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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%! 

            

 
« HD808 #11 The Story So Far | Main | A look at the Mira Ball Message Display Globe »
Saturday
Apr162011

"The Smallest 720p Camcorder in the world"

After being impressed with the 720p HD 808 #11 camera I decided to see if I could find another mini 720p camera, but one that wasn't designed as a covert spy camera. It's still early days for mini HD cameras and the choices are limited but I found a few Chinese eBayers selling a camera called the Y3000. I thought this camera would be an interesting one to compare with the HD808 because the 808 records its video in the .mov format whereas the Y3000 records as .avi. This meant that the cameras were definitely different internally from one another.

The design of the Y3000 is clearly a copy of the Chobi Cam One Camera, albeit with a number of improvements, the most notable of which is HD rather than VGA recording. I was interested to find out if the lens on the Y3000 could be swapped with one of the optional Wide Angle or Fisheye lenses designed for the original Chobi One.

When the specs are compared against the HD808, the most notable difference is that the Y3000 features cycled recording. This means that the camera splits its recordings into short file segments, in this case 3 minutes, and then re-records over the oldest file whenever the memory card is full. Depending on your requirements this could be either an essential or an undesirable feature.

[EDIT] - Now available from Dealextreme - Product Link Here for approx £27

or eBay here -

I suppose most people just want to know if this is a better camera than the HD808. Well it's a little bit less clear cut than that, so I'll try and present the case for both cameras and let you make your own mind up.

My video review is below.

I've got a gallery of re-sized pictures taken with the camera HERE

Below are a few thumbnails of these pictures which link to FULL SIZE unmodified originals.

 

HOW TO CHANGE OR DELETE THE TIME STAMP (info provided by Bob in the comments - thanks Bob)

To set the time and date of the Y3000 you have to put a text file in the root of the SD card. The name of the file must be TIME.txt.

The content of the file is a string of text like this:

2011.11.25 08.12.00 Y

This means "set the current time and date to 25th November, 2011, 8:12am, and ("Yes" ) show the date".

If you were to put instead

2011.11.25 08.12.00 N

This means "set the current time and date to 25th November, 2011, 8:12am, and ("No" ) don't show the date".

So, open notepad, write the string, save to the root of the SD card as "TIME.txt". Put the SD card in the Y3000 and power on the Y3000. That's it.

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Reader Comments (66)

thanks for the reply so quick. thats a shame :( i really think its cool but would of been better with continuous recording it think. but what do we expect from something a few cm in size.

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermike

Mike....There is about a half second gap between video files of the Y3000 but the battery really sucks. You'll be better off getting another USB cable for continuous power as Techmoan suggest.

The G200 will record while charging and you can zoom in to better frame your subject. These files are 30 minutes in length (AVI format) but will not cycle once the card is full. There is also a 3 second gap between recorded video files.

I'm also testing the U8 Family thumb drive camera to see if it will cycle once the SD card is full. These files are also 30 minutes in length and the gap is 1 second between video files. I'll also find out if it will record while charging and post another comment in a day or so.

If your transfer rate is slow between the SD adapter and laptop, try using a different adapter if you have a spare. A 1GB file should transfer in about a minute or less. Hope this helps.

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Hi!
I wanted to ask what will happened to the files over which it records after the memory is full. For example i am recording for security pupose in an in door situation for 40 min. After making 3 min video files it will start recordig over the first file. What will happened to the first file?? Is it posible to get it back??

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDilzar

Hi!

Congratulations for your great videos! Nice job!
I'd like to buying a high quality camera and I need your experience. What do you think what is the best camera which depend on quality/recording time/functions/size/price?
I'd like using it with high quality recording with sharp videos and high standby mode(or charging possibility during recording).

Ty for your answer, and Best Regards!

David

April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Hi there. I've bought this camera last month, I want to place it in my car. The problem is that I can not manage to get it recording while it's connected to USB.
I ripped the cable and feed it with only 5V, but it stops recording as soon as it detects voltage. I found that some cameras/MP3 players need to have the Data + and Data - shorted to get the device record or play music and charge at the same time but no luck. Does some one get it working this way? Thanks in advance.

Ignacio

May 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIgnacio Morandin

i was also thinking of using this as a car dash cam as it is so small. but it doesnt appear to have the trigger recording on 12v detect that car dash cams have. shame really, as this wouldnt have cost the manufacturer a lot to add & would have made these tiny cameras perfect for on dashboard cams.

If this interests you search on ebay for the item HD 720P Smallest In Car Dash Camera .this looks small & claims it has the auto power feature. may I suggest this one for a future techmoan review?
thx

May 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbw

@bw. I got that camera in last week. It's one to avoid. Quick review in a couple of weeks.

May 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

First of all, love the videos & your awesomely dry sense of humour; never ceases to crack me up!

As stated in the review, the camera seems perfect to mount on a bike as a journey/incident logger. I would stick it in a jobby box - waterproofed ofcourse, stick it on my bike - wired into the ignition, so it turns on and begins recording immediately when bike's started, and forget about it! Ideal IF it saves the video when the power is cut! I remember the 808 had a firmware upgrade to resolve this, and I don't know if it's a running theme throughout, but will this camera save the recording when turned off during operation? I hope so, that way I can get one and get stuck in!

Cheers.

May 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack

thanks for the tip techmoan about the smallest dash cam.
after seeing one of your reviews i have a smartcam HD & am happy with it . now i am looking for another cam for another car. i was thinking of something as small as the y3000, but which auto records on detecting 12v & saves the video on loosing 12v.

May 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbw

hey every1, i got one of those just delivered this mornin, very choppy with my phone's class 4 sd, so went to the nearest shop and got a proper class 10... works liek a charm! to any1 asking class 10 is the answer to the frames... the time problem remains, sience the .txt file doesn't do anything for mine... it's still in 2007 and can't get it off

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElChi

Anyone figure out the proper cable to get this camera to record and charge at the same time? Thanks! :)

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

yes! i would definitely want to see a review for "HD 720P Smallest In Car Dash Camera" as mentioned .

and yes..great reviews. i watched 2 of your camcorder reviews already! looking for something small to use as a dash cam.

July 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentereugene188

The battery is very bad, dosent last long.
I ordered a 500mA battery (for a helicopter) took the back off the camera that contains the battery and soldered the now bigger battery on. I glued the battery to the back and it now works as the back,, not much bigger than the original back about 7-8mm wider but not taller..

I can now record for 2 hours and 45 minuts,, pretty good I think.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjano

Beautiful review :) Thank You and keep up the good job.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTenisd

Hi,

Great video!
Isn't the reset button on the left next to the operation button?

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaniël

Some sellers have a slightly different pictures of the camera - e.g. instead of 2.0, they have 8.0MEGAPIXELS written on their lens. Do you think its the same product and quality (they are sold as y3000).

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteryikes

To follow up my own question - seller stated it's the same product. Will see after few weeks.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteryikes

I just receive a camera (it says 2mpx on the lens). Very neat,little camera with easy operation and great HD for it's size. i also have a mobile camera wide angle-macro lens, so i put it on that mini camera nd FOV is much wider now (though you have to mount it carefully because decentering affects video with blurred corner or so. Did not test a battery but so far I am pretty happy and I paid 15 pounds for it (eBay).

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

Oh, I am stupid, it says 8mpx, don't know why I wrote 2 mpx. And it actually takes 8mpx resolution pictures, however it seems they are just many time enlarged VGA resolution pictures. Also, i noticed that my camera may have some decentered lens or something like that, because the corners are a bit blurry and the center part is sharp (on Techmoan video camera is sharp form corner to corner). The battery lasts for 40 minutes. At night it looks like camera can't push ISO a lot, so it gets dark video, however there are still some fine detail left on bright areas (probably due to high sharpening application). Also, despite it's not very sensitive in the dark the camera still keeps counted FPS (for example my HTC Desire HD drops FPS considerably and is lagging).

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

Hi, here is some update. I tried to do some tests and I found that camera Field of view is something between 40-45mm (in 35mm equivalent) so not too wide if you ask me (for the camcorder). Also there is only one ISO setting and it is ISO 100, does not matter whether you take images in low light or daylight. I own a Pentax DSLR camera and I found that both cameras use the same MINI USB so I tried to connect Pentax cable to Y3000 while it was recording video and it continued to record. The cable code name is I-USB7, you can eBay it, it costs something around 3 pounds and they are longer than Y3000 native cable so you can have guaranteed maintenance cable just for 3 pounds or so. For the moment, thanks for reading :)

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

To remove the time stamp i had to name the textfile "TIME" instead of "TIME.txt". I putted the file in every folder to be sure ;-) For me it worked, if it was just placed in the "_REC" folder, the same place where the "100MEDIA" folder is.

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

A little update: the camera broke down. The usb connector just loosened and needs to be soldered.

May 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

Hi, I have just watched your review for this camera and wanted to but one for myself. However, I am having some difficulty. I have found the Y3000 on ebay but I am also getting quite a few results for the Y2000. From what I've seen the specs on both cameras are the same and they have the same look. Do you know if these are the same camera just posted under name?

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWyatt

It's over two and a half years ago since I reviewed this camera. I'd really recommend you look at something a bit more modern...like the 1080p Mobius camera. If your heart is set on a Y3000, unfortunately I'm not sure what's going on with them any more. Sorry.

December 17, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Se le puede colocar el ojo de pez de la chobi cam one a la Y3000 ?

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFacu17

Hello,
I recently bought this camera and all i got was green blocks on the screen.
How can I het this away?

March 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterViktor

Hi MATT

Thanks a lot for all your reviews...and all this time n money spent to help us out.....After searching 5 days for a embarced cam (excuse my English, I am French) for my Moto.....from a 200 Euros limit to the cheapest ones around (with your help n that of others) searching for a decent Moto Cam...I finally decided not to take a GO PRO (LoL) but instead have fun with a Y3000 at only 17 euros (to you to make the conversion in Pounds now Matt... heheheheeee)......a Y3000 (I don't know) that will do almost the same job....and that will not look too stupid on my bike (it's not a Harley D)....and above all, a Y3000 that will stop ennoying me with the .mov all the time (I had no intentions of going MAC anyway, no need to try to discreetly force my hand guys all over the world with your freaking .mov in all your cams pushed by APPLE compagny to sell more MACS....I got u sorted out...heheheheeeee)...

Yes Matt, one of your reviews, finaly decided me to go for the cheapest cam in the world.....the Y3000...not for photos so....but just to ennoy the GO PROers...

Now you can relax and watch my paintings, (in the link provided in this message)....and who know, you may do a review on them one day....heheheheheheee

Thanks a lot....my far away virtual friend...

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDESFORM

Can you in any way stop cycling record

June 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLiam kelly

Hey , I got the Y3000 and I'm using a 8GBcard an when its full it just stops recording, it won't cycle record...am I doing something wrong or do i have to set cycle recording to on some how?

December 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDan Gray

Sorry for my bad english. I've bought an y3000 cam but i think there is a problem with battery. I charge it all night and after the cam makes video for only 12 minuts if i'm lucky...on the video ad they said 1h charge to make 45m video...someone has the same mine problem?

January 26, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermarco

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