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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

 

 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam
Yi

Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Drift Ghost X

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 RD32II 1080p .h264 Sport Cam | Main | Christmas presents... The 808#16 Camera. »
Saturday
Dec312011

The RD32 is back....along with a new Metal Bullet Camera (UPDATE - Oh, no it isn't)

It's New Years Eve and rather than being at a party, I'm posting my last video of the year (and there's nothing that I'd rather be doing). 

The subjects of this review are two of the three cameras Redleaf sent to me earlier in December. I suspect that they were beginning to think that I'd run off with them because these reviews did take a bit longer than I anticipated. My excuse is that I was waiting for some decent weather - and it's hardly stopped raining since they turned up. That and the fact that the 808#16 also turned up in the post one day before these, resulted in December 2011 being a very busy month for me.

The RD32 may be familiar to you from my earlier review, although this is an updated version, however the bullet camera is totally new to me. Both cameras unfortunately use the mjpeg video format, which in the past for me has resulted in dropped frames/jerky video and massive files sizes. You may recall from one of my earlier videos that I vowed never to buy another mjpeg camera....and I've stuck to that promise, but when someone sends two of them to you in a box from China, it would be rude not to give them a thorough test. Maybe these cameras will prove that mjpeg can produce good results after all.

The length of this video is rather ridiculous - you could watch an episode of the Simpsons in the time it takes to watch this, so perhaps I bit off a bit too much trying to review two cameras in the one video. 

I hope Redleaf don't mind, but It's going to take me another couple of weeks before I get the third of their camera reviews out. I really want to take the time with their 1080p .h264 camera to get some sample clips under optimum (sunny?) conditions so I can really do it justice.

So let me wish you a Happy New Year with a happy new video.

UPDATE 01/01/2012

In the video I mentioned that I would test out the battery life of the RD32 camera with the LED torch turned on. Well I've done that today and the results are quite impressive, the battery lasted 2.5 hours with all the LEDs turned and the camera recording. I still think that this camera would be an ideal road-rage evidence camera for cycle commuters....if only it could loop the video.

UPDATE 06/01/2012

 

BANNED!

 

I've been contacted by another HK company who advises that the RD36 Bullet Camera I reviewed is a patent infringement for one of their products and they've asked me (rather forcefully) to remove my video review. I have no personal stake in this dispute, although I am royally hacked off that I spent all those hours making a video, only to have to delete it a week later. I really don't have the time or inclination to get into the middle of a legal battle between two Chinese companies - and even though I don't think that legally I have to delete the video I have done so as a sign of goodwill. There are some things worth taking a stand on, then there are others that it's best just to let go. I really don't appreaciate the heavy handed manner in which the request was made, but I do understand that if I made a product that I believed someone else had copied, I wouldn't appreciate seeing publicity for that other product. That being said, my review of the camera wasn't exactly glowing, but I suppose even that could reflect on the original product. For example, if everyone wearing fake UGG boots was complaining that they fell apart and leaked then that would probably have a knock on effect the sales of the original UGGs. 

I can summarise the contents of my review here though - both the cameras I tested suffered from jerky video caused by the mjpeg video format used and I couldn't really recommend either one. The RD32 doesn't have purple video any more, if you get the right one (the one without the IR night vision and 20m rather than 30m water resistance). I may try to re-edit the video with just the RD32 part in it, but at the moment I'm concentrating on the next camera review (lets hope there aren't any problems with that one).

UPDATE - The video is back (minus the comparison with the Bullet camera). This makes the video pretty pointless now.

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Reader Comments (44)

You said that "I still think that this camera would be an ideal road-rage evidence camera for cycle commuters....if only it could loop the video."

From the vid I gather that it will loop in motion detect security mode. So why not use it in this mode while riding a bike, then it would work continously as it would detect motion and also loop.

January 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

You may notice that this video review has been deleted. For full details, see the bottom of the blog post. It's a funny old world.

January 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Ah! The trials and tribulations of free stuff! And I'd wondered why the 'banned' bullet cam was impossible to find on the bay of E.

January 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

Sorry you had to remove the vid. I understand it's a lot of work, but I think you did the right think.

Let's wait for the 1080 bullet camera.

January 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCalvinH

Im sorry, too. It was (like it always is) a very good review and Im sure it took quite a lot of time and effort to make it. Anyway - youre right in thinking that it sometimes is just not worth taking a stand on things like this - eventhough I totally agree that the company has no legal grounds for demanding the removal of the review. Asking for it? Maybe. Demanding it? No way.

Eventhough I am of chinese descent I think its really paradox that chinese companies complain about copyright infringements :)
Well - lets just hope that their product is better than the "knock off". Otherwise it would be quite embarrassing...

January 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwillydilly

Thanks for the understanding chaps - my big concern is that this could happen again in the future. I can't determine who owns the rights to manufacture every product I buy - for all I know the Crocolis Extreme camera may be a copy of something else. Making these reviews is just something I do in my spare time (that's why each video takes so long for me to complete). If it starts to become a burden then I'll just find something else to occupy my time (I've got a stack of unwatched films and unplayed games that will see me through to retirement).

January 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Well, the way I look at it is if you have paid for something it is yours to do with whatever you like. Make as many videos as you like about it. If the company doesn't like it, tough.

Given the rather vague availability of that (now removed) bullet camera anyway I wonder if that it is not wise to only test things you can actually buy, from ebay or wherever? Mind you with the cost of these effectively unbranded 1080p cameras being in the £150 mark, you have to wonder if they are worth bothering with. You could go to a shop and buy equivalents covered by the sale of goods act for not much more.

I entirely agree with willydilly and the predilection of many companies in China to copy for their own benefit is pretty widespread and the moral of threatening a third party because of their own internal arguments is a bit ripe.

Stick at it Techmoan, you make some of the best 'Gadget' reviews on the net - don't give up!

January 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

What a pity. I put off watching your video until today and found you had it pulled. Perhaps you could keep it as an unlisted Youtube video, but still available.

It does seem to be a constant thing with these Chinese products, trying to determine what is an original, and what may be a copy.
I was browsing a website for the RD32 and a chat dialogue came up to discuss, (I was only looking), but they said there were many copies.

With the Aldi Tevion Action Cam (RD32) I was getting very noticeable repeated frames i.e. 5 & 10 repeated in a row, with the supplied 2GB card. I purchased a 32GB Class10 Lexar, and I wasn't getting the noticeable repeats, but in Virtual Dub I found there was still doubles almost every 5 frames. Resolution is not great, picture is grainy, and only sharp focus in the middle with soft edges.

I think I will return mine tomorrow, and order a 808 #16. If I want something more in the future I may go for a Crocolis HD Extreme. The Hero cam has some great footage, but I don't think my fooling around justifies the price.

January 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMainsail

Sorry, forgot to mention that I appreciate the effort and professionalism you put into your productions.

Hope to see more in the future. Any suggestions of software (Windows/LINUX) to use in editing videos?

January 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMainsail

It seems the company which threatened is still trying to organize a distribution network. I wonder if THEY are the copiers? (The vids around the harbor bridge are nice though.)

January 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob

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