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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Sena Prism Tube

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

            

 
« The RD32 is back....along with a new Metal Bullet Camera (UPDATE - Oh, no it isn't) | Main | Three New Action Cameras to review »
Sunday
Dec252011

Christmas presents... The 808#16 Camera.

I finished editing this video together at 1:30 this morning (Christmas day) - I was more than a bit punchy when I finished, so I can't tell whether it's informative and interesting or self indulgent and annoying, but it's too late to change anything now anyway - so here it is.

If you want to know everything about this mini camera - as mentioned in the video, you really need to get yourself over to the RC Groups Forum and Chuck Lohr's excellent site . On the RC Groups forum You'll even find links to some excellent PDF instructions

Right, I'm off to have some turkey, hope you are all having a good Christmas and you got something you wanted (I'll be playing about with my 3DS after lunch).

29/12/11 UPDATE - Contrary to what I said in the review, it has since been discovered that the Webcam Function does not have sound. This is not the end of the world and I'm confident that no one buys this camera just to use it as a webcam - but I thought you should know.

As far as the FOV goes, yes the older #11 and Jumbo cameras do have a wider Field Of View than the #16- not massively so, but it it there. I tried to do some side by side comparison shots to show you how much there was in it - but unfortunately I've irreversibly managed to mess up the focus on my #16 camera and no amount of fiddling will sharpen it up. I'm going to order another one from eletoponline365, but in the meantime, further testing is postponed.

I bought mine from his seller

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Reader Comments (67)

Merry Christmas, Thanks for posting a review as a Christmas gift to your loyal viewers. Now I feel bad, I didn't get you anything.

Kirk

December 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKirk

Compliments of the season Techmoan, enjoy the turkey !

December 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike

I have read/seen almost of your cameras reviews/videos. Funny and informative. Merry Christmas, eat your well deserved turkey, and thanks!

December 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCalvinH

Thanks for that, I'd only just discovered that they were doing the #16 and wondered when you were going to get to look at it.

But, to sum up what I remember from just watching your video, it has more options than the #11, the lens is not as good and the footage taken inside the shopping centre was not as good but it is now your favourite version?

I've got the Jumbo 808 and while think that it is pretty amazing value for money ( I paid £27.49) what holds me back on updating it is that I completely agree with the comments you made towards the end about the peculiar packaging choices they are making continuing with the 'key fob' idea. The sooner the circuitry is repackaged into a case with a mount that can be fixed (level) on various tubes or flat panels the better.

I don't think it has to be a 'bullet' camera either as I think they can be hard to set so the horizon is not cock-eyed. And if the new shape can design in some shielding from wind nose all the better too.

Thanks for your efforts, I really enjoy watching your little films.

December 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

Thanks for all the positive comments and good wishes.
Just a quick update and request for your input. The manufacturers have sent me a new firmware (I've yet to test this), but it could improve the low light performance. They have also asked me what kind of case I'd suggest they put this camera in. They are only a small operation, so don't have unlimited funds....so can you think of any suitable designs? I'd suggest a metal waterproof torch style case, like the ACT20 camera with different interchangeable screw in lenses (available separately). But i know the people that put this camera in remote controlled planes would prefer the case to be as light and small as possible (probably the shape of a tictac case). So to me that suggests two designs. Do you have any ideas before I write back to them?

December 26, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I'd have thought it is possible to have a light and waterproof 'torch' style case that is also tough enough. Personally, as I indicated above, a totally round 'torch' shape could be difficult to mount level - unless there is a flat base perhaps? And if it has that could they include a tripod mount?

The idea of interchangeable lenses is excellent but probably an expense they could do without if they just made it with a wider field of view. I'd wager that most people would only use it as an ultra-wideangle. Shielding wind noise would be hugely beneficial for those that use it on vehicles too.

But I'd like to to remain 'budget', they don't need to go after the Gopro market!

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

So a small flat waterproof plastic case with a 120 degree wide angle lens sound like a good compromise.

December 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

trouble with waterproof is that the mic will only pick up muffled sound

id forget waterproof - it would add too much cost

just a wide anngle lens with better mounting optioins is all u need to tell them

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermatt

A small case with a 120° wide angle lens, a degree of water resistance, a wind shielded mic and a flexible mounting system would be fantastic for (say) £40.

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

A rectangular case with a small tripod mount. Waterproofing is an excellent idea. Built in PIR (for motion detection) switch you could turn on and off would be fantastic for us trail cam fanatics.

Keep those excellent reviews coming!

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrailCamFan

Personally I think that if you start getting into 'motion sensors' (or even 100% waterproofing) you are going beyond the cheap video device into the realm of specialist kit.

I don't see these things as that. They are cheap video cameras. I'd guess the market is predominantly people who mostly want to stick them on their model planes/bicycles/motorcycles/cars and film images they could not otherwise get. If they can be re-purposed for specific tasks that's fine, but not a reason to set up a mass production line.

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

Seems like #16 version has a smaller FOV?

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDilemma

If you think the market for these cheap cameras is predominately for model planes/bicycles/motorcycles/cars,etc. why not broaden the market with an additional component? Actually I disagree with you as to its purpose. Obviously it is meant for surreptitious video recording otherwise why a key fob camouflage?
I am looking at it from a purely selfish perspective. .People in the trail cam community spent hours trying to adapt cameras like this for our use.
The quality of this device is amazingly good compared to commercial trail cams in the $200-$300 range.
While a feature like this might be tailored for a specific market (believe me, everyone I know would run out to buy a cheap mini trail cam like this with a PIR function) I don't know of anyone who wouldn't enjoy a morion detection option.

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrailCamFan

I, for one, have absolutely no reason to want a motion detection function and I do not want to have to pay for it.

The device may originally be marketed as a 'spy cam' and many may well be used for that! But the vast majority seem to be being strapped to model planes, bicycles, motorcycles and cars and the footage being uploaded to Youtube and the like. The eBay ads for it show it being used as an in-car dash camera not a spy camera!

I think the device would be better developed as a cheap 'adventure' cam, but then I'm not the manufacturer sinking money into it.

Perhaps fabricating the circuit board so that it can more easily be modified would be something worth asking for. My wife (who works in film and television) wondered if it could have a video out so that you see what you are getting when you set it up, but I think that is beyond the remit of a cheap camera like that. But leave it to the hobbyists? Could be a way to go.

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

Another outstanding review from you......
They are great value for money... Adding extra features would only make the price go up....
Two very cheap improvements i feel would be.... Some kind of a clip to make it easier mounting to things.... Plus i feel it is time they came out in different colours or even a transparent one.... or have different covers available....

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

recently i bought the jumbo 808 camera. I wondered if you know: is the firmware of this new #16 camera, usable for the jumbo 808. Because of the configuration, wich is very useful i think. also the flashing light during recording is very useful, But i like the jumbo 808 more because of the size. Its more rectagular.

I hope you will have the answer.

I hope you enjoyed your christmasdays. I enjoyed your review as always!

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrutger

Motion activated would be awesome IMO. This could be added very cheaply and open the market spectrum to all kinds of Spy type camera setups, as well as those interest listed previously. Quality like this is hard if not impossible to come by for the average users at this price. Keep up the wonderful objective informative reviews. Happy Holidays.

December 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOrk

I tried to email you via your page Contact but it wouldn't submit - you are very entertaining. I guess I'll have to read your blogs to find out where one would buy keychain cams, etc., since I can't find in local stores in Canada. Until I stumbled on a pencam in a local flyer, which was sold out, then Googled it, then stumbled on your YouTube review, then your page....I didn't even know such things existed except in spy movies. I lead a sheltered life, lol....Looks like you do reviews on other tech stuff - will you please adopt my elderly father who keeps buying the latest gadgets and then Skyping me to find out what to do with them? I barely know how to use my basic laptop! ha ha

P.S. Hope you had a lovely Christmas between doing reviews pre and post...

December 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlynda

As mentionned by dilemma, it seems that #16 has a narrower angle of view, which is a pity as almost everyone seems interested in getting a wider angle... Maybe the #11 lens would fit on this new camera to improve things a little?

Improvement wise, I think that a single switch operation would ease things for all remote applications (like RC models). Camera beeing off, a single push on the switch would turn on + start the recording. Another push would switch completely off. Then, for those interested in taking snapshots, a 2 switch process would be fine. But how many of us are interested in snapshots?

Then, maybe a 1/4" thread somewhere would be appreciated for mounting the camera?

Thanks for your reviews, looking forward to seeing the next one!

December 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdavid

Hello again. I've emailed Eletoponline with some suggestions about cases and future improvements .and I've also directed them to these comments so they can read them themselves. I agree about the FOV being narrower....it's something I forgot to cover in the video and I can already tell its going to be the one thing I'm goint to get countless comments about over the next year or so. As soon as I get a nice sunny day I'll take my Jumbo 808 and the #16 outside with the latest firmware and I'll try my best to line up some shots identically so that I can compare them properly and I'll append my findings to the end of the blog post. However if you want continued and more technical support for this camera, you'll probably get a quicker and more accurate response from the RC Groups people ....I've moved on to testing some other cameras, but I'll probably return to the #16 when those reviews are complete

December 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Techmoan,
Thanks for your excellent reviews!

I need a piece of advice: for the next motorbike season (that is until march or so) I need to get myself a minicam. From your reviews I can see that the best choice at this very moment is the model Jumbo 808. I also understood that the manufacturer is working on a dedicated helmetcam/actioncam.
In your experience, do you think they will put the new model on the market until march/april? Also, in your experience, if Jumbo 808 is one of the most mature product (with detected and removed software problems) will the new cam suffer from all those "childhood ills" like precedent products?
Thanks in advance for your tech-answer!
Happy new year (review) party!

Best regards,
A.

December 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteradi

@Adi. The 808 #16 is a good camera, the technology is pretty tried and tested by now and any glitches can be eliminated through firmware upgrades.You probably need some kind of water resistance if you are using a mini camera as a bike cam though, so I'd suggest waiting for something a bit more suitable for your needs

December 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

1) missed if it has webcam capabilities (this could be useful once mounted on in order to check field-of-view...for same reason, analog out? maybe too much).
2) wider angle lens
3) waterproof capabilities (maybe on a plastic case, thus saving weight for plane modellers)
4) standard camera screw mount

December 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMattOne

Thanks a lot for your quick (and boring :) )answer. Although I'm not interested in riding my bike on rainy weather, indeed I'm not in a hurry now, so I will listen to your precious advice and I will wait for a dedicated helmetcam and, of course, for your (not-at-all-boring) review.
Thanks again !

Best regards!
A.

December 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteradi

Great review...as usual...when you gonna do the the other 3 cams you have to review?....waiting to buy a suitable camera to attach to a helmet to capture climbing footage as was hoping that one of those may fit the bill...maybe I'm a spanner and have missed it?
Cheers Murd

December 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMurd

A friend successfully launches the model 11 camera strapped to in his model rockets and suggested i might want to use it while racing. i currently use a couple of GoPro's to capture the view out the front windshield and in car video (if you search on YouTube under Spec Miata racing you can find lots of us using them). I've always wanted a cheap camera that I can mount on the front and back bumpers that I wouldn't mind losing and this appears to fit my need, so I ordered one to try out.

If this is as good as it appears I'll order a few more and I'm sure there will be others in the racing community that will follow.

R1chy

December 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterR1chy

I'm so glad I found this place. I just haven't got the logical mindset to fathom out how to make technical things work so it's so nice to have somewhere like here to come to for sometimes, complicated advice but that advice delivered in plain, non techno speak language.

A very happy new year to you and your family. You're so generous sharing your know how for nothing. Your enthusiasm shines through in every review you write - hate to say it in case it puts ideas in your head but you deserve a little recompense for all the hard work you put in regarding your reports on these gadgets.

Just one gripe: pleease! DON'T allow the 'are these things for perverts?' Brigade to intimidate you. I absolutely love the fact that where ever I go I now have access to a tiny recording device that can do everything an expensive 'small' sized camera can do - but without the hassle (even the most 'lightweight' devices get to be a pain after a few hours).

These terrific cameras are only sinister when used inappropriately. I ALWAYS let everyone know I'm filming. However, what a great little device for a girl out on her own - can you imagine the evidence that could be gathered? For example, a rape case involving a taxi ride home? Teach girls how to use one of these cameras and drum it into them to practice/learn how to turn it on instinctively in potentially dangerous situations.

The only 'perverts' seem to be those twisted individuals who apparently actively look for evidence of potential perversion -funny how they seem to find it under every stone they turn.....

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiss J Brodie

I stumbled across your reviews and they have been very helpful. I have ordered an 808 camera to play with. I have been on a hunt to find a camera I can record underwater fishing. I noticed the case ideas you had posted in comments and wanted to add my own.
What I have been looking for and playing with trying to build:
- waterproof case
- IR LEDs
- bullet style case (or streamline for water resistance, trolling through water)
- a small tube down the top of the case (run a line through, no sharp edges)
- simple operation
- fairly cheap (on a budget and don't want to worry about losing it)
- a removable and rechargable battery would be nice to allow replacing the battery and sd card and start recording again, but if cheap would just have multiples anyhow.
I would think there would be a fairly large market of fishermen that would be interested.

January 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterno1spec

Here's my contribution to the case design suggestions. Neither one of
these is really anything new but the features I'd be interested in are
casing that would be easier to mount on things and a shape that would
allow easier attachment of third party lenses.

Personally, I like torch or pure rectangular the best.

I also really like the text file based configuration as it does not
involve anything extra on my computer.

January 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTuomas

Hi,
I bought 808 jumbo version and it was smaller than I tought. So for me, jumbo is not so jumboish :)
Hopefully we get similar firmware update for jumbo too...I would like to have option to:
- recycle operation (when full, rewrite oldest clip)
- when power is connected to usb, start recording automatically (with charging cable)
- change different configuration options in text file like this new #16 camera has (i linke options to select save-stop-start clip length)

I think these should be possible in firmware update (no need to change schematic)?
Then it would be real car camera :) Set and forget if you want.

Meelis

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeelis

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