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ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
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Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
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Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
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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%! 

 
« 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)

Hi, I'm updating the ACT20 for a friend. I've updated the firmware as your inttrusctions, all works fine, thanks. But the date and time is still a year or so old and I cannot find a way to update this. Any Ideas please.

thanks
Steve

March 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Miles

I just bought the Poseidon and I am having a difficult time editing. Microsoft movie maker wont even play the videos. And the free video editing program i downloaded will play them but i cant edit or convert. Same for Roxio. Any suggestions?

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

Hello. Thanks for the reviews. One question though. With the flash like shape of the Act20, do you ever get videos that are not level? I'm planning on attaching this to my RC Helicopters. Thanks.

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAllan

I just rec'd one of these cameras, which i bought after seeing your review. I have managed to get it working, but I cant get to the stttings to cyclerecord, timestamp no etc. When I open file named SETUP.INI, all that is there is goobledegook. I'm in my 60's and not good with 'puters. Can you please help me with set-up?

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTeddyS

TeddyS. If you just click on the setup.ini file it will probably open up the wrong viewing program. Try right clicking and choosing to 'open with' notepad or wordpad instead.

May 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi, I just got hold of the ACT20 with 120 deg angle lens from eBay for USD72.00 (minus car kit & charger). Still figuring out the time setting which refused to work despite configuring many times.

Besides that, the camera is simply a delight to have for my cycling sport since it is light, inexpensive and functional (durability?!).

Hope to share the results after the weekend road rides with everyone.

Cheers,
Pat

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCyclist_sg

You can watch my test clip on Youtube link below. However I experienced some issue where the cam recorder power down itself after one clip strange but cannot understand why...

Finally got the time stamp working properly though. :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y17suqtL2vs&list=UUWG437OYnXYybAPJrK45pfw&index=1&feature=plcp

May 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCyclist_sg

hello. i have this cam ACT20 (ebay, $73, some month ago).
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ACT20-Waterproof-Video-Camera-Motorcycle-Bike-Cam-120?item=220886866949&cmd=ViewItem&_trksid=p5197.m7&_trkparms=algo%3DLVI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D3%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D8612701464929695501
But it is work bad. I have problem: only recording 20 mins at a time then stopping and turn off. I have also card class 10 16Gb. Also i try card 32Gb. If I stop recording less than 15-20min, then files wrote on flash and i can see them.
i download your firmware, run, and I see "connect device - 0", can select firmware file, but button "SETUP" is not active. Why program dont see camera?

May 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkucha

Hi,
I use the ACT20 with 120degree and did record in CycleRecord and nonCycleRecord mode on a 8GB Sandisk Class 10 card. In both modes I got 4 avi files (3 files with 1,96 GB 20min plus 1 file with 366 MB 3:36min). The max battery time is about 3,5 hours which would theoretical fill a 32 GB card. Did anybody test such a size on the cam, as 16 GB is stated as maximum in the documentation.
Cheers,
Ukr

May 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUKr

@Technoan The poseidon is now £67 in the uk shipped will you do a review of it?

May 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCasper

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