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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)

Some days mine will run fine throughout my entire (1.5hr) commute - others I get the green noise all the time.

What seller did you buy yours from Charmin ?

December 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermuddy

Well, mine stopped working completely.
I asked the seller if he was happy for me to open it up and have a look inside, before I send it back.
So I did - and I *think* the culprit is the ribbon cable that runs from the rotatable front camera to the main PCB.
If I remove and reinsert the ribbon cable to the PCB connector, sometimes it starts up and runs fine, sometimes it starts with the green noise screen, other times - dead, no boot at all.
This ties in with my thoughts that the problems were related to rotating the front camera...

December 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermuddy

HI Techmoan< I have to say your site and reviews are great, I bought a camera almost the same as this one, I've checked it out and everything is great ( I can't use it until Christmas as my kids are giving it to me 3-5 yr old) was on E-bay from Hong Kong.

The only problem I have is with the rear view camera, the cable is too short, I have a hilux ute and by the time I go from the dash to the back I'm not going to have enough cable I need about an extra 1.5 to 2 metres more, what type of cable and connectors are they ? would it effect the video having a longer cable?

thanks Techmoan

December 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEgg

Thank you for your fantastic review! You helped me find the perfect gift for my father! I opted for what appeared to be the upgraded model (i1000L) at dx.com, with the rear camera in a swivel mount and a 3" screen instead of 2" (so that he'll have an easier time making it do double duty as a backup camera). Hope it works as well as yours.

December 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlilstar

Hi, I've just received my car camera. It has a newer firmware version - F20_20120929. It has no longer the 30/60 FPS option. It also has a different box with lower ammount of spelling mistakes http://www.abload.de/img/pc170158e3jl4.jpg (but it's still chinglish).
I've bought the version with suction cup and slightly different rear camera from eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/270994311781 - you can make an offer, the seller accepts few bucks discount. Here is all the stuff from the box (except the user guide) http://www.abload.de/img/pc170155qipqu.jpg .
You are right, the LEDs on the top are too much bright. I decided to make them dimmer, so I opened the camera (it has 6 screws at the bottom and 3 smaller inside) and placed a bent paper with a transparent double sided tape to each individual "window" for the LEDs. It's much better. This reminds me, that you were wrong in the video - it has a microphone between REC and MIC button. The hole at the side of the camera is for the "night vision" sensor. If you want to know, what's inside, look at these two photos - http://www.abload.de/img/pc1701568xj0a.jpg http://www.abload.de/img/pc170157uxk0j.jpg .
The rear camera has built in night vision too, but you can't turn it off (you can put a sticker on the LEDs :-D). Another difference is, that the rear cam has only few inches of wire and it has a proprietary connector, so the wire loom has the counterpart on one side and 3.5 mm jack on the DVR side.
I think that's all I wanted to write you about this car DVR :-)

Trinom

December 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrinom

I like the basic design of this camera system with the exception of no GPS.
I don't mind wiring one into my car. Has anyone seen one like this with gps or another gps unit with detached rear camera?

I am also looking into the option of a DIY kit where I buy seperate cameras, pvr and gps and hook them all together.

December 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDJ

Mine are both still going strong a couple of months on now. No more problems to report thankfully. I have found a really useful feature to prevent it shutting down when the ignition switches off. Sometimes if i'm leaving the car for just a few minutes i like to leave the camera recording. After the ignition is switched off, but before the camera shuts down, press and hold the button to turn off the screen and the camera will now remain recording on battery power.

December 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Well my replacement arrived yesterday from by ebay seller and it's good news and bad news. Straight out the box it was dead on arrival. Would not charge or switch on and sounded like something was lose inside. Whatever charger I used it would come on for a second and then just switch off straight away. Opened it up (no way this was going back again!) and found that the battery was lose and caught up in the ribbon cable for the front printer. Detangled, put it back together and it sort of works somehow. I managed to get it connected to the PC via USB which gave it a bit of charge enabling me to power it up. Although the screen shows it charging, the red light does not illuminate straight away. However, this one I have got has a newer firmware and additional features. It has an auto backlight off function which can be set to a pre-determined number of minutes before the screen switches off by itself which is good. Also the date and time on the screen are no longer in a white colour but are now green in a black box so very clearly visible now. The other feature which I dont understand is under the auto record menu option which now has on, off and 'video charge' which I havent got a clue what that's for. On the road, about 20 minutes into my 2 way commute yesterday the red light does come on to say it's charging, but despite this, the battery doesnt appear to retain any charge in it. But, as long as it works when it's plugged into the car, that's all that matters! Still recommended but you pay your money and take your chances. I have had 4 of these sent to me and 3 of them have had some sort of fault.

December 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Matt, what's your software version? The version F20_20120929 has yellow text at the top left corner and doesn't have any black rectangle behind it.
here is a sample video from last week - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrgugN-NOKM

December 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrinom

I will find the version number later when the wife returns with the car. In the meantime i have found this camera for sale in the uk for under £40!!!!!!!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271124684015?redirect=mobile

December 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

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