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A Review of the 2nd Generation CamBall

The CamBall is self contained video surveillance system that is the size of a golf ball, yet records clear 320 x 240 video at 30 frames per second with audio, or large 640 x 480 color photos, to micro SD cards.

Manufactured by the Korean company Starnex, the latest version of the CamBall features improved motion detection, accepts a maximum 16GB of memory, and includes many accessories that were previously sold separately.

If you love gadgets, the CamBall has everything you could ever want in a spy camera, and there are two versions, depending on your needs. The big difference is the SC-30 does not have motion activation, and the SC-31 does.

If you want to record action sports, parties, weddings, meetings, or your cat, you might not want the motion activation. If you are trying to catch someone stealing, or scratching the paint on your car, you want the motion activation.

The motion activation has been vastly improved over the prior model, specifically they are using a better chip, so it's not just a software upgrade. Previously, the camera was so sensitive that clouds moving in front of the sun would set off the motion.

The 16GB memory increase allows you to record up to 48 hours of video. The internal batteries last about 100 minutes, hours with light motion, and with the optional Surveillance Pack, you can run the camera from the electricity of the building.

The CamBall is very easy to use. Charge it up for 3 hours, and turn it on by pressing the big button for 2 seconds. The lights turn on and blink 3x. Once it's done, you can either push the large center button to take photos, or press the record button (Up arrow) for 2 seconds, and it will record until you turn it off or the battery dies.

The photos are large and very clear, as is the video. The video @ 30 frames per second is real time, and while its 320 x 240, its very clear with no dropped frames. Audio can be turned on or off, depending on your needs.

Setting up motion detection is a snap; you just have to hold down the "Left Arrow" button for 2 seconds until its Red, and then press record (Up Arrow) for 2 seconds. Set it down and it will start recording when motion is detected.

The free CamBall manager software allows you to change the settings, as well as automatically updates itself, and performs software & firmware updates on the device.

You can set the time/date, motion activation sensitivity, turn on/off the "Night Vision" capability, and if needed, flip the video 180 degrees if you have it mounted upside down.

While you can hook the camera up to a Mac to watch the video, the CamBall manager software only works on a PC, or you can hook the camera up to a TV, and you can change the settings there.

To view the videos, you can plug the CamBall into your Mac or PC, and find the video files. KM Player works great on a PC, and on a Mac, the movies play just fine in QuickTime. Removing the micro SD card and using a reader will also allow you to view the videos.

Starnex also released 4 different accessory packs, depending on your needs. There is the Surveillance Pack mentioned above, there is a Sports Pack that has a handle bar and clip mount that can be interchanged with a weatherproof housing, or a standard holder.

The Vehicle Pack allows you to operate the camera in your vehicle, running off the lighter, and viewing the video on a GPS navigator. The LCD Pack allows you to watch your videos on a color 2.5" LCD screen.

If you love gadgets, or need a small and easy to hide spy camera, check out the Starnex CamBall review videos, to learn more about this one camera surveillance system for home, work, sports, events, or your car, as well as other spy cameras.

Christopher Winkler
Spy Gear And Surveillance Product Expert

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