The Decline Of The MD80
I’ve been using an MD80 camera mounted inside my helmet to film all my motorcycling adventures for around five years.
I started out with the Veho Muvi camera that it copied – and although the Veho had better battery life and lasted overall for around 2 years, the cost difference meant I switched to the far cheaper MD80.
The MD80 had some drawbacks – some versions have a different focus point, that you can’t really adjust. The battery life declines slowly but surely, so that effectively they only last up to about 6 months. That wasn’t so much of a problem, as you can now buy them for £6-£10, so they’re pretty disposable.
The main problem I’ve found in the last couple of years is that, from brand new, the battery, which used to last for an hour of recording time (the same as the Veho Muvi), will now last for 30 minutes at best!
Picture quality has improved on them, but file size has also increased. I have been using a wide-angle lens with mine for a while now (see pics) which also improves things a little.
The second biggest problem, however, is that where they used to record in 30 minute segments (again, like the Veho), the latest 3 or 4 that I’ve had have only recorded in 10 minute segments. This is compounded by a 30-60 second gap as file is closed and a new one created to record. So you miss anything that happens during that time. It also makes it pretty useless to record alongside another camera, as when you join each file from the MD80 it’s out of sync after each 10 minute segment.
I could switch back to Veho Muvi, bite the bullet, and pay at least £60 for one, but to be honest things have moved on. 640p no longer cuts it, with so many other full HD cams on the market for the money.
So it may be time to retire the smallest, and only real covert camera that I use whilst riding.
I don’t particularly want one of these Telly-Tubby arrangements for a helmet camera, but it’s looking like I might have to. I guess a side-mounted bullet-style camera is the next best option?
Shame, because the whole Veho/MD80 camera was perfect for my needs… and surely someone COULD now make a HD camera the same size??