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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%! 

            

 
« Two short and largely irrelevant videos. | Main | Budget Wireless HDMI Transmission - does it work? »
Sunday
Mar182012

£40 Car Cameras Review 1 of 2

One of the more common email questions I get asked is "What is the best cheap car camera that I've tested?". Well I've only really reviewed two purpose-built car cameras, one was a couple of years ago and really wasn't very good and the other, the V1000GS costs over £100.

In case you are wondering what separates car cameras out from action cameras, well they come supplied with a car mount and more importantly, they auto-start and stop when they receive power from a car 12v power adaptor.  

So given the level of interest, it looks like its about time that I took another look at cheap car cameras to see what is currently available. My aim was to get the most amount of features for a price of no more than£40.  I bought two different HD cameras that fit the bill and the first of what will eventually become two reviews is shown below.

The second camera, has already arrived from Hong Kong, but there are quite a few other things that I need to look at first before I put that review together. As a result, it will most likely be a few weeks before I'll upload the second (and last) of these cheap car camera reviews.

Here's the first video...

Example ebay seller links

This Camera

The Next Camera 

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Reader Comments (22)

Hi Techmoan,
Thanks for another great review,do you have a link to the eBay site for this camera and the other one that you have still to review.

Thanks again

March 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwill

Another interesting post Techmoan.

This camera seems a bit to cheap & cheerfull ! but as a rear facing camera it may be OK.

Nether the less an interesting review in the usual Techmoan style, thank you.

March 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Hi,

Ebay links now added to the end of the post.

I'm waiting for youtube to update the thumbnail for this video to the one that I uploaded a couple of hours ago before I take the Unlisted status off this video. The current thumbnail isn't really what I was looking for.

March 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi,

Thanks for the quick reply,looking forward to the next review.

March 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwill

Brilliant review, again, many thanks! This one looks like a pretty good unit and as you say would suit most people. I haven't dipped in yet to buy one but I do use an app for my iPhone called Witness Driving - I use a rubber band to attach it to the rear view mirror. It works quite well but it would be nice to liberate the phone back to being used for TomTom and still looking for that reasonably priced device to do just that!

March 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterslimgym

One of the sellers auctions lists a correction that the lens is 130 degrees not 150 as their headline claims.

March 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKirk

Great and comprehensive review, thanks!

Question: how does the 12V power plug trigger the camera so it knows whether the engine is started or not ?
In many cars the 12V power socket is always on regardless if the engine is on or off.

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChieftainY2k

@ ChieftainY2K

If the cigar lighter socket is permanent live then an alternative swicthed supply will have to be used.

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike

When is part 2?

March 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDilemma

Hi Techmoan,

I had a thought, perhaps before you write off in-car night vision entirely you could try something?
Perhaps you could add an infra-red headlight of sorts. Many of the home security camera setups can be coupled with additional IR illuminators. such as this illuminator.

Perhaps you already have something similar knocking about which might be worth gaffer taping in place for a test within a car park. I expect the tinted glass would weaken the IR light from the standard LED's both when it is going out and further weaken any returning light. If I recall correctly Mercedes and a few other high end manufacturers mount their IR emitter and camera on the front grille of the car.


Just an idea anyway. Thanks for the excellent reviews!

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Much appreciated - this is exactly the sort of review I'd been hoping to see here. Seriously - this review could save a lot of viewers a lot of money and maybe even get a dangerous driver or two off the road.

Looking forward to part 2.

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete

@slimgym - thanks for the tip on "Witness Driving" for the iPhone - seems to work very well. I'm using an old Nokia suction cup mount and getting good results for 99 cents!

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris D

When do you expect part two to be out?

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIan

For everyone who is waiting for part 2.

The camera that was supposed to be reviewed in part 2 was a massive failure. This will be the subject of a short video explaining what happened) I have, however been supplied with two different new car cameras by a UK eBayer (both are looking a lot better than the failed camera and one looks better than the camera reviewed in part 1). So the next car camera review will be worked on over my next weekend...and will be released as soon as possible thereafter...probably 10 days or so from now. Please consider though that I'm working to my own schedule in my spare time, so timings are very fluid.

March 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Anyone know if or where there are any IR sidelight bulbs in existence? The 501 w5w style that is.

March 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrahamK998

Hi

Love the website and all your reviews. Keep up the good work.

I was directed to when searching for in car cameras. Any updates on part 2 of your review and more information on the new camera that you said was better than review 1?

:-)

June 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParv1

@Parv1 Part 2 was abandoned when the camera I got turned out to be a dodgy copy of the K2000. See the Cheap Car Camera Fail video. I then went on to test a few more models, including the Smartcam.

June 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Techmoan, love the reviews. Have pretty much watched them all, even the stuff I have no interest in! Just a quick question with regard to this camera. Are you able to use the little stand upside down as a windscreen mount? I was thinking of sticking it onto the windscreen right at the top where it would make a much more compact installation as the supplied windscreen mount sticks out a bit too far by the looks of it. I intend to have something like this permenantly wired in and if I can do it that way it would be perfect. Many thanks.

July 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

@Matt Unfortunately I sold this on ebay along with a few other things that were cluttering up the place, so I don't have it any more.

July 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I did not understand from the review if it does loop recording after all...Can you specify if so ? Thanks!

September 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermike

All the car cameras do loop recording....it's the only guaranteed feature.

September 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

A friend gave me this camera as present (used) but he lost the drivers. Can you please upload them. When I plug it in to the PC it does not recognise it. Thank you!

August 31, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterchiotis

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