Plugins are there for VirtualDub?

A: Again, there are a lot, but because I’m a nice guy I have included a few to get you going. The first few also have a brief tutorial on how to use them.

• >>> Color Enhancement<<<

• >>> Cartoonizer Filter<<<

• >>> Smart Brightness and Contrast Filter<<<

• >>> This page has a lot of filters to choose from <<<

• >>> Filter Pack with 20 Filters <<<


12) Q: You have plenty of stuff to get started in VirtualDub, but others may prefer to use AviDemux. So what about some tutorials to get us started

A: I haven't forgotten about AvoDemux users. Here are a few tutorials just for you people

• >>> Tips For Editing with AviDemux <<<

• >>>The user guide for AviDemux can be found here <<<

• >>> How to get Started With AviDemux<<<

• >>> How to Edit Videos using AviDemux<<<

• >>>How to Split a Large File<<

• If your camera uses H.264 MP4, this will interest you. It describes briefly what H.264 is and how to get H.264 encoding support for Avidemux.>>> H.264 Encoding guide <<<


Jumbo HD 808 Camera


1) Q: My video file has a funny noise and the last few minutes of video have artefacts?

A: The battery is going flat, the noise and artefacts will appear around the last 15 minutes.


2) Q: How do I get the date and time stamp in my videos?

A: To set the date and time do the following,

• Create a file using Notepad. The file has to be saved into the ROOT Directory on the card. DO NOT place the file into a folder.

• You can either have the card in a card reader or plug the camera, into the PC so it shows up as a removable drive.

• 1: Create a file with the following text in it, in 24 hour format like this: 2011-12-01 Space13:34:45 Change the date and time accordingly.

• 2: Save the file as TIMESET.TXT then copy it to the ROOT Directory of the card.

• 3: Now, unplug the camera from the PC and power it on, the camera will read the file and set the date and time.

• 4. Make a short video to make sure it worked, you will notice that the file is no longer on the card. This is because the camera will automatically delete the file, this is normal.


3) Q: The camera only records 20 minute files. Is there a way to make it record for longer?

A: Yes there is, you will need to update the firmware. I recommend using the 50 minute firmware update, either with or without the time and date stamp.
>>> A firmware update is available here <<<

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure the battery is fully charged.


4) Q: There is no light on when it is recording?

A: This is normal, when you turn on the camera, you will see a yellow light. When you press the shutter button the yellow light will go out, the camera is now recording.


5) Q: I have a Jumbo HD 808 and it won’t record video, only still photos?

A: You are pressing the power button twice.

• When you first power on the camera, using the back button, press the shutter button (the one near the lens) once.

• This will start recording, to stop recording, press the shutter button again.

• If you press the power button again, it will enter into photo mode, and every time you press the shutter button, it will take a photo.


6) Q: It stopped working, even though the battery is fully charged?

A: If you have checked the battery and memory card and it still will not work, try resetting it, by sticking a toothpick, paperclip or similar into the reset hole.


7) Q: It won’t record video and the yellow light keeps flashing on and off?

A: The memory card is missing, insert the memory card.


8) Q: It won’t charge when plugged in using the supplied USB Cable?

A: There are two cables supplied with the Jumbo 808 are wired differently.

• The thin one is about 2 metres long and that is the one to use to charge the camera.

• The other thicker one is used for transferring data from the camera to your PC.

• You can of course use a regular USB cable to transfer data and charge the camera.

• To transfer data using a standard USB cable, simply plug it into your PC and to the camera, then press the power button once, you PC should then see it as a removable drive.


9) Q: How long does it take to charge the battery?

A: Approx 2 hours, it is recommended that you don’t leave it charging for much longer.


10) Q: Can I charge and record at the same time?

A: Yes, I can connect the camera to the USB port on my USB Hub and can charge and record at the same time. I am using the Car Charger Cable (long thin one) that came with it. The length of time is dependent on the firmware being used.
You have to turn the camera on first, then press the shutter button to begin recording. Then plug in the USB cable.


11) Q: When I plug the camera into the USB cable the PC doesn’t recognise it?

A: Press the Power Button once and The PC should recognise it.


MD80 Camera


1) Q: How do I get the time and date to show up in my video footage?

A: You will need to create a file using Notepad.

• The file has to be saved into the ROOT Directory on the card. DO NOT place the file into a folder.

• You can either have the card in a card reader or plug the camera, into the PC so it shows up as a removable drive.

• 1: Create a file with the following text in it [date] Space 14/11/2011 Space19:39:00
• Change the date and time accordingly

• 2: Save the file as TAG.TXT then copy it to the ROOT Directory of the card.

• 3: Now, unplug the camera from the PC and power it on, the camera will read the file and set the date and time.

• Make a short video to make sure it worked, you will notice that the file is no longer on the card. This is because the camera will automatically delete the file, this is normal.


2) Q: It stopped working?

A: If you have checked the battery and memory card and it still will not work, try resetting it, by sticking a toothpick or similar into the reset hole.


3) Q: It won’t record video and the light flashes on and off quickly?

A: The memory card is missing, insert the memory card.


4) Q: I have the MD80, how long does it take to charge the battery?

A: Approx 1 - 1.5 hrs, it is recommended not to leave the camera charging for long periods of time.


5) Q: How can I tell when the battery is fully charged?

A: The camera has two lights, one red and one blue. The red light will always be on and the blue light will flash while it is charging. When the battery is fully charged, both lights will remain on.


6) Q: I have the MD80, the information on the web site said the battery will run for two hours?

A: There are some EBay sellers stating the battery lasting two hours, I don't think this is correct. The battery in my MD80 will only last approx one hour. I have found that it records for an hour sometimes and only 45 minutes other times, even though it is fully charged and I have an 8 gig card in it. I have also found that if I press the Mode Button once the camera is connected to the pc it seems to give a better charge. Don't ask me why, because I don't know, but give it a try and see it makes any difference.


7) Q: My video file is 0 bytes and there is a IDX.TMP file in the folder as well?

A: The camera is not saving the file when the battery dies.
I have not found a work around for this. You have to stop recording after approx 30- 40 minutes. Sometime it will then start a new file and save it when the battery dies, other times it will have a 0 byte file for the last few minutes.
But if you let it run until the battery dies, it will not save the file.


8) Q: Can I use an external battery pack to prolong the recording time?

A: I find that it is only recording for 45mins, sometimes and 1 hour other times. I connected it to the External Battery Pack I have for the Jumbo and it lasted 1hr 10mins. Even though I used a freshly formatted 8gig card and the total capacity was only 1.37gig, it would only record for an extra 25mins, instead of the normal 2.5hrs you get out of the battery pack.


9) Q: After using the MD80 s few times, Windows reports that there is a large amount being used on the card, even though it is empty?

A: I have noticed that the MD80 seems to keep junk on the card. After using it a few times this gets bigger and bigger. You will need to format it regularly.


10) Q: Can I charge and record at the same time?

A: No, it will not charge and record at the same time.


11) Q: When I plug the camera into the USB cable the PC doesn’t recognise it?

A: Press the Mode Button (opposite side of the power button) and The PC should recognise it.


I hope you found the information provided here useful.

I would also like to thank those members who contributed.


last edit: 09.01.2011
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