Chobi Cam Review - The World's Smallest Camera

Published on May 22, 2010

Chobi Cam Review - The World's Smallest Camera

    Most recently on Habré was the announcement of the miniature camera Chobi Cam . This was one of the few cases when I succumbed to the Wow-effect and immediately ordered the described device. And now I present to the public a review of the above device.


    Packaging


    After opening the parcel, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the camera was shipped in a metal box, and not wrapped in a speckled polyethylene, as is often the case with Chinese goods. Well, that’s very useful, you don’t have to worry about the safety of the device.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    The manufacturer focuses precisely on the possibility of recording HD video, about the possibility of working in the camera mode not a word ...

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    Inside the box is a plastic package with a device.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    The plastic looks so-so, brittle. On the outside it looks like a velvet coating.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    Under the plastic cover is another compartment for accessories.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    It turns out that with the device in the kit there is still a bunch of everything you need and useful (but more on that later).

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    Iron


    The case is glossy. There is a promo sticker on the case that tells us that the little animal can take photos with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 and video with a resolution of 1280 x 960, and also can record sound.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    The case itself is quite easily soiled. Fingerprints remain multifaceted, but it doesn’t bother me much in view of the fact that the device will be used as a keychain. And fabric prints are erased quite well.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    The camera can use a microSD card up to 4 GB in size as a storage for photos and video. I only had a card with a capacity of 1 GB. Card not included.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    You can merge data to a computer or charge the device via USB.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    There are two control buttons on the top panel.
    The on / off button is simultaneously a trigger when taking a photo, and also allows you to start / stop video recording. With a single press, recording starts, with a long press, the device turns off.
    The second button is designed to change the shooting mode - photo / video.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    The kit includes:
    • Camera
    • Lace
    • USB data cable
    • USB charging cable
    • An incomprehensible cylindrical thing, which (judging by a cursory external inspection) is, most likely, a charger from an AA battery


    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    Cables are carefully marked. So that the user does not enter into a stupor when trying to merge a photo onto a computer via a charging cable.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    The charger cable is very similar to the 2.5 mm headphone jack.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    The charger is a strange combination of transparent plastic and metal ...

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    ... the first time it’s hard to understand why, you still need this metal cylinder.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    The size of the charger is slightly larger than a regular finger battery, so there should not be any inconvenience when carrying in your pocket.

    Review of the Chobi CAM - Miniature Camera

    Test Drive


    Now let's see what this miracle of technology can do ...
    A few facts about the device:
    • All photos and videos are recorded on the memory card in the _REC folder.
    • Image size and video resolution cannot be adjusted.
    • In Windows 7, previews of recorded video files in Explorer are not displayed.
    • The video file is pretty big. About 1 MB per second video.
    • Photos, on average, weigh 230 KB.
    • The device is not recognized as a webcam when connected to a computer.


    A photo

    It seems that manufacturers did not knowingly indicate the possibility of taking photos on the package.
    The photos are strange - the quality is lame on all four limbs. Ok, it didn’t work out with landscapes, we try shooting at a shorter distance ... As you can see, the situation is similar. The texts on the blades are completely unreadable. The camera is clearly not intended for macro photography either.
    Chobi Cam - Photo



    Chobi Cam - Photo



    Chobi Cam - Photo



    Video

    Moving on to the video ... The



    video is indeed, almost declared size.
    It is terribly enraging that the video shows the recording date. Well, the correct date would be displayed there, but the camera says that now is 2007 and it is not clear how to fix it. No documentation is supplied with the device, there is no auxiliary software either, so it is not clear how to deal with this problem.

    The video is 128 1 x 960. There are a lot of problems because of this. Firstly, the thumbnails in the explorer are not displayed, and secondly in VirtualDub it turns out byaka.



    If there were at least the manufacturer’s contacts on the package, then one could ask to tweak the device’s firmware (this is theoretically possible with the Chinese), but since there are no texts anywhere and it is not known who produces these cameras, it seems to me that I’ll have to live with this. The video turns out to be broken (although it is displayed correctly in the players. It’s good that at least the developers of the players take care of the users in this way, allowing you to watch even the broken video. I tested it on VLC and Windows Media Player - everything is ok).

    That's what Virtual Dub tells us about the video file format ...



    The video quality is also partially lame. Firstly, when moving, everything “floats”, the contours of objects become fuzzy.
    In low light conditions, the quality becomes worse, objects become poorly distinguishable.

    The sound is also so-so. Extraneous noise is heard.

    An example of a recorded video file .

    findings


    Another example of what marketing decides :)
    Behind the wonderful packaging is a very mediocre implementation.
    There are almost no chances to photograph documents with the device, texts are not visible. Shooting indoors is almost impossible due to low light. The quality of landscape photographs is also quite low.
    Artifacts in the form of pink vertical lines are visible on the video (sometimes appear, not always visible). The video is broken, although it is played in the players.
    The sound quality is poor. I’m not very sure that if, for example, I decide to film the process of communication with the traffic police or the tax authority, then the resulting material will be suitable for viewing / listening since not the fact that the voices will be distinguishable.

    In general, the money paid for the device ($ 148 per device + $ 20 for delivery to England (the store does not send to Ukraine in the last article) + $ 14 for delivery to Ukraine) it does not cost.

    Well, this is my punishment for haste.

    And yes, a similar camera was launched on DealExtreme today at a price 3 times lower than what I got.