I provide honest ratings and reviews on tech, toys, and consumer home goods that I've purchased and used. Reviews are based on hands-on testing and personal observations. All opinions and comments are my own.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

ehomful SQ11 Mini DV HD Sports Camera Review

ehomful SQ11 Mini DV HD Sports Camera Review

Buy it at Amazon: ehomful SQ11 Mini DV HD Sports Camera [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Compact, smooth footage, decent video, audio, and battery life; short range night vision.

You'll receive the mini camera, an alligator clip mount, a wall mount, a reset pin tool, USB charging/video cable, USB microSD card reader, and an instruction leaflet. The camera unit is super compact and lightweight measuring a little less than a cubic inch and weighing 3/4 oz. The exterior has soft-touch rubber coating and a single rainbow accent stripe sticker. On the front of the unit is the camera lens which is able to take 12 MP photos and 1080p video surrounded by a ring of infrared lights for night vision and motion detection. On the left hand side you have the 8-pin USB charging port, pin hole reset, wrist strap sling, and microSD card slot. Note that an SD card is not included, but the unit requires one up to 32GB to function. On top are two buttons: the power button and mode button and LED status light.

The unit has a 200 mAh battery inside that lasted a little over 90 minutes when recording continuously in 1080p. Charging the unit fully takes about 2-3 hours and the LED should be a solid red when complete. There are three modes: 720p video, 1080p video, and still photo mode. For each of the video modes you can also activate motion detection and/or the night vision IR lights. The battery saver feature shuts the camera off if it is not recording and no buttons are pressed for 1 minute. The quality of the video and audio is decent for such a tiny unit with a 30 frames per second frame rate that results in smooth object motion. There doesn't seem to be much difference between the 720p and 1080p video, maybe a slight increase in detail and obviously the dimension are different for the video file. The IR lights for night vision only reflect a certain distance, so the camera may need to be fairly close to the subject in order to get a clear picture (within 4 ft). For motion detection, each triggered video will be 1-5 minutes long depending on when the camera stops detecting motion in the scene.

You also have the option of using timestamps in your videos/photos but you will need a computer. After loading the SD card in the unit a text file will be created called TIMEREST.txt. To set the correct date and time, open the file and change the string of numbers to the current year, month, date, military hour, minute, and second. Then to turn this feature on the following character should be a ‘Y' or change it to ‘N' if you don't want it in your videos before saving the file.

The clip mount snaps onto the camera easily and lets you access all the buttons and ports while installed. You can then clip this to your shirt or backpack for easy carrying. It also works in conjunction with the wall mount which has a slight degree of angle adjustment via the ball head joint. Each one minute clip takes up about 100 MB so a 32GB card can store 320 minutes or just over 6 hours of footage before the card is full. One thing to note though is that the unit does get fairly hot to the touch while in operation. Also because there's no spring in the SD card slot you do have to pry it out with your fingernail which can be a little tricky. Overall this mini camera performed nicely and while from the front it's pretty obvious that this is a camera, without the LEDs on when it is recording, the camera is fairly discreet.

Buy it at Amazon: ehomful SQ11 Mini DV HD Sports Camera [Affiliate Link]
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4 comments:

  1. Are some of these camera bad knock-offs, mine has poor video at 720p with bad sharpening halos. 1080 is just up-sized as is the '12mp' still image. The IR LEDs only reach about a foot and even then with a hot spot in the middle. Why exaggerate so much!

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    Replies
    1. Sure there are plenty of 'clones' of this camera out there as I've seen the same model marketed elsewhere under different brand names. I think they're all about the same in terms of image quality, and I agree the "scale" of the resolution doesn't necessarily imply better detail or clarity, simply larger file size. These cameras are limited by the CMOS image sensor, which is usually 1.0 MP or less (though none was stated in the literature). I found similar results when testing the IR leds, which at 3:01 in the video lines up with your observations on reach and the resultant hot spot.

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  2. i don't even understand how to ask you a question. i left public comment and got no response yet you answered a later question. i need this to work i am trying to protect my autistic son from the neighbours. there does not seem to be any response from the camera either. when i plugged it into my computer to charge the led was blue and flashing after abut 90 minutes the blue light went solid. now there is no response. do i need to disconnect the power source? when i ask the computer to eject it it says it is in use but i have no windows connected to the camera. can you help? or should i just throw it away? i don't know if it is returnable

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    Replies
    1. Hello, sorry about that. YouTube comment notifications are somewhat unreliable, so sometimes I see the latest comments popup and sometimes I have to stumble upon them. I guess it also depends on whether or not email notifications are noticed by me when I go through my inbox, which I don't do incessantly, so there's sometimes a delay in my replies. I believe I answered your questions already on YouTube, but I'll re-post them here:
      When you plug the camera in to charge it turns itself on automatically, which is why you saw the solid blue light that indicates it's in 'standby' in 720p mode. A long press of the power button, while plugged in, would turn it 'off.' It should be safe to unplug from the computer USB without ejecting, so don't' worry about the message from Windows.

      The camera will shut itself off when you unplug it. With the camera unplugged and off, press and hold the power button for several seconds to turn it back on. The LED may flash several times, but wait until it's a solid color. Then short press the power button quickly. The LED will flash 3 times then shut off. The camera is in recording mode then with no LED lit. It will continue to record until it runs out of batteries or you short press the power button again. When it stops recording the LED light may blink as the video is being saved and then should return to a solid color indicating standby once again. I hope this information helps!

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