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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%! 

            

 
« Solder:Time II - Taking the time to make time. | Main | The 808 #18 - A Reluctant Review »
Thursday
Jul052012

A 1080p Wired Bullet Cam

This review is almost a half-hour long, and yet I'm sure that I will have skimmed past things that I wasn't interested in, but other people would want to know about. Therefore, if there is something specific you do want me to cover in a follow up video, let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do if/when I get the chance to do a follow-up video.

CLICK HERE for RAW SAMPLES from this camera.

If you click the link above you will find a shared folder  containing 720p60 & 1080p30 clips as well as a few stills.

So why no price or seller link? (Updated  now included.... see below)

You will notice that there are no links to a seller or even details about the price. I briefly explained why this was the case at the end of the video, but I'll elaborate here. I've been contacted by resellers/retailers who have indicated that they would like to use my videos as product demonstrations on their web stores, but when I promote the name of their competitors as my source, it makes it impossible for them to embed the videos on their site. Therefore for this video I'm trying something different. I've reviewed the product but left out any mention of supplier or price.

If there are any resellers who do stock this camera and want to provide a link to their store in the comments below, please feel free to do so. Likewise, I'm happy for you to embed this video on your website/store. Also if anyone spots these for sale anywhere, you can also post a helpful link below. I'm basically putting a call out and asking you to help one other to find the best place to buy this camera from.

This is just an experiment to see how this affects my viewing numbers. Don't worry, the next few items I'm reviewing after this have been sent to me as review samples...so of course I'll be providing full links to the retailers on these products. You'll have seen a subject for a future review making a cameo appearance in this video. However, please be patient as these reviews take me a long time to put together.

P.S By the way just because the control box has an HDMI in socket on it doesn't mean it will work as a PVR. The camera is using this as a data port only, not for streaming encoded video.

EDIT 12/08/12 I've given the experiment long enough and now it's time to name where I bought mine from

When the auction I've linked to expires, you'll have to look at the seller's page to see if he is selling more.
In future, links to sellers will be on this blog rather than in the video...because that will enable me to keep this information up to date.

UPDATE - 18/8/12 I've now done a review of the car accessory lead and the microphone. This video also includes some night driving footage for those people who were interested in seeing this.

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Reader Comments (162)

As always, a very good review of a product with your usual injection of dry wit, thank you.

This looks to be the best option so far for a reasonably well-priced handlebar cam. I mainly use cameras for recording dangerous driving while cycling but there always seem to be limitations - unlabeled buttons, lack of informational lights, tricky to remember button combos or non-removable batteries.

i currently use an 808 #16 and a rear-facing Muvi clone.

This camera with a spare battery would more or less cover all bases. The control box could either go in a top tube bag or in the seat pack with a long enough cable. I'll wait and see how the prices develop before taking the plunge

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlasdair

Thanks for the review!
Is there a way to increase the video compression bitrate?
12mb/sec is not enough for 1080P
Maybe there will be a firmware update for this dvr/camera

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

There is no way to manually change bit rates....I've never come across a camera that has this feature. Don't expect any firmware updates.

July 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Another excellent review and by far the best helmet camera reviews I have ever seen so many thanks for that. I am very interested to hear the sound quality of a mic mounted inside the helmet. Also I just thought it worth a mention is that I have seen bullet cams wrapped up in layers of foam in order to suppress the wind noise, I presume just like those big professional mic booms that animals always seem attracted to or fond of attacking, just a passing thought and no idea if this is really practical, Thanks for all your reviews but this one is the most promising looking bullet cam in my low budget price range, great stuff

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBludfart

Great review. Will it also record while charging?

July 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjax

Hi,
Thank, for this review. Excellent as always. Would you consider this superior than your previous favourite the RD32II? I am looking for a bike (not motor) cam and this 'seems' the best so far.

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

@Peter It's definitely my favourite action camera. I use it every time I go out on the bike. It's so easy to use and doesn't draw attention to itself....other action cameras stick out too far from the helmet. The ability to accurately line up the camera whilst it is being worn is invaluable.

July 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Great review! I am so impressed that you post raw camera footage. I asked GoPro for some and they told me to GoLook at Youtube.
Thank you heaps!
Rob

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob Thompson

Hi. Excellent as usual. I want to use it as a helmet cam for my commute to and from work.

Could you upload a video of some night time recording. Can you see anything?

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParv1

@Parv1 When I test out the auto-start/stop car kit, I'll try and take it out on the road at night.

July 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Has anyone found a link for a supplier of spare batteries for this?

July 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlasdair

Dogcam list a spare battery for £20.

There has to be a cheaper supplier and I'd guess it is a generic shape possibly used in a phone?

July 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

isn't it this one? http://www.dogcamsport.co.uk/mini-dvr-hd-battery.html

and still no review of that lovely new bike?! flipping 'eck what are we paying you for ? ... oh... oh yeah!

July 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

Thanks for the battery link(s). Hopefully the ebay prices will be cheaper when they appear, but that's not too bad a price to begin with.

Hopefully spare handlebar mounts will appear too, to simplify bike-swapping.

July 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlasdair

I'm looking at getting one of these for motorcycling. A little concerned about the Velcro holding up is it really strong enough? I think I'd prefer some of the 3M stuff.

How well does the external microphone do? I'm assuming you'd wedge it somewhere in your helmet. Does turning off the external microphone cut out all the nasty wind noise?

July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScaredyCat

The velcro has stuck so far, but I understand your concern. The mic is too big to fit into my helmet, any mic would be...it's a very tight fit. You can turn the mic volume down or up on either mic and mute either one entirely. I suppose if you found a way to keep the mic out of the wind then you wouldn't get any wind noise...same as any mic in this regard.

July 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

@Techmoan
Thank you very much for your reviews. I have seen now many of them. I a do own this camera and therefore was watching this particular video with great interest. I'm not too satisfied with. I was not able to record one single video without problems. The camera gets always stuck too and i have to open it und take out the battery.I have to say, that i'm in vintage cars and maybe the cable (lense to camera) causes of the problems.
Link to a test video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feAPLmkxlgg
The car in this video: 1935 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Hooper Sport Saloon.

Thanks for the review, it is simply superb.
I have just ordered one now from China 195$ including shipping to Denmark.

I intend to use it on my race car. I'll keep you posted.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjano

Today i took a video in an other vintage car, a 1954 Willys Wagon. And it was very OK. My mechanic thinks it is the 12V power cable, that takes the disturbance, not the cable to the lense, Next time i'm in one of the problem cars i unplug the power connection to test, whether the power cable has to be shielded.

Scared Cat
The Velcro holds fine. it is my favorite fix to my vintage cars.

Jano
I'm wondering how you order all the cables in your race car:-). From the camera:
...1) to the lense
...2) to power 12 Volt
...3) the on and off Switch
...4) the external microphone
That is a disadvantage of this type of camera: cables everywhere

Am I correct to understand that this camera is the same one that's sold on the Dog Cam website? I'm in a jam right now having purchased equipment that did not work for what I needed so I don't want to spend a lot of money and would rather buy it without all the markup. Can you order directly from the Chinese manufacturer? Other question - Can this camera be powered with wall electricity instead of the battery? I want to use the camera as a second camera to mount to a guitar for instructional video, do you anticipate any problems? The camera would be mounted on the headstock shooting down the length of the neck....Thanks, and thanks for your great review!

August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike C

It's very likely the same as the one from Dogcamsport but I can't confirm this. You could power it via USB, but with such a long battery life it would probably last long enough for a Springsteen set, so I'm not sure you'd need to. However this camera is not suitable for you....as I mentioned in the video, it doesn't have auto focus or a macro lens, the closest objects in focus are about two feet away, so your guitar would just be a blurry mess.

August 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

How did you get it lined up right when sticking it to your helmet? I'm having terrible trouble, even with looking at the screen. Did you line it up with the helmet on a flat surface and then adjust for head tilt?

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScaredyCat

I sat on the bike in a riding position with my helmet on and stuck the camera on with duct tape whilst looking at the screen. I then got off the bike and applied it properly.

August 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks, That worked out nicely. I've also purchased the stereo mic which makes a massive difference to the audio. Turned off the internal, set the external to volume 3 and it's pretty damn good. just hear the engine and even at speed little or no wind noise and perfectly clear voice.

Now all I have to do is stop wittering while I'm riding.. If they ever found be dead and played back the footage they'd think I was insane or something...


Andy

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Powell

Andy, which mic did you buy and where from? Where do you place the mic to get the good quality sound?

Thanks

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

I got this microphone http://www.dogcamsport.co.uk/external-mic.html

I have a shark helmet which has cheek pads. I fed the wire up behind the left side one - mic sits just poking out.

With the visor open, at any real speed, it's as bad as the internal one, but with the visor shut it's fantastically clear.

Have a quick look at this clip http://dl.dropbox.com/u/188253/mov/MOVI0005.MOV - ignore me complaining about my ear being bent back ;)

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Powell

Thanks for a great review, and based on your review I purchased this.
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Full-HD-1080P-Sports-Camera-Action-Camera-1080P-Helmet-Camera-Free-shipping/902839_567105904.html , US$160 shipped. Hope its the same.

Les

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLes

Andy, thanks for that. Sounds pretty good albeit with the visor down.

Les, that looks the same and is a cracking price!

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

Just thought I'd add the seller on eBay that I got mine from, http://lin.cx/ebaybulletcam is the item. seems to match what Techmoan has. I'm happy anyway :) - Got to me within about 8 days.

I've found the little Velcro strips aren't up to much. Got up this morning to find the sticky backing had separated from the velcro on the helmet side. Also noticed that the camera rotates in the elasticated holder. After a couple of hours the footage was all at an angle.

I've switched to using the strap adaptor but I've used some 3M alternative to velcro that I had. Went out for a couple of hours - camera hasn't rotated at all.


I still think it would have been better to provide a link Techmoan. Granted people are posting where they got there cameras from but each one of us is risking getting a dud when we do it.

August 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Powell

@les

I hate to give you potentially bad news but..... that aliexpress website has a very bad reputation according to trust pilot.

http://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.aliexpress.com

It seems he offers lower prices on goods then ships low quality goods thats even if it gets shipped at all. He has some good reviews and hopefully you get your cam, but others should be warned of this bad repuation, sometimes it is better to pay a little bit extra to buy from a good reliable seller.

Hopefully it all works out for you, but he seems to have too many bad reviews for it to be just a once off occurance, he even asked for more cash off one buyer!!

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjim

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