For pet owners curious about what the world look's like from their pet's eyes, there is the Mr Petcam animal cam.
Ever wonder where your cat goes on its daily adventures? Are you curious about what your dog does when you're not at home? Or are you simply interested in seeing the world through your dog's eyes? Mr Petcam gives pet owners a chance to see the world from their pet's POV.
Product Features of Mr Petcam
Mr Petcam arrives in a bubble mailer containing the following: 1 Mr Petcam video, 1 mounting adapter assembly, USB charger/transfer cable, 2 GB Micro SD card, driver CD, a ball chain safety lanyard, an identification sticker, a spare adapter and nut/bolt. The instruction manual is a double-sided 8-1/2 X 11' sheet of paper.
Although Mr Petcam comes with a 2 GB micro-SD card, you can use 8 GB or 16 GB cards. There is a built-in microphone.
It fits comfortably into the palm of your hand and weighs 48 g. Technical specifications of Mr Petcam are as follows:
- Video format: AVI
- Video resolution: 680 X 480 pixels
- Video length: 2 minutes
- Video capture: 29 f.p.s.
- Compatibility: Microsoft Windows 98, 2000, XP, Vista and 7. Mac OS10.x and Linux
To mount onto your pet's collar, first mount the camera onto the adapter frame. Then, loop the collar through the lanyard loop. Finally, use the clip to secure the camera frame to the collar.
Using Mr Petcam Animal Camera
Camera operation is fairly simple. Once the camera is in position, press the power button for one second (more like three). To record, press the record button on the top. The indicator light will flash red.
There are two recording modes: standard and sound-activation mode (SAM). SAM will record only when it senses movement.
To upload the videos to your computer, plug it in via the USB cable. You can charge the camera this way as well. Alternatively, you can use the plug-in charger. The instructions warn users to charge for three hours or less, otherwise, the camera sustains damage. The reset button is located on the same side as the micro SD drive.
To change the date on the camera, plug Mr Petcam into your computer. Open up the files and click on the one labelled "time". The default date is whenever the camera left the factory.
These are some video footage that Maestro has taken using Mr Petcam:
Under the Chin Mount
By the Ear Side Mount
Top of the Head Mount
Pros and Cons of Mr Petcam
Mr Petcam is extremely easy to use. You could get by without reading the instructions. Just be sure to heed the warning about not overcharging this pet camera.
The case is sturdy enough to handle a few bumps here and there. The mounting frame is secure. Mr Petcam hasn't fallen off the frame once. That's a good thing, considering that the clip has slipped off the camera a couple of times. Between the ball and chain lanyard and the camera frame, I have been able to rest easy that Maestro will not lose the camera on his adventures.
Another major plus is the price. Mr Petcam is one of the cheaper models out there at $39.99 USD.
When the camera is on SAM, the indicator light doesn't flash to indicate whether or not it is recording. Thankfully, the indicator light does work in regular mode. However, I've had to reset this dog cam a couple of times because it would jam when I tried turning off (or was I turning on?) the recording function.
The camera body on Mr Petcam is too long for a small dog. Maestro stands 14" tall from the withers. Even with adjusting the camera angle, Mr Petcam gives us mostly chin and floor shots when it is mounted under the chin. If he was as big as his Irish Terrier friend, then there would be no problem. As it stands, we have figured out some workarounds but haven't yet discovered the ideal camera position.
As an amateur photographer, I would have preferred to see more than one video format. Ditto for resolution size. If any of Maestro's adventures take us somewhere scenic, then I'll have to use my GoPro2, which is much heavier on the little guy.
Another major drawback is if your pet loves water. Mr Petcam isn't waterproof.
One minor issue is that I have had to correct the date every single time I plug Mr Petcam into my computer.
Alternatives to Mr. Petcam & Ordering Information
Mr Petcam is one of several animal POV cameras on the market. Other popular animal cams include Dogtek Eyenimal Digital Videocam for Pets ($80 USD), Uncle Milton Nat Geo Wild Pet's Eye View Camera ($17.99), Buddy Pet Video Cam Digital Camera with Audio (Black) (69.98 USD). Both the Eyenimal and Buddy Pet cams are waterproof.
At this point, Mr Petcam can only be purchased directly from the manufacturer's website.The cost is $39.99 USD and can be shipped worldwide. Acceptable modes of payment include Paypal or Google Wallet.
Mr Petcam - Final Verdict
As far as cheap entertainment goes, Mr Petcam fits the bill. Maestro lavishes the attention he gets when he wears the pet cam. Family, friends and dog lovers are getting a good chuckle over what Maestro captures with his animal cam.
However, if you are looking for something a bit more durable and/or waterproof, spend the extra money and spring for one of the waterproof ones.