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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%! 

 
« 1st July Random Update | Main | The Video Message Machine »
Tuesday
Jun212011

The ACT20 Action Camera

My review of this camera was negatively coloured by the fact that I couldn't edit or convert the footage using my Mac.  I edit all my Youtube videos using iMovie on my Mac and not being able to properly utilise the original footage from this camera meant that I couldn't do an accurate video review.

There is definitely something non-standard about the .avi files created by this camera - however after I posted this video review, I tried editing the footage on my PC in a trial version of Power Director 9 and it worked without a hitch. 

So unfortunately this camera is still not ideal for me - but if you use a PC as your main machine, this camera might possibly be just what you are looking for.

To me, the main headline feature of this camera is the fact that it can record for 3 hours on one charge. The HD808 can only manage about 45 mins and then often stops recording after only a handful of minutes (for reasons that I really can't determine). If I ride my motorcycle to work it's a 2 hour round-trip, so for the moment I'll be using the ACT20 as an incident camera - attached to my helmet. I'll set it to loop-record continuously (in 20 min segments) and I'll only pull the footage off the camera if I need to use it for some kind of evidence.

I think when I make my next video review when my new action camera arrives from Dealextreme, I'll give the ACT20 a bit more screen time to redress any disservice that I may have done to it in this video.

UPDATE: I've decided to add a brief clip below of some car footage with the original soundtrack intact so that you can get an idea about the camera's sound quality. I've also noticed that this camera drops a heck of a lot of frames. From my examinations, some seconds of video only consist of 21 individual frames with the other 9 frames being made up of duplicates. So if you notice the video stuttering or think that the motion seems unnatural, this is the reason.

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Reader Comments (61)

Nice looking camera
After 20 minutes does it write a new file? and if so does it lose 2 seconds of footage like the d011?
thanks
Kevin

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKevin Cornish

I've discovered that cheap SD cards lie about their "class" rating. Sandisk and Kingston appear to be honest, so I would recommend people stick with those.

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Civil

I've been playing around with video editors. I use Ubuntu Linux 11.10 as the operating system (free) and Open Shot Video Editor as the free software application available in Linux. Open Shot Video Editor is the equivalent of Final Cut for Mac OS X from reviews that I have read. Anyway, the AVI test file exports & converts quite nicely to mp4 or mpeg for both the video & audio aspects of the test files I've piddled around with. A 65.9 MB AVI compresses to 28.9 MB for the mp4 format and is indicated as You Tube HD 720p resolution & H.264, The You Tube mpeg file is 22.3 MB, 640x480. Playback of each on my computer is virtually indiscernible for the audio portion amongst the 3 files and the video obviously would have differences in terms of resolution reductions. I am using a 28" Hannspree 1080p television as a monitor. Seems that the camera is geared more towards Windows than OS X ? But I've found with the exception of the firmware flashing software utility, the camera is very Linux friendly for moving files off the camera, doing basic video editing and converting the file to other formats that other cameras are using. Hope this helps others.

October 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJimbo99

hi
i been looking in to bying a action cam to use while playing paintball inndoors and outdors
and i found a act20 with 120 degree lens is this bether then the 60 degree lens
(realy great rewives)

bjørn

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbjørn

@Bjørn. Yes get the 120° lens if you can.

December 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Good morning,
I'm not able to update the firmware on mine, as I do?

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

Hi Mat,

Can't afford to spring for the two action cameras you mentioned recently, so I've gone for an ACT20. I'd like to have 16GB total storage to make best use of the great battery life but am concerned about the frame-lag issue you found with the 16GB card. Was this definitely to do with the capacity of the card? Or could it have been down to something else like the unbrandedness? I'll definitely go for a class 10, but I'm not sure whether it's 2x8GB or 1x16GB storage for me.

Excellent, excellent site by the way,
Alex.

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

@Alex. If I were you I'd try the 16GB card as long as it's a decent make and not a fake you should be fine. I can't be sure what the problem was with mine - without retesting all over again with my various cards in different situations (not my idea of fun).

February 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi, I bought the wide angle model, does a 32gb SDHC memory card fits on it? Or only SD will?

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlivier

@Oliver any card of 8GB and over is SDHC (HC=high capacity). I'm not sure what the maximum size card that the ACT20 takes is. Some cameras are a bit picky about 32GB.

March 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

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