JB1 007 James Bond Stealth Digital Camera Review

Product Requirements:
Device:
Win 98SE/ME/2000/XP, Mac OS 8.6 or higher

It’s common knowledge that gadgets and super spies go hand in hand. Just look
at Sydney Bristow (Alias),
and of course the number one spy of them all, James Bond. I for one, enjoy
watching their movies and TV shows, just to see and drool over what new gizmos
they have managed to dream up. I’ve always been particularly interested in the
teeny weenie cameras that seem to pop up on every show or movie. The JB1 007
James Bond Stealth Digital Camera from
Digital Dream
is just such a camera. It’s touted as the World’s First
Official 007 Digital Camera, so it has to be great… right? Let’s see…

Hardware Specs

Memory: 8mb stores up to 150 pictures @ 640 x 480, or up to 310 pictures @
320 x 240 resolution
Lens: f=4.45mm F2.8
Interface: USB Plug-n-Play
Power: 1 AAA battery (included)
Dimensions: 2.25 x 1.5 x 0.5in
Weight: 2.1oz.


What makes this camera spy worthy is the fact that it is disguised as a Zippo
style lighter. It is housed in a metal case with a flip cover. The only problem
is that the manufacturers must have missed their stealth training… they
plastered a sticker on the front of the lighter that tells the world that it is
a James Bond camera. Oops! I haven’t tried very hard to peel the sticker off, it
seems as if it is attached pretty well.


If you like, you can remove the camera from the lighter case. The camera itself
is made of grey plastic, and is very light weight. It too is emblazoned with the
007 logo. Not a sticker this time though… It’s embossed in the plastic.

On the front of the camera is the lens, tiny microphone and viewfinder. For
those in the know, the lens is f=4.45mm F2.8. Basically it means that it is a
wide angle lens.

On the back of the camera is the mode button, status LED, and status LCD.

The shutter button is located on the top of the camera, while the battery
compartment is located on the bottom. A small format USB connector is situated
on the side of the camera.

Usage is relatively simple. You have to first press and hold the mode button for
a few seconds to power the camera on. Once it is on, it is in the default hi-res
(640 x 480) picture taking mode. In this mode, you can take up to 150 pictures.
The LCD on the back of the camera displays how many pictures are still available
to take at any given time.

I found that the hardest part in using this camera is the very small viewfinder.
It does not actually look through the lens, which makes it difficult to line up
the picture. I also found that since the camera is so small, that my fingers
would often get in the way of the lens.






The pictures that this camera takes aren’t the best. They are ok for quick
snapshots, but only if you have adequate lighting. Unfortunately, the camera
does not have a flash.

Besides having the ability to shoot pictures in low and hi-res, there are
several other camera modes available to you. By repeatedly pressing the mode
button, you can switch into the following modes…

Self Timer Mode (St). Take pictures with a 10 second delay. This allows you to get
yourself into your photos. The camera will beep while it counts down the 10
seconds.

Surveillance Mode (Jb). This mode will allow you to record images at preset time
intervals (1,2,5,10,20,30,45,60 or 90min); perfect for covert observation for up to 19 days. Think Nanny cam!

Video Clip Recording with Sound Mode (Ct). Shoot mini movies of up to 30 seconds
duration at 30fps. This works pretty well, but unfortunately, it is recorded in
a proprietary format. The included software is required in order to view the
clips. Sorry Mac users, playback of the clips is not supported for your OS.

Voice Recorder Mode (Ar). Record up to 12 Minutes of sound in WAV format. That’s
really not enough storage to
record a lecture, but more than enough to record short voice memos.

Erase Mode (CA). Erases all the pictures on the camera. This is an all or
none type of erase, you don’t get to choose.

You can also use this camera as a data Storage device like a USB drive, to move
important data between computers (8MB total storage).

PC users can even use this device and the included software as a web cam. sorry
Mac people…

After you’ve filled the internal memory with photos, movies, files, voice memos,
etc., you’ll need to connect the included USB cable to the camera and to your PC
or Mac in order to remove the data.

If you are running XP,  you will not need to install any drivers. Once you
plug in the USB cable, the PC will automatically recognize the camera as a USB
storage device. You’ll be able to copy the files to and from the camera just as
if it was a hard drive. Windows 98 users will need to install a driver and
included software.
The software is included on CD that is supposed to allow you to view, edit, delete and
email your pictures and videos. A pocket size CD card is also included to make
it convenient for traveling. I was only able to get the software to let me view,
and delete pictures and videos. I was never able to use the email or edit
features. The software is really pretty clunky.

In use, the James Bond camera is a fun novelty camera that will probably appeal to kids
more than adults. It really can’t be used as a serious ‘spy tool’ given the less
than stealthy appearance (sticker and branding). There’s also the fact that
every time you push a button, the unit beeps at you. You won’t get many top
secret shots that way… At $100, it’s an expensive
toy that can take so-so pictures as long as you have adequate lighting.

Price: $99.99 Available from
Think Geek

Pros:
Tiny
Video record with sound

Cons:
Pictures are grainy or blurry in low light
Beeps whenever you press a button (not stealthy)

 

Product Information

Price:99.99
Manufacturer:Think Geek
Pros:
  • Tiny
  • Video record with sound
Cons:
  • Pictures are grainy or blurry in low light
  • Beeps whenever you press a button (not stealthy)
Posted in: Camera Gear, Computer Gear, Gear

39 comments… add one

  • Julie January 7, 2004, 1:02 am

    Post your comments here on the JB1 007 James Bond Stealth Digital Camera review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/jb1-jamesbondcamera-review.html

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • _Q_ January 7, 2004, 3:19 am

    Interesting that this picture doesn’t show any logos, on stickers or embossed.

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/cameras/655e/

    That’s the last time I let anything out of the lab without a complete evaluation! ;)

  • The Reader January 7, 2004, 7:33 pm

    Remove the cover, find the speakers inside the stupid cam, then cut both wires from the speakers. It should not affect its operations as no smart person would tie the mini-speaker as a SERIES CIRCUIT. I.e. it is should be an independent device. Just like your PC speaker, I hate my pc speaker so i just open the case and crudely cut it and stupid beeps are gone.

  • The Reader January 7, 2004, 10:32 pm

    The problem with these so called stealth cam is that their shape essentially defeats the purpose when a person tries to hold it and press the shutter button.

    Your hands will obviously be in some awkward positions when trying to snap a pic of some one/things and don’t want to be noticed. You may even block/mis aim the cam when doing so.

    A good design would be something that will fit the contours of your fingers and hand with adjustible lens and an adjustible view finder. This way you can be in a natural position and still take a picture without holding the stupid thing in an awkward noticible way and screw up the shot all together.

    This POS spy cam is a gimick. How it is stealthy when it is silver reflective is beyond me. And why the f*ck does it beep if it was named a James Bond 007 cam?

    The real spy cams are the ones that allows you to act like you’re doing something but instead you’re taking a shot. The ones that are fitted in side glasses or watches or buttons. Just adjust your glasses, then SNAP. I don’t think you can pretend you’re lighting someone’s cigar too many times let alone trying to fake a flame.

    There are some really stupid designers out there, and even more stupid people who are buying these things.

  • Julie January 8, 2004, 2:56 am

    The Reader:

    Although you have some good points, I think you’ve taken this product a little too seriously. This is more of a toy then a real camera. It’s a marketing gimmick more than anything…

  • bdos January 8, 2004, 9:37 am

    For those in the know, the lens is f=4.45mm F2.8. Basically it means that it is a wide angle lens.

    Not really. While 4.45mm would be extremely wide-angle for a 35mm camera (where a 50mm lens is considered normal), the much smaller exposure surface combined with the short throw of the lens probably make the James Bond camera’s 4.45mm a normal (not a wide angle) lens. This is borne out by the sample pictures, which do not exhibit any of the perspective typical in wide-angle images.

    Just a friendly FYI… :)

  • Craig January 8, 2004, 1:09 pm

    A bit disappointing but not unexpected. It still looks totally cool and has a cool name.

    Has anyone looked at the Philips Keyring Camera?

    This camera can be seen on ThinkGeek at http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/cameras/6771/?cpg=wnrdf

  • 10basetom January 9, 2004, 2:28 am

    it would not be impossible to take a micro cmos sensor (e.g., http://www.letsgodigital.nl/webpages/news/df/fuji/cmos_uk.html) and jamming it into a gutted lighter enclosure drilled in strategic places. if you can fit a bluetooth radio in there then more power to ya!

  • Vidge January 9, 2004, 3:16 am

    Daily Gadget is giving one of these away.

  • Merlin^74 February 3, 2004, 3:28 am

    Hey all, this review actually made me stop lurking in the background and post some comments. I’m a James Bond collector, so when I saw this, it was difficult not to order it. There were good reviews and bad reviews on-line, and I figured I might as well give it a try. Just a few things I’ve found out since I’ve had it:
    – I used to own a Logitech credit card camera, and this takes almost exactly the same type of pictures. If you’ve used the Logitech, this will be similar, except pictures inside (while still grainy) are better.
    – Outside the pictures are fantastic
    – The movies when brought over by the provided software will convert to AVI format, so you can share it. Fairly good quality too.
    – The sticker is fairly easy to remove, but it does beep on just about everything – even it’s surveillance mode – so yes, this is not a true spy device
    – The most annoying thing is the long power on time – have to press the button just right, and it takes too long

    Also, I should mention that I used the surveillance mode on my bird to see what it did while I was gone. However, the camera jammed up on the 1 minute interval. Haven’t tried 1 minute interval since then, but all the other intervals work. Weird.

    Overall, believe it or not, I am fairly happy with it. No, not a professional device, but for the size, a nice thing to carry around. Started some good conversations too.

  • Craig February 4, 2004, 1:38 pm

    Here’s another tiny camera for you all to take a gander at:

    “l’espion mini II Digital Camera” may be found here:

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/cameras/67cc/?cpg=wnrdf

  • Athena March 19, 2004, 6:34 pm

    Originally posted by The Reader
    Remove the cover, find the speakers inside the stupid cam, then cut both wires from the speakers. It should not affect its operations as no smart person would tie the mini-speaker as a SERIES CIRCUIT. I.e. it is should be an independent device. Just like your PC speaker, I hate my pc speaker so i just open the case and crudely cut it and stupid beeps are gone.

    I have a serious issue at my home and this is why I bought this little camera. One it is pretty darn small but mainly it’s survalience feature. WHO would create a ‘spy’ camera with sound? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, lol. So I am interested on this cutting the speaker wire? I am recieving this cam today by UPS so I am really interested. It’s not hard to reach the wires right? Hard to put back together? I’d rather not break it, that’s alot of money to me right now. :)

    Thanks, hope this board is fairly active. :D

  • Athena March 19, 2004, 7:10 pm

    May I ask how it is hard to take a quick picture?

    By the look of it, it would be like flicking a regular lighter no? Open, flick, close..

    I hope it’s not as hard as you all are making it out to be. :)

    I personally think it would be awesome to have a camera like this but instead of pushing something.. just flick open case.. it’ll take the picture.. close case. That simple and quick. No buttons.

  • Julie March 19, 2004, 7:44 pm

    The light style case is just a case. It doesn’t flip a switch or anything. So, you still have to press a button to take a picture… unless it is in surveillance mode.

  • Athena March 19, 2004, 7:58 pm

    Oh I know, I was just saying it would be really neat if there were a tiny camera like that. All of the ‘real’ undercover people get the non civilian cool stuff. ;)

  • Athena March 20, 2004, 12:16 am

    Nevermind.

  • Deconiv March 22, 2004, 7:24 pm

    Guys, there’s probably a reason for the *slow* response time of the camera and the *annoying* beeping….it’s to keep civilians from truly spying on people. Last I checked, covert surveillance of subjects (or spying) is illegal, so be happy they’ve created something so small to play with. Besides, the beeping is minimal…in a crowd, at the mall, outside, there are louder things going on. From what I’ve seen of it, it’s a great little camera that lets you (provided I’m not held responsible) spy on someone.

  • PHoRD April 2, 2004, 6:32 pm

    I won the Daily Gadget contest and when I got the camera, I turned it on, took a picture or two, cleared the memory, and then it refused to turn on. I haven’t managed to get it to work since. Anyone else have this problem? I’m about to get a return on it.

  • Julie April 2, 2004, 6:47 pm

    Could the battery be dead?

  • PHoRD April 2, 2004, 6:53 pm

    I tried four different batteries.

  • BradHicks April 6, 2004, 7:20 pm

    Does it mount as a USB drive in Linux? Has anybody tried?

    (I’m assuming that the webcam and video conversion software won’t work without some kind of virtual Windows.)

  • iarachnidi April 30, 2004, 10:35 am

    Originally posted by The Reader
    Remove the cover, find the speakers inside the stupid cam, then cut both wires from the speakers. It should not affect its operations as no smart person would tie the mini-speaker as a SERIES CIRCUIT. I.e. it is should be an independent device. Just like your PC speaker, I hate my pc speaker so i just open the case and crudely cut it and stupid beeps are gone.

    thanks for the advice. i have recently purchased one thinking it was a camera that wouldn’t beep when taking pictures or even turning it on. i was quite frustrated and decided to look on the net for any way to fix it. i came across these boards and caught your post. after that i proceeded to take apart the case and found the 2 wires connected to the speakers, clipped them badboys and now its functioning like a true spy camera.

    btw if you intend on popping it open its on of those cases that wedges into place. you’ll see it when you open up the battery cover and look along the inside. before you attempt to try and open it there is a tiny screw right under the sticker that is on the bottom of your camera. you should unscrew that first because there is a breakable piece inside that its screwed to which garuntee’s the case staying shut even if the wedges somehow manage to be messed. anyways after that its pretty self explanatory.

  • iarachnidi April 30, 2004, 10:56 am

    also wanted to add something. although the zippo case is shiny and the color of the camera itself is a color that people will take notice of, the camera lense itself is small enough to provide great usability. with the size of the camera and lense you can easily place it behind something with a small hole and start taking pictures. with the original beeping feature aside, this would make a pretty useful camera.

  • Craig May 6, 2004, 12:09 pm

    Here’s another camera from the same folks who brought us the James Bond Camera: Quantum Optical Digital Camera

  • laxa May 23, 2004, 7:13 pm

    I won the Daily Gadget contest and when I got the camera, I turned it on, took a picture or two, cleared the memory, and then it refused to turn on. I haven’t managed to get it to work since. Anyone else have this problem? I’m about to get a return on it.

    I bought this camera on eBay, dumb me, costed 40$ more than buying it directly for the reseller, but… Ive got problems with the camera too. When i try to start it, it wont, because one of the buttons dont work correctly. When i plug it in my computer, it starts in HD mode. I mainly use this cam for webcam use and it takes several SEVERAL tries to get it on PC mode ( Webcam-mode ) . This is a LITTLE annoying. Pisses me off. Ive tried to mail jbcamera.com support and digital dream or sumthing SEVERAL TIMES and they still HAVE NOT answered me. The product is a real one and it was still fully sealed and in its original package. Its not a cheap copy, its the real deal! Losing my nerves with this camera. I have to get the button to work, so if anyone would be kind and tell me how to open the camera, i would be thankful. Sorry for the bad english, im Finnish, just to let you know. Please reply, as jbsupport didnt :mad:

  • laxa May 23, 2004, 7:41 pm

    Now, figured out how to open it. Opened it and ive got any chance to get in repaired. The warranty is gone too. God, i hate this fu*king piece of sh*t. In my opinion, the whole company should eat shit. :mad:

    Got your review, didnt you… D – O – N – T B – U – Y T – H – I – S P – R – O – D – U – C – T .. Thank you …. :rolleyes:

  • volsung August 10, 2004, 3:44 pm

    this camera looks pretty cool and nifty from what i can see.

    I was thinking of getting a digi-cam just to take pics with, and this looks pretty cool to do that with. I’m not sure if hte novelty would wear off or whatever though.

    I also think the beeping is annoying- but it seems you guys have fixed that problem. As its not really for spying anyway, it doesn’t matter that much.

    Just a question that might seem stupid, but from the wording of some of those reviews, im not sure on it:

    Does the webcam work as in 30 shots per second video??
    Or does it take pics every minute or something stupid like that?

    For the quality of camera to money ratio how do people rate it?

  • Julie August 10, 2004, 6:31 pm

    In movie mode, the correct term is fps or Frames Per Second. This camera will record a 30 second video clip with 30fps. As far as I know, 30fps is the same speed at which regular TV/movies are filmed at.

  • alainnice August 17, 2004, 10:03 am

    hi , I have a JB1 digital camera, and I have 2 problem with….
    I think that the battery has not a long life…..2 or 3 days using!!
    normal ????

    and the other problem is with the movie mode or web cam mode….I have not a normal picture…..i can send a example to every body want it….!
    I have a pc with win xp pro…….and when I use an other pc to a freind with win 2000…..no problem,it’s a nice picture!!

    some body can help me ?

    thanks…..

    ps: sorry for my english….I come from belgium :-)

  • fproy August 30, 2004, 7:57 pm

    I bought the camera because of the small size and metal case sso I could carry it in my pocket and not worry about damage. It works great as long as I remember it is only 1/3 of a megapixel on the best setting. :wow:

  • Deftones September 26, 2004, 2:23 am

    I have two questions;

    1. when you cut the wires near the speakers to make the beeping go away, does it disable the voice recording and such?

    2. when you voice record, can you play it back on demand, or do you have to load it on your computer to hear the recordings?

  • bjspam October 6, 2004, 5:44 am

    Can anyone get the “quick shot” feature to work quickly? Apparently, while off, you hold down the mode button until bingo, it snaps a picture. I have counted this with “number-mississippi” and got about 6 seconds. This should not even be touted as a “feature.”

    Second, the manual says the camera defaults to high-res, but mine, upon turning it on, always defaults to low-res (except when using the 6-second “quick shot” feature, which does give me automatic 640×480 shots).

    Is mine different from other jb1’s? Is it faulty?

    thanks! let me know how y’alls cams work.

    .bj.

  • helpdeskdan January 2, 2005, 5:28 am

    Quick replies:

    Quick shot feature does not work as advertised. Couldn’t agree more – blatant false advertising!!

    Camera defaults to LR mode but I have found, at least on my camera, LR mode is really high res mode, and HR mode is really low res mode. Stupid camera!

    The camera is only worth having WITHOUT the stupid beeper. To disable beeper: Remove battery. Carefully peal off (or back) sticker on bottom of unit using sharp knife/boxcutter. (Kiss warranty goodbye first) Unscrew the small screw behind it. Working on the side with the USB connector, CAREFULLY pry unit open using gentle but firm pressure. Inside the unit you will see a big thing about the size of a large watch battery with a red wire and black wire. Cut one of the wires – doesn’t matter which one. (if you are really creative you could unsolder it using a VERY low power soldering iron) It is very unlikely, but make sure that the wire will not fall and touch any metal. Put the camera back together, noting the battery cover in it’s proper place. Now you can actually have some fun with your camera without the beeps.

    Buying advice: This camera does not really take good pictures! And, it’s only stealthy if you void the warranty and are good at taking things apart. And, it looks cheaply built. If you are fine with all those things, buy it; I enjoy mine despite it’s major faults.

  • Craig January 2, 2005, 3:38 pm

    Thanks for the info. Sounds like the camera looks a lot better than it functions.

  • sk8dork January 7, 2005, 6:24 pm

    ok, here we go people…i am an optimistic person, and it appears that if you are not, and you have no resources to help you out, you might hate this camera…

    now, that being said, i love it. yeah, when i first got it i was surprised with the beeping, the way it functions, and so on. you have to learn how to use it.

    the whole ‘hi res lo res’ thing is spelled out in the directions. default is in hi res, this is not a lie. when you hit the mode button, low res is displayed. you have to think of this as an option and not a setting. seeing the Lr does not mean you are IN low res, it means you can click the shutter to change TO low res. yeah, it is not the way things are usually, but this is how they thought it would work best given the very very basic lcd screen display.

    i use windows xp and if you go to the site and get the needed updates and files and follow instructions it WILL work as a webcam and everything it says it will do.

    yes, the format of the video files on the camera itself are not readable by a pc, so the downloader program INCLUDED with the camera when you buy it converts it to avi.

    no, i am sorry, i have not yet been able to get the quick shot feature to work, but that’s how i got here. i am searching for a real persons explanation of how it works and what i should be seeing when i am getting it to work.

    remember folks, with no flash you need a lot of light to be able to enter the shutter to produce a very good quality picture. taking pics in dark areas or not well lit rooms will produce lower quality pics cuz the camera is trying to boost the light as to give you something other than a black picture. also, it has to do with your steady hand and the movement of what you are capturing. clicking the shutter can move the camera as it is taking the pic. try setting it on selt timer and set it on something, the pic will be clear, the quality is not really that bad.

    also remember, this is a tiny tiny camera, the features are that it is tiny and small, it has 8MB of space, it is not intended to compete with multi megapixel cameras that are very large, have very complex lens and mirror systems, and take pics that can be over 2mb uncompressed! it seems that the problem is not with the company, but in general the public is not that educated on the way everything works, and realistically you cannot expect every company that produces a produce to explain everything to you in a simple ad! who is going to read all that? do research on things before purchasing and, i dont mean that you wont buy them, you will better appreciate them when you get them because they will do what you think they will do and not some wild thing that you imagined. i’ll try and stay on this for a few days or whatever, but i really just signed up cuz i was pissed at a lot of the comments on this review.

  • alex January 19, 2009, 5:05 pm

    People! who cares about the low res its small what do you expect!

  • Ed February 5, 2010, 2:43 am

    I know this is probably clutching at straws, but does anyone have the device drivers for this camera?
    Camera works but came with no cd when i bought it and I cant seem to find the device drivers on any websites or anywhere for that matter…. When i plug it into pc it doesnt register as being plugged in at all…

    Someone please help!!!
    Ed

  • william gocke June 25, 2010, 11:02 pm

    I HAVE 007 CAM. WHEN I REPLACED THE AAA BATTERY IT SEEMS TO BE LOOSE. CAM WILL NOT COME ON. DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE MAKING CONTACT. IS THERE A SPRING MISSING?

  • Kit February 19, 2011, 8:34 pm

    Does anyone have the manual or instruction sheet for this camera? I recently inherited one. Also, it did not come with USB cable. Does it require a particular kind of USB cable?

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