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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)

Techmoan,

Another excellent review...this little camera's exactly what I was looking for to use during my daily commute just in case of a bump ( peoples driving standards are appalling ), I looked around and found this version of it in black with a different style of rear camera - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/120977762751?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649#ht_4226wt_1393 - I offered $70 (£45) for it which was accepted.

Today two weeks later it arrived and looks very good indeed everything seems to work OK so now to install it in the car.

And this one records in MOV format.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKlippie

Not sure if this has been posted.

The link for DX points to a sold out item, which usually means that its no longer sold, but I did find something similar.

http://dx.com/p/2-0-tft-5-0mp-cmos-separated-style-dual-lens-wide-angle-car-dvd-camcorder-w-8-ir-night-vision-149441

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCliffh

There is another on deal extreme which is not sold out. It is exactly the same as reviewed here, but in black. Just one little hint, buy it in $ and let paypal do the currency conversion. If you buy it from DX in £ it's £55 ish. If you buy it in $, at the point of sale, paypal converts that to £52. However, I was going to buy that until klippie posted that link which might be worth a punt.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Here is the link for the other on DX
http://dx.com/p/x6-2-0-lcd-3-0mp-cmos-wide-angle-car-dvr-camcorder-w-rearview-camera-tf-av-out-black-141488

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Can anyone - Techmoan or anyone who's bought one of these - confirm what the behaviour of the emergency button really is? Does it save video from when you pushed the button, does it save a few minutes either side, does it just move everything to the protected folder until the card fills up?

October 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn U

When the emergency button is pressed (or the shock sensor is activated) the current clip that is currently being recorded gets moved to the folder on the camera that doesn't get overwritten. The next clip carries on as normal. The length of these segments is determined in the settings.

October 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Really glad I found this Blog and Techmoan, excellent that's all I can say.
I was about to buy the this camera after a recent 'incident' and was a bit hesitant until I saw this. The particular camera, coincidentally was the one Klippie above has just bought and from that site, so have now ordered it and wait with baited breath to receive it and take it for a spin...
What I did find in my searches is that all the models seem to be made by NEI Shenzhen Ming Heng Chang Electronic Co, Ltd. and no that's not in Wolverhampton.... China I believe....
So like the others on here, once received and fitted I'll report back.

October 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercharmin

Really glad I found this Blog and Techmoan, excellent that's all I can say.
I was about to buy the this camera after a recent 'incident' and was a bit hesitant until I saw this. The particular camera, coincidentally was the one Klippie above has just bought and from that site, so have now ordered it and wait with baited breath to receive it and take it for a spin...
What I did find in my searches is that all the models seem to be made by NEI Shenzhen Ming Heng Chang Electronic Co, Ltd. and no that's not in Wolverhampton.... China I believe....
So like the others on here, once received and fitted I'll report back.

October 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercharmin

Greetings Techmoan,

Another great review as we get used to here :-)

Three points though:

- Color of the DashCam: I believe we want those cameras to be as discrete as possible.
Plain black is probably best, especially since more drivers now have dark films on windows.
Anything goldish -or silverish like the latest SmartCam HD V2- will stand out and be counterproductive as a stealth product.

- Motion Detection testing: many of those DashCam claim to have a Motion Detection capabilty (ie. Detect a motion when on "sleep-mode" then start recording for 30-120 sec). This is most useful for us users who want to get an extra insurance against "Hit & Run" in order to track the culprit.
Could you test that again, as you once did by "dancing in front of the camera" ?

- It seems your brilliant reviews are getting noticed by the resellers and, as a result, some are upping their selling prices.
The product reviewed here is an example: the price jumped to GBP 65, vs. 50 as per your review.
I have another example with a product you reviewed a few months ago: the SmartCam HD (again ^!^) which selling price jumped from GBP 55 to 95 now.

Best regards,

EPB

October 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNestorius

Just another hopefully useful (or useless) note, 'AVI' the recording format mentioned in a few of the posts and for some of these products, means Audio Video Interleave, it is simply a multimedia container format name introduced by Microsoft in November 1992. The 'CODEC' the clever bit that compresses the video file can just as well be in an AVI as an MP4, the CODEC is the 'H.264'. Often any format that contains H.264 will be called an AVI file, whether it be MPEG or whatever, I think it just boils down to naming convention.
AVI without H.264 or similar (there are better CODECS about now) would use enormous amounts of data, Gb per few minutes.

Cheers

October 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercharmin

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