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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
DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam
Yi

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%! 

 
« Using the 3G ZTE MF10 WiFi router to solve a broadband problem | Main | The RD32 is back....along with a new Metal Bullet Camera (UPDATE - Oh, no it isn't) »
Sunday
Jan082012

The RD32II 1080p .h264 Sport Cam

 

General

This video took a lot longer than I anticipated, but here it is. I've uploaded part 1 in 720p and part 2 in 1080p. This was to avoid oddballs asking what was the point of doing a 720p review of a 1080p camera (as happened with my Extreme camera review). However this isn't really a solution to the problem because Youtube's 720p and 1080p video both bear very little relation to the footage that was originally shot by the camera.

I've converted the video and then editied it and then converted it again and then uploaded it to youtube which converted it again - you can therefore appreciate the fact that the footage you see on youtube doesn't really do justice to the quality of the originals. For example, the Youtube clips start off jerky and then smooth out after a few seconds...the originals of course don't do this.

This isn't a unique problem, if you read any photography magazines they are reviewing multimegapixel cameras and printing credit card sized sample shots on low dpi paper. Car magazines don't let you test the car out, AV magazines try and describe sound quality etc etc.... So like those examples all I can really do is give you an indication of the quality, not a direct demonstration of it.

As I mentioned in the video - the .h264 avi files created by this camera could not be imported into my iMovie so I had to spend a day converting them using MPEG Streamclip into .mp4 files. This was a major inconvenience and something that will probably stop me from using the camera again in the future. Now I'm using a Mac with iMovie. I haven't tried these in Final Cut or any PC editing package, so they may import fine into other editing packages.

Downloadable Test Clips

Therefore  to enable you to test out the original footage from this camera with your own editing packages or just play back some unmolested clips - I have uploaded a few short clips. These are all 1920x1080p 30fps clips you can download them here.

If you just want my opinion and all you want to do is film clear sharp HD footage and don't want to edit it on a Mac in iMovie, then I would strongly recommend this camera. I know that I mentioned the footage had a blue tinge, but unless I had put it up side by side with the Extreme cam, I don't think I'd have noticed it and I also wouldn't have noticed how much more vibrant the colours were on the RD32II either. The footage is very smooth without a dropped frame in sight and the sound quality is totally acceptable for a camera of this sort.

More Info

If you want to see the Camera on the Manufacturer's page here is a link. You can look at the specifications here, which tell you things like you can fit 41 mins of 1080p or 720p 60 video on a 4GB card, the recording battery life is 2.5hrs (it's 1.5 with the torch lit at the same time), charge time is 3 hours and the camera weighs 86g.

Photos

I'm really taken with the 5MP fisheye photos too, they can turn out surprisingly well. My technique when taking a photo is to take four or five shots of each scene, pointing the camera at a slightly different angle each time. When I get home I download the photos and choose the best framed picture of each scene. It reminds me of the days of getting films developed and hurriedly flicking through the envelope of photos hoping that I managed to get a good shot or two - but without all the expense. I've uploaded a gallery of photos from this camera here.

Where can you buy one.

I've seen this camera on sale for about $145 or £90 including shipping (budget for import duties too) which seems a little bit high, although it's early days - something like £75 would seem even more right. Whatever you do though, don't get it mixed up with the original RD32, that one takes 720p mjpeg video and isn't a patch on this. Look out for .h264, 1080p and laser mentioned in the specs- and don't expect it to always be called the RD32II either. 

Places I've found selling this camera are below (Dealextreme also sell the mounting accessory pack).

Ebay

Yellow Camera At Dealextreme 

Black Camera at Dealextreme

The Accessory Pack at Dealextreme 

Part 1 and 2 of the review are below - but view these full screen in HD to get a better idea, and don't try to view the 1080p versions on an old computer unless you have a fire extinguisher at the ready.

 

 

UPDATE: 15/01/12 Importing the Video into editing packages - For iMovie users, you may want to try out a piece of software that was suggested to me by a reader - FLVCrunch, an easy way to convert the files into MP4s which can then be imported into the Apple editing package. Also look in the youtube comments for people reporting back with their results when using other software - the clips from this camera are reportedly working fine with Windows Live Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere and Vegas 9.0b.

UPDATE: 17/01/12 I've had a few requests for downloadable 720p 60fps Clips - which is understandable as youtube can only display 30fps as can my editing package. So ..here is a link to a single clip (24mb)....and here is a zip file containing that clip and another five as well (173mb). If your computer is anything like mine, you may only get the full 60fps effect if you view these full screen. 

UPDATE: 01/03/12 Dealextreme now stock this camera & The Accessory Pack (Essential for mounting it to things other than a bicycle) Links have been added to the sellers section above.

 

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Reader Comments (130)

Thank you for your fantastic reviews, Techmoan! There's far more small cameras out there than I thought and I'm hoping that perhaps you could provide a bit of advice given your knowledge on the subject. I'm a model railroader and looking for a camera that takes decent video but is small enough to be fitted onto a different type of vehicle than what you show in your reviews, one of these to be specific. 720p @ 60fps would be preferred, but the main thing is that it's able to take clear footage of close objects that may only be a 1' away from the camera (something with a macro setting/optional lens would be brilliant). The bullet form factor would be best. Any suggestions?

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete

@Pete. I'm not aware of anything that fits the bill for you. 720p 60fps and capable of shooting macro....I haven't come across anything like that. The nearest thing I can think of is an 808 #16 With the lens-refocussed (but that's 30fps) or a camera like this one with a magnetic macro lens attached to it. (The Lens I used in the KGB Marker Pen Spy camera review, but with the fisheye end removed).

January 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

@ Techmoan

Cheers. I had a look at a few macro lens on the site you mentioned in the KGB Spy Pen review but they're all for full-sized cameras. Regardless, judging by the video-of-a-video footage at 7:32 and some other videos I saw the up close performance is fine. The other concern I had was the class of memory card. In a lot of your other videos you mentioned needing a fast high-class card, but those weren't h.264 cameras and in the review above you mention this one doesn't drop frames. Was this your experience using a class 10 card or would anything do? Thanks again for your help!

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete

Hello Techmoan, Chinavision Sell a Cam under the name of: "Mini HD Sports Camera (1080p, 30 Meter Waterproof, LED + Laser Light, HDMI)" I wonder if is the same than this one??
And...Do you think this Camera is really worthy?

Thank you Techmoan for all the work of doing these great reviews!! We all appreciated them
Cheers.!

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

@Carlos. The product info you mention on Chinavasion is the same as the one I link to at the base of the review. It is the same camera I reviewed....and yes, it is a good camera (in my opinion).

January 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Do you know if any mounts are available for this camera? I want to be able to mount to my motorbike helmet and capture some action at the MX track.

January 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Hi, I have tried loading your video clips, which you suggested. I used two editing programmes:-
1. Pinnacles Studio 14 - The 60fps video loaded ok, but required rendering when placed on the time line, (ok for short video clips, but not a major production.
The 30fps would not load and the programme displayed an error message in the form of a question mark ?
2. Avid Studio - All your clips appeared to load, but randomly the videos disappeared from the time line to be replaced by a grey box with a circle inside with a direction arrow, ( not sure what that means).
Pity about that because it looked like a good camera, maybe the manufacturers will realise there is a problem and put it right.
Thanks again for the fab reviews. Regards Alan

January 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Staples

@Alan Staples Thank you for contributing to this, enhancing everyones collective knowledge and making me look less like I was overblowing the issue with the files. Producing an h.264 video file in a .avi wrapper is rather unusual.and the fact that these files are difficult or impossible to import into a number of editing packages validates my concerns. The video produced by this camera can be very good....I just wish it was in a standard .mov or .mp4 format.

January 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks for another great review.The RD32ii looks a good little camera and is much improved over the original.I may have mentioned previously that i use the HD wing camera from hobbyking which is basically the innards of the rd32 on my quadcopter.
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=17200
when the mk2 comes out in the same format i will probably get one as HK knock them out cheap as chips.hopefully they`ll do it in mpeg4 someday too.
As a side note enjoyed the mobile footage as i know the a49 and surrounding areas well.I was also in the arndale yesterday,and yes it was raining!
keep up the good work.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterADRIAN

As said, your test clips import ok into Premiere Elements (and Pro) . I have a couple of HD key cams 11# and 16# and the video quality isn't that far off those really. (And less than a third the price.) The 16# with the latest firmware has sorted the colour balance problems too. Although obviously this has many more features. My test video here http://vimeo.com/35689015

February 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob Moore

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