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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%! 

            

 
« 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)

Bought one because of your review and I'm pretty impressed so far. I have made some test footage videos at 1080p@30fps and 720p@60fps. Not that the FPS matters on youtube but you can see the difference. Thanks again for the great reviews and I'm glad I found a cheaper alternative to the GoPro's.
1080p: http://youtu.be/ueE07pj_B6U?hd=1
720p: http://youtu.be/vfmplqFQc9Y?hd=1

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRick

hello,. I've bought the camera because of your review, winch is excellent. unfortunately, I lost the power cable and I do not know which kind of cable is it and what is the model for looking for it on eBay. Could you help me by letting me know that?

thanks!

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

@John. You are seriously out of luck. This lead is a non-standard micro USB lead. I don't know anywhere that sells it.

July 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi there, I've got a question that I was hoping you may be able to help with. I am currently using this camera and am very happy with it. The only thing that I need to try and sort out is an adaptor to charge it from my solar panel whilst camping. Do you know the name given to the plug/socket for its charging? It looks the same as my HTC phone, just smaller, but I don't know the name for it. Thanks.

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

@Simon The RD32II uses a non-standard micro USB lead that I've never seen anywhere else. I think you'll have great difficulty finding one for sale anywhere.

July 28, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

My biggest concern about buying one of these is potentially having to throw it away when the battery wears out. Any thoughts on the ability to crack this camera open and replace the battery?

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZac

Not something that I'd like to attempt. However there are people on the RC Groups forums taking these apart. Whether they ever try putting them back together again is another matter.

August 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

No need to crack it open .Hobbyking sell the guts of the camera.Some people have desoldered the original battery and added a replacement lipo with a pigtail connector.
The guys over at FPV labs have reported interference issues,when flying FPV.
See here for info and video examples:
http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread.php?6966-New-HK-wing-cam-FULL-HD

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJake Bullit

What class of memory card do you need for 1080P on this camera? Is Class 10 the only option or is 6 or 4 OK?

Thanks,
Lee

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLee Wallace

Class 6 will be fine. Class 4 might be pushing it a bit if its a slow class 4 (it's possible).

August 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi
I'm in trouble because I bought recently the RD32II from an ebay chinese store for 87 Euro, and I've received the camera with the original packet, but in the packet i've found the usb cable with a standard port mini usb that is not compatible with the usb port on the camera, also the AV cable has a 3.5mm jack and the HDMI cable is missing. I think they have wrongly changed the set of cables with the RD32 camera.
I've contacted the seller but I'm still waiting for a solution. I didn't found similar cables to buy, so I'll try to contact also the manifacturer.
Any other suggestion? Is there another people with the same issue?
Bye

August 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGianni

Hi,
All my Macs and my XP machines connect to this camera just fine, but my win7 machine refuses to mount the card. The camera also vibrates too giving some undisclosed warning. I can't both plug the camera into a display and into the win7 machine at the same time to see what the message is unfortunately. I was wondering if anyone else was having problems accessing this camera with win7 and did you get it sorted?

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLee Wallace

These cables seem unique to this camera...I've never seen any spares anywhere, so you'll need to get them from your supplier unfortunately.

August 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

After seeing your review for the RD32ii i went ahead and bought one from Chinavasion. After 2 weeks it arrived and i soon tried it out by filming some live bands at a festival. I am very pleased with the end results...Many thanks. Del.

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDel Colliver

For those of you having trouble finding a new usb cable, as said before this one is a proprietary one, meaning is not on sale any were, the best thing to do is building one, a very simple process. This is the schematic: http://i1071.photobucket.com/albums/u507/bttarrifana/RD32II-USB.jpg
Go to your local electronics store or search the web for a Mini USB 8 Pin Male Socket Connector, use a standard usb cable and soldering and voila it´s done.
I build a short one for use in my helmet with an extra battery in MTB, works like a charm.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBTT Arrifana

Hello,

Is there a problem with your mediafire account, Every link comes up with an error screen, and terms violation> ;-/

K

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVJKdigital

Some ISPs are blocking access to Mediafire. All the files are still there and can be accessed and downloaded. I've tested them myself.

October 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I am also having a problem downloading the sample videos. Would it be possible to post these videos at another site,seeing that there is a problem with some ISPs blocking Mediafire?

October 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterquita1

If anyone has any suggestions of Free alternatives to Mediafire file storage that are not blocked by ISPs, please let me know. As a temporary measure, I've uploaded the clips to my Dropbox folder. New links are now in the blog entry above.

October 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Techmoan

Thank you for your quick reply, and providing another option for downloading videos. I appreciate your reviews. You have been instrumental in my choosing a camera.

October 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterquita1

Hi i buy this cam....i don't have cd driver, i can't use rd32ii in webcam mode... i need drive, it's possible download webcam drive in web?

October 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGatzu

I probably should know better than to ask this....but why would you want to use this as a webcam?

October 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

For windows all versions simple solution:
open video from camera of flash card with AVIDEMUX, change sound format in container to mp3 mono (also you can set -3db gain normalisation) and save to your HDD. Sound reconversion will be done on-the-fly during copying from the card, on most modern computers where will be no slowdown at all.
Saved video with mp3 stream in original container will be opened with ANY software without any problems.

October 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLyubomyr

Correct link for USB diagram above is: http://photobucket.com/albums/u507/bttarrifana/RD32II-USB.jpg

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCapt John

I bought this camera based primarily on Mr Moan's review. After several months, I'm absolutley thrilled with the results. Here's an example.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1rnM86r9HE

December 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNotlobrob

Had an RD32ii for a while, all good. However, the rubber cap that covers the ports has been lost. Does anyone know please where to obtain a replacement? (original purchase supplier could not help). Thanks.

January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Vegas 12 will directly import the video ONLY if you install http://www.ffdshow.info/ and enable .h264 during installation. Wont seem to import without ffdshow installed.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVJK

It is possible to use 32GB UHS-I microSDHC card in RD32II?
Camera works with that standard of cards?
I want to buy patriot 32GB class 10 or Sandisk 32GB class UHS-I

Patriot: http://www.patriotmemory.com/product/detail/Patriot%20Signature%20Flash,%2064GB%20Class%2010%20MicroSDXC%20Flash%20Card%20with%20USB%20Reader%20and%20Adapter

Sandisk: http://www.sandisk.com/products/memory-cards/microsd/ultra-class10-with-adapter/?capacity=32GB

Which one should i choose?

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMikChy

any idea where i can get hold of the back plastic cap that keeps the rd32ii watertight? My dog chewed it all.

March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaviour Laferla

Hi Techmoan, many thanks for your article and the posted videos. Actually, your videos confirmed my impression so as to the fact that although the RD32II is quite a nice all-rounder, videos created with this camcorder are rather noticeably flawed, and nobody seems to have mentioned that flaw in their reviews. The fault is particularly well visible when objects move relatively fast on a steady background. The movement reproduced in videos is not smooth, objects appear to hop in steps instead of moving continuously, somewhat like in an old 8-bit computer game. This is best visible, I think, in your clip MOVI0021 from the RD32II 720P 60fps set, watch the camera panning during the second half of the clip. For reference, I also link to a sample clip made with a RD32II clone (15MB); there, please observe the kids in red T-shirts. I tried watching the suspicious clips from the camcorder itself, played them under Windows in VLC and MPC-HC, and under Android with three different video players and I always see the same result, or is my perception broken? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, burb boy.
Link to my clip follows, please use the download button, it won't play in the embedded player.
http://www40.zippyshare.com/v/77926023/file.html

June 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterburb boy

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