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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

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)

Hola, gracias por el completo review de la cámara, me resulto muy útil para elegir comprarla. por lo que vi en el manual supuestamente entre la primera opción y segunda del láser la diferencia radica en que es intermitente... me parece genial todo el video que hiciste y se agradece lo detallado que es. Saludos! (disculpa mi comentario en español pero prefiero hacerlo en mi idioma que en un ingles que no manejo tan bien en forma escrita)

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFranco

I bought this action camera on DealExtream for $107
http://dx.com/p/hd-1080p-mini-sports-dv-5-0mp-cmos-water-resistant-camera-camcorder-with-tf-2-leds-1-red-laser-119097
Even if it is advertised as RD32ii it is not original. It is noname copy. It came in different paper box (not that shown on images) without any brand / logo.
The CMOS sensor has many dead pixels visible on still images (photo) slightly visible on 720p videos, but almost invisible on full HD 1080p.
What suprised me is newer and maybe better firmware than original RD32 II.
1) There are Time Lapse
2) All videos are recorded to MOV instead of AVI
3) Higher bitrate for all video formats

The firmware version is V19 20130603

July 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterQuip

I got the same camera as the previous commenter, Quip, from Dealextreme. I had to return the first camera they sent me because the lense cover was damaged. The new one does have a new and improved firmware, which also now records audio as MPEG AAC (mp4a) instead of WAV. I can also confirm that the CMOS sensor has lots of dead pixels. Pictures taken with the camera are seriously affected by this. If you take a picture in the dark at 12MP, you will get a very starry night sky instead!!! It's not a big problem for the video however. Bottom line : the components are poor quality, but overall it's a functional, cheap camera.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdjerrr

Hi Mat,

I'm a big fan of your site, and based on it (and other reviews) I just reflexively spent much more than I'd wanted to on a Contour ROAM2 to record video of my commute in case of incident. I'm a bit disappointed by the Contour (primarily its size, lack of loop recording, and how it uses/disables the recording LEDs). It would seem that something like the rd32ii would resolve my concerns and be cheaper to boot, so at this stage I'm thinking of returning it and changing to the rd32ii. Do you have any comments?

Thanks,
W

August 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWraith

The only problem with the RD32II is the way it mounts to things. The system it uses means that it only works with its own clips and these are flimsy and fragile. Most comments I've received are about problems with the mounts and a number of people have had their cameras fall off and bounce down the road.

August 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

A very simple mod can reinforce the handlebar mount of this camera. I took a rubber band (ring) cut off a bicycle tube, about 20mm (3/4 in.) wide, and put it around the rotating dial and the base to hold them together. See the picture at
http://www.imgbox.de/users/burb/RD32ii_mount_mod/P1030634.jpg
HTH, cheers, burb_boy

October 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterburb boy

Some info I would like to share with you guys about the internal battery..... Mine gone bad after less then one year. So I thought that it was easily replaced, but turned out to be more difficult then excpected.

The internal battery is Lithium with the following number: 102445. This means it is 10mm thick, 24mm width and 45mm long. But after searching the web for hours it was nowhere to be found :( !

Long story, but after all I found out that you can replace it with a SJ1000 battery. This is also a sportscamera. When you receive the battery you can dismantel the camera first. It is not too hard to do so. The battery is at the very bottom, so you need to unscrew the PCB aswel, after which you can take out the old battery. The new battery needs 'some' modification in order to fit in to the RD32ii. Actually you need to take the plastick casing completely off the new battery. Please note while working with the Lithium batteries:

!! THEY ARE DANGEROUS AND WILL EXPLODE WHEN YOU SHORT THE CIRCUIT BEFORE THE SAFETY PCB !!

So please take care in this proces. After you remove all of the new battery's case you can solder the connection wires to the safety pcb and wrap the safety pcb and wiring all nicely up in tape. It is a tight fit, so dont overdo it :) As an extra safety I secured the safety pcb with some hotglue before wrapping it up. The size of new battery is 102443 btw, so it is a 2mm shorter but that is without the safety pcb. Also it has 1150mAh instead of 1000mAh, giving i bit longer runtime!

You can find the battery for the SJ1000 for example on Ebay.com. Thought I should share this info on the web, as it cost me many hours to figure out which battery would fit. Good luck and enjoy this great camera! :)

January 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Thanks a lot for the linked usb pinout !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
and also the battery replacment description

May 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpursche

Thanks for the battery replacement post! I am ordering one SJ1000 battery replacement from dx.com right now, because my rd32II battery has weared a lot, even though I haven't used it that much, and also is more than a year old now.
Greetings from Chile.

June 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPablo Espinoza

I do not see the linked usb pinout for charging. can anyone please post it.
thanks from USA

September 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterhubb

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