The Gadget: The Uncle Milton Pet's Eye View cam is a low-res interval-timed camera designed to clip to the collar of a dog or cat, under the assumption your pet's life has some vaguely interesting non-eating/sleeping/pooing component.
The Price: $40
The Verdict: It's only as good as your pet's social life, but I actually recommend it for outdoor critters and social city beasts.
As a fan of National Geographic's Crittercam, I was excited when Uncle Milton sent over the pet's eye view camera. NG of course attached their cameras to penguins, whales and lions; attaching this product to our domestic lion, Wade Bob Rothman, wouldn't be the same thing for many reasons:
• It's a still cam—no video—so the footage is limited.
• Though it seems to have pretty high ISO, the camera's no good when there's no light. No IR or specialized low-light mode here.
• The box boasts that memory stores "over 40 photos," not enough for any self-respecting nature documentary.
• Though Wade is the butchier of our two felines, and put up with the device well enough—his sister Wynona would not have tolerated it—the thing really is sized wrong for cats, best for medium to large dogs.
• As a home-bound, neutered male, Wade is the opposite of adventurous, and his personal snapshots reflect this.
The camera has two buttons, a red/green LED and a two-digit LCD indicator on the back. When I had charged up the camera via USB port, I set the camera to take a picture every 5 minutes. (I could have also chosen 1 minute and 15 minutes.) I clipped it to Wade's collar, loosening it only a tad. He had one spell where he really tried to get it off, then suddenly was cool with it, and wore it for several hours without any problems.
The results—of which I have uploaded only the most exciting excerpts—were underwhelming:
What I learned in this brief review, however, is that a) the pet didn't seem to mind the thing nearly as much as I would have thought, and b) if he was more active, and prone to prowling around the neighborhood, it might be fun. Again, it might be too big to put on a cat who's used to shimmying up fences, rooting around garbage pails and slashing other cats with a vengeance, but I actually think this would be very cool for dogs. Besides, as a lightweight automatic timelapse novelty camera, it has other uses, like say, when you're setting up a gallery designed to bring joy to readers, New Yorkers and tots who otherwise might not get toys for Christmas. Sure is cheaper than a D700! [Uncle Milton]