This Camera is an Adventure
August 12, 2011 10:31 AM   Subscribe

The 808 Car Keys Micro Camera is a cheap, poorly made, difficult to use miniature DV camera that is nevertheless embraced by model RC pilots, experimenters, hobbyists, and adventurers. If you want to hack or mod your own, start with Chuck Lohr's vast 808 Car Keys Micro Camera Review page.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot (20 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite

 
Instead of driving business to a single shop, Google Shopping turns up many sources.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:36 AM on August 12, 2011


This is so awesome.
posted by odinsdream at 10:37 AM on August 12, 2011


Sounds like a great camera....if you happen to get a good one.

(There's more than one ebay auction for $.99 each with $5 shipping. I almost bought 10 for $15, but they didn't put the shipping together, which is dumb.)
posted by DU at 10:59 AM on August 12, 2011


I have one of the old ones and the HD ones. They're fun. Chuck Lohr's site is fantastic and represents the best of "the sum of community experience and knowledge helping you".

filthy light thief, that's exactly the situation you want to avoid when buying an 808 - you want a known quantity because there are so many variations.

Anyway this camera is awesome and represents one of the many ways that cameras enable new kinds of creativity... at a price level that makes it totally disposable (which, in itself, enables certain creative activities). Glad to see it on MeFi.
posted by fake at 11:04 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have fond/not fond memories of the Pure Digital single-use cameras and camcorders. At the time (2004-2006ish) it was pretty neat to get a camera so cheap, but the quality was horrible and the process needed to use them as non-disposables was super complex, involving reflashing, custom download software, etc. I'm glad Chinese industry has taken the time to mainstream the peculiar raise/dash hope dynamic that these cameras offered.
posted by monocyte at 11:05 AM on August 12, 2011


Wait, there's no drum macine in there then? But yes, I love these crazy lowest-of-the-low-end gadgets.
posted by GuyZero at 11:07 AM on August 12, 2011


Well, if this is a "cheap, poorly made, difficult to use miniature DV camera" it sure looks pretty cool to me!
posted by TDavis at 11:11 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


at a price level that makes it totally disposable (which, in itself, enables certain creative activities)

In other words explosions.
posted by tommasz at 11:11 AM on August 12, 2011


Does any one here know a link to a good one? I mean without me having to do hours of studying.
posted by bongo_x at 11:16 AM on August 12, 2011


I remember seeing a thread for these pop up on RedflagDeals recently (like, in the last couple months). I would SO love to get one, just to attach it to my dog (or my 2 year old) and create some POV videos to see the world from their perspective. But I fear that my wife would think I'm buying it to peek up girls' skirts - why do the have to make it a car key/spy cam thing?
posted by antifuse at 11:30 AM on August 12, 2011


bongo_x the ebay link in the post looks pretty good
posted by kuatto at 11:32 AM on August 12, 2011


Today I learned something. Posts like this are cool. Thank you.
posted by Shike at 11:39 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Looks like I'm getting a cheap helmet cam! Of course, videos of me riding on the most industrial of all the products of the Motorrad, at or below the speed limit, and with a lot of evident caution and courtesy are probably not going to do wonders for my Youtube hit deficit.

Still, I wonder what would happen if I duct-taped one of those little cameras to a spoke...
posted by sonascope at 11:47 AM on August 12, 2011


Chuck Lohr's section on where to buy cameras.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:43 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I bought one for my son last week after watching a Youtube taken with one. My son and his friend have attached it to an arrow, shot it with a slingshot, and taped it to the cat. Best cheap toy ever.
posted by LarryC at 9:31 PM on August 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Keychain video cameras are now commonly used in hobby rocketry. You just strap it to the rocket body with electrical tape.
posted by neuron at 10:34 PM on August 12, 2011


After hearing about people getting beaten up for taking photos during the London riots, I was reminded of these. Would be really handy in that sort of situation.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:16 AM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the "Common problems" section on Chuck Lohr's site:
Smoke coming from camera - Can be caused by a loose component inside the camera. Can be caused by pressing the reset and power buttons at the same time. Replace the camera.
That's my kind of engineering.
posted by aaronbeekay at 8:12 AM on August 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


LarryC, where did you buy it?
posted by SueDenim at 4:32 AM on August 14, 2011


I have one of these I picked up on ebay. It's great - I've used it as a dashboard cam on my car, to record audio, and to spy on my cats.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:23 AM on September 1, 2011


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