MegaFon: Unusual camera

Cellular communication is traditionally used in security and listening systems. 3G networks also make it possible to organize video surveillance and online broadcasting from the scene. Quickly and without complicated installation, expensive additional equipment.

A few years ago, video calls were predicted to have a great future and the honorary title of killer application - the most important service that cannot be massively implemented without third-generation networks and justifies the very existence of 3G networks. Somewhat unexpectedly for enthusiasts, the video call "did not go to the masses", the general world community accepted the new service rather coolly. There is nothing strange in this, not everyone is ready to “show” their own physiognomy at the first request of a phone call. And also he is not always ready to “present” the reality surrounding himself to the interlocutor, this is another minus. As a result, the video call simply occupied its niche in a number of other services, without turning into a "hit of the season".

Personally, I am attracted to video calls by the ability to instantly organize a live video transmission from the scene. Moreover, without the use of additional equipment and gaining access to a broadband data network on both sides, it is enough to press a couple of buttons on the phone, which is always in your pocket. For this video call, you can forgive the very mediocre image quality and the fact that you have to pay the operator per minute for the call. In some cases, such video broadcasting is desirable on a regular basis or on demand, if possible without human intervention. To solve problems of this kind, video cameras are produced that transmit images over a 3G network in video call mode.

3G Camcorder MF68

Mobile phones are primarily meant for making calls, although I'm starting to doubt this statement more and more often. And the front camera is exclusively for transmitting a face image during a call. This function is far from the most important in the phone, and the quality and capabilities of components are selected in accordance with the importance of the tasks being solved. A dedicated video camera is a completely different matter. Its main function is precisely the transmission of video over the 3G network, so the manufacturer (ZTE Corporation) tried to "squeeze" the maximum possible out of the video sequence sent over the network. Plus, I provided the camera with additional features in the form of a zoom and a lens rotation mechanism.

The MF68 camcorder is not yet for sale in the capital's MegaFon, but its imminent appearance has already been announced on the website, you can see it here. The fact that the camera has long been sold in the North-Western branch is explained by the narrow “specialization” of the device: the main purpose is to broadcast an image over a video call channel. To do this, one cannot do without a 3G network, and in the Moscow region it is only now beginning to take on a sane shape. It is sad that the video camera does not operate in the 900 MHz band (850/1900/2100 MHz), and subscribers of the southern part of the near Moscow region will not be able to use it. Also, subscribers of other operators will not be able to use the camera, MF68 only works with MegaFon SIM cards.

Camera assignment

The video camera works completely autonomously in the “auto-hookup” mode, the first time after a connection is established, an invitation to enter a PIN code is displayed on the screen and video transmission begins, which continues until the “end call” button on the phone is pressed. You can also record video on a MicroSD memory card (not included) with a capacity of up to 2 GB. The recording format is Mpeg4, the file extension is .3gp. The write speed is a little more than 17 Kb / s, i.e. the number of free memory card space in megabytes approximately corresponds to the number of minutes of recording.

You will not be able to use the camera to record video outside the 3G coverage area, since recording is enabled only from the camera control interface, which becomes available only after a video call connection is established. Those. you need to call the camera, specify the recording duration and confirm the task, after which the video call ends and the camera switches to recording mode. When recording is completed or terminated by an incoming video call, the camera sends an SMS notification to the phone of the main user ("administrator").

Packages

The box at first puzzles with its impressive size, it would easily fit three of these sets. Judging by the packaging, shocks and vibrations are contraindicated for the product, we will take this into account and try not to injure the camcorder during everyday use.

Includes the actual camera, charger (for Mini USB connector), mount for mounting the camera on the ceiling and "User's Guide". The design is cute, slightly reminiscent of the head of a pilot or motorcyclist in a helmet. There are no complaints about the assembly, everything is neat, evenly fitted without cracks and backlashes. The camera lens and swivel mechanism are hidden behind transparent plastic. Based on the ventilation slots on the top, this camera is not intended for year-round outdoor use. The operating temperature range is from -10 to +45 degrees Celsius. The battery is built-in, lithium-ion, with a capacity of 1450 mAh. To replace the battery, you will have to contact a service center or try to disassemble the camera body yourself.

Construction and controls

On the front panel there is a microphone, two indicator LEDs, three LEDs for infrared illumination of the subject. There is little sense from infrared illumination, but you can see what is happening in a small room with light walls. In the "default" mode, the backlight turns on and off automatically depending on the lighting conditions, if necessary, the backlight can be forcibly turned off. The 3G network signal indicator has only two modes: flashing red - the signal is weak or absent, flashing green - the signal strength is sufficient for the video camera to work. The sensitivity of the camera is mediocre, at the level of not the best phone with 3G support. Those. if the modem works in the right place, then this is not yet a guarantee that the camera is working, it is better to check it with your phone in the “3G only” mode.

On the other hand, the battery status LED indicator pleases with an abundance of colors and display modes, it is very informative, and you can’t miss the moment of battery discharge. If, of course, you look at the indicator regularly and carefully, the LED blinks rarely and briefly. But if necessary, the LED indication can be turned off altogether by a special SMS command, this function is more important than indicator colors.

On the rear panel, under the cover, are the on / off and reset buttons for the camera, a MiniUSB connector (power) and two slots: for a SIM card and a MicroSD memory card with a capacity of up to 2 GB. The memory card is used only for storing video recordings, and the camera's ability to broadcast video in video call mode is not affected by its absence.

Other camera controls are available Nzuri Creative Arts after setting connection with the camera in video call mode.

The control of the "output" of the image really works, and the camera lens moves in the specified direction by pressing the desired button on the phone. Not smoothly, but step by step, but you can get used to / adapt in a minute or two of experiments. I did not immediately realize why the image flip function was needed, then I remembered the possibility of mounting the video camera upside down to the ceiling. And one more thing: on a smartphone with touch buttons, I didn’t manage to master the art of controlling the camera right away, as a result I spat and rearranged the SIM card into a regular phone.

Looking closely at the complicated mechanism of moving the camera lens, you begin to understand what exactly the manufacturer wants money for. If, for example, the difference in the price of 2, 4 and 8 GB USB flash drives is 90% dictated by marketing considerations, then the assembly of a more or less accurate mechanism already sets a certain price level. Also comes the understanding of the meaning of the impressive size of the box with a large amount of packaging foam rubber inside, the extra shaking during transportation of the camera is clearly useless.

Specifications and Features

Camera settings given in the "Owner's Manual".

A 0.3 megapixel sensor can make you laugh, but you don't need a higher resolution for a video call, the quality of the lens is more important. And the lens, judging by its size, is not bad. In fairness, I note that in terms of image quality, I expected more from the camera. Noticeably better than streaming video from your phone, but not radically better. Probably, it is impossible to achieve something more from a standard video call, there are no miracles. In recording mode, the file format is Mpeg4, 176 x 144 dots, 12.5 frames per second. Yes, I almost forgot: the sound is also transmitted to the phone in the video call mode and recorded in the memory card recording mode.

They tried to make the video camera as “friendly” as possible for the end user. At the first call, it is enough to enter the PIN code and the connection is established, the camera registers this call as an "administrator" access, records the caller's phone number in the first memory cell and gives this number administrative powers. In the future, most of the parameters can be controlled from this phone number both through the on-screen menu and using SMS messages. Knowing the administrator's phone number and PIN code, "administrative authority" can be transferred to another phone number if necessary.

Another 19 memory cells are sequentially filled with phone numbers of those who called and dialed the correct PIN code, in the future it will be possible to call and connect to the camera from these numbers. After filling all 20 memory cells and a call from a “strange” number, the camera, depending on the settings, will either prompt you to manually enter a phone number from the list, or reset the connection. Only the administrator can free memory cells from unnecessary numbers, he can also manually fill in free cells with the necessary numbers.

While reading the "Manual", the scheme seems complicated, but in practice there should be no particular problems. With a small number of users, the camera decides the issue of registration/authorization on its own, and the administrator's intervention is required when filling all the memory cells or to manually set the list of "allowed to the camera".

Summary

There are many options for practical use, it all depends on your imagination and needs. Main advantages: full autonomy (if necessary), mobility, compactness and ease of receiving video-on-demand from any phone. The main disadvantages are poor image quality and a fee for the operator for the connection time when working in the video call mode. Probably, the camera can also be considered as a fun toy, but the price (originally 6899 rubles in the North-Western branch) is clearly high for such an application. Although, let's not get ahead of ourselves, perhaps the price tag will change.

It is possible to use a camera for video surveillance of a protected object, but it is irrational due to the lack of a motion sensor. Those. You can always call and watch, but the camera cannot independently initiate a video call when some events occur.

There is no need to talk about the significant popularity of such devices, the product is clearly not mass-produced. But the camera has its own consumer niche, and in some cases this solution will be optimal.

MegaFon: Unusual camera

Cellular communication is traditionally used in security and listening systems. 3G networks also make it possible to organize video surveillance and online broadcasting from the scene. Quickly and without complicated installation, expensive additional equipment.

A few years ago, video calls were predicted to have a great future and the honorary title of killer application - the most important service that cannot be massively implemented without third-generation networks and justifies the very existence of 3G networks. Somewhat unexpectedly for enthusiasts, the video call "did not go to the masses", the general world community accepted the new service rather coolly. There is nothing strange in this, not everyone is ready to “show” their own physiognomy at the first request of a phone call. And also he is not always ready to “present” the reality surrounding himself to the interlocutor, this is another minus. As a result, the video call simply occupied its niche in a number of other services, without turning into a "hit of the season".

Personally, I am attracted to video calls by the ability to instantly organize a live video transmission from the scene. Moreover, without the use of additional equipment and gaining access to a broadband data network on both sides, it is enough to press a couple of buttons on the phone, which is always in your pocket. For this video call, you can forgive the very mediocre image quality and the fact that you have to pay the operator per minute for the call. In some cases, such video broadcasting is desirable on a regular basis or on demand, if possible without human intervention. To solve problems of this kind, video cameras are produced that transmit images over a 3G network in video call mode.

3G Camcorder MF68

Mobile phones are primarily meant for making calls, although I'm starting to doubt this statement more and more often. And the front camera is exclusively for transmitting a face image during a call. This function is far from the most important in the phone, and the quality and capabilities of components are selected in accordance with the importance of the tasks being solved. A dedicated video camera is a completely different matter. Its main function is precisely the transmission of video over the 3G network, so the manufacturer (ZTE Corporation) tried to "squeeze" the maximum possible out of the video sequence sent over the network. Plus, I provided the camera with additional features in the form of a zoom and a lens rotation mechanism.

The MF68 camcorder is not yet for sale in the capital's MegaFon, but its imminent appearance has already been announced on the website, you can see it here. The fact that the camera has long been sold in the North-Western branch is explained by the narrow “specialization” of the device: the main purpose is to broadcast an image over a video call channel. To do this, one cannot do without a 3G network, and in the Moscow region it is only now beginning to take on a sane shape. It is sad that the video camera does not operate in the 900 MHz band (850/1900/2100 MHz), and subscribers of the southern part of the near Moscow region will not be able to use it. Also, subscribers of other operators will not be able to use the camera, MF68 only works with MegaFon SIM cards.

Camera assignment

The video camera works completely autonomously in the “auto-hookup” mode, the first time after a connection is established, an invitation to enter a PIN code is displayed on the screen and video transmission begins, which continues until the “end call” button on the phone is pressed. You can also record video on a MicroSD memory card (not included) with a capacity of up to 2 GB. The recording format is Mpeg4, the file extension is .3gp. The write speed is a little more than 17 Kb / s, i.e. the number of free memory card space in megabytes approximately corresponds to the number of minutes of recording.

You will not be able to use the camera to record video outside the 3G coverage area, since recording is enabled only from the camera control interface, which becomes available only after a video call connection is established. Those. you need to call the camera, specify the recording duration and confirm the task, after which the video call ends and the camera switches to recording mode. When recording is completed or terminated by an incoming video call, the camera sends an SMS notification to the phone of the main user ("administrator").

Packages

The box at first puzzles with its impressive size, it would easily fit three of these sets. Judging by the packaging, shocks and vibrations are contraindicated for the product, we will take this into account and try not to injure the camcorder during everyday use.

Includes the actual camera, charger (for Mini USB connector), mount for mounting the camera on the ceiling and "User's Guide". The design is cute, slightly reminiscent of the head of a pilot or motorcyclist in a helmet. There are no complaints about the assembly, everything is neat, evenly fitted without cracks and backlashes. The camera lens and swivel mechanism are hidden behind transparent plastic. Based on the ventilation slots on the top, this camera is not intended for year-round outdoor use. The operating temperature range is from -10 to +45 degrees Celsius. The battery is built-in, lithium-ion, with a capacity of 1450 mAh. To replace the battery, you will have to contact a service center or try to disassemble the camera body yourself.

Construction and controls

On the front panel there is a microphone, two indicator LEDs, three LEDs for infrared illumination of the subject. There is little sense from infrared illumination, but you can see what is happening in a small room with light walls. In the "default" mode, the backlight turns on and off automatically depending on the lighting conditions, if necessary, the backlight can be forcibly turned off. The 3G network signal indicator has only two modes: flashing red - the signal is weak or absent, flashing green - the signal strength is sufficient for the video camera to work. The sensitivity of the camera is mediocre, at the level of not the best phone with 3G support. Those. if the modem works in the right place, then this is not yet a guarantee that the camera is working, it is better to check it with your phone in the “3G only” mode.

On the other hand, the battery status LED indicator pleases with an abundance of colors and display modes, it is very informative, and you can’t miss the moment of battery discharge. If, of course, you look at the indicator regularly and carefully, the LED blinks rarely and briefly. But if necessary, the LED indication can be turned off altogether by a special SMS command, this function is more important than indicator colors.

On the rear panel, under the cover, are the on / off and reset buttons for the camera, a MiniUSB connector (power) and two slots: for a SIM card and a MicroSD memory card with a capacity of up to 2 GB. The memory card is used only for storing video recordings, and the camera's ability to broadcast video in video call mode is not affected by its absence.

Other camera controls are available Nzuri Creative Arts after setting connection with the camera in video call mode.

The control of the "output" of the image really works, and the camera lens moves in the specified direction by pressing the desired button on the phone. Not smoothly, but step by step, but you can get used to / adapt in a minute or two of experiments. I did not immediately realize why the image flip function was needed, then I remembered the possibility of mounting the video camera upside down to the ceiling. And one more thing: on a smartphone with touch buttons, I didn’t manage to master the art of controlling the camera right away, as a result I spat and rearranged the SIM card into a regular phone.

Looking closely at the complicated mechanism of moving the camera lens, you begin to understand what exactly the manufacturer wants money for. If, for example, the difference in the price of 2, 4 and 8 GB USB flash drives is 90% dictated by marketing considerations, then the assembly of a more or less accurate mechanism already sets a certain price level. Also comes the understanding of the meaning of the impressive size of the box with a large amount of packaging foam rubber inside, the extra shaking during transportation of the camera is clearly useless.

Specifications and Features

Camera settings given in the "Owner's Manual".

A 0.3 megapixel sensor can make you laugh, but you don't need a higher resolution for a video call, the quality of the lens is more important. And the lens, judging by its size, is not bad. In fairness, I note that in terms of image quality, I expected more from the camera. Noticeably better than streaming video from your phone, but not radically better. Probably, it is impossible to achieve something more from a standard video call, there are no miracles. In recording mode, the file format is Mpeg4, 176 x 144 dots, 12.5 frames per second. Yes, I almost forgot: the sound is also transmitted to the phone in the video call mode and recorded in the memory card recording mode.

They tried to make the video camera as “friendly” as possible for the end user. At the first call, it is enough to enter the PIN code and the connection is established, the camera registers this call as an "administrator" access, records the caller's phone number in the first memory cell and gives this number administrative powers. In the future, most of the parameters can be controlled from this phone number both through the on-screen menu and using SMS messages. Knowing the administrator's phone number and PIN code, "administrative authority" can be transferred to another phone number if necessary.

Another 19 memory cells are sequentially filled with phone numbers of those who called and dialed the correct PIN code, in the future it will be possible to call and connect to the camera from these numbers. After filling all 20 memory cells and a call from a “strange” number, the camera, depending on the settings, will either prompt you to manually enter a phone number from the list, or reset the connection. Only the administrator can free memory cells from unnecessary numbers, he can also manually fill in free cells with the necessary numbers.

While reading the "Manual", the scheme seems complicated, but in practice there should be no particular problems. With a small number of users, the camera decides the issue of registration/authorization on its own, and the administrator's intervention is required when filling all the memory cells or to manually set the list of "allowed to the camera".

Summary

There are many options for practical use, it all depends on your imagination and needs. Main advantages: full autonomy (if necessary), mobility, compactness and ease of receiving video-on-demand from any phone. The main disadvantages are poor image quality and a fee for the operator for the connection time when working in the video call mode. Probably, the camera can also be considered as a fun toy, but the price (originally 6899 rubles in the North-Western branch) is clearly high for such an application. Although, let's not get ahead of ourselves, perhaps the price tag will change.

It is possible to use a camera for video surveillance of a protected object, but it is irrational due to the lack of a motion sensor. Those. You can always call and watch, but the camera cannot independently initiate a video call when some events occur.

There is no need to talk about the significant popularity of such devices, the product is clearly not mass-produced. But the camera has its own consumer niche, and in some cases this solution will be optimal.

MegaFon: Unusual camera

Cellular communication is traditionally used in security and listening systems. 3G networks also make it possible to organize video surveillance and online broadcasting from the scene. Quickly and without complicated installation, expensive additional equipment.

A few years ago, video calls were predicted to have a great future and the honorary title of killer application - the most important service that cannot be massively implemented without third-generation networks and justifies the very existence of 3G networks. Somewhat unexpectedly for enthusiasts, the video call "did not go to the masses", the general world community accepted the new service rather coolly. There is nothing strange in this, not everyone is ready to “show” their own physiognomy at the first request of a phone call. And also he is not always ready to “present” the reality surrounding himself to the interlocutor, this is another minus. As a result, the video call simply occupied its niche in a number of other services, without turning into a "hit of the season".

Personally, I am attracted to video calls by the ability to instantly organize a live video transmission from the scene. Moreover, without the use of additional equipment and gaining access to a broadband data network on both sides, it is enough to press a couple of buttons on the phone, which is always in your pocket. For this video call, you can forgive the very mediocre image quality and the fact that you have to pay the operator per minute for the call. In some cases, such video broadcasting is desirable on a regular basis or on demand, if possible without human intervention. To solve problems of this kind, video cameras are produced that transmit images over a 3G network in video call mode.

3G Camcorder MF68

Mobile phones are primarily meant for making calls, although I'm starting to doubt this statement more and more often. And the front camera is exclusively for transmitting a face image during a call. This function is far from the most important in the phone, and the quality and capabilities of components are selected in accordance with the importance of the tasks being solved. A dedicated video camera is a completely different matter. Its main function is precisely the transmission of video over the 3G network, so the manufacturer (ZTE Corporation) tried to "squeeze" the maximum possible out of the video sequence sent over the network. Plus, I provided the camera with additional features in the form of a zoom and a lens rotation mechanism.

The MF68 camcorder is not yet for sale in the capital's MegaFon, but its imminent appearance has already been announced on the website, you can see it here. The fact that the camera has long been sold in the North-Western branch is explained by the narrow “specialization” of the device: the main purpose is to broadcast an image over a video call channel. To do this, one cannot do without a 3G network, and in the Moscow region it is only now beginning to take on a sane shape. It is sad that the video camera does not operate in the 900 MHz band (850/1900/2100 MHz), and subscribers of the southern part of the near Moscow region will not be able to use it. Also, subscribers of other operators will not be able to use the camera, MF68 only works with MegaFon SIM cards.

Camera assignment

The video camera works completely autonomously in the “auto-hookup” mode, the first time after a connection is established, an invitation to enter a PIN code is displayed on the screen and video transmission begins, which continues until the “end call” button on the phone is pressed. You can also record video on a MicroSD memory card (not included) with a capacity of up to 2 GB. The recording format is Mpeg4, the file extension is .3gp. The write speed is a little more than 17 Kb / s, i.e. the number of free memory card space in megabytes approximately corresponds to the number of minutes of recording.

You will not be able to use the camera to record video outside the 3G coverage area, since recording is enabled only from the camera control interface, which becomes available only after a video call connection is established. Those. you need to call the camera, specify the recording duration and confirm the task, after which the video call ends and the camera switches to recording mode. When recording is completed or terminated by an incoming video call, the camera sends an SMS notification to the phone of the main user ("administrator").

Packages

The box at first puzzles with its impressive size, it would easily fit three of these sets. Judging by the packaging, shocks and vibrations are contraindicated for the product, we will take this into account and try not to injure the camcorder during everyday use.

Includes the actual camera, charger (for Mini USB connector), mount for mounting the camera on the ceiling and "User's Guide". The design is cute, slightly reminiscent of the head of a pilot or motorcyclist in a helmet. There are no complaints about the assembly, everything is neat, evenly fitted without cracks and backlashes. The camera lens and swivel mechanism are hidden behind transparent plastic. Based on the ventilation slots on the top, this camera is not intended for year-round outdoor use. The operating temperature range is from -10 to +45 degrees Celsius. The battery is built-in, lithium-ion, with a capacity of 1450 mAh. To replace the battery, you will have to contact a service center or try to disassemble the camera body yourself.

Construction and controls

On the front panel there is a microphone, two indicator LEDs, three LEDs for infrared illumination of the subject. There is little sense from infrared illumination, but you can see what is happening in a small room with light walls. In the "default" mode, the backlight turns on and off automatically depending on the lighting conditions, if necessary, the backlight can be forcibly turned off. The 3G network signal indicator has only two modes: flashing red - the signal is weak or absent, flashing green - the signal strength is sufficient for the video camera to work. The sensitivity of the camera is mediocre, at the level of not the best phone with 3G support. Those. if the modem works in the right place, then this is not yet a guarantee that the camera is working, it is better to check it with your phone in the “3G only” mode.

On the other hand, the battery status LED indicator pleases with an abundance of colors and display modes, it is very informative, and you can’t miss the moment of battery discharge. If, of course, you look at the indicator regularly and carefully, the LED blinks rarely and briefly. But if necessary, the LED indication can be turned off altogether by a special SMS command, this function is more important than indicator colors.

On the rear panel, under the cover, are the on / off and reset buttons for the camera, a MiniUSB connector (power) and two slots: for a SIM card and a MicroSD memory card with a capacity of up to 2 GB. The memory card is used only for storing video recordings, and the camera's ability to broadcast video in video call mode is not affected by its absence.

Other camera controls are available Nzuri Creative Arts after setting connection with the camera in video call mode.

The control of the "output" of the image really works, and the camera lens moves in the specified direction by pressing the desired button on the phone. Not smoothly, but step by step, but you can get used to / adapt in a minute or two of experiments. I did not immediately realize why the image flip function was needed, then I remembered the possibility of mounting the video camera upside down to the ceiling. And one more thing: on a smartphone with touch buttons, I didn’t manage to master the art of controlling the camera right away, as a result I spat and rearranged the SIM card into a regular phone.

Looking closely at the complicated mechanism of moving the camera lens, you begin to understand what exactly the manufacturer wants money for. If, for example, the difference in the price of 2, 4 and 8 GB USB flash drives is 90% dictated by marketing considerations, then the assembly of a more or less accurate mechanism already sets a certain price level. Also comes the understanding of the meaning of the impressive size of the box with a large amount of packaging foam rubber inside, the extra shaking during transportation of the camera is clearly useless.

Specifications and Features

Camera settings given in the "Owner's Manual".

A 0.3 megapixel sensor can make you laugh, but you don't need a higher resolution for a video call, the quality of the lens is more important. And the lens, judging by its size, is not bad. In fairness, I note that in terms of image quality, I expected more from the camera. Noticeably better than streaming video from your phone, but not radically better. Probably, it is impossible to achieve something more from a standard video call, there are no miracles. In recording mode, the file format is Mpeg4, 176 x 144 dots, 12.5 frames per second. Yes, I almost forgot: the sound is also transmitted to the phone in the video call mode and recorded in the memory card recording mode.

They tried to make the video camera as “friendly” as possible for the end user. At the first call, it is enough to enter the PIN code and the connection is established, the camera registers this call as an "administrator" access, records the caller's phone number in the first memory cell and gives this number administrative powers. In the future, most of the parameters can be controlled from this phone number both through the on-screen menu and using SMS messages. Knowing the administrator's phone number and PIN code, "administrative authority" can be transferred to another phone number if necessary.

Another 19 memory cells are sequentially filled with phone numbers of those who called and dialed the correct PIN code, in the future it will be possible to call and connect to the camera from these numbers. After filling all 20 memory cells and a call from a “strange” number, the camera, depending on the settings, will either prompt you to manually enter a phone number from the list, or reset the connection. Only the administrator can free memory cells from unnecessary numbers, he can also manually fill in free cells with the necessary numbers.

There is no need to talk about the significant popularity of such devices, the product is clearly not mass-produced. But the camera has its own consumer niche, and in some cases this solution will be optimal.

MegaFon: Unusual Camera

Cellular communication is traditionally used in security and listening systems. 3G networks also make it possible to organize video surveillance and online broadcasting from the scene. Quickly and without complicated installation, expensive additional equipment.

A few years ago, video calls were predicted to have a great future and the honorary title of killer application - the most important service that cannot be massively implemented without third-generation networks and justifies the very existence of 3G networks. Somewhat unexpectedly for enthusiasts, the video call "did not go to the masses", the general world community accepted the new service rather coolly. There is nothing strange in this, not everyone is ready to “show” their own physiognomy at the first request of a phone call. And also he is not always ready to “present” the reality surrounding himself to the interlocutor, this is another minus. As a result, the video call simply occupied its niche in a number of other services, without turning into a "hit of the season".

Personally, I am attracted to video calls by the ability to instantly organize a live video transmission from the scene. Moreover, without the use of additional equipment and gaining access to a broadband data network on both sides, it is enough to press a couple of buttons on the phone, which is always in your pocket. For this video call, you can forgive the very mediocre image quality and the fact that you have to pay the operator per minute for the call. In some cases, such video broadcasting is desirable on a regular basis or on demand, if possible without human intervention. To solve problems of this kind, video cameras are produced that transmit images over a 3G network in video call mode.

3G Camcorder MF68

Mobile phones are primarily meant for making calls, although I'm starting to doubt this statement more and more often. And the front camera is exclusively for transmitting a face image during a call. This function is far from the most important in the phone, and the quality and capabilities of components are selected in accordance with the importance of the tasks being solved. A dedicated video camera is a completely different matter. Its main function is precisely the transmission of video over the 3G network, so the manufacturer (ZTE Corporation) tried to "squeeze" the maximum possible out of the video sequence sent over the network. Plus, I provided the camera with additional features in the form of a zoom and a lens rotation mechanism.

The MF68 camcorder is not yet for sale in the capital's MegaFon, but its imminent appearance has already been announced on the website, you can see it here. The fact that the camera has long been sold in the North-Western branch is explained by the narrow “specialization” of the device: the main purpose is to broadcast an image over a video call channel. To do this, one cannot do without a 3G network, and in the Moscow region it is only now beginning to take on a sane shape. It is sad that the video camera does not operate in the 900 MHz band (850/1900/2100 MHz), and subscribers of the southern part of the near Moscow region will not be able to use it. Also, subscribers of other operators will not be able to use the camera, MF68 only works with MegaFon SIM cards.

Camera assignment

The video camera works completely autonomously in the “auto-hookup” mode, the first time after a connection is established, an invitation to enter a PIN code is displayed on the screen and video transmission begins, which continues until the “end call” button on the phone is pressed. You can also record video on a MicroSD memory card (not included) with a capacity of up to 2 GB. The recording format is Mpeg4, the file extension is .3gp. The write speed is a little more than 17 Kb / s, i.e. the number of free memory card space in megabytes approximately corresponds to the number of minutes of recording.

You will not be able to use the camera to record video outside the 3G coverage area, since recording is enabled only from the camera control interface, which becomes available only after a video call connection is established. Those. you need to call the camera, specify the recording duration and confirm the task, after which the video call ends and the camera switches to recording mode. When recording is completed or terminated by an incoming video call, the camera sends an SMS notification to the phone of the main user ("administrator").

Packages

The box at first puzzles with its impressive size, it would easily fit three of these sets. Judging by the packaging, shocks and vibrations are contraindicated for the product, we will take this into account and try not to injure the camcorder during everyday use.

Includes the actual camera, charger (for Mini USB connector), mount for mounting the camera on the ceiling and "User's Guide". The design is cute, slightly reminiscent of the head of a pilot or motorcyclist in a helmet. There are no complaints about the assembly, everything is neat, evenly fitted without cracks and backlashes. The camera lens and swivel mechanism are hidden behind transparent plastic. Based on the ventilation slots on the top, this camera is not intended for year-round outdoor use. The operating temperature range is from -10 to +45 degrees Celsius. The battery is built-in, lithium-ion, with a capacity of 1450 mAh. To replace the battery, you will have to contact a service center or try to disassemble the camera body yourself.

Construction and controls

On the front panel there is a microphone, two indicator LEDs, three LEDs for infrared illumination of the subject. There is little sense from infrared illumination, but you can see what is happening in a small room with light walls. In the "default" mode, the backlight turns on and off automatically depending on the lighting conditions, if necessary, the backlight can be forcibly turned off. The 3G network signal indicator has only two modes: flashing red - the signal is weak or absent, flashing green - the signal strength is sufficient for the video camera to work. The sensitivity of the camera is mediocre, at the level of not the best phone with 3G support. Those. if the modem works in the right place, then this is not yet a guarantee that the camera is working, it is better to check it with your phone in the “3G only” mode.

On the other hand, the battery status LED indicator pleases with an abundance of colors and display modes, it is very informative, and you can’t miss the moment of battery discharge. If, of course, you look at the indicator regularly and carefully, the LED blinks rarely and briefly. But if necessary, the LED indication can be turned off altogether by a special SMS command, this function is more important than indicator colors.

On the rear panel, under the cover, are the on / off and reset buttons for the camera, a MiniUSB connector (power) and two slots: for a SIM card and a MicroSD memory card with a capacity of up to 2 GB. The memory card is used only for storing video recordings, and the camera's ability to broadcast video in video call mode is not affected by its absence.

Remaining camera controls are available to Nzuri Creative Arts after establishing a video call connection with the camera.

Other camera controls are available Nzuri Creative Arts Nzuri Creative Arts after establishing a connection with the camera in the video call mode.

The control of the "output" of the image really works, and the camera lens moves in the specified direction by pressing the desired button on the phone. Not smoothly, but step by step, but you can get used to / adapt in a minute or two of experiments. I did not immediately realize why the image flip function was needed, then I remembered the possibility of mounting the video camera upside down to the ceiling. And one more thing: on a smartphone with touch buttons, I didn’t manage to master the art of controlling the camera right away, as a result I spat and rearranged the SIM card into a regular phone.

Looking closely at the complicated mechanism of moving the camera lens, you begin to understand what exactly the manufacturer wants money for. If, for example, the difference in the price of 2, 4 and 8 GB USB flash drives is 90% dictated by marketing considerations, then the assembly of a more or less accurate mechanism already sets a certain price level. Also comes the understanding of the meaning of the impressive size of the box with a large amount of packaging foam rubber inside, the extra shaking during transportation of the camera is clearly useless.

Specifications and Features

Camera settings given in the "Owner's Manual".

A 0.3 megapixel sensor can make you laugh, but you don't need a higher resolution for a video call, the quality of the lens is more important. And the lens, judging by its size, is not bad. In fairness, I note that in terms of image quality, I expected more from the camera. Noticeably better than streaming video from your phone, but not radically better. Probably, it is impossible to achieve something more from a standard video call, there are no miracles. In recording mode, the file format is Mpeg4, 176 x 144 dots, 12.5 frames per second. Yes, I almost forgot: the sound is also transmitted to the phone in the video call mode and recorded in the memory card recording mode.

They tried to make the video camera as “friendly” as possible for the end user. At the first call, it is enough to enter the PIN code and the connection is established, the camera registers this call as an "administrator" access, records the caller's phone number in the first memory cell and gives this number administrative powers. In the future, most of the parameters can be controlled from this phone number both through the on-screen menu and using SMS messages. Knowing the administrator's phone number and PIN code, "administrative authority" can be transferred to another phone number if necessary.

Another 19 memory cells are sequentially filled with phone numbers of those who called and dialed the correct PIN code, in the future it will be possible to call and connect to the camera from these numbers. After filling all 20 memory cells and a call from a “strange” number, the camera, depending on the settings, will either prompt you to manually enter a phone number from the list, or reset the connection. Only the administrator can free memory cells from unnecessary numbers, he can also manually fill in free cells with the necessary numbers.

While reading the "Manual", the scheme seems complicated, but in practice there should be no particular problems. With a small number of users, the camera decides the issue of registration/authorization on its own, and the administrator's intervention is required when filling all the memory cells or to manually set the list of "allowed to the camera".

Summary

There are many options for practical use, it all depends on your imagination and needs. Main advantages: full autonomy (if necessary), mobility, compactness and ease of receiving video-on-demand from any phone. The main disadvantages are poor image quality and a fee for the operator for the connection time when working in the video call mode. Probably, the camera can also be considered as a fun toy, but the price (originally 6899 rubles in the North-Western branch) is clearly high for such an application. Although, let's not get ahead of ourselves, perhaps the price tag will change.

It is possible to use a camera for video surveillance of a protected object, but it is irrational due to the lack of a motion sensor. Those. You can always call and watch, but the camera cannot independently initiate a video call when some events occur.

There is no need to talk about the significant popularity of such devices, the product is clearly not mass-produced. But the camera has its own consumer niche, and in some cases this solution will be optimal.