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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)

Postman, I have ver_20120509 installed on mine. Strange one. Either way, it's useless as a reversing camera. I figure it's there in the event of a collision or incident, and right or wrong way round it's still going to record what happens. It can always be edited and flipped before burnt to a DVD if needed as evidence I suppose.

Muddy, I bougt mine from the same ebay seller and I dont have the problems you have. In response to your questions:

1. The menu is accessed by a single click of the top left button. But you MUST make sure the camera is NOT recording. If mine is recording I cannot access the menu. If you have auto record set to on, it will always start recording when you switch it on, either by plugging it in or switching it on manually. Stop it by pressing the 'rec' button and you should be able to access the menu. You do need to give the buttons a good press too.

2. Playback mode is accessed by a long press of the middle button on the top, the one with the picture of a camera and a play triangle next to it. Once again, you need to make sure the camera is not recording.

3. Very rarely, when I have the screen switched off but still recording, and then switch it on it displays a white screen rather than the image. I have to switch the screen off and on again and it's ok.

Hope this helps with some of your issues.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Great, thanks Matt - I'll try stopping the recording first, never thought of that.
I know the button works, as a long press turns the screen off...
Cheers

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermuddy

hello all
just to let you all know bought 2 of these cams been using them for around 3 weeeks now sent 1 back 4 days ago battery dead kept on switching off today look bad but the second one seem to be going the way the first one went keeps knocking off battery totaly dead after hous of charging !!!!!!!!
paul

November 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpaul

Paul, how were you charging it? If you look back at an earlier post of mine, I charged mine off a standard 5v mini usb phone charger for a couple of hours and it killed the battery. It wouldn't hold any charge at all after that and would only run whilst connected to the car charger. Although this was a slight problem, as long as it recorded in the car, and powered up when connected via USB to the computer which it did, then I was ok with it. Strangely enough, after a few weeks now the battery seems to have fixed itself and it hold charge and works like it used to. I did put a warning on my post that these cameras seem very fussy about what they charge from. The car charger and the USB connected to the computer are fine, but charging from the mains is a no no. I think the general guidance should be not to pre-charge these cameras, and just use them plugged into the car.

November 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

I'm going to buy a USB OTG cable for my Samsung Galaxy S3, and I wondered if I can then plug direct into the camera USB port with my phone, and see the files on the memory card. Would be an easy way of retrieving or uploading files while in the car...

Anyone tried this ?

November 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermuddy

To follow up on the USB OTG....I have bought a USB OTG cable for my Samsung Galaxy S3.
Using this, I can connect direct to the camera, and view the stored videos direct from my phone.
So, I can playback recorded video on the phone screen, share/upload wherever I want, or copy/delete as appropriate.

The bad news is that my camera is faulty - well the front camera at least. It just shows and records a green noise pattern. It was intermittent at first, but now it's more often than not. Repeated resets etc don't fix it.
The rear camera still works and records OK.

I've agreed with the seller than I can buy a new one, then when it arrives, send the original one back for a refund. Means I'll get my hands on a new one sooner, and perhaps won't have to pull all the wiring, rear camera etc out of the car.
Seller did mention that delivery times were longer now due to Christmas rush though.

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermuddy

Well my faulty one I sent back to my Ebay seller from China got to China.......and that's about it. Royal Mail says delivery unsuccessful and it will probably be returned back to me in the UK. Not impressed but we'll see what the seller says if he ever replies to my messages.

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Just a follow up to my last post, the seller has replied stating he has received the item back and is sending out my replacement tomorrow. Just a waiting game now.

December 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Keep us posted Matt, I bought from same seller...

Looks like the fault with mine (green noise screen from front camera) happens when the device warms up.
It nearly always works when I get in the car after it's been parked for a long time, then falls over maybe 10-15 mins later. Won't recover until it's been left for a long time again, no matter how many times I try and reset it.

December 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermuddy

Hi, unfortunately I’ve had to return my camera as well due to the Green Noise bars from the front camera.
I found that it only ever did it when the surroundings were dark, i.e. at night and having the rear camera plugged in made it happen more often. Rear camera was fine and if switched off and on a couple of times it normally did revert back to being OK, but very annoying so returned it with promise of new replacement.
I also asked them to make certain the replacement was ok with the same conditions, hopefully it will be OK.
Supplier was happy to have just the camera back as the rest of the kit is fitted in the car.
I’ll let you know the outcome.

December 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercharmin

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