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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)

Thanks for the info. I'll update the blog with this link when I get a chance.

December 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

[Matt] Please be informed that the model you are linking to is a inferior model, with a much older chipset, and not full HD. The video resolution is only 720x480

The SQ909B is a very old processor. The "Good" ones use an Allwinner F20 processor.

http://forum.dashcamtalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=21&start=20

The best version of the i1000 Dash-camera is with the Ambarella-processor, but never tried one.

// Per.

December 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPer Jensen

[Per] Can you clarify... Is the model that can be purchased in UK (two comments above) the inferior one or one of the links I've already posted. I'd like to make sure I don't direct anyone towards buying the inferior model.

December 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

This whole review is about the 'inferior' model which records at 720p. There appears to be now a full HD version if this camera which has an mini HDMI port that uses the new processor but it is much more expensive. The link I have provided is to the same product as Techmoan has reviewed I think.
The latest camera I got is still only 720p but it seems to function much quicker than the older ones I have. No difference in picture quality but there is no delay after pressing a button like there sometimes is with the others. The firmware versions says: Ver: 007 Firmware: F20_2012111.

December 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

I got my camera today and thankfully, the rear camera works as advertised. However, I did notice tonight that the front camera video is very dark. The IR lights are on, but they don't seem to be effecting the video. The rear IR camera is fine and displays fairly bright in both the video and on screen, but the front camera is pretty much useless at night.

I also had some issue's with the charge light not coming on when plugged in to the cars 12v system, but I was wondering if that has anything to do with auto detect settings. My owners manual is written entirely in Chinese, so it is worthless trying to figure out how things are done and what the settings mean. Some settings are obvious, but some are not.

Does anyone have any insight on the IR problem I am experiencing and the charge light problem?

Thanks...

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeyte

Leyte, do you mean it just looks dark at night? Mine is the same but when you playback on a computer it does look better. The rear camera is far brighter in low light conditions on mine. The IR lights are completely useless. Make sure you have them switched off otherwise they reflect off and dirt on the windscreen and make the image look like it has lots of green speckles on it.

Also in one of my posts above I reported my red charge light doesnt come on until about 25 minutes into my commute even though on the screen it shows it as charging.

That link I posted for an ebay seller is now no good. The price has gone from £39.99 to almost £70.

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

The video playback is just as dark as the on screen video at night, which is plainly unacceptable. I also noticed that when I set "Auto Detect" to ON, it will revert to OFF after I power off the unit and turn it on again. Since the owners manual is in Chinese, I have no idea what "Auto Detect" is supposed to do, but since it won't retain the saved setting after powering off the unit, it just adds another level of frustration with this unit.

While I do like the overall design and capabilities of this unit, what good is it if I have to keep returning it to China and waiting for another unit to arrive like you did Matt. Already waited 3 weeks for this one, and now I'll have to ship back and wait on a replacement which will most likely be defective as well. What a shame...

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeyte

That's a real shame you haven't had much luck with it mate. It cost me £14 to send mine back via the post office recorded delivery. I have one of mine that doesn't save the setting for the front IR lights when it powers off. It always reverts to auto when I power off. The ' auto detect' is basically a movement sensor function which should only start the camera recording if it detects movement in front of the camera. My manual was in Chinglish and was useless anyway so you are not missing anything. I figured it all out by just playing with the camera.

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

At this point, I'm just going to send it back for a refund and buy an Itronics ITB-100HD. Cost more, but at least it works and has GPS and you can hard wire it in.

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeyte

I received mine okay for £42 all in from China (of course). Installed it fine, but could have done with slightly more cable for the rear cam. The rear cam is slightly glitchy at night (fuzzy lines running through the image) - however, for the price, it is very good. The only annoying thing is changing the time and date using a text file on the mem card - bit daft these days.

December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLawrie

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