The 2nd generation of the DVR Spy Pen offers some much-needed improvements, and makes it one of the most covert and discrete digital video recorders on the market. If you are a private investigator, law enforcement, concerned parent or spouse, or just like having the latest gadgets, the Updated DVR Spy Pen allows you to record clear video with sound in an innocent looking pen that actually writes.
The DVR pen is very easy to operate. Once you charge it for 2-3 hours, you push the button on the top of the pen to turn it on. The status light on the backside of the pen will turn red, indicating it is in stand-by mode. This is different from the prior version that was yellow in stand-by mode. To start recording, press the top button once and the status light will blink twice every 3-4 seconds, letting you know the pen is recording. Again, different from the prior version, as it turned blue to know you were recording.
Press the top button again to stop recording and return to stand-by mode, the solid red light. You can either start recording again by pushing the top button once, or turn the DVR Spy Pen off by holding the top button down for 3 seconds, or until the pen turns off. If you ever have problems with the pen, that it will not turn off or on, try a hard reset. You open a small paper clip and stick one end in the hole below the status light, on the back of the camera. If inserted straight into the pen, when you meet resistance, push slightly and that will reset the pen.
The 2nd generation of the Digital Video Spy Pen offers several improvements over the prior version. This is the fully black pen, not the stainless steel pen. The pocket clip is also black, differentiating it from the prior version. The color video has been enlarged to 640 x 480, from the prior 352 x 288; quite a dramatic difference in size, yet keeping a clear 15 fps per second. There is now a clear time / date stamp on the video that automatically updates itself. Adjusting it to your time zone is as easy as saving a text file with the time converted into numbers for your area.
A major improvement is the quality of the audio. The audio is now clear and does not have the robotic, metallic whine or hum that the 1st generation had. When you view your recorded video, it does not sound like a robot is talking.
Another big improvement is that it is better in low light situations. It works best in a well-lighted environment, however, it does record a grainy video in low light situations. The video of the prior version is very dark when filmed at low light, however, the new version you can actually see images well if you hold the camera still. We are not sure how they did this, though it's safe to say it works decent in low light situations.
Finally, the Pen DVR will show up on an Apple computer desktop as a flash drive named NO NAME and opens up iPhoto, which for all purposes is still worthless with videos. Quit iPhoto and go find the drive on the desktop named "NO NAME". Inside you will see a folder named "DCIM".
In that is a folder named "100media", which will house any videos. Drag the 3gp files to desktop for saving. Double clicking a file opens up QuickTime player on my iMac running 10.5.4, and the video is beautiful with full audio. Another Mac running OS 10.4.11 also showed the drive on the desktop.
Running Parallels & Windows XP, we can not find the Pen DVR; it's not there and we are not sure why Apple is not letting Parallels read the drive. If reboot in XP under Boot Camp, the drive shows up under "My Computer" and I can access the files, though Windows can not handle them, so you have to open Video Lan, or other viewer to play the movies.
If you need to record video in situations where a normal camcorder would be a distraction, you need to record video at a moments notice, or you like the latest gadgets, the 2nd Generation DVR Spy Pen will be of interest to you.