Customer Reviews for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder

This product is no longer available. Continue shopping at Costco.

Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder

The Swann PenCam DVR Mini Video Camera & Recorder is living proof the pen is mightier than the sword! The stylish-looking casing with metallic gold trim and pocket clip holds an executive-quality black ballpoint pen with hidden talents, as it contains a pinhole video camera so small you almost can’t see that it’s there. Use the PenCam to shoot AVI video files at 640 x 480 pixel resolution or JPEG still images at 1280 x 1024 photo resolution, all at the push of a button. PenCam’s intelligent design includes 2GB of built-in internal memory that can store over an hour of video footage. Viewing or copying recorded files is easy, just unscrew the top of the pen to reveal a USB plug that can connect straight into your computer’s USB port. No special cables, no adapters, no drivers, no worries! Transferring files is easy as the PenCam can be used as an everyday USB thumb drive, able to store a myriad of file formats without fuss. PenCam’s 2GB capacity avoids the trappings of 4GB and 8GB models by providing the optimal mix of recording capacity, battery life, and operating speed. What’s more, you can use the USB port to recharge the pen’s lithium-ion battery to give up to 90 minutes of video recording time before needing recharging again. PenCam is fully compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7 and, once recorded, files can be played back on all the popular video playing software formats including Windows Media Player, Quick Time, Real Player, VLC, WinDVD and PowerDVD. Once you have backed-up your video and photo files you can email them to friends or upload them to your favorite content sharing or social networking websites including YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and more. Swann’s PenCam DVR Mini Video Camera & Recorder is perfect for sales people, lawyers, law enforcement, mystery shopping, covert surveillance, family get-togethers, parties, spy games, home movie making, internet fun and more. The pack includes 3 black ballpoint ink refills and everything you need to get started at the push of a button. Beware of cheap alternatives! Swann has been manufacturing pen cameras and covert video surveillance products for over 10 years. For quality and reliability choose a PenCam DVR Mini Video Camera & Recorder from Swann. It’s the perfect business person’s accessory or a cool gift idea! Video: Video Format: AVI   Resolution: 640 x 480   Video Bit Rate: 450KB per second   Video File Size: >500KB per minute Photos: Photo Format: JPEG   Resolution: 1280 x 1024   Image File Size: 150 KB (approximately) Recording: Recording Mode: Manual Recording & Continuous   Total Storage Time: Over 1 hour General: Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista & Windows 7   Internal Memory: 2GB   Backup Type: USB   Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-ion   Charging: USB via computer   Battery Charging Time: Approximately 90 minutes   Dimensions: 5.9” x 0.6” x 0.6”   Weight: 1oz Pack Contents: PenCam DVR   Pen Ink Refills (black) x 3   USB Cable   Operating Instructions Model:SWA361-PC2
Average Customer Rating:
3.274 out of 5
3.3
 out of 
5
(95 Reviews) 95
(out of 95 reviews)
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (95 reviews)
5 stars
33
4 stars
24
3 stars
4
2 stars
4
1 star
30
60 of 95(63%)customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Review 1 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:ny
Date:April 23, 2013

Lack of company support

Pros: writes nicely
Cons: playback doesn't work on all computerssound is, poor.
Model Number: sw234-p-c2
"Product worked intermittently between different computers. It takes MONTHS for company to respond with email responses. Always saying their sorry but they are very busy. Sound quality is very poor! Save your money!"
Review 2 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Date:February 12, 2013

Cool 007-ish gadget

Pros: perfectly concealed - nobody even notices, great for proof of "he said/she said" conflicts
Cons: clip breaks off too easily, audio is rather weak and scratchy
Model Number: SWA361-PC2
"This is a great pen! I love the 007-ish feel and it's concealed very nicely. Nobody even noticed that it was more than a pen when I was walking around with it in my shirt pocket.
The only downsides are that the clip could be more sturdy - it broke off too easily (plastic) - and the sound quality is mediocre, at best. I replaced the clip with a metal one that clips around the pen and it works even better than the original. The sound level has to be much more than a whisper in order for it to pick up. Even so, for the price, I'm very happy with it.
"
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 3 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Location:California
Date:January 30, 2013

Video pen

Model Number: Swann pencam
"This is a gadget that allows you to take either video or still picures. The set-up is fairly easy and the quality of the video is good."
Review 4 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Location:Miami, FL
Date:January 16, 2013

Video and Camera are OK but no sound.

"My pen took decent video and pictures, but there was absolultely no sound. Called tech support and they said that it should have sound. However, the manual does not mention sound at all. So I'm not sure if the pen was deffective or not. I returned it back to the store. Waste of my time."
Review 5 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Date:December 6, 2012

Worst Purchase from Costco.com

Model Number: SWA361-PC2
"I bought this product for my husband. When it came, he was very excited to try it out. He charged it for an hour and tried taking videos and pictures. Unfortunately, it was not working. Clearly, we got a defective product. It could not take videos or pictures. In the end, you really get what you paid for. Thanks to Costco's wonderful return policy, I was able to return the defective product for a full refund. When I buy something from Costco or Costco.com, I have very high expectations for the product. I expect it to be of high quality and subjected to the highest quality-control standards. This one item is a big disappointment."
Review 6 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Sacramento, CA
Date:October 26, 2012

Totally the most fun purchase

Pros: the quality is more than i expected
Model Number: SW234-PC2
"I wasn't too sure about this purchase especially for the price. So I took it out of the box FOLLOWED the directions and voila this PenCam works like a champ, and pictures are clear as a bell, and I haven't even used the video yet. I not only purchased this for myself, but after playing with it bought 4 more for my friends. I rate it a 10"
Review 7 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Location:Portland, Oregon
Date:September 3, 2012

Works, but clip broke off first day

Pros: good video, good audio
Cons: clip broke first day, hard to aim camera, led could give you away when recording
"Works like a charm, but the clip fell off the first day. Put clip back in, and is now being held on to pen by rubber band. That isn't enough for me to return it to Costco.
For those that are recording without someone knowing, the LED at the back of the pen could give you away - you may consider covering it when recording.
The first time I tried recording my dog playing with a neighbor's dog, I found out I was not pointing the camera in the right area - I got the sounds, but was pointing it to the left of the playing dogs.
Remember that it might not be legal to record people without their knowledge, and it could probably get you in big trouble at work if you are recording without others knowing, especially since it is also recording sound with the video."
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 8 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Location:San Jose, CA
Date:July 27, 2012

Pretty good camera pen

Model Number: Swann DVR-421
"Pretty good camera pen! Easy to use. Works as stated. Arrived quickly and in excellent condition."
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 9 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Location:Northern California
Date:July 24, 2012

Decent Mini Video Cam

Model Number: DVR-421
"Both compact and functional. The video quality is decent but blurs a bit when you move the pen quickly. Audio is marginal but I wasn't expecting it to have any audio. The USB connection is easy and it charges while in your PC. Overall you can't really beat it for under $30."
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 10 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Orlando, FL
Date:May 12, 2012

Nice Cam Pen

Pros: easy to carry
Cons: none
Model Number: SW234-PC2
"It works very good so far. I just opened, charged and used it. It is working fine."
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Review 11 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Fort Myers, FL
Date:May 11, 2012

Great Video Great price.

Pros: over all very good value, very hard for people to know your using., 3 ink refills included
Cons: could be a hr issue so be careful at work using it
Model Number: DVR-421
"Not only was this a great deal and Costco got it shipped to me right away, but takes great video with audio. If that wasn't enough it actually writes nice."
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 12 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:San Francisco, Ca
Date:April 26, 2012

swanndvr-421pencam

Pros: cheap price
Cons: you has to be careful laying down
"im happy with the purchase of the swann dvr pencam, and at costco was very low price"
Review 13 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:April 24, 2012

Surprisingly Good Deal

Pros: cost/value, good video
Cons: audio quality/mic placement, .avi video files are huge, delay at beginning of recording
Model Number: 2GB Pen Cam
"I was in the market for a covert video recorder for use in a law enforcement capacity. When I saw this item, I thought I'd give it a shot based on how inexpensive it was and the ability to return it if I wasn't satisfied. After a month of use, I'm keeping it.
I'll address the drawbacks, as there are a few worth noting. But even so, I still give it a 5, because at this cost, I'm not gonna be too picky. Nothing even remotely close to this functionality comes in less than $200 from what I've seen.
The video files (I only use it for video) are huge (.avi format) about 25MB/minute. So at that rate, you're only gonna fit 80 minutes of video on the 2GB stick. The files transfer pretty quick, and I find it easy to transfer them on the fly during my shift onto my car's computer (Win XP). Works on our home Mac and Win7 laptop with no hiccups.
There is a delay when you start it up (it automatically shuts off if left in standby over a minute- which is nice), and another delay when you press record. So it's almost always off when I start a new recording. I have to hold the button 3 seconds to turn it on, wait 5 seconds, then press the button once to start recording. I've found that once you press the button to record, there still is about a 3-5 second delay before it actually starts recording. When you press the button again, it stops immediately and goes into standby for a minute or so, then off.
The video is decent, the audio is mediocre and "boomy," especially with any background or traffic noise. But it's understandable, and fine if you have a quiet setting.
The size of the pen is pretty fat, and it barely fits in my little pen pocket (which will easily hold a Cross pen and pencil side by side), and it sticks out a little higher than normal, but nobody (coworkers included) has made any comments about my gigantic pen... Using it at night, the blue LED throws some light onto your shirt, behind the pen, but it isn't visible from straight on. There is also a time/date stamp which has to be set from the computer and can't be removed from the recording.
Overall, I'm pleased with the product and have purchased another one as a backup in the event this one bites the dust. Just remember... you're not spending a whole bunch of money here, so don't have unrealistic expectations."
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Review 14 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Location:Los Angeles
Date:April 21, 2012

would recommend once I know how to use

"I haven't been able to use it, cannot read the cd because is too little and my computer doesn't hold it"
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 15 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:WPB, FL
Date:April 20, 2012

Swann PenCam Mini

"Quality products from Swann.
The PenCam works great. Swann's RC helicopter performs very well. Sent the Helo to my nephew for his enjoyment as well.
Costco, Keep up the good works w/quality products.
"
Review 16 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:ATLANTA GA
Date:April 20, 2012

Video camera

Pros: high-quality captioning
Cons: 2 gb memory
Model Number: SWAN DVR 421
"The SWAN PEN CAM is the excellent camera with the integrated pen. The camera has a small compact sophisticated shape as a pen, which let you make the video-clip of the important events of your life at its busiest moment."
Review 17 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Springfield, MA
Date:April 15, 2012

Very happy!!!

Model Number: sw234-pc2
"I read all the opinions of the PenCam and decided it looked like fun and the price was right so I took the plunge. It came already charged and I used it right away. Very suprizing pictures and clear movies with sound!!! Love it! It's very easy to download to my laptop and charges quickly. No one's noticed the little light, the 2GB on the front of the pen is a sticker and peels off easily, and the sound can be controlled quite easily by not getting chest to chest with anyone. For the price it's a great buy and a lot of fun! I've even settled an arguement with it ! I've had it for over a month with no problems, just fun, and a pen to boot!"
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 18 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:Surrey, Canada
Date:April 3, 2012

Unsatisfied

Cons: very low frame rate
Model Number: Swann DVR-421 PenCam Mini Video Camera & Recorder
"I purchased this product hoping that it is easy to carry instead of regular video camera. I tried it in day light and indoor. I found frame rate too slow. Video is not smooth. I start feeling head ache after watching for a few minutes. It is like you watch video surveillance replay. May be a little better than that."
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 19 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:Massanutten, Virginia
Date:April 1, 2012

You get what you pay for

"The pencam is not compatible with the Mac OS. This makes the pen useless."
3 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Review 20 for Swann Video Camera Pen and Recorder
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:Albuquerque, New Mexico
Date:March 30, 2012

This Product Stinks

Pros: cheap
Cons: stinks
Model Number: SW234-PC2
"I ordered the Swann DVR-421 on line. When it arrived I read the instructions and plugged it into my computer to charge. The included DVD would not load on my computer and the next day when it should have been charged, it did nothing. I tried several times to get it to work including the reset process...nothing. There was nothing in the instructions or on line to help me get it to work."
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 2 3 4 5 next>>