When cars don’t want bikes to filter through traffic…

When cars don’t want bikes to filter through traffic…

(or “How to make a car driver look like a proper knob!”)

Why do they do it?

If everyone rode a bike there wouldn’t ever be any traffic jams!

By stopping me going past you, you’re effectively making me behave like a car, causing you and everyone else more delays!

It seems crazy to me that some countries still won’t let bikes legally filter or lane split.

Just let them go past, people!

Oh, and you also get to meet my new beast – Yes, I’ve bought a Honda VTR Firestorm!  1000cc’s of V-twin thunder!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Decline Of The MD80

The Decline Of The MD80

MD80 Helmet Cam

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??

MD80 wide angle lens

Veho VCC-005-MUVI-HD10+ Full Review After Onboard Test

Veho VCC-005-MUVI-HD10+ Full Review After Onboard Test


See this blog for my initial review of what you get and some tech specs: INITIAL REVIEW

The Veho VCC-005-MUVI-HD10+ comes with millions of mountings and attachments.  By far the best option for a sportsbike is to stick it near the front of the tank where it will have an excellent view of the clocks and through the screen.  Mounting it on the tailpiece would be quick and simple, too.  In fact, for a track bike there are loads of options!

For the road, however, I soon realised my options were far more limited.  I don’t want to film my speedo.  That’s far too easy to incriminate yourself when you’re pulled over doing 75mph and the Police view the footage.

My other big consideration is for a bit of stealth – and the HD10 just doesn’t allow this anywhere near as well as the smaller cams such as the Veho Muvi Pro or MD80.  Plus there’s the 1.5″ video screen which draws attention at the traffic lights.

In the end, I went back to duct tape and sponge, mounting the HD10 on the front of the brake reservoir in the same place I favoured for smaller cams.

This still isn’t ideal for fast installment and removal – such as when you stop for petrol and don’t want some Scrote grabbing your camera off the bike whilst you’re inside paying.  This is something I will work on.

The velcro strips are very useful for mounting and as extra ‘security’ measures in case the cam does fly off at 190mph.

I used a simple piece of foam between the cam and the brake reservoir, and vibrations were minimal.  The footage doesn’t go wavy at high revs or over bumps.  There is some jolting, but footage is still continuous and it seems good.

More of a problem is the sound.  I think it’s more sensitive than the smaller cams, which means it does pick up more, but the crisper sound also picks up a lot of wind noise.  I think the hole on the front cover is for the mic, and I will try and dampen it next time by putting some tape across and see how that helps.  It has potential.

The time/date stamp is still there, although smaller on the HD10 it’s still a totally unnecessary pisser.  It is easier to set and can be altered through the menu options at any time – but I don’t want it there at all!  For one it’s unsightly, and secondly it goes back to incriminating yourself by showing the exact time and date the footage was filmed.  It could work in your favour or very much against it, so I randomise any stamps on my cams.  PLEASE GET RID OF IT, VEHO!!!

To be honest, I wasn’t  as impressed with the video quality as I was expecting to be.  It is better than a Veho Muvi Pro, but not by much… that is until you watch it on a full-size TV, where the difference really shows!  It’s still a bit grainy – especially in poor light conditions (see my test video) but the widescreen is good.

The 160 degree fisheye-type lens isn’t as terrible as I thought it might be, and doesn’t distort the footage in ways that make it look weird and unwatchable.  It’s just about right.

Playback on a TV directly from the DH10 is very impressive.  There is no broken footage or waiting around for it to play.  I’ve only tested this with the USB cable into my Xbox, but I should imagine the HDMI connection is just as flawless.

In my test the HD10 was recording at 1.28GB for every 30 minutes of footage – and again Veho needlessly split the footage every 30 minutes.  It does this quickly and does offer some protection if a file goes corrupt, but I doubt anyone likes it.  Sort it out, Veho.  And I got a shock editing my video in Windows Media Player, as this cam records as a .mov file and not a .avi.  This may not be an issue with other software, but WMP has to convert all the file before you can even snip a 30 second chunk out to edit.  Having said this, the .avi’s from the Muvi Pro and MD80 wouldn’t play from the cam through the Xbox or video player, whereas these files WILL.  And this is a Very Good Thing!

What is impressive is battery life.  All these cams make a claim that you can halve and then it’s getting closer to the truth.  Veho claim ‘4 hours recording time’ for the HD10 and for my test I left it recording for well over 3 hours before it switched itself off… and I later noticed that this was because the memory card was full!  Four hours of recording seems very realistic – and possibly more!

So overall the Veho Muvi HD10+ is damned good, but a bit of a let-down in parts, for me.  It’s just about perfect for filming trackdays – aside from it not being waterproof – or other more overt uses.

It IS a good camera, and for the price there isn’t much that compares.  The next one up is a £250 GoPro, and the next one down is probably a Veho Muvi Pro for around £60, so it does sit nicely in the gap.  Would I buy one again?  Well… unless my budget extended to the GoPro (which is even less covert and awkward to mount anywhere for everyday road use), then I would have to say that I would.

I was just hoping Veho would have sorted out things like the file-splitting and especially the time/date stamp.

You may disagree and think it’s amazing – I just think that they could have done better…

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Click here for my review and comparison of: Keychain Spycam, MD80 and Veho Muvi Pro