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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)

Hello,
Nice review, thanks. I have a question regarding the switching of video modes.
Can you do it without using a TV set?
Because if you can't, I think I'll stick with my Extreme instead, let alone this one has a weird mount which doesn't fit with any windshield or dashboard suction cups I know :)

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhangover

I will respond to myself.
No hangover, you can't do it without a TV!
Next time, please watch the ENTIRE review!

February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhangover

I purchased one of the cameras and it just arrived today from Chinavasion. Really good camera, money well spent as far as I'm concerned! I bought a class 10 MicroSD card for it and immediately took it for a spin around the block on my bicycle to test the quality. Recording in 720p @ 60fps the raw footage played back without any dropped frames that I could see and no tearing or blur with rapid changes of direction. It handled changes in light nicely too whenever it copped a blast of sunlight through the trees.

For people looking at this camera for a bicycle/motorbike, be warned that the mount provided, while functional, is quite small. I struggled to find a place on my MTB to fit it, and when I did I could only actually get it closed when I removed the large block of padding inside the mount (which is just plastic anyway, the thin rubber pad at the top of the mount provided plenty of grip by itself). You have been warned!

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete

Gonna have to retract my previous comment. I've discovered that my camera has 10-15 defective pixels that flicker a very bright white, but only seem to appear in indoor environments. A video taken in a dark room is ok, and a video taken outside still has the defective pixels but they don't stand out, it's shooting indoors in normal lighting conditions that the pixels stand out. Why they only do it then I don't know, but it's very distracting. Thinking everything would be fine I spoke to Chinavasion's live support and was told to email a description of the problem and a video to them. I did so, and in under an hour they had closed my ticket and told me to go to a local technician. 12mth warranty indeed. Here's the video I sent to them, check it out for yourself- http://members.iinet.net.au/~trinityjayone/MOVI0001.AVI

Won't be buying from them again.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete

I had a laptop screen with a few dead pixels and discovered that all companies have acceptable tolerance levels re dead pixels. Apple have a chart for their techies http://www.ipodnn.com/articles/10/11/03/computer.displays.may.have.up.to.16.before.fix/
If they are really noticeable I'd be pretty hacked off, but these are cheap cameras. Overall I thought, given the light conditions, your clip was pretty good?

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob Moore

You can buy this off EBAY now, two weeks ago they did not exist on EBAY, and now they do which is nice. Although I do want this camera for my car dashcam, my only concern is being able to purchase the windshield mount, that does not come with it. It seems to be harder to locate =(

Its also 150 bucks on ebay which is a little pricey, considering I can get the 720p version with the little screen and windshield holder for 80 bucks.

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarCam

Thanks for the comprehensive review. On the strength of your observations, I just ordered one from Chinavasion for $130 US. I was on the cusp of ordering the GoPro 2, but feel that the RD32ii will work better due to lower drag when mounted on an RC plane, and also a better picture quality when used underwater. Also it is less than half the price for what I think is going to be very similar results.

I'll post back after testing a bit (in about 2 weeks....)

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Hello Techmoan, I just got my camera few days ago, the only thing is i just don't know how to set the camera on my pc, i don't have the small screen as you show on your video. How can i set it through the computer? It is possible?
And do you know where can i get the optional accessories? I ask already to Chinavasion (where i bought it) few times and they just say i can't use on a helmet, but i can see the alternative accesories (Options 1 & 2) on the User Manual...
Cheers.
Best Regards.
Carlos.

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

@Carlos. You need to attach the camera to a TV using the video phono or HDMI leads to be able to get into the setup menus. Once attached, switch on and hold down the middle button. If you ever find out where to buy the accessory kit, please let me know.

February 28, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hello Techmoan,
Thanks for your reply, i have to find another TV coz mine doesn't have those connectors....
I found something faulty on the videos i just made.... The sound come out first than the video!!... How can i fix that?
Thank you in advance.
Cheers.

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

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