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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 


Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam

Yi Ultra 2.7K
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
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.


RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)


U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)




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'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 Multi-Function Spy Cap | Main | The Cheapest 8" Android Tablet in the World? »

The Crocolis HD Extreme Cam - Longest review ever.

This is very likely going to be the only video review I'll make for a £100+ Action Camera and that's because when you get a camera that does pretty-much everything you want, then there is no need to go looking for another. The alternatives from GoPro, Contour and Drift cost considerably more and don't offer me anything extra that I need. I was really just looking for excellent quality 1080p 30fps and smooth 720p 60fps video with a nice sharp fish-eye lens in a waterproof case and an LCD screen - and that's exactly what I got.

The only significant issue with this camera is the sound quality. Normally this wouldn't be a concern because virtually all Action Cam footage gets overdubbed in post production anyway. But the problem with this camera is that the quality of it's video is so good that I am tempted to carry it around with me like a normal camcorder - unfortunately the wasp-in-a-tin-can sound quality means that it's not really a suitable as a camcorder substitute.

I think this might be the best (and longest) video review I've done so far. It's took a lot of time and effort and I think I've managed to cover everything that I wanted to. The only bits of info that may have got lost in the mix somewhere are the video formats - it's AVC .MOV - which imports into iMovie extremely quickly. One hour of video at 720p 60fps used up 3.63 GB of storage, the bitrates are CBR rather than VBR, the battery lasts about 2.5 hours and you can of course charge and record at the same time (very useful for time-lapse photography).

I'll just try and pre-empt some of the more predictable (but silly) questions before they get asked.

Does it work as a Webcam or have motion/sound activation? - No. Why? - Because it's not a Spy Cam it's an Action Cam. It's the same reason why your washing machine doesn't make toast.

If anyone desperately wants to see some original .mov footage from the camera then I'd appreciate it if you could suggest a reliable & free online place where I can post them. One that doesn't delete files automatically after a while. I would upload some 1080p and 720p60 clips, because youtube doesn't do justice to the brilliant video quality - the youtube clips look considerably softer and less vibrant than the originals. I didn't put the review on youtube in 1080p because you need a powerful computer to play 1080p flash video smoothly. *** Update - Clips added, see below***

I have to thank the 'extreme' skateboarding lads in Manchester - I'd imagine that they were more than a little bit concerned about the creepy middle-aged bloke asking if he could film them. Hopefully their Tony Hawks-esque videographer remembered my youtube channel name - please leave a message chaps if you do see this.

I'll be having a bit of a break for a few weeks before any more updates - but I can confidently say that the next video, whatever it is, will be a lot shorter and simpler than this epic.

This camera can be purchased from the nice people at Chinavasion - Here is the link


If you wanted to download some (unedited) sample clips to see the original quality of the video (before youtube has mangled it) you are in luck. Below are five clips, two are in 1080p30 and three are in 720p60. These are not the best framed/shot clips - but they are short enough to share.

If you are playing back these clips, you should download them first (right click) and then play them on your computer in Full Screen mode. I know that on my Macbook if I show the 720p60 stuff in a window then it only displays it at 720p30.

1080p30 Static

1080p30 Panning

720p60 Static

720p60 Panning

720p60 Skateboarders


UPDATE 26 September - Important extra info about sound quality.

I've discovered that the mic hole on the front bottom of the camera seems to do nothing at all. However opening the rear LCD screen door does effect things immensely. With the door shut tight, only the loudest sound gets through to the mic (like shouting into a pillow), however with the door open, sound gets recorded at an acceptable volume. It's still rather hissy and metallic sounding, but a infinitely preferable to the water-in-the-ears type sound you get with the door closed. To record sound the door doesn't need to be wide open - just left slightly ajar.

As a further experiment I also removed the dummy screw in the base of the camera but this had absolutely no positive effect on the muffled door-closed sound .

On the subject of sound I bought a small microphone with a 3.5mm plug and found out that the socket on the camera is actually 2.5mm (apologies for the factual error in the video). Luckily I have a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adaptor and have tested out the microphone and noticed no obvious difference between the hidden internal mic and my new mic. So some good news and some bad news - the sound is better than I thought, but seemingly cannot be improved upon (I suspect a low bitrate sound encoder). The sound test in the video when I'm talking into the camera is still an accurate demonstration as the door was open throughout. I may do a follow up video when my second test mic turns up in the post. 

Further Update 26 October

I've been informed (see the comments) that the Sound from an external mic is actually OK, it just needs to be seperated out from the sound from the internal mic which also gets recorded at the same time, messing it up. I haven't tried this out. 

Also that mystery screw in the base is a kind of heatsink (in screw form) - so leave it screwed in.

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Reader Comments (168)

Right then, I did some digging... It appears the brand of both the cameras is indeed the same - "Camshot" (Website)

So the Crocolis is the HAT20, the Xdreme the HAT18 and the new one I am talking about is the HAT28 (Not the AT26).

Interestingly, they also seem to do some kind of external wireless screen for the Crocolis - The AV20

I have ordered a HAT28, should be here by the weekend. Will keep you posted.

June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterevilC

I can't play the Crocolis mov files without disabling the audio codecs. Video hangs. I've no idea what is wrong. Tried several codec packs. And searched the web for hours. No luck.
If I do disable the audio device or codecs the video plays smoothly. So clearly that's the problem.
Too bad. I really like the camera design.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDriewiel

The files play ok on the Ex cam itself though? You don't say what computer you have but first thing I'd do is try another pc.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertom hardwick

Hi Tom.

When I play the clips on the camera itself there's a loud humming noise. Strangely enough the seller who kind imports those cameras had the same thing on the new Xdreme model.

I'll try to convert the files and filter out the sound. Like I said the videos do play smoothly if no codec is loaded and the playback is silent.
But something is wrong. Maybe they're just broken. The camera I got was slightly used so I first thought is was damaged because of that. But obviously this is not the case.

If I know more I'll post it here.
Bummer, I like the camera but not like this. And my Chinese is not what it used to be.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDriewiel

So I got my HAT28.
Made a quick video with some test footage I took over the weekend.


Would love to do come comparative tests between a gopro, a crocolis / xdreme and a HAT28. Anyone with an xdreme / crocolis in or around South London? This vid was filmed near Redhill, if anyone can get there with one of the other cameras, drop me a line.

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterevilC

There is a upgraded cam to this called The Xdreme HD. supposed to be a better cam for an additional $20.

When you have time could you review on this one? Hopefully they fixed the audio.

Keep up the good work.

June 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDon

Would be great if there was a review of the Xdreme HD. Not sure which one to buy now..

June 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMevius

For those of you having trouble with the sound on .mov files.

In windows, you can simply install "quicktime alternative" to edit the file in pretty much any AV editor.

Or alternatively, you can use AVC - any video convertor.

Both are free and work a treat!

June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames

This is the sound I get from the Croclis Extreme Cam.

Same buzzing sound during playback on the camera itself.

Notice I changed the extension to MP4. When I do that the video does play smoothly but no sound at all. Players then don't recognize the audio track I guess
I've tried numerous codecs and settings, QT, QT alternative. And different computers ( XP, Linux).

Funny thing is. The seller has the same buzz on the new Xdreme.

Maybe, just maybe, a faster SD card helps. I've only tried a class 4 till now.

June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDriewiel

@Driewiel That's pretty annoying. I don't understand your comments about the seller - they have the same fault with their test unit? A A faster card will have no effect on this. I did mention in my review that the sound on this camera was terrible. I've never tried recording in silence, but I wouldn't be surprised if I got the same results.

June 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

My post (above) dated 18 April shows that the Extreme cam's audio can be 'not bad' if you choose the correct audio channel on your timeline.

June 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertom hardwick

The seller is member of a mountain club. This club imports and sells camera's.
He sold me the camera slightly used for 120 Euro. After I got it I looked at the underside and wondered if something had happened to the camera. Glues maybe. But this may not be true. The seller seems be be helpful though he's not a computer expert.

He also sells the new Xdreme model and told me he got the same humming sound during playback on the camera. He has no sound at all on his pc. But that may be because he hasn't installed a codec at all that identifies the audio track.

I'm still trying to split the channels like Tom Hardick writes and other settings in Quick Time Player and Media Player Classic. No result so far.

If I save the clips converted with audio filtered out, the video plays ok.
But when I upload a clip to YouTube directly and unedited, I get a message the audio is out of sync. So I don't think the faulty playback has anything to do with my computer.

June 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDriewiel

congratulations for greats tutorials.
Do you know about Kodak PlaySport Zx5 Full HD 1080P?
I would like know, between crocolis HD and Kodak PlaySport, which have better quality video.
Can you tall me?

June 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaulo Lopes

Great review, thanks!

Just one question, what happens if you hold the "Photo" button depressed? Will it continue taking photos? If so at what interval?


June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGregg

I'm also wandering about the new Xdreme HD Camera - will you have a review of it soon?

July 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

I have one here now and I'm just starting to shoot some footage for the review. So far it seems like it's a completely new camera.

July 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi, I would like to know what you think about kodak PlaySport Zx5.


July 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaulo Lopes

Great review can't wait to see the xdreme review. I'm planning a multicar,multipassenger road trip and we hoped to have good in car audio with it capable of being taken on atv's/hikes as well. Hope they improved the mic ( or capabilities of plugging in external with no buzzing).

July 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRubberman

About a month ago I was fiddling with my Extremecam and I accidentally found myself at a "zoom control" screen that allowed you to zoom the camera in and out, which I did a few times. I was delighted to learn of this capability, which I had been unaware of, but since than I haven't been able to get back to the zoom control screen. I don't remember what resolution I was in, but I think it was FullHD.

Does anybody know how to make the camera zoom in and out for video ?
Thanks to anybody who can help !

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterracketeer

@Racketeer The zoom works in some of the 720p modes. From memory I think that it doesn't work in 720p50 (not sure about 720p60).

August 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Does the new model allow you to zoom ?

August 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterracketeer

Only in the same way the first one did, digital zoom in some resolutions only.

August 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

just purchased one and well happy
is their anyway of deleting videos from the cam or does it have to be removed via pc?
also chinavasion are boasting slow mo feature which i cannot seem to figure out how to do it.
thanks folks

August 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwicklaman

To delete videos from the camera: Select 'movie' thumbnails with the lower left button. Select which movie you want to delete with the left/right arrows, then press the biggest button on the camera's top (..the front one). When asked to confirm the deletion, press the centre-right button beneath the screen.

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

I've been using one for about a year now and I'm very happy with it, but suddenly, it won't turn on anymore, but when I put the charger in it, it does! But it just won't charge, becaus as soon as I take it out again, it turns off immediately! So I think the battery won't charge... Or is it a different problem? And where can I buy a new battery?

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheWillempiej

Just a quick warning to Crocolis users: If you don't stop the recording before the SD card is full, the camera shuts down and the footage you've recorded will be unplayable. (It is on the card somewhere: it just won't play!)

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

I cannot get the camera to see my SD card... Am I doing something wrong.... I thought u just plugged it in

September 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathan

I'm glad other are happy with the camera, but I am not.

I wanted a camera to fit for kart racing and reading the reviews suggested this would be a good choice. Unfortunately, even after claiming warranty, both first and second camera supplied shut-down with the vibration/g-force exerted in a racing kart.

If I drive slowly everything is OK, but as soon as you get up to race speeds, forget it. It shuts down. Occassionally I've got a good video, but mostly just corrupted files. It seems to work fine just walking around and videoing, so I'd suggest it just can't cope with a racing environment - I though that's what a sports camera should do!

Hopefully this post helps others who might want to try a similar use avoid the problems I have.

September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAllan Howard

Can you update the youtube video for this camera to to do this time lapse test?

Put the camera on the tripod and take time lapse pictures of the stars, then use the software to piece them together so that one can see the stars move around. Moreover, one can then see how good it is resolution and in low light conditions to astronomy type sutff.

December 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermsweg

To film upside down with the screen folded out... Simply turn the camera on when it is upside down and this will filp the image so that it is the right way up!

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrobbie

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