Donations

You can help fund Techmoan with a donation

Click to visit Patreon.com/Techmoan  

SEARCH BOX: Searches this website

*SHOPPING LINKS ARE AFFILIATED*

For more info on this - click on "About' at the top of the page. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE for COMPANIES

Techmoan never approaches a company asking for review samples.

 


    

Articles by Category

 


Techmoan Merchandise at TeeSpring

Merch


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.

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (493)

Jason - thanks. Will reset to 3 mins option tomorrow and see what I get in the lottery bag when I get home! Does yours retain ANY battery life at all, once powered down? Mine lasts about 30 seconds which makes a mockery of the option to shut down after x minutes! Haven't tried having the screen off which might improve things? As a general rule how much "time" do you manage to record in total - think my "record" is about two Hours using a 32 gig card. Thanks for the input.

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGary

Earnie - thanks. Definitely got the g sensor OFF.

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGary

go to page 13 of this thread and find my posts - i go into gory detail about how mine works and what settings i use. long story short, i get 4 hours of recording time using an 8gb card, with resolution set to vga.

i don't think 3 mins is an option - only 1, 2, and 5. normally i use 1 minute loop time, but when i put the camera in my race car i switch to 2 so there's no break in the middle of a run, which is typically anywhere from 50-80 seconds depending on the course.

battery life - mine typically shuts off anywhere from 10-30 seconds after turning off the ignition even though i have it set to 1 minute, but i think this is just a software bug or something. i can turn it on (while not plugged into anything) and play videos for quite some time - in fact i've never run the battery down just playing videos, though i'll admit i don't do it very often. i don't ever try to record while not plugged into power. i do have it set to turn off the screen after 1 minute during normal operation, but that's mostly just because it's annoyingly bright at night. the LEDs are even annoying during the day they're so bright, so i have black electrical tape covering 95% of the LEDs. that way i can still see if it's recording or not with the screen off, but it doesn't light up the whole interior of the car at night. i'm not exaggerating - these lights are just STUPIDLY bright and there's no good reason for them to be that bright, even in a convertible with the top down on a bright summer day.

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJason G

the review claims the battery lasts up to two hours on its own, thas is if one does not use the LCD, are you guys are confirming this is not the case, only minutes?

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFatlip

@gary; the G-sensor is something else than the motiondetection. Watch the icon switch between camera or running-man in the top left of your screen. Should be camera icon.

About battery; mine does easily 20 minits but beware if you camera switches on/off with your starter key. It will continue when switched off on batteries, wearing them out in a matter of weeks to null... I switch my camera on manually, no problems to use it a while on batteries outside the motorhome.

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErnie

@fatlip - not a chance. even w/ screen off, and plugged into a different, lower current charger, the camera dies (corrupting the last file) after about an hour of recording. you might be able to get 2h of playback is you're using the av out jack and not the internal LCD but i wouldn't bother trying.

this isn't really designed to be used without the charger though.

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJason G

i wonder if the review covered a whole different version of this dash cam unit, he does say more exists, and in his video he does say one can record up to 1:30 min with LCD and 2HR with out

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFatlip

@ernie bad wording on my part, I fully understand what u mean between motion and camera. I use (have it running in the background, no interactive use of it) mine, when teaching pupils to drive, so engine is on/off all day long! Guess that's why my batt is knackered already?

To be honest that does not present me with an issue, provided, can get the files off at the end of the day (I will simply turn it off if I capture a "moment" that I need) But as stated earlier my "trials" to date have been somewhere between crap and poor. I will persevere with all of the suggestions on here, patience is already wearing thin! Really appreciate yours and others (Jason) input

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGary

@fatlip - different firmwares exist, as well as different versions of the camera. check out my link to the f70/i1000 on dashcamtalk a few posts up from here. they discuss the different versions, some of which have completely different chipsets inside.

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJason G

About the firmware in this dashcam, it is really FIRM, no flash inside that you could update with your pc. I have a camera with firmware dated januari 2014 where a friend of mine has one with march 2014. Appearently they are still developing further it, which is good. I asked my supplier Nikingstore-EU and they confirmed it's not upgradable (which is cheaper to manufacture).

What I think is a chance missed, is the REVERSING CAMERA THAT IS NOT MIRRORED. If you really want to use it for backing up (like I do with my motorhome) it feels strange if not mirrored, which is so easy to do with software in the cam. It should be switchable.

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErnie

Hi Techmoan,
Very nice review on this dvr.
How do I use this dvr as a webcam "PC camera" ? Do I need to download any driver and software to us it as a webcam ?
Thank you very much.

July 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjohnvu

@johnvu, as far as I've experiened it is not possible to use it as a webcam. Once the usb is connected, only the filesystem is availeble, but the camera as such is not recognised at my pc (win7 dell studio).
I've found another brilliant application for it; surveilling the car parked in front of my campervan where the camera is in! Nobody expects that!

July 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErnie

Does anyone know if you can get a replacement "second" camera for this DVR.

Mine has succumbed to weather and vibration.

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

@John, you can try to write a message via amazon at the supplier Nikingstore-Eu. They at least give you a proper answer!
good luck. PS : my rearview camera fell off of the window when my campervan was parked in the sun. Even double windowpanes made it too hot for it to stick :-(

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErnie

Just a general question - applicable to all cameras + sat nav etc.

I know we have to put up with some cables hanging around, but I'd prefer not to have one running across my dash from the cigarette lighter.

Anyone aware if there are specific adapters available, for us to hard wire the power supply, so that we can leave the dash free ?

cheers guys

August 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFurkin

@furkin, what you could do is search for one neat little plug in the dash and run it to a multiplug outlet sitting underneath the dash, out of sight. You'll have to be familiar with electrics and preferably your circuitry of your own car, to add a fixed connection and leave the dash free of cables. It not a big deal but you'll have to decide somewhere how to join up with the existing groups of fused circuits in you car. Experience helps a lot. If you're not certain, buy a multi-outlet with an extension lead, and wire that up with the internal/backside connection of you sigarette lighter. Add an extra in-wire-fuse it that makes you feel safer.
Good luck,
Ernie

August 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErnie

Hi all,

I have purchased this camera, however, I think it probably has been sitting on the shelf since 2012 (the battery does not hold charge very well at all). Got it for cheap, so I'm not fussed about warranty. Took the back cover off to see how replaceable the battery is. EASY!

Just have to find the battery type to match it and then order the sucker!

Any ideas Techmoan?

If you like, I have taken a pic of the battery with the back off. Thought it might interest you.

Cheers,
Alex

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Hi Alex,
Can we see the battery images ?

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFurkin

Hi Furkin,

I have no idea how to make it appear on this thread... help! lol

These are the specs from the ebay seller (take with a grain of salt I reckon):
Battery: Polymer 500mAH lithium battery
Model: MC121-720HD-DUAL (FUNNY! It records in 1080p tho....) (I have looked at the version of the software. It is v1.02_2014.03.15)
Brand: Master

It's just a small rectangular battery that has a red wire and a black wire. These wires are soldered to the circuit board.
Now that I've looked at the version info, does that mean that it was built in 2014? If so, that's a short period of time for the battery to go totally knackered....

Alex

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

you use Photobucket ?

I'm trying to identify / sourse the battery for you.

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFurkin

Any chance of putting the pics of battery on?????
My battery only works when plugged in. A replacement would be good!

http://www.adafruit.com/products/1578

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterColin

Is this it?

http://www.adafruit.com/products/1578

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterColin

Very Happy with this camera so far but I can't figure out why the rear camera records everything in a mirror type image; meaning signs all read backwards etc. Don't see any way to change it. Am I missing something?

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

@denise; I wish I had your camera! My rear camera produces straight pictures, but when I actually use it to reverse my campervan, my reflexes are suddenly the wrong way round. I wish I could switch between mirrored and not, cause when looking back a recording of the rear camera it would indeed be annoying if things were mirrored... Haven't found any settings either :-(
Bizar that yours is always mirrored although I do understand it better cause it acts like a proper rearviewmirror then.

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErnie

Thanks for such a quick response Ernie! The camera I have is very similar to the one reviewed but not exactly the same. Maybe a newer model or something? I can't figure out all the remote control functions either. It's been a little trial & error process, so maybe there are a few functions I don't know about? Is there anywhere to read about how the remote works?

As far as the mirror image for the rear camera goes, what you said does make sense I suppose. Not that reading the signs I've already passed will ever be necessary anyway, so it's fine for me. Just didn't want to make myself crazier than I already am trying to fix something that has no fix : ) Thanks for all your great informative reviews.

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

@Denise, it's a shame the set does not come with a proper manual describing all we found out together on this review (which is turning more into a complete forum on the matter!). You can see in system-info (very last option in settings menu, if I recall well) the version you've bought. I bought mine somewhere in juli and it was from januari 2014 for example, but a friend who bought his one a week later received one build in march 2014.
There are multiple dealers and distributors, all selling different versions, all with very poor english texts, without any marque or model on the box or the camera. Very typical 'made in far far away...' I'd say. Good thing though that the software is still being adapted after 2 years, exceptional for these sort of products!
Let me know if you have specific questions on the remote, I can try it out here too. (no, I'm not totally bored, yes I do have a life hahaha)
cheers, Ernie

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErnie

Hi there everyone,

I recently purchased this dashcam and I've installed it in my car. Recording seems to be working 100%. My problem is that when I press menu I hear the 'beep/click' sound but nothing happens. Is it possible that my MicroSDHC card is not compatible and I should rather use a MicroSD? Seems unlikely since the device is working but for some reason I just can't access the menu.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Remy

August 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRemy

@Remy, for as far as I know the menu should even appear when there's no memorycard! Try it and you'll see, or did you do that already. Looks to me like it's malfunctioning...
Ernie

August 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErnie

@Ernie, thanks for such a prompt response. It turns out I was being a bit stupid and on my device you need to stop recording before you can access the menus.

The next thing to figure out is how to get the night filming looking decent. I recorded last night and it came out very dark, you can basically only see other cars lights and street lights. Will play around with the setting tonight and see if I can get the quality to improve for night recording. Do you have any specific settings for night driving?

Other than that everything seems to be working perfectly :)

Thanks again!

August 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRemy

@remy; no problem to respond if I'm online :-)
Indeed you always need to stop recording first, to be able to do anything else. Same here.
Forget about the nightvision IR-leds recordings. The IR-leds only are powerfull enough to light up 10 cm's in front of the lens!!! Totally useless, but only there to be able to sell 'night vision', I think. Sorry for the disappointment, don't waste your time on it.
Daylight recordings are fairly nice, although I've tried to read back license plates of other vehicules, and that isn't always so clear. Especially with oncoming traffic...
cheers,
Ernie

August 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErnie

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>