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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+
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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%! 

            

 
« '1080p' Mini LCD Camera | Main | A Cheap (& nasty) Car camera. »
Sunday
Apr082012

Two SmartCams for your car

At last here is my review of the Smartcam car cameras. 

If you are in the UK and you want a cheap dashcam then either of these cameras are definitely worth your consideration. The prices include post and packaging...but more importantly don't include the unwelcome and often unexpected extras, like Import Duty, VAT and 'handling fees' that you can sometimes incur when buying items direct from China.   

Link to Smart Electronics Ebay Store here.

Video Review below.

NOTE---- Youtube has had a seriously detrimental effect on the video quality from the HD cam - I've therefore uploaded clips for you to download and play on your machine. Here's the Smartcam - and here's the Smartcam 2

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Reader Comments (90)

i reviewed a bit of video i took & found that using the 10 minute clip setting i am getting with my Smartcam 8 seconds are lost between my HD clips! am using a quality class 10 card. i counted them using the seconds timestamp onscreen. What settings are everyone else using here?

June 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbw

On my device, I have found that using 10 minutes clips gives the shortes delay of 2 seconds. I am using class 6 Sandisk Mobile Ultra card, which measures higher then class 10 (19MB READ / 13MB WRITE).

June 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlestas

i am using a Kingston 16Gb class 10 (see http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/microsdhc-memory-card-performance,3011-11.html ) . benchmarked sequential writes by the kingston class 10 are 19Mb/s.


can this firmware be updated? a simple fix would be for camera to allow 30min , 45 min or 60 min clips, instead of the 1,3,4,5,10,15 min choice on the menu.

June 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbw

i tried different brand class 10 with same results. best setting was 1 minute video clip as it gives the shortest loss of 1 second lost per minute. thats better than loosing 8 seconds at one go for the 10 min setting.

the 15minute setting creates 1.5gb files, surely these are not stored in any buffer or cache before writing.
my theory is the device writes continually while capturing video without delay on a class 10, its the extra work it has to do when writing a new file which slows it down. regardless if it exists it will has to check for & attempt to create the directory \DCIM, decide on the next filename to use PICT0013.AVI, attempt to delete the existing PICT0013.AVI if it exists or not,wait for the disk space to be reclaimed & create the new file.

googled G206 & found a reference to Shenzen Daza, but am still looking for a website with product info & possibly firmware updates.

June 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbw

Hello

I had to replace the battery in my unit because it would not charge or keep it's settings.
Not difficult to replace, but the strangest thing is that now the video recording is upside down.
The viewfinder shows the right way up but not the recording, same with pics.
Did a reset but no change, any ideas please.

June 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephen

i was going to suggest to double check the flip screen menu setting is set, but you mention the viewfinder is ok....forgive me for mentioning the obvious, but what is the right way up to you? on the box top (shown in the youtube vid above) , the viewfinder is not showing the default, i.e. the device is upside down and is used that way for mounting directy on the dashboard.

the default setting (the way it comes delivered) is set for ceiling mount. btw if you have upside down videos VLC player can right them for you. hope this helps


PS what sort of battery was it? a cell type that you pop in? or a solder in battery pack? how do i change mine if needed? thx

June 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbw

... & Stephen, if you dont mind could you let me know what brand/speed memory card are you using & what delay between video clips are you experiencing pls? thanks

b

June 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbw

thanks for the review! do you know if it's possible to turn off sound recording on the HD version?

June 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergw

Ok fixed upside down video, originally it did not matter which way the camera was orientated the video
was upside down. Anyway I was advised to " shake " the camera and that worked....go figure.
Almost as though it had a gyro, which it does not.

Battery was supplied by Scott as a replacement for the duff one in my unit. It's a solder job via 2 short wires to the bottom of the PCB. Card is a Samsung 16 GB class 10 delay seems about 2 - 3 secs when the video is set at 10 mins. I do not think it is possible to turn the audio off.

June 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephen

@gw i couldnt find a way either to disable sound. if i could find where the mic is i would try taping it over or disconnecting it from inside.

but there is also another possible solution :if a firmware update is available.

June 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbw

anyone bought this product? Would like to know how people feel about this product besides Techmoan. The distributor will have some of the HD version in stock in about a week. List some pros and cons.

June 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergodzilla

Anyone have a link on where to purchase the HD version; the posted ebay link seems dead. Regards

June 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAggy

http://www.ebay.com/itm/200745123135?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649#ht_2361wt_1163

June 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlestas

Many Thanks, just got to wait for the HD stock to come back in

June 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAggy

Has any one bought and tried the new version 2 of the HD, which is now 1080p.? If so, any sample clips?

I've ordered it today and hope that the few problems discussed here are sorted in the new software.

The videos look very good at night on the original HD version.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMick

Oh, I thought the 1080p version will be only in one year. Too bad that I have already bought 720p version. Could you, Mick, please add some demo clips when you will receive it?

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlestas

Hi Olestas, the camera should arrive in a few days but I won't get my hands on it until 10 August, as I'm not in the UK. When I receive it, I'll upload some demo videos, if someone else hasn't already by then.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMick

The seller has posted a couple of clips on youtube:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptxVpcebOtM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBgn4ekOMAk

Make sure you select the 1080p to see the best video.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMick

Unfortunately one of 720p cameras I bought for friend stopped working correctly. It hangs randomly after 1-60 minutes with or without card. Only reset can help, but there are no records left.

August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlestas

@Mick,

I just bought the HD Version 2 and the basic one for rear-windshield.

Re. the V2, I regret they used some kind of alloy casing around the lens (was black in V1): it makes the camera highly visible from outside and you can immediatly identify as a camera. I don't see the point of this cosmetic "upgrade" for an item you want as discrete as possible.
I'm considering painting in black.
I'm also fiddling with the duration of loop recording (the manual is very poor) : I set it on 10 minutes but it keeps recording for 1min30sec. Also it seems to stop recording when I stop at a red light or for a short parking.

Re. the Basic non-HD one : beware that it uses MICRO SD card, not the SD card like the HD V2.

/salute

August 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNestorius

Hi thank you for your great informative videos that you do,they are very helpfull..I have your Web site in my favorites menu now..
I have still not decided between Smart cam 2 and a more expensive dash cam,but your video was certainly very imformative about the product ;-)

December 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark Roy

Beware, as one of two dvrs I bought from smartcam is not working anymore, but seller does not respond. So it is 50/50 that you will get working unit.

December 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlestas

Just had a SmartCam 2 delivered today... what a complete waste of money.
The video is jerky when recorded in 1080p and of very poor quality (class 10 card used) and at night it can't see a damn thing!
They must have radically changed the design in the new model or use several types of camera module, so some work well at night whilst others are useless :-(
I'm sending it back for a refund and sticking with my current car DVR which cost me a measly 97p!
A friend has a couple of 808 #16 cameras and the footage they produce in the day and night is superb!
Now if they could use these cameras in a dedicated car PVR they’d be onto a real winner!

January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Hi all. Is there a fast and easy way to save a recording - like if you have just seen "a situation" in traffic and want to keep for later?

Do you have to go through the menu system to save it from being overwritten?

I suppose it might just be a question of software - fx when recording, there's a button which is used for just that purpose.

Best,
JanH

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanH

I carry several SD cards in the car.
If anything note worthy happens I just swap the card over :-)

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Good thinking, Chris! Thx!

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanH

anyone know of any firmware updates for this ? techmoan?
thanks

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbw

DOD RX7W HD WDR Car Video Camcorder 140 Degree Wide Angle Mirror DVR Recorder
hi have you seen this ...? any comments ?

May 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkamosalli

DOD RX7W HDOD CR65W
D WDR Car Video Camcorder 140 Degree Wide Angle Mirror DVR Recorder
hi there thanks for your revews I allways watch your vedios but do you have any new vedios ....
thanks

May 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkamosalli

Have had one of the HD versions of this since your review. It has just stopped working and now displays the message "Card Full" every time its turned on. I have changed the card and reformated. Even tried a "system reset" on the device. Can't find any information on the damned thing anywhere.

March 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterB0M0A0K

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