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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
DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam
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%! 

 
« 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)

Well, I came to use the camera this morning and it had saved the setting for the rear camera, meaning that when I looked at it on the screen it was the correct way round. Result! But then, I put the rear view camera on full screen it flips the image and it shows it in reverse, as I knew it would. I think this is to make it look like you are reversing by looking in the mirror. When I've got home and reviewed the footage, the image is always the right way round. Even when I was parked up switching the orientation of the rear camera, it has remained recording the correct way round only. And it records sound perfectly. Are you sure the setting is switched on for audio? Strange that it plays it with sound through the camera. It must have saved it to the card with audio, so I suspect there is another issue somewhere else. On a side note, I've read on Techmoan's youtube comments people returning the products because they keep switching off after sayiing 'lower power' after a few minutes and they think they are not holding charge or drawing enough power to run and charge the unit at the same time. Well, this isnt a fault, it's a setting on the camera under 'shutdown time' which needs to be set to 'off' otherwise it will shut down after 1, 3 or 5 minutes. Out of the box, both of mine have had this set to 3 minutes as default, so I can see why people think theirs is faulty.

November 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Mine just always shows it as if i look in the mirror. I have no problem with that.

For any who are annoyed by the very loud startup and shutdown sound, I just operated on mine. The speaker sits in the back shell and is connected to the pcb by two wires, red and black. I cut one of them and hey presto, silence!

November 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Has anyone seen the upgraded version of this? My camera arrived in a box for the upgraded model (didnt actually read the box until today!) The camera inside was the 'basic' one which Techmoan has reviewed. However, reading the box, there is an identical looking version but with 1080p, HDMI output and GPS which is built into the slimline windscreen mount. I've searched the internet but cannot actually find it for sale. Has anyone found it?

November 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Just ordered mine. £41.99 inc P&P from China. Duties may be on top, but still works out as an okay price. Based on this review I think this will serve the purpose good enough. Hiding those cables will be interesting though...

November 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLawrie

Hi matt I tried looking for it but no luck perhaps if you contact the people you bought the camera from.....I have just received the V2000GS camera from ebdeals.com and have a couple of issues namely the instruction leaflet is in russian the car power lead is far too short to hide away and I cant find software to access the google maps app Techmoan has tried to help bless him but at present i am no further forward.I have emailed ebdeals a couple of times but at present no one there has had the decency to reply so anyone thinking of buying this camera think twice before placing an order with ebdeals If in the meantime I receive satisfactory answers from the supplier I will modify my remarks accordingly.......good luck with your search

November 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIpol

I have bought the same dvr from china for aprox. 55 euros. It is the one without the remote controll, and I have the same problem with KEV. I have managed to flip my front camera with MIC and REC buttons but I cannot flip my rear camera which is mirrrored by default. In addition, I occasionally have some crashes and bad responses from the device. I'm also not satisfied with the quality of the front camera.The exposure is rather low even with the +3 setting enabled, which results in pretty dark and fuzzy videos. I think techmoan's dvr video quality (as I can see from his review) is a little bit higher. My firmware version is the F20-20120716 as well. I have no problem with audio recording except that it clips when it records conversations. I believe there are several editions of this device lying around, with different qualities...

Besides all of these I think it is a fair play for what you get for 50 euros. it is really install and forget... I hope.

Btw,is there any way to download a newer firmware which hopefully fixes these problems ?

November 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPostman

postman, have you tried flipping it using the left button that also switches the screen off? Use the top right button to change the camera view so that the rear view camera is displayed full screen. Then, press and hold the top let button to switch the screen off. Press it (maybe hold but cant remember) and it will come on the opposite way round to how it was displayed. It flips everything, including all the writing and numbers on the screen not just the image. Press the top right to swap it back to picture in picture and the front camera will be the right way round, including on screen text now. If you press it again to go full screen rear camera, it will revert back to how it was before, but so far, with mine flipped using this method, it has remained the right way round no matter how long the device is switched off for. On a plus note, my camera which had a faulty battery has fixed itself! It reached full charge yesterday whilst I was driving and it now retains charge! I have no complaints with regards to the image on mine. It looks just like Techmoan's and just as good as any dashcam footage I have seen, especially for this price. Left all the settings to auto and it seems to work it all out. Night doesnt seem to bad. Roads with street lighting look like Techmoan's and I think his footage looks quite good.

November 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Matt, I tried your solution but it doesn't work. I even tried to reset to default settings by pressing the little button next to the Power button. Maybe is the firmware version. As far as I know, the latest vesrion is the F20_20120905 but I have the F20_20120716 installed. Which one is yours? Anyway, there is no big deal if the rear camera is mirrored, maybe it's more convenient when parking.

P.S. I have the same video quality as kev's videos, posted above.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPostman

Regarding the rearview camera being the wrong way around. I see these DVR's sold with various kinds of rearview cameras. Prorbably depends on what is available when packing the product, as the rear camera is not made by the company which make the DVR itself. The makers of the Rear cameras have them i two versions, one is mirrored, one is not. It is a setting inside the camera, usually in a Flash EEprom on the board. There is nothing to do about this unfortunately.
My bundle came with a rear camera that looks like Techmoan's and it's the "right" way around watching the video file on the computer, not mirrored - I personally doesn't care which way round it's on the DVR display as i do not watch that. I have a seperate reversing camera and monitor in my car.
Also, i got the Black model of the DVR, no remote, and even on +3 setting the picture is pitch black in the evening, so it's kinda crap in that regard:-/

I took some pictures of the internals if anyone is interested: http://gallery.zapro.dk/Technical%20%28Teknik%29/Car%20DVR/

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPer Jensen

Hi

I have just bought one of these devices; the main unit looks the same as the one in the review, but the rear camera is rotateable.
Came with remote control, suction mount, stick-on mount, and no string...

Bought from a seller on Ebay called "mteli_cctv", item snappily named "Dual Lens 720P 2.0 Car Vehicle HD DVR Camera Video Recorder Camcorder G-sensor".

Couple of problems though, and wondered if it's just because the instructions are out of date, or if there is a fault.

1) I can't access the menu. I've pressed the "Menu/Model" button (top left) twice as per the manual, but nothing. Long-pressed, single-pressed, pressed lots of times....but no apparent change. Is there a different way of accessing it ?

2) I can't enter playback mode. If I long-press the Photo/Playback button (top middle) as per the manual, nothing changes.

3) The screen sometimes displays random noise rather than any form of image. Think this maybe related to rotating the front lens.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermuddy

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