May 9, 2011

Gear Review - The Skinny on the $40 HD Video Spy Sunglasses

If you recall, I bought a pair of $40 no-name, direct from China, 720p HD Spy Sunglasses off eBay about 2 weeks ago.  I took the plunge on these because fishing video is something I haven't really been able to capture - as most times I fish alone and I really don't care for the "tripod-on-the-bank" shots from afar.

The goods

So I took 'em out yesterday.  Let's just say the verdict to date is so-so.

Without getting into great detail I'll let this short video tell the tale.  It's almost Jekyll & Hyde - the first segment with Lilly is ridiculously choppy, but the second segment with K.C. is actually not that bad.  You'll see what I mean once you press play.

Oh, and please excuse the fact that most of Lilly & K.C. seem to be out of the frame.  The camera is located on the bridge of your nose, but it seems you have to make a conscious effort to look down with your head a little more than normal to get what you want in the shot.

So here are the Pros & Cons:

Pro - Delivery from China only took about a week.  The seller advertised up to three
Con - The instructions that came with the package are worthless

Pro - It shipped with a nice case and all the cords you need to get started right away
Con - Can't get the date at the bottom of the screen to disappear (or at least update)

Pro - Came with a bunch of extra interchangeable lenses
Con - None of these "Polaroid Lenses" seem to cut the glare on the water

Pro - Takes MicroSD memory cards (came with 8GB), so not limited by internal memory
Con - Cannot replay video or tell how much of card is used without computer

Pro - Sound quality is pretty good
Con - Sound seems somewhat delayed (behind the video) by about a second

Pro - Takes still photos
Con - I had a 15 year old digital camera (that used floppy discs) that took better pictures

Example of still photo.  Not very sharp.

Pro - The video is not pixelated & at a legit 720p 30fps & is smooth most of the time
Con - The times when it is not are exceedingly frustrating
(I have a feeling the more the subject (or your head) is moving, the choppier the video becomes - probably wouldn't bode well for capturing the battle with that trophy brown on video)

Pro - Two push-button operation
Con - Can't tell when camera is on or off when glasses are on head

So in the end, I know you're all wanting to know, would I recommend these to somebody else?

Meh....depends on what your expectations are.  You're not going to take really great video with these things.  Just isn't gonna happen.  If you aspire to be the next YGF or Owl Jones and get your videos on Fish Porn or Moldy Chum, don't waste your time.  That said, for $40, they are a fun little toy that don't break the bank...and I do emphasize the word toy.

The no name HD Sunglasses tested in this product review were bought by me at full $40 retail; I currently hold no association with eBay seller Globalink2010 whatsoever. As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. If something is good, it deserves applause; if it sucks, I'll let you know that too. That said, I probably wont waste my or your time reviewing something that sucks, unless it's really that bad.


  1. That a pretty neat item to have. It was good you figured it out and the directions are never right on.

    Whitetail Woods™

  2. Actually for what you paid, I thought the clarity was pretty good (although I'm blind, so what do I know?) It could be better than nothing when you fish alone like I do as well. I suspect that practice could make if not perfect, at least tolerable. Cool review.

  3. Well, they sound pretty good for the money, as long as you aren't expecting techy results. Is there any editing feature? I'm still weighing all options. Thanks, Mike.

  4. Definitely looks better than RD's video.

  5. @Rick Kratzke
    You aren't kidding. Had no idea broken English also existed in the print format.

  6. @Cofisher
    You're probably right. I'll get some use out of these, just need to figure out what to and not to do.

    No editing feature (software) included. Just a USB/charging cable. Hook the glasses up to your computer and it automatically loads all your movies (AVI format) and pictures (JPG). I used Windows Movie maker for the short in this post.

  8. @Clif
    To be fair, I think she took her video on a VHS camera...or was it Betamax?

  9. when do those red polaroid lenses come in handy? other than matching the colors of the best team the NL East has to offer.

  10. Great review and pro cons were helpful. Not to bad for the price.

  11. Interesting. I had no idea what to expect, and am actually surprised it shot as good of video as it did. Now the real test, wear it while you are fishing...


  12. yes...while you are fishing. That' I was thinking too.

  13. @Ivan
    No clue. Much better than the Mets flavored blue & orange lenses.

  14. @Stephanie and Dustin & Clif
    That was the intent, but you'd be surprised how little fishing you get to do when you take a 5-year old fishing. It will come...and lucky for you two, you'll know where to find it.