CamBall Launches Golf Ball-Sized Video Camera

CamBall has introduced what it claims is the world's smallest personal video recorder. It is the size, and shape, of a golf ball. That means it can be hidden under the palm of a typical adult.

The device records in 320 x 240 resolution at 25 fps and the company offers three add-on packs to outfit it for specific uses: spying, sports and -- for some mind boggling reason -- driving. The basic unit, the CamBall SG-30, costs about $150 while the SG-31 is $200, and includes motion-activation -- a good idea for spying, as the battery will be tapped out in about 2.5 hours of continual recording, but will last up to 12 hours on power-saving mode.

The device is equipped with a built-in microphone, 128MB built-in memory, a SD memory card slot for additional storage (up to 16GB) and includes a 2GB SD card to start you off. It also includes a built-in MP3 player, stereo headphones and USB cords for charging and simultaneous recording/charging.

For an additional $40 you can buy one of three accessory packs. The CamBall Surveillance Pack which consists of a clear mount, an extra USB Cable and a USB power adapter, all easily concealed. The power adapter also solves the battery problem and lets the CamBall film continuously for as long as you need to spy on that nanny, drawing power from an electrical outlet. The Sports Pack includes a handlebar mount for your bike and -- even better -- a waterproof case so you can take it swimming or scuba diving.

Then there's the Vehicle Pack option, which really baffled me at first. It lets you mount the camera in the car and film whatever you want -- yourself Top Gear-style (scary thought, huh?) or the road itself. But do you really want to see yourself on Day 3 of that let's-drive-to-Vegas-sounded-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time-(which-was-2-a.m.) road trip? I suppose this pack is useful for when you want to use the MP3 player in the car and don't want the ball shaped thing-y rolling all over the passenger seat. The Pack includes a mount, a cigarette lighter charger and a car adapter cable.

CamBall's "world's smallest" claims got me wondering. The company didn't reveal the recorder's specific dimensions, except to compare it to a golf ball. Golf balls are 1.680 inches or 42.67 millimeters. So is the CamBall really smaller than the MicroCam Button Spy Camera? The button cam measures 73mm x 20mm x 11mm. Ok, sorta yes. Score that one to CamBall.

Can it possibly be smaller than the MP9 pen camcorder? The Pen cam is the size of a rather large, fat pen at 150 x 15.6mm. I'd say that's a push compared to a golf ball -- the pen cam is skinnier for sure, but longer.

So world's-smallest? I guess I need to ask Q.