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Thread: Product Review: Monoprice MHD Action Camera

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    americancyclo's Avatar
    americancyclo is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Default Product Review: Monoprice MHD Action Camera

    I’ve had my eye on the Monoprice MHD Action Camera for a while. I had received a GoPro a few years back, but decided as a middle aged dad, I wasn’t really going to do anything exciting enough to warrant the price point of the GoPro. I wanted to have an action camera primarily as a ‘black box’ in case there were any troubles on my commute, and to possibly shame drivers that uturn across the Pennsylvania Ave cycletrack.



    At $81 (as of this writing) it’s at or near the bottom of the price range for this type of camera and less than half of the entry level GoPro.

    Software and Setup
    I had some challenges getting the built in settings application to work. It kept giving me this message

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then it would show the configuration page for a split second, before the program would quit. The mac version didn’t work on my older (Tiger) OS but I did get the problem resolved with a tech support chat that instructed me to follow these steps:
    Locate the name of your micro SD card, right click it and click "format".
    For file system, use the drop down box and select FAT32.
    Then, click "restore device defaults".
    Finally, hit "start".
    Allow the formatting to complete,
    disconnect the action camera,
    power the camera off,
    then power it on,
    reconnect the camera to your computer,
    then you should be able to install the software properly
    This worked, but I had to follow these steps again after trying to access the settings again on a different computer 11 days later.

    Mounts and Positioning
    The camera body itself has a universal threaded adapter in the base with the stabilizing pin towards the front of the camera body. It has a safety loop and a small string is provided that will clip the camera body to the loop on the handlebar mount. The handlebar mount screws in on two sides and fastens pretty securely. There is a ball cup mount that tightens by screwing down that keeps the camera from falling off, but the positioning has slipped a bit on bumpier rides through DC streets. There is a quick release that screws in to the universal mount that slides in to the handlebar mount.

    My main gripe is that the mounting system puts the camera a bit high above the bars. I wish it was a bit more flush to the bar, similar to my light, but the ball mounting mechanism that gives it some mobility also elevates it up an inch or so.



    The K-EDGE GO BIG Pro Handlebar Universal Mount (1/4x20) may prove useful to lower the profile a bit, but at a cost of more than half of the camera.

    Here’s some video that I’ve shot with the camera to give you an idea of what the quality is like.


    I’ll try to update here with more info as I use it, but I’d be happy to answer any specific questions about it.
    Last edited by americancyclo; 06-24-2014 at 10:02 AM.

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    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Have you tried mounting it upside down (i.e. below the handlebars)?

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    I wonder if you could modify a Planet Bike headlight-type mount with a Dremel or some such to expose the threaded part of a tripod mount screw in some useful way. You can order their headlight mounts individually, either from an LBS or on their website w/ free shipping, I think.

    This came up on a Google search. Appears a little less bulky and more affordable than the K-EDGE one you linked to. http://www.amazon.com/Minoura-Handle.../dp/B005DMYRRC

    There are also a ton of cheap DIY instructables out there that use only a couple dollars worth or items available an any local hardware store.
    Last edited by cyclingfool; 06-24-2014 at 10:30 AM.

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    americancyclo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Have you tried mounting it upside down (i.e. below the handlebars)?
    I think that would help with stability, but I also have brake cables that might be annoying to see in the video. maybe i'll try that on the way home today.

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    I'm running a Hero3 black as my black box (it was an Xmas present). I'd be interested in:
    -Battery life (the GoPro kinda sucks) and whether the battery is removable.
    -Recording time
    -Ease of use, especially as a commuting black box (is it easy to get to work and immediately delete footage if nothing happened, is it easy to turn on and off at either end and be sure its actually running, etc).

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    Quote Originally Posted by americancyclo View Post
    I think that would help with stability, but I also have brake cables that might be annoying to see in the video. maybe i'll try that on the way home today.
    Perhaps what you need is an arrangement such as this: http://problemsolversbike.com/blog/c...via_urban_velo

    Out of the way and everything.

    I wanted to set it up for winter lighting, but Bikenetic doesn't cut no steerer tubes in the winter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    I'm running a Hero3 black as my black box (it was an Xmas present). I'd be interested in:
    -Battery life (the GoPro kinda sucks) and whether the battery is removable.
    -Recording time
    -Ease of use, especially as a commuting black box (is it easy to get to work and immediately delete footage if nothing happened, is it easy to turn on and off at either end and be sure its actually running, etc).
    Battery:
    Battery is internal and non-removable. I'm in the habit of plugging in all my electronics daily when at work. Garmin, phone, video camera, and lights (when seasonally appropriate). The camera was charging all day yesterday and lasted my long commute home (2 hrs) plus this morning's commute (45 min) and that's just under the advertised 3 hr of continuous recording. I'm taking it on a trip this weekend, so we'll see how the power does, and I've yet to test if it can record and run off aux USB power simultaneously.

    Recording time:
    Limited by the micro SD card size and battery life. claimed 6 hrs on a 32GB card (which I have).

    Ease of use:
    easy operation. slide switch forward to start recording. a small top mounted LED light turns green to indicate power, camera vibrates briefly, and then LED changes to solid red to indicate recording has started. The slide switch on top also has visual cues built in. The switch reveals green STOP or red REC displayed depending on toggle position.

    deleting footage must be done through a computer. easy as deleting files off an SD card.

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    Thanks for posting the review!

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    Timely review for me. I ordered one yesterday before seeing this thread, mostly prompted by the road-rager I keep encountering on my morning commute, who has yelled at me while pacing me for blocks, and has tried to force me off the road. Time for evidence gathering.

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    Thanks for the review!

    Do you have any sense yet for how well it captures license plates (especially in low light situations)?

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