Friday, May 21, 2010

DVR MD80 Review

For a while now, I've been looking for a cheap video camera to use during paintball games that fell under one of two categories:
A. Hardy enough to withstand a hit from a paintball right to the lens
B. Cheap enough that I don't care what happens to it.

The decision was made for me when I realized I really didn't want to spend much money in the first place, so "B" it was then!

I came across the MD80 on Ebay, and I immediately snatched it up due to the price, which shall be revealed in a moment.

Product: DVR MD80 (sold under different brands, and by several names)

Price: Including shipping and taxes, just under $15 USD!

Options: I believe it comes in different colours, and there is a similar product that is instead shaped like a car remote starter.

Shown with a standard sized card for scale.

  • Manual or sound activation
  • Different mounting options
  • Ability to act as a webcam
  • Accepts any micro SD card
  • Records at 720 by 480 pixels at roughly 25 fps
  • Built-in rechargeable battery

Pros: It's dirt cheap and works, if it stopped there, I feel like it would be worth it. The expandable memory, sound activation, nice resolution, internal battery and various mounting options are just icing on the cake. All the features work nicely, and because of its ridiculously small size, it would be very easy to mount just about anywhere.

Cons: It's from China and is cheap, along with all the associated headaches. The manual is crap, it often has trouble syncing with my Mac (fixed by simply getting the Mac to read the micro SD card with an adaptor), and mine broke soon after I got it. Broke is a bit of a strong word, as I proceeded to open it up with a set of jeweler's screwdrivers and just reconnected the pieces that had become detached inside (seems to have fixed it permanently). I can't get rid of the stupid time and date tags in every video it takes, which annoys me to no end.

Some totally uninteresting footage shot with 
the video camera. I had the camera on my vest.
Pay no attention to my messed up thumbs.


  1. nice,thanks i will buy one to try it on the field.

  2. Doont have a micro sd card yet, and windows 7 doesnt recognize it as a device, so mine is shelved for now

  3. You have to have an SD card in the slot for windows 7 to recognize it as a USB thumb drive. Once you have that, you can just drag and drop the videos from it to your computer. The driver package that comes with it is totally useless for Windows 7 (it's meant to use it as a webcam), but it does the video recording thing just fine with the drivers uninstalled.

  4. Anonymous is correct, you need the SD card for it to be recognized. Head on over to Future Shop or Best Buy, they always have at least one Micro SD package on sale.

  5. Are your other video reviews shot with this camera? Also, have you figured out how to remove the time stamp?

  6. Any videos coming from me are with either a Casio Exilim or a Canon ELPH. And no luck with the time stamp as of yet.

  7. Just FYI 21 minutes of footage on this = 1.53GB. So figure about 15 minutes of footage recordable on a 1GB SD card, one hour on a 4GB.

    Still haven't figured out a way to remove the time and date stamp!!