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May 12, 2013, 12:42 PM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
New Product

Pre-release Peek at the new Mobius ActionCam - Post #1 updated with any new info!


The developer of the #16 720p HD keychain camera will soon release their new 1080p camera, dubbed the Mobius ActionCam. This will give some basic information on the prototype camera currently being tested. The information here is tentative and subject to change in the released camera. I will be starting a new support thread when the camera is finally released.

Case Design
The camera will have a new modern case design precision molded of rugged high-density plastic to house the upgraded CMOS imager, DSP chip, and larger battery (see pic #1). Three buttons (power, mode, and shutter) are provided to toggle various functions, with 4 colored LEDs for visible feedback. The top of the case has exposed heat sink surfaces protruding through the case exposed to the outside for heat dissipation from the DSP IC. The inside of the case top and bottom has precision molded rib structures to accurately position and securely hold the CMOS/lens module (pic #2). When assembled the case has a shallow notch extending around case upper and lower joint line. This enables the case to be securely slid into a mating base piece for a variety of mounting hardware options (more info below). A 500 mAH lipo battery will power the camera for approximately 60 min. Pic #3 shows a size comparison of the Mobius with the current #16 camera in its current flat-bottom case and wide angle lens. The camera will weigh approximately 38 gms.

Circuit Board
The circuit board (see pic #4) will have a reset button and easy disconnects for the battery and CMOS ribbon cable. Charging and external communication will be via a standard 5 pin mini USB plug and standard microSDHC cards up to 32GB are accepted for recording. Class 4 cards have worked fine during my testing. The CMOS imager and DSP chips used in the camera are confidential at this point at the developer's request. The weight of my prototype camera with battery is 35 gms, about twice that of my original #16 keychain cameras... still within easy payload range for most aircraft of park flyer size and up.

Lens
The lens on the prototype camera appears to be a mid-AOV lens with some fisheye distortion in the 1080p frame size, but less than the wide angle D lens on the #16. When the camera is in 720p mode the 1280 x 720 image is sub-sampled from the center of the wider 1920x1080 frame image, so the video AOV is proportionally less, but so is the fisheye distortion. Vignetting and focus drop off at the edges is negligible. I measured the actual AOV of the video frame width to be nominally 85 deg. at 1080p and 46 deg. at 720p settings, and based on those, I estimate the AOV of the native lens to be around 100 to 110 deg. It is unknown at this point if other lens options may be offered later.

The CMOS imager and its ribbon cable attach to the lens module via two machine screws, making it possible (if this option is offered) to replace a lens without having to unscrew it from the module and then refocus it. The lens module will be made of light metal with a set screw to hold the threaded lens at the ideal focus point, yet allowing it to be easily released for focus adjustments if necessary.

User Toggled Functions
Camera functions planned will be similar to an expanded set of the #16 functions. The development of functions and user settings for the camera will be ongoing following the initial release, all of which will work in the camera when updated FW is loaded. The initial release FW is expected to include:

•Two user selectable video modes, toggled by the mode button after power up. Either mode can be set to record 1080p-30fps or 720p-60fps or 720p-30fps. The video format is .MOV with H.264 compression codec. but this camera can record sequential clips with a one sec. overlap, so there is no lost video and no need for an AVI firmware like the #16 to get that benefit.

•Three movie quality settings (Super, Standard, and Low), which will vary the recording bit rates suitable for the user-selected frame size and frame rate. The Super setting with 1080p-30 fps video gives an approximate average total bit rate around 18,000 kbps. with a high detail and motion scene. The Low setting with 720p-30 fps video gives approximately 5800 kbps on the low end.

•Four video recording cycle time settings will be 5, 10, and 15 min. plus "Max", all of which will stop/save/continue. The Max setting will record until the 4GB files size limit is reached, the card runs out of space, or the battery power is removed. The actual Max recording time will vary dramatically accord to the users settings for frame size, frame rate, and movie quality. The 4GB file limit can be reached in less than 30 min. with 1080p High quality video.

•Loop recording (5 min. clips with one sec. video overlap, so no lost video). Pressing the mode button while in Loop Record mode will make the current clip being recorded write protected so it will not get over written during looping. The file can be manually deleted, though.

•Movie flip (180 deg. rotation)

•Movie sound (off plus three volume levels)

•Photo capture mode with frame sizes of 2048x1536, 1920x1080, or 1280x720 (all native pixel sizes - no up conversion)

•Time lapse photos with delays between images still being tweaked. The targeted delay times range from 0.25 to 60 sec.

•Recording LED toggle

•Movie/photo time stamp toggle

•Power on button delay (to prevent premature activation while handling)

•Auto-record when power to the camera is applied (useful for car recorder use - no button presses needed.)

•Charging on/off toggle when plugged into a USB data port (useful for some external USB devices)

•TV out (PAL or NTSC), which will include a playback mode.

•TV display ratio (4:3 or 16:9)

•GUI program support for setting the parameters will be available.

Mounting Options
The camera will have many mounting options, starting with a flat base plate that slides onto the camera case's mid-line shallow groove. The base plate can be mounted via wire ties or straps through slots in the bottom. The base plate also accepts a snug snap-in plug that has a standard 1/4-20 tripod thread (see pic #5). Several very heavy duty mounting options are planned for mounting the camera to a variety of objects via the base plate tripod screw thread. Three of these planned options are shown in pic #6 for mounting to a flat surface via an adhesive pad, to a circular bar via an adjustable clamp, or to a smooth surface such as an auto windshield via an suction device. Each of these specific mounting options use an adjustable articulating ball piece that screws into the base plate, making very minute changes in alignment possible.

Availability and Pricing
This is what everyone wants to know, but I have no definitive answers at this point. The camera is under active testing and refinement of the various features and functions, but will not be released for sale until the developer is satisfied with the performance. Also, the price point has not yet been set, but early indications are it will be very attractively priced compared to other cameras in this market niche.
Last edited by Tom Frank; Jun 18, 2013 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Added camera weight - 3 gm. increase to 38 gms. due to metal CMOS/lens module
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May 12, 2013, 12:52 PM
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FIRST subbed.

If we place our names on a list and show the Developer we are interested, we would get a whole discount, as a Rcgroup member?

Going to take some time to get used to a rectangular design?

I love to see some actual Aerial footage, and side by side comparisons, of all the cams, and see which will come out as the ultimate winner.
Last edited by limped; May 12, 2013 at 01:13 PM.
May 12, 2013, 12:56 PM
Registered User
Seems really promising. Hopefully the short Finnish summer is not over before they release this... Can't wait, especially if the pricing is competitive.
May 12, 2013, 01:04 PM
Registered User
Watching with interest.
May 12, 2013, 01:07 PM
Registered User
TScott1118's Avatar
Thanks For keeping us posted. I can't wait to get one!
May 12, 2013, 01:52 PM
Reap the wild wind
headlessagain's Avatar
Looking good Tom
"I will be starting a new support thread when the camera is finally released" I'd try for a day glow neon pink flashing header requesting folks read the first 5 or so posts prior to asking questions
Andy
May 12, 2013, 02:48 PM
Registered User
SupraGo's Avatar
Sounds like the developer is really listening to the comments in the #16 thread. Specs look really good.
I had planned on getting a flat bottomed #16, but I think I will hang on for one of these.
Wonder if there will be an early adopter incentive like there was for the #16?
Bill
May 12, 2013, 02:56 PM
Registered User
Apart from all the user toggles and hardware design that Tom has already mentioned, what really impressed me is how the developer has ingeniously managed to add electronic circuitry which is capable of switching the standard 5 pin mini USB connector between USB and AV-out mode. This very clever trick has allowed the developer to retain the standard mini USB socket instead of using a proprietary connector.

The 5-pin standard mini USB connector is way superior than the micro 5-pin standard USB connector or the non-standard 8-pin mini USB connector both in robustness and simplicity. For DIY, it is easy to make your own cables. The final version of the Mobius is expected to include a harness similar to that supplied with the #16. No other cables will be needed. Alternatively, any standard mini USB cable will work for charging, USB communication and recording using external power supply, just like with the #16. If you require AV-out you will have to make your own cable or use the supplied harness.

The new case design may be a shock to those used to the 808 design. It certainly was to me, but after only a few minutes I realized it only had advantages. It is so easy to attach to other surfaces and the base plate fits really well over the camera body without the need for screws. Although I don't use a driving recorder, I can well imagine the Mobius will be perfect! Most requests that have been made over the last few months in the #16 thread have been implemented.

All in all I am more than impressed with the camera's possibilities and fully understand the developer only wants to release the Mobius when he's absolutely certain that everything is a perfect fit.
May 12, 2013, 03:59 PM
Mtz
Mtz
Registered User
Mtz's Avatar
I like the mounting idea.

I think 18000kbps is too much for 1080p. I know people want the best quality but is possible after 12mbps to not obtain any more quality. Maybe the developer will let the user choose the bitrate for the three recoding modes. I know korean cameras working at 7000kbps for 1080p.

I hope the camera to be black not gray.

I hope the lens to be at least OV2710 or OV2724.

I see is still used the USB connector so I hope to have also Audio Out, not only video. Tom, is the audio out available for live recording?
If the developer is targeting also the dashcams, the 5 minutes length is to big. He must include also 1, 2 and 3 minutes and this is not a hard thing to to.

That 1 second overlap is not a very good news, but is better than missing seconds between clips. If one second is possible I am sure he can create no missing or overlaping frames between two consecutive videos.

With this form factor the camera is not anymore a spy camera. If they could make another case with a smaller lens hole, like the old #16, they can still sell the camera as a spy camera.

I hope he will make the car mount very small and to nor ruin the camera size with a big and stupid mount.

For this form factor he can think in the future to a detachable monitor, something like this, but connected to the back USB connector. ;-)

enjoy,
Mtz
May 12, 2013, 04:25 PM
Registered User
David Jenkins's Avatar
It sounds excellent, and ideal for putting on my multicopters...

...but for me the price will be the deciding factor.
May 12, 2013, 04:53 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtz
I like the mounting idea.
I think 18000kbps is too much for 1080p. I know people want the best quality but is possible after 12mbps to not obtain any more quality. Maybe the developer will let the user choose the bitrate for the three recoding modes. I know korean cameras working at 7000kbps for 1080p.
Mtz
I disagree, you can see a huge difference in the cripness of the stills between the two when you pause the video. 18mbps is closer to GoPro territory which is what people want, there are already tons of low priced lower quality 1080 and 720p cameras.

I eagerly await the release of this camera, and hope they try and shoot for the under or close to the $100 price point which would really make it an easy choice vs all the big name brand cameras which are already commercially available.
May 12, 2013, 04:55 PM
Registered User
I don't think 18000 kbps is too much for a 1080p action cam.

Could we have more samles from the cam?
May 12, 2013, 05:16 PM
Registered User
The case maybe isn't so great from a "spy" point of view but I suspect the vast majority of buyers aren't interested in this which is why I think the design is pretty well perfect !

Would be good if the video could be rotated 90 degrees so the case can be mounted vertically rather than horizontally. I'm guessing this takes more processing to do in firmware than a 180 degree rotation that already seems to be on offer. Physical rotation of the lens doesn't look easy without a bit of basic redesign.
May 12, 2013, 05:24 PM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
Comments below...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtz
I like the mounting idea.

I think 18000kbps is too much for 1080p. I know people want the best quality but is possible after 12mbps to not obtain any more quality. Maybe the developer will let the user choose the bitrate for the three recoding modes. I know korean cameras working at 7000kbps for 1080p.
You missed, or I didn't explain fully, that the bit rates have THREE quality settings... Super, Standard, and Low. The 18Mbps rate is for 1080p-30fps recording with Super quality setting. Standard quality at this frame size and frame rate would be around 15Mbps, and Low quality in the 13 Mbps range. Of course you can re-encode with an editor down to whatever minimal rate you wish.

I hope the camera to be black not gray.
My case is a prototype. My understanding is the normal case will be black, with possible other colors.

I hope the lens to be at least OV2710 or OV2724.
You are referring to the CMOS, obviously, not the lens, but in any event that information is confidential at this point as I mentioned.

I see is still used the USB connector so I hope to have also Audio Out, not only video. Tom, is the audio out available for live recording?
My understanding at this point is audio out is limited by what the DSP chip can do, and will be only available during playback, not with the live composite video stream.

If the developer is targeting also the dashcams, the 5 minutes length is to big. He must include also 1, 2 and 3 minutes and this is not a hard thing to to.
Since this is NOT a dedicated car recorder, I doubt you'll get all those shorter clip lengths, and I also don't think it's realistic to have everything in it like a dedicated car recorder. It's got the auto-record on power up that you wanted! I think I forgot to also mention that when in loop record mode, pressing the mode button will mark the current clip as "read only", so it will not be deleted during a looping recording. It can be deleted manually, though.

That 1 second overlap is not a very good news, but is better than missing seconds between clips. If one second is possible I am sure he can create no missing or overlaping frames between two consecutive videos.
And I'm sure you are assuming too much! The timing of getting exact framing during one file save and a new file start sequence without an overlap or losing some frames with different memory card write speeds is not as easy as you suggest. Be thankful you don't have to use an AVI file that cannot be trimmed and edited without re-encoding (like the #16) to accurately join clips together.

With this form factor the camera is not anymore a spy camera. If they could make another case with a smaller lens hole, like the old #16, they can still sell the camera as a spy camera.
This camera is meant to be an "action" camera, NOT a spy camera. The video components won't fit in an old 808 camera! The #16 will still be sold for those who need a spy camera.

I hope he will make the car mount very small and to nor ruin the camera size with a big and stupid mount.
I had forgotten to include the mount pictures in my first post, but have added them. The mounts are not small, but rather very well built and robust. This may be "stupid" to you, but others who engage in some rough action sports may find these mounts to be exactly what they want.

For this form factor he can think in the future to a detachable monitor, something like this, but connected to the back USB connector. ;-)
I only mentioned what is expected in the release version of the camera. More refinements and features are planned, and maybe other peripherals are not out of the question in due time.

enjoy,
Mtz
May 12, 2013, 05:27 PM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lensman82
I don't think 18000 kbps is too much for a 1080p action cam.

Could we have more samles from the cam?
I will include more samples eventually, but right now the color balance is being tweaked, and I don't want to show samples that are not "release" quality.


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