in February 2005, announced the Multipod 5in1, a device that combines both portable
storage and photographic/video recording features along with webcam and voice
recorder. Octave, kindly offered us a sample unit for testing. For us, such
small device with so many features seemed at very least intriguing as well as
- What is the Multipod?
As we said, the Multipod is a digital camera, web camera, video camera, audio
recorder and 128MB portable storage device. It does all of this in a three-quarter
ounce shell case that's the size of a disposable cigarette lighter.
According to Octave the product main features are:
- Capture up to 12 minutes of video (640x480) with sound.
- Takes up to 3000, color still photos at 320x240 or 750 full color still photos at 640x480
- Supports both USB1 and USB2 connection interfaces
- Storage capacity of up to 128MB
- Plug-n-play video-conferencing device that works with popular IM programs such as AIM, MSN and Yahoo.
- 8 kHz digital voice recording system
- Small dimensions - 87mm long, 23mm wide, 19mm deep, and weighs in at 24
- Retail price ( MSRP) of US$149.99
Below you can see the product specifications, as posted on the Multipod
- Hi setting 640x480 30 FPS will record 6 minutes of video
- Lo setting 320x240 15 FPS will record 12 minutes of video
- Hi setting 640x480 approximately 2000 can be stored on the Multipod.
- Lo setting 320x240 approximately 4300 can be stored on the Multipod.
Hi setting 11 kHz will record 55 minutes of audio on one battery charge. Can store 200 minutes.
- Lo setting 8 kHz will record 55 minutes of audio on one battery charge. Can store 200 minutes.
- Focal Length 4.5 mm
- Aperture 2.8 mm
2. Retail package
For our review, Octave provided us with a retail package which includes the
Multipod 5 in1 itself, a Flexible USB cable for connecting to the PC and when
using it as a webcam, a storage pouch, a software CD and lastly, a necklace
The device is very small in dimensions and includes an optical viewer for taking
pictures and videos, two buttons at the back (Mode/Snap), an LCD and a LED (amber/yellow/green/black)
displays. When you remove the cap, the USB1/2.0 connection is revealed. On the
front, we have the lens with focal length of 4.5mm.
Below are the LCM display's various indicators, corresponding to the various
3. Using the device - Page 1
The user has to to install the web camera drivers and application, if they
wish to use the Multipod Video recording functions (either as Web Camera or
convert the captured videos to ASF format).
The internal Lithium-Polymer battery charges when the user attaches the device
to a computer USB port. Octave suggests to charge for a minimum of 2.5 hours
before using for the first time.
Lets now see how to operate each mode:
The above screenshot shows more or less how the Movie Clip capture mode works.
You can view a sample recorded video here
(4.2MB). The recording quality is acceptable, if you consider the device's size
and the limited focal length/aperture.
The recorded videos are in STJ format, you have to install the eDVR Create
software in order to convert them to a playable (ASF) format.
After installing the software, it auto registers the .STJ extension so you
only have to double click on the file and the covert wizard loads and prompts
you where to store the produced ASF file.
4. Using the device - Page 2
Setting it to Hi quality, we took several pictures, mostly with good daylight
and again the image quality was average to acceptable. You can view several
The device produces very bad pictures during night time or with limited light,
so this is something you have to consider.
The Audio recording mode produces .WAV files (sample), with good quality, considering the low sampling rate.
When you connect the Multipod 5 in 1 to the computer USB port, it is automatically
recognized by the system (for Win98 you will have to install the included drivers).
Once connected, we can browse the contents of the Multipod, view stored pictures,
videos and audio clips, and of course with drag & drop, add files or store
them onto the device to transferor to another PC.
5. Using the device - Page 3
Using HD Tach RW, we were able to measure the device's performance in both
Unfortunately, the Multipod 5 in1 doesn't seem to use the USB2.0 full bandwidth
since it reached only 0.5MB/sec reading and 0.4MB/sec writing. The Random Access
time is also high (355.4ms), with very low CPU utilization. However, we also
don't know of any device on the market that does use the USB2 standard for memory
For using the device as a Web Cam, you have first to install the included drivers...
Lastly, the setting to Hi/Lo and formatting the memory drive...
Multipod 5in1 device is a digital camera, web camera, video camera, audio recorder
and 128MB portable storage device. The device's design is very simple and its
very small dimensions make it ideal for all those who want to have a portable
storage device with some neat features included. The retail package includes
all the needed accessories, the USB cable, the drivers and a carrying pouch
for safe transportation.
The device does work according to the specifications and can capture video,
pictures and audio with of course the limitations for such small device. Under
daylight, we found the captured video and pictures to be of acceptable quality,
while under low light and during night, the device produces many artifacts.
There is no special day/night mode, neither marco modes, which means this device
is not exactly for professionals.
A very neat feature of the device is the included rechargeable battery that
charges from the USB cable, so you don't have to look for replaceable AAA batteries.
The price for the device ( MSRP) US$149.99, is rather high especially for a
user who only needs a portable storage device, since at such price you can find
512Mb or even higher memory drives. If you need a portable storage device with
some extra features, like video, photo and audio recording, then you have limited
choices available and Octave's Multipod 5in1 would be a good solution for you.
- The Good
- Can capture Video up to 640x480
- Can capture Pictures up to 640x480
- Can capture voice Audio
- Can be used as a Web Camera
- Acceptable captured video/pictures quality, considering the device's dimensions
- Small dimensions
- Internal Lithium-Polymer battery that charges from the USB port
- Complete retail package with full software
- The Bad
- Poor reading/writing performance, (doesn't use USB2.0 bandwidth)
- Captured Videos and Pictures have many artifacts under low light conditions
- No special modes (macro/zoom) for capturing pictures/video
- Like To Be Fixed
Value For Money