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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%! 

            

 
« Belkin CarAudio Connect AUX with Bluetooth | Main | Liquid Image Ego Review - Part 2 »
Tuesday
Sep182012

A Car DVR with a wired rear camera

My Car DVR reviews seem to be quite popular, so I thought it was time to do another one. It takes something a bit different to get my attention with so many similar car cams available. This model does have the interesting feature of an additional wired rearview camera. The fact that the camera is compact and pretty cheap also counts in its favour.  

I hijack the beginning of the video review to explain why it’s really not possible for me to answer the (hundreds) of email requests I receive asking me to recommend a specific ‘best’ car camera. This will also apply in relation to the similar requests I often get regarding action cams. 

I really can’t tell people what camera to buy, any more than a car magazine would try and tell you what car you should drive. These reviews are produced only to help people to formulate a decision based upon their own very specific personal requirements. Please also bear in mind that everything I test is only used for a short period of time, I have no idea about the long term reliability of any of the products I review. 

Overall though, this seems to me like a pretty decent camera for the price, despite one or two relatively minor niggles. I paid approximately £50 for mine from this seller on eBay who despatched from the UK. If you want an up-to-date list of auctions, you can click This Link which will perform a search on eBay UK for you.

Some of the other eBay sellers stock a grey coloured model and some also come with a different style of adjustable rear camera. 

I have also found it for sale on DX.COM where it seems to be supplied with an additional suction cup mount

As always there seem to be a few variations of this camera around - so take a close look at any example screenshots shown in any adverts. The menus in mine appear as a bar along the bottom of the screen.  Here's an example of one where the OSD looks completely different, and I have no idea how this one performs (It also comes without the rear camera).

UPDATE - 22 SEPTEMBER 

Download four clips here - Front & Back, Day & Night.

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Reader Comments (493)

I too think it is due to FAKE SD CARD... people who buy camera from ebay mostly buy SD card also from ebay and get trapped by dodgy sellers.
Actually camera is HD quality, with voice and also rear... so it needs high quality SD card.... Rating 10 card is required (and not fke).

Please can any one try with good quality 10rating card or sandisk and let me know results?

June 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnas

I've got one of these with a 32GB class 10 sandisk card and it works absolutely fine. The only issue I had with it was recently some of the files were corrupt when I tried to view them after uploading them, but I realised that these files were all ones I'd tried to view with the unit itself before uploading. All the others were fine. I.e. don't bother trying to view the files with the unit - just upload them and view from your computer. I managed to recover the corrupt files anyway but it was a bit of hassle. So far my unit has caught someone who broke into my car, and recently got the reg of someone who assaulted me in a road rage incident - the police were very impressed with the camera and wanted one for themselves! Having said that I've only become so unlucky since getting the unit so maybe it's cursed!

June 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDamian

Damian, you do seem unlucky recently, but I'm glad you got lucky with this camera. From some of the feedback I get, I start to wonder if I got this review completely wrong, but every now and then I get a comment like yours which puts my mind at rest.

June 17, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I thought it was about time I dropped back in here and left an update.

I’ve now had four cameras... the first one as reported here came direct from China sold on eBay by Sue_Winner, total disaster. After some discussion I had to send the original back before they would send a replacement, this all took four-five weeks, camera suffered from green bars scrolling down screen when in low light. (Common fault)

The replacement came but the rear camera did not work at all, (Common Fault) after buying a new, just rear camera from a UK seller to try, it made no difference, another £6.50 wasted, it clearly was a problem with the new replacement camera.

I tried getting a refund this time from Sue_Winner but could get no response at all from the supplier, so I went to my credit card company which I had used through PayPal to perform the original purchase, eBay were hopeless as more than 26 days had passed since the purchase and not prepared to do anything.
I insisted the credit card company pursue a full refund from Sue_Winner which they eventually did. I also had their PayPal account locked for two weeks which I hope they enjoyed.

I kept the camera having asked if they wanted it back first but they never replied again... so for me that is a “result”
So still no fully working camera, next one I ordered from what appeared to be a UK supplier, wrong... there are NO UK suppliers, only UK import agents who ship the item on from within the UK.

This camera appeared better but after a week when it had been on for 10 mins + it started losing frames and freezing (Common Problem), after some discussion I was requested to return camera for replacement... TO CHINA.. at my cost. (Common fault) I refused and sent it back to the UK address for a refund, but of course to get another I had to fork out and pay for another one.

This time I appear to have been lucky, and basically that’s what you have to be with these cameras to get one fully working. The refund was prompt and the replacement turned up in a few days from First Supply UK.. yea !

My conclusion as I have spent many hours researching in-between each camera disaster is this,
If the firmware is before Dec 2012, don’t even bother trying it. (Common fault)
The majority of the problems are due to the rear camera being fitted, freezing, locking up, files being unreadable are just some of the errors, remove the rear camera and you will get an instant improvement, but of course you are defeating the object of this particular camera by getting rid of the rear camera.

Use a maximum 8Gb memory card, type 4 is more than adequate, higher memory faster speed will cause problems, (Common fault) I have tried all options believe me...

Always use 2min file length setting for your best chance of having uninterrupted files. (Common fault)

If your car has it’s radio aerial built into the rear screen heater element, be prepared for some interference from the camera on your radio, if you’ve noticed radio reception is generally poorer, you now have the answer. I have fitted filters to the DC cables for each camera which has helped, these are the type you find on your mobile phone charger lead, eBay 79p each.

So the good news... armed with the two cameras I now have, I’ve fitted one camera to the front and one to the rear of the car, no need for the rear add-on camera which means they both actually work properly.

I have added the refinement of SD memo card extension cables, (eBay £9) so the mem card is now remote from the camera and can be removed in a few seconds, ext cable tucked into roof lining and fed to behind the front sun visor, rear one tucked into rear pillar trim, all cables etc fitted behind trim so hardly able to notice cameras, rear camera was a bit tricky finding a 12volt supply to power the adapter but compared to finding a camera that worked it was easy.... I was in fact fortunate enough to have a rear lighter socket so tapped into that and ran wires under trim and rear seat so can’t be seen.

Small piece of black tape over 90% of the LED lights works a treat so you can just see it is on, small piece of tape over the speaker grill on the back drops the volume of the start-up tune a treat.

Link here to see video of installation http://youtu.be/QHZ3N09G94k

Hope this is of some help to anyone, the original Tech review was very good but I guess these things need to be tried for some time to see how they continue to work, or not... clearly this is not possible for every review, feedback is therefore very important.

Oh, and of course if I had known all this I would probably never have bought this camera in the first place, however both continue to work fine at the moment.

Thanks. Check the video and sorry this is a bit long....

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharmin

@Charmin:

Well, that's a very nice post/work you did there. Congrats! BTW, the video was very useful too.

IMHO from the Techmoan original's review I was positively impressed with the camera. Not to expensive and a good buy for what it was supposed to do. That was my main deciding factor - not poiting any fingers though - but it seems to be a gamble nevertheless.
After reseting the car DVR a few times, (it still gets me confused why it still remembers my language setting instead of putting everything back to its default settings; not a true reset I guess) it seems to be working properly now BUT when it runs low on space it starts freezing and lagging (like Anas stated on April, 2nd) and not recording properly "as usual". Solution: every 5 days or so (perhaps 8 hours) of driving a card format should be performed. That'll reduce your card's life but it's a setback that I should cope with. My car DVR works the same way with or without the back camera.

Thanks for you valuable input Charmin!

Regards everyone!

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannibal

My 2 cents about this cam:

F70 purchased on Aliexpress from Shenzhen CG Electronics Co., Ltd. here: http://tinyurl.com/qyjcrm5

Come in a box like this http://tinyurl.com/q8mshbx

Firmware F70_20130126

Problem with record freezing every 15-30 seconds, even with 1 min video lenght, solved with Samsung microSDs (8GB class 6 and 16 GB class 10, the ones with orange characters). Before I used a genuine Sony class 4.
On the video lenght menu (RT) the "OFF" item selects a 10 minutes lenght instead (and it works flawless with the above card).

Then there were troubles on rear camera recording: strange periodical (every 2 seconds) artifacts on video playback using Media Player Classic - Home Cinema and K-Lite codecs on PC. Perfect playing on VLC or my home mediaplayer and TV instead, so test different players.

Battery doesn't last so much. I saw it came from rear camera consumption.
I think (voiding my warranty) of modify it deactivating the (unuseful) IR leds and putting in the middle of the cable a special board (DIY) that supplies power to the rear camera right from car wiring by command of the DVR rear camera plug, if I do and it will work then I'll post schematic.

To place the DVR on the right position, with camera lens that views through a well wiped glass area and no visual obstruction for the driver, I had to use the bi-adesive support (sucker is nice and well done, but is too thick on such position, DVR interfere with rearview mirror). After some DVR lock/unlock it loose the grip, so that DVR slid out on tight turns (maybe some insulating tape applied on the "peg" would make the trick to regain the right grip).

Hope it helps.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteramaze1

I bought mine mid october 2012 as a result of this review. Version is V05, firmware F20_20120905.
I find the audio to be a little too noisy, even set to minimum.
The rear cam records a mirror image (left is right...) but that's no big deal, number plates can still be read.
Initially, I had problems with corrupt files/ missing video (audio still there though!) but then I found an article on wiki regarding the use of high class cards and multiple file writes.
It seems that many class 10 cards aren't as able as their lower class counterparts when it comes to writing multipkle files at the same time - bear in mind this camera expects the card to write from Cam A, CamB and possiby two lock files - that's 4 identical files.
I knocked my G-sensor off completely - fed up of having a folder jam pqacked with lock files) and now use a 32GB class 6 card - and not a dodgy or dropped file to be had - You notice, it will always drop or corrupt THE most important file - sods law!
I recently upgraded to the newer 60fps model - recording from the rear cam was abysmal to say the least - got a full refund for that cam.

I'm now eagerly awaiting Techmoan's review of the new Mobius camera - from the 808 stables. It seems to have a lot going for it - not to mention a nice little app for smartphones - good for accurately positioning the camera, and viewing/downloading files, all settings can be changed from the app, saves messing around pulling the card.
I wouldn't mind seeing this with a bluetooth ability (to connect to phone/tablet). Be great to have two tiny cameras covering back & front in glorious 1080p. instead of the huge black box stuck in the windscreen.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

About my previous post and the "OFF" item in RT menu:
I've just found that in such case the DVR really wants record one long video file (well 2, the A for front camera and the B for the rear one), even if actually slicing it in 10 minutes video files, but when card is full it stop !
So I went back to 5 min length

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteramaze1

Hi all, was going to buy one of these dual dvr cams but there's that many different sellers I'm worried that I might get one with the old firmware that , with the recent posts, have got a lot of problems,.
Can anyone recommend any sellers ?, I know there are a lot on eBay and amazon?
Thanks

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

@Colin

Like I said previously, I've had a bad experience with the seller micro.digital on eBay. Everything was nice until I complained and they offered to help. I've sent a sample of my buggy videos and they went silent until today. I guess they realized they had to refund me and since I only noticed the problem after the coverage period (45 days) they just let it slide without doing nothing.
But recommend a seller? I don't think, that even with a recommendation, your purchase will forcefully be successful. It depends (among other things) on the firmware so I'd start by contacting lots of sellers asking what the firmware of the dvr is, and then google for know problems on it.

Just my two cents on it.


Hannibal

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannibal

Hi Hannibal, thanks for your response , I have now contacted a couple of sellers so will need to wait for them to reply with the firmware number, I also don't know whether to get the one with or without remote control??
Thanks again for taking the time to help! :-). P.s how did you get on? R u getting a new one?

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

# Colin

The most successful company I tried was First-Supply on eBay, just looked and they are still doing them, offer around £65 should do.

Of course you are still taking a chance with any of them but they dispatch from UK just make certain the one you look at is shown as Middlesex, the same one they do cheaper is from China, 10 days wait.

If there is a problem they are reasonable at customer service and will refund once they get it back.

The ones I had from them did have latest'ish firmware.

But the problem is with the rear camera fitted you may be prone to problems, no matter what else is said on here. If you read back through my last post since then with no rear cam fitted I have had no problems and (both) are now reliable.

if you didn't want the rear camera functionality they do a updated front only HD one now for a similar price, but of course they may have similar problems. I have seen under the sales blurb they are saying don't use the Motion sensor as it has Bugs... good start but at least they are honest !

Good luck.

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharmin

I suppose that the one without remote has no rear camera? I honestly didn't even knew there was one version without remote but, im my opinion a remote is always handy (even though that the fact the "menu" button appears as "meun" button instead still grinds my gears). I'm still using the same dvr as I've managed to put it working as best as it would (still have to delete files manually/format the microsd card before it gets full though)...
About the rear camera I've got no complains; it doesn't give me any problems as the dvr worked in the same manner with or without it attached. I use it manly as a parking camera (just as a help not as a fully functional and accurate one).

Hope you get lucky with your future purchase!

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannibal

Apparently the firmware of one of the suppliers is F20_20130524 which I don't seem to find anything about? Its on a New Separated Reversing Version X 6 HD 720P Dual Lens Vehicle DVR . Has anyone else came across this firmware??

July 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

# Colin

All it means is ..... 24th May 2013 (20130524) it's very new firmware..... F20 is the type of Processor used inside, F20 is the standard one.

July 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharmin

Thanks m8, I did manage to work the date one out, however didn't know about the f20 part though :-)
I'm prob going to buy it for the $98 , I'm just waiting for a couple on amazon to get back to me on their firmware ($60)
Thanks

July 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

Forgot to mention , DON'T buy anything from eBay seller .he is FAKE . I paid for a dvr of him , waited over a month after getting told it was shipped , eventually started a dispute on PayPal and eventually got money back
He's prob changed his name now so just beware!!

July 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

Don't know why the name vanished of the last post? It was cbwholesaler88

July 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

i bought this camera from wuxf2011 on ebay
I am typing this as a warning not to deal
with this seller. They offer a warrante and guarantee
for the product. They communicated with me fine offering
a partial refund and the suggestion i fix it
I replied i can not fix it and would like a full refund as per
your warranty guarantee, All emails from them on were
ignored and they refuse to reply to me.
cheers

July 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrazza

I just bought one yesterday from First-supply through eBay for $95. coming from their Sydney warehouse (apparently)Thought I would pay a little bit more than Amazon ones as that was the only one with the f20_20130524 firmware. It's meant to b shipped so I'll keep my fingers crossed!

July 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

Hi, received my camera today( it was a pretty quick delivery, only a week as it arrived Friday) . Seems to work fine but isn't the firmware that I got told it would have , its got the usual f_20 121217 . It did come with English instructions manual and already English set. Will complain to First-Supply that sold it to me but can't really see them telling me they will swop it for the new firmware that they told me it would have :-(

August 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

# Colin

Shame they didn't send the very latest firmware version however I have no idea what they might have changed since end of 2012, it may not be very much.

Your best bet is to tell them anyway about the firmware and that you are willing to try the camera (which should be ok with that firmware anyway), it really seems to be luck of the draw with the camera build rather than the firmware, provide it is reasonably recent.

Good luck and if it does play up try it without the rear camera fitted to see if the same problems persist, hopefully it will be OK anyway.

Cheers

PS not to tempt fate but mine are still working fine.

August 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharmin

@Colin:
Maybe that's a good thing. Now you can compare if your firmware behaves the same way that the others f20_20121217 do. Nevertheless you should complain to the seller as you bought on the premisse of a wrong information they gave you. They probably won't refund/exchange it but they might (and that would be pure gold) give you a way to flash your firmware. If they had a program that would backup/upgrade firmware for this DVR it would be great!
Keep us posted, will you?

About the camera, keep an eye on it and check if it keeps recording normally after the card becomes full.

Regards,

Hannibal

August 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannibal

First supply have got back to me today, they asked me to send a pic of the firmware and have said I can have the camera with the newer firmware but it won't b available until the 10th August or they will give me $30 back as I have an older model (firmware) i've said that I would like the newer one rather than money back, might b daft doing so but surely there must have been a reason for a newer firmware? Might last that wee bit longer! Will let u know what happens!

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

Hi again, seller has said that they can send me a new one via express delivery from China! do you think this is ok? China? Or is this where the dodgy ones are? The one I've got came from an Australian warehouse but I can't find anything that says if it was also made in china?

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

Yes, they all originate from China.

August 6, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks , thought that! I've told them to send the new one, might as well! It is what I paid for :-)

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

Hi again all, update! I have told First-supply that i will now keep the dvr they have sent and they have sent me $30 refund for my troubles. Have got to admit , their customer service have been great to deal with and have responded immediately to any of my e-mails.
Now ive got a problem :-( My videos are stuttering every second when i play them back. its not missing any timeframes ,just every second on my display matches the stutter. I have a 16gb Sandisk ultra class 10, so surely its not my card?? Anyone got any suggestions?? I can only play on Quicktime as windows media player doesnt recognise the file? It is MOV. file
Thanks

August 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

Colin. Install the k-lite codec pack to ensure your video codecs are up to date.

August 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks techmoan. Updated my codec and when use media player classic it plays fine. Very slight random pauses but could just b my crap laptop. Phew!! What would I do I do without people like yourself!! Now to try it with my rear cam installed :-}
I've also asked for first supply to find out about any possible firmware updates, says they are going to contact manufacturer so I'll keep you all informed on the outcome.
Thanks again for your help.

August 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin

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