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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
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 and charmin i already have a DVR wih rear camera that has an IR LED for dark situation. The rear camera is pretty ok, the front is also ok, but i need something with 720P or 1080P in front. So was thinking of getting the one reviewed.

Can view clips of the one i have here:
Night
http://youtu.be/NNTtgmskSJM?hd=1

Morning
http://youtu.be/l70JkjbYwuE?hd=1

Relatively Dark Place:
http://youtu.be/1xdixFMrRSI?hd=1

At night in a car wash with good lighting:
http://youtu.be/YFTxjBhIC-Y?hd=1

October 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercyben76

On the 1st page of comments, there were some questions as to what the emergency button did and what footage it actually saved. Well, I have to say this is the only fault I can find with the product. It will only save the segment you are currently recording and if you have a scenario like I did yesterday it's useless. Basically, coming round a roundabout someone pulled out right in front of me. He didnt slow on the approach and then realised last minute I was there. Seriously close call but no harm done. Got off the roundabout and pressed the emergency button. When I've reviewed the footage it hadnt saved the incident. I have my camera set to record in 2 minute segments. This incident was about 1 minute 50s into a segment and by the time I got off the roundabout and pressed the button, it was 20 seconds into the next 2 minute segment and this is what it saved, not the incident. Ideally it should save the current and the previous segment to make sure it's all captured and saved. It didnt matter too much on this occasion because my 4gb card records 3 days of my commuting so it hadnt overwritten anyway. I might change it record 5 minute segments to increase the chances of it saving an incident successfully. On the whole though, still massively impressed with the camera!

October 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

High techmoan some time back you reviewed the V1000GS camera there is now an updated version the V2000GS supposedly much improved it comes in around 87 gbp or 140 usd with free delivery Any chance of a review at some time in the future .....I apologise in advance for the cheek but I value your expert reviews before I part with my cash.......regards from a frugal pensioner.

October 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIpol

I did wonder about that scenario.....it's sod's law that an incident would happen right at the end of a previous clip. I suppose that you could also buy a large memory card that would be unlikely to get re-recorded over in an average day of driving....that combined with longer segments should mitigate the problem, whilst not totally eradicating it.

October 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Ipol. I'll circle back around to car DVRs as soon as possible and i'll put the V2000 on the candidates list for an upcoming review.

October 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

thanks for that techmoan I didnt want to appear rude and spending your money for you ....the camera is boasting cambarella chip technology what ever that may mean and a built in gps antenna ( thats one wire less ) and also a 1.5 inch lcd screen from which you can access the menu....I might bite the bullet and order one anyway.......if I lived in the UK I could have had it sent to you and you could have forwarded it onto me after reviewing it. But living in france that might prove impractical....Thanks as always for the swift response.

October 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIpol

A quick idea for those who bought have bought one of these cams, I bought a case off ebay for it which is absolutely perfect for protecting it when I've removed it from the car. It fits so well you'd think it was designed for it! As I bought 2, the seller did them for 50p each + P&P.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281008424990?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

October 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Update - my other camera is now faulty!!! Although not as terminal as the 1st one it is very disappointing. Ran it on battery power for my commute to work this morning in my other car using the little suction mount which was very good. Had to charge it to give me some power for the return trip. Charged it for an hour on my phone charger which has mini-usb. 5v input, same as USB so didn't think there would be a problem but then heard it making funny noises like the start of the swith on chime repeating over and over again and it was hot. End result, the battery has fried itself I think. It will not hold any charge what so ever and will only switch on when it's being powered by the cigarette lighter or USB to the computer. At least it will still record when in the car and plugged in and I can transfer files via USB, so it wont be going back just yet. But moral of the story, if you have one of these cameras, be VERY careful about what you plug it into. When my replacement for my 1st faulty one arrives, I will never plug it into anything other than my laptop and the car charger again. On the plus side, my 8gb class 10 cards arrived and they have made a nice improvement to the picture. Played back the footage on a decent computer rather than my basic laptop and it's much smoother, much less blocky and all round a very good clear picture.

November 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

why o why dont they make a dual camera with the same quality front and rear. i am still stuck with 2 cameras and a long usb wire going through the car.
idea camera = 2 lenses (front and rear)
720p for both lenses
gps
on/off lcd (helps with setting up)
cycle recording
h.264 file type
o well 1 day (finger crossed)

November 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermark

@mark actually there is a DVR out there that can record front 1080P 30fps, and rear 720P 30fps simultaneously.

http://www.urive.co.kr/english/products/urive_shotgun.html

There are many Korean made DVR with better quality then those china made ones, sadly very difficult to find them for sale online and the prices are usually expensive!

Some of those i've found:

http://eng.icaro.co.kr/product/product04.php

http://www.finevu.com/

http://www.cowonglobal.com/product_wide/COWONAC1/product_page_1.php <the have the 2ch model AD1

http://lukashd.com/product_info/blackbox_10_1.html

This one has 4ch:
http://www.mir-tech.com/index.php?r=eng&c=14/23

Personally i'd like to purchase this one:
http://visiondrive.co.kr/eng/product/car-video-recorders.php

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercyben76

Well the 2nd order arrived today and only took a speedy 10 days from ordering to delivering! It all looks good and seems to work ok, but I'll test it over the next few days, but so far so good. The other one was sent back so we'll see how long that takes. Just for info, it was about £10 normal delivery or £14 with a tracking number and signed for at the other end. I opted for the latter and that was through the post office.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Bought one of these on Aliexpress. It is 100% identical to the one Techmoan reviewed. I have put in a 16 GB Micro SD card, and it work perfectly, but now I got a problem. This morning on the way to work it said "Disk full" and shut down.

I cannot find ANY place to turn on the function to overwrite old files on the card, when it's full.

If it cannot do this, it's completely useless to me :-/

Any advice on this ?

// Per.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPer Jensen

Check in the settings menu (left top button, press twice). See what option is selected, 1 min, 2 min, 5 min or off.
Off means no recycling.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Eric: It seems to work. Now i just have that annoying problem that it records in 5 minute file segments instead of much longer files. It will be a pain to assemble all those video files if i ever need. Oh well, can't win every time.

Thanks!

// Per.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPer Jensen

Thanx for all the great reviews Mat, most informative.
just fitted one of these to my car, but i am confused with the rear cam view.
in your review, your rear perspective looks correct. Mine records a mirror image, and looks like i am driving on the right hand side of road?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nht45XiQ-rY

I have found buttons to flip front image upside down, but i cant seem to flip the rear horizontally?
Anyone else had this?
Just for info, this one was from HongKong, via ebay seller "4coolday" there was no remote.

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkev

Hi! Once again I want to thank you for the level of detail you go to in your reviews. Truly amazing. Now, with that bit of business out of the way, I was wondering if perhaps you could confirm something for me. I'm in the US and was planning to purchase through Amazon.com. I found two cameras that look like the one you tested, but the prices are significantly different (30 USD). I'm not sure if one might be lesser quality. I don't understand camera and video stuff and am embarassed to admit it. Can you possibly eyeball these briefly and tell me if the specs match the one you tested (either one or both of them)? The less expensive one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009CTU23A/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller= And the more expensive one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0092E8G8S/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=

Thank you for any light you can shed on this for me. I really want to get this one that you have reviewed and don't want to end up overpaying or getting the wrong product altogether. Returning products ordered online can be a real pain in the butt and these would have to go to China, it appears.

-R.

November 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRMurphy

I'd go for the cheaper one. It seems to be the same model I reviewed based on the accessories. The more expensive one shows CarCam on a screen shot, which is one thing mine doesn't display.

November 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks for taking the time to look. As my '80s music loving friends would say, You rock, dude!

November 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRMurphy

Kev - There definitely is a way to switch horizontally but can’t recall which button, try the mic button, you hold it down for more than 3 seconds, in fact just try them all, that’s what I did…. !
But are you certain there is a problem ?? I thought the same when I looked at it in my hands in front of me but when it’s in the car, facing back it is actually correct and OK.
If you do flip it I found it goes back to normal once switched off and on.

November 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercharmin

cyben76 - To be honest, looking at the quality of recording you have all ready I would stick with what you have.... these cameras are no better, no worse.

November 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercharmin

cheers for the reply charmin,

i can only seem to flip the front view upside down using 3sec mic press, and turn it back right way up using 3sec rec press.
i can't seem to alter the rear view at all. Tried all buttons i think?

Yes, i am certain there is a problem.
Compare Mat's review footage at 8mins 20secs through to 8mins 50secs, and then my link above.
The front camera we are all good, but looking back through rear, mat has opposite side of road to left, i have it to the right.
Makes it look like i am driving down the right.
you would not be able to read car index plate with mine, as it would be backwards.

i have found a flip function in my video editing software, so i should be able to flip any files i need in there.

i have contacted previous buyers of the device from this seller, and their cameras record like mat's. ie. correctly.

Seems like a strange oddity to me, but seller is saying this is how it should be?

If you do remember if there is a key sequence to flip the rear view charmin, please, please share :-)
thanx, Kev

November 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkev

kev - OK, so I ventured out in the cold to look for you, with the camera not recording and set to show rear camera only (cycle top right button to select) press and hold the top left-hand button for a few seconds, this is the one that turns the display off and on, the screen will switch off but press it again once and the screen comes back on with the rear view flipped around, note also on mine which is fine as is without doing his (still surprised and nor convinced yours is doing it...) it also shows the screen text back to front... I'm guessing on yours it will end up the correct way round..?

Hope that helps.

November 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercharmin

Hey Charmin,
Cheers for braving the cold and trying to help me.
I have followed your instructions for flipping the rear screen. Mine comes back on, exactly the same way, no flip?
Maybe there has been a firmware change or something?

I am unsure of what you are not convinced about. Maybe i am explaining the problem badly.
Another short vid to try and clarify:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tLVkp1u7pc

If i was using the incar LCD display to reverse my car, then it would be perfect.
Perhaps my camera without remote is compensating for this?
But, for using the footage as evidence of an accident it would be confusing, as it would have the rear action back to front. left is right and right is left.

Anyway, thanx again for your help. Now that i know how to flip the files in my software, it is not so much of a problem, just strange.

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkev

kev - Ok, I looked at your video and I see what you mean....! very strange, sorry for doubting you... personally I would try and get it replaced, depends how cooperative the supplier is.

Checked mine again and definitely flips it, the wrong way for me but as I said it reverts back once switched off and on, which would be annoying doing it each time.
Good luck.

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercharmin

I think this is as it is supposed to work. You see the same as if you were looking in your rear view mirror, dont you?

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Hey Charmin, no worries, and thanx again for the assistance.

Eric, If mine is right, then the one Mat reviewed is wrong, as they both record the rear view differently.

I bought mine based on this review, so was confused when i saw the footage.
Anyways, as i have said, not to worry, because it can be sorted with editing software, and it is hopefully not going to be called upon very often.

Cheers, Kev

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkev

Wonder what would happen if you put the rear cam upside down and then flip the image up/down...

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Thinking along same lines as i did, Eric.
Tried that yesterday.

Picture was upside down.
Can't seem to alter rear camera view at all. I can only turn front view upside down and back, using MIC and REC buttons. Rear view remains as set.

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkev

This thing with the mirror image reverse camera has just become apparent on one of my cars. To recap my previous posts, I bought 2 of the ones with the adjustable rear camera and one of them had a faulty charger which melted the usb. I sent this one back but in the meantime I bought another one to limit the amount of time I was without 2 whilst I wait for my faulty one to be replaced. So, the extra one I bought arrived last week and I've only just got round to installing it all properly this afternoon with the rear camera and mine has the same problem as reported, ie it looks like I'm driving on the wrong side of the road. HOWEVER, I have been using both cameras in both cars, although only one had the rear camera fitted. The image on either camera was the right way round when paired with the rear camera in the 1st car. Having installed the rear camera to the 2nd car today, I was surprised to see the image mirrored, regardless of which one of my 2 cameras is installed. I have come to the conclusion that it is the rear camera which is the problem rather than the DVR itself. Maybe they got the wires the wrong way round I dont know. It can be corrected using the method shown above, ie holding the top right button until it goes off, then holding it until it comes on, but as soon as you have the rear camera displayed as full screen it reverts the picture back. However, once I have set it to the right way round, it doesnt seem to revert back to the wrong way if I switch it off and on again, although I've only left it for a shoft time so I'll see what it's like after a few hours. It doesnt bother me though, it still records and that's the main thing. If it ever had to be used as evidence I'll flip the image on the computer. On a plus note, I did install both cameras into the cars so that they switch on and off with the ignition. I ordered 2 x female cigarette lighter sockets and 2 'add a circuit' rigs off ebay for about £8 total. Very simple to do and worthwhile as it saves faffing about plugging it in when I get into the car and all the wiring is permanently hidden away.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Just additional info:
After contacting other buyers of this device from the same seller i used, one reports everything OK, and another reports same mirrored view and no audio.
Now i had not even noticed until he mentioned it, but i have no audio either??
It does playback on the incar device with audio, but not on the computer file, odd.

Seems there are a couple of variants of this camera out there. Lucky dip time.

November 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkev

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