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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 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)

Hi,
i started noticing that lots of video files have issues. during playback of a video the video just pauses but you can still hear the audio continue, after a while the video starts playing again. the camera was set to 5 min. long video files and im using a Kingston 16G class 10 SD card.
i switched the video recording time to 2 min., for now it looks OK.

this DVR has some reliability issues, people here and on other forums complain also. some people suggested that disconnecting the rear camera solves the video freeze issue.
FYI.

March 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdi

I have had exactly the same problem with some files being corrupted during playback. Every so often one clip will have very jerky footage but audio will be ok. Regularly formatting my memory card seems to help. Think it's a problem when the camera is overwriting old files but i will change it to 2 minute clips instead of 5 and see if it makes any difference.

March 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMattD

t's a pretty easy decision to make, actually. Broadcasters and fans alike want the cameras on the popular drivers at the tracks where they do well.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWheel Alignment

I feel like wasted my money on this.

Today when I wanted to see a near miss i cant see it, video file is corrupt both front and rear. Then i looked on other videos, about 60-70% videos are alright 20% videos have pauses for 10-30seconds. (front-rear both). about 5% videos are corrupt. Appears to me that cam hangs for few seconds frequently.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnas

Hi
I bought the unit without the reversing camera you mention towards the end of your into. I paid £28 on ebay including delivery from a UK seller, and thought the price was about right for no rear camera. (I have a van with a reversing camera already so didn't want one). I presume I got good feedback, it was all in Chinese characters!!!
I was initially very disappointed as there was no bag of string, so I immediately assumed it was a cheap knock off ;)
The menu is different, and the rear camera hole is sealed. There is no FCC compliance type sticker and the led's are red, blue, red. It only came with the 3M adhesive mount which was the one I wanted any way.
The instructions are absolute cr@p and not worth the paper they are written on.
The camera is not recognised on a Windows 8 laptop, and the supplied disc is as much use as the instructions. I now rest my tea cup on it. The camera was recognised by a Windows Vista laptop and my initial impression was not good of a test recording on a class 4 card that I already had.
The Class 10 32gb card arrived the following day and further test footage looked much better. The new micro sd card also came with an SD adapter to allow me to use my Win 8 laptop ,so life is becoming easier again.
File format is AVI, and details show 1280x720 - the picture quality with the new card is actually better than the previous camera I had so I'm fairly happy.
ALL files are stored in the DCIM folder and and if the file is locked it changes the prefix from PICT to LOCK. Files can be locked using the triangle button or g sensor. I have the g sensor set to sensitive I think (hard to tell) and I would have to get T boned by a HGV to activate it. I'm going to play with the settings later.
Movement detection does work, it records for 10 seconds if a car passes, but only catches the boot of the car. I would estimate .5 second to activate. It did not pick up a pedestrian at 7m but did pick up at 3m.
The remote does work but is not intuitive. For example the motion detect symbol on the camera is not the same as that on the remote!
TV out does work, but you need the remote to access recordings.
So, in all a decent set of instructions would have made a world of difference. For £28 plus £18 for the Samsung Class 10 card off Amazon it does seem good value, and decent picture quality. Build quality, well the buttons do rattle a little, so we'll see!
If you ever win on the lottery, could you review the Black Vue 500. I really wanted that one, but omg they are expensive!
Thanks and thanks for the great reviews.
Martin

March 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTinTentTourist

Anas,
try to change the loop to 2 minuets. i had the same issue, after changing this setting i didn't encounter the corrupted files issue again, yet.
MattD also changed this setting, maybe he can update us if it solved this issue for him also.

March 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdi

Thank you for letting me know. I will format card and set it for 2mins, hope this solve pausing problem

March 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnas

Hi all nice to see the support and help provided for the users of this camera mine is several months old now and like most of you I had problems with it as well ( too numerous to mention) I now use the rear view cam only and have bought another make of camera which sits out of sight behind the rear view mirror.Using just the rear view camera seems to have calmed things down and it performs well in this configuration.....Adi with the wondershare video editor are you using the free download or the pay version (if there is any difference) I dont really want to commit my email details for the free trial version if the final pay version is not what i am really looking for.Your advise will be much appreciated.......Finally with the hit and miss lottery when choosing a chinese car dvr I am thinking of dipping my toes into the south korean market and am currently looking at a make called LUKAS if anyone has any experience of these cameras your thoughts would be very helpful.....PS my car is due for its controle technique ( the equivalent to a british mot) I thought I needed new tyres but a pre- control visit confirmed this is not the case....unfortunately on the way back a 2 foot long crack appeared in the windcreen leaving me with the task of un-glueing 2 camera and one GPS mounts Such is life.....regards as always the french connection......Ipol

March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIpol

Hi Ipol,
im using the portable version of Wondershare, search in google for "wondershare video editor portable", just download and run the .exe file to start the program.

March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdi

@ Adi many thanks for the very swift response much appreciated I will follow your advice the version I was trying to download was offered by cnet and although it said free download seems to push you toward a buy version. I set the rear camera to 5min segments and have no problems at present I also invested in a V2000GS camera for the front windscreen and apart from the box and instruction manual being in russian works well enough for my needs.Several emails for help to the seller were met with silence so I vowed never to buy from them again......The camera also lacked the software to play the gps through google maps.Luckily I have a friend (or is it a fiend) No its a friend ..in the Ukraine....Grigory if you read this I am only joking......who helps me out when I am stuck I now have registrator viewer installed and the gps/google maps run fine....Strangely when I play the rear cam through registrator viewer it plays the same length segments as the other camera which is set to 45 mins IE if I drive several different segments 30 mins 15 mins 35mins etc instead of 6X5mins It plays the whole 30 mins as one file and shows as one file but in vlc player it plays in the 5minute segment mode.....still I am not complaining......As said in the previous post I have my eye on the Lukas cameras I have not seen a cam in this style before the model is LK79OOACE I found it on ebay the seller is Apple-ct I am waiting for some feedback on these cameras before I commit they are not cheap but I read somewhere that techmoan says they are usually better made and more reliable I am hoping for some feedback from anyone who has had personal experience of these cameras Hopefully my windscreen will be in stock before the end of the week and that I manage to remove the mounts from the old screen without breaking them .....thanks again for the wondershare site I will lookit up when I finish this post ......Ipol

March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIpol

My car was broken into yesterday evening and luckily I'd left the camera on. I've got footage of the little sh!t that threw a brick through the window and robbed my kids twin dvd screens/player. The police think there is a good chance they will catch him with the footage. My camera has been working absolutely fine with a sandisk class 10 32gb Micro SD. I got it from Sue_winner on ebay - I know others have had problems so it may be that I got lucky with mine.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDamian

Both front and rear cam showing pauses at 5min RT and also few corrupt videos. Now i have changed it to 2min RT and corrupt problem has gone away but still have lot of pauses. Appears that when memory cards gets full the camera hangs for few seconds while creating space.

The only solution i see is buying 32GB card and formatting it every 4/5 day.

Is there anyway I can update its firmware to a higher version ?

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnas

Hi

Have anybody found dvr that has camera separated but it's not dual lens?
Thanks!

April 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermatt

This site is fantastic! Thanks for a great review; I have since bought two of the cameras. The first one works perfectly in my wife’s car. It is connected to her 12v cigarette lighter, and it provides switched power so that the unit turns on and off with the ignition.

In my car, it is another story. My 12v outlets are always on, so switched power is not possible unless I hardwire. So, I bought a fuse tap and hardwired a 12v cigarette lighter outlet to my fusebox. If I hardwire to an always on fuse, the unit works fine, but I have to manually turn it on and off. If I hardwire to a switched source, the unit has a hard time charging and running the camera, and the unit turns cuts out when the battery is low.

I originally thought my unit was defective, so I ordered a second, and I am having the same problem.

I have tried all of the options in previous posts to no avail. Does anybody have any ideas?

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Mine camera has a problem - rear camera shows inverted image. Firmware is f20_2012111 007. DO you have any ideas to fix this?

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeo

Leo - on my rear camera, I have a switch on the side that reverses the image. I am not sure which rear camera you have, but mine is the square version.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I just realise that this is REAR camera and it must be invertet same as mirror. So this is my bad - everything seems proper if I put it back and look into display. Mine didnt have such switch anyway. Thanks!

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeo

Don't buy this camera, it is shit. Video pauses for 4-5 seconds frequently and also file corrupts.

I initially had 8GB card with 5min clip size, thought that it is the rewriting which is causing camera to hang. So i spent money again on buying a 32GB card and now when i am looking at just 3-4GB of recording (2-3mins clips) it is still pausing.

I bought a camera for peace of mind, every time i have to mount and connect and disconnect but it is not doing its job. Waste of money.

April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnas

Appologies above post using inappropriate words as i was filled with anger on this Camera. If anybody know how to resolve this pausing issue or Firmware Upgrade please let me know.

Thank you

April 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnas

Hi Anas,
no need to get angry. like i said, after i changed my camera to cycle every 2 min. i have no pauses and corrupt files.

this camera is a cheap one, for peace of mind you better invest in a more expensive probably Korean car DVR.
check this site for more info and comparison between DVR's:
http://dashcamtalk.com/dash-cam-comparison/

April 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdi

Hi thanks for your detailed video.
But one question I found.
Can you tell me if the back cam works with move detection?
I mean it will be start to record without that the maincam see somethink
Sorry for my bad English.
Greetings from Germany
Sami

April 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSami

I picked up one with the rear camera and for the money ($60 AUS) it's quite good. I've mounted it just forward of the rear review mirror with the 3M tape, giving a good forward view and easy to access. The only problem is the flashing recording light is VERY DISTRACTING. I had to put some black tape over it. Otherwise I'm very happy with it.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBilly

Just got one so no valid test results yet, however it writes a .map file - seems to be binary. I'm not sure what triggers that but in any case what can I use to view it? None of my usual GPS file handlers recognise it.

One little concern is that my antivirus software suggested running the files on the enclosed CD may be a bad idea...

May 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDick

Are you saying that you have a GPS capable camera...if so have you tried registrator viewer?

http://registratorviewer.narod.ru/

May 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

In most respects the device looks as per the photo at the top of the article but with a GPS aerial (a magnetic block box on 2metre cable, plugs in below the rear camera socket.)

It came with both an adhesive patch to attach to the windscreen and a sucker-mount, also a 4GB memory card.
Bought here for about GBP60 http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/enjoy_shop2012

So far my only problems are that I don't trust the CD (as Norton Security didn't like the look of it) and that the operating instructions are poor. I reckon many of these far east products would be worth 10% more with good English documentation (by which I mean a good standard of English, comprehensive coverage of features and clearly explained.)

Thanks for pointing me at http://registratorviewer.narod.ru/ that does the job better than I'd expected, showing location on map alongside video. Also grouping files to run as a single entity. A slightly better link is http://www.registratorviewer.com/index_en.html - the same but in English

May 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDick

@Anas:

I share your problems too. I've bought this camera due to the review it was made as I thought it'd do the job. I've tried every combination possible (resolution / time / etc) and I still get pauses between (random) 2 seconds of correct footage. I noticed that everytime I format the microSD it becomes filled leaving only some 300mb free - I don't now if the DVR uses space as a buffer for recording the videos of if it's simply a glitch.
Does anybody knows how to extract a firmware from this camera? (My version is f20_20121217).
And if anybody cares the seller was micro.digital on eBay that now doesn't returns my contacts...

June 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannibal

@Hannibal That to me sounds exactly like the symptoms of a counterfeit SD card. Can you try a different card.

June 17, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi there Techmoan!

Wasn't expecting a reply so soon and specially from You - it's nice to see that you're such a stand up guy!
I don't think that this a fake card problem because I've bought it from a physical store and it's supposed to be a pretty decent brand (Lexar 32gb class 10).
I think the camera creates (to my knowledge, from sniffing around on hidden files) swf files to temporarily cope with video creation/recording, acting as a buffer. But, neverthless I'll try a different microSD card like You said.
Meanwhile I've stumbled with two different firmware versions for this camera BUT I'm NOT flashing them before learning how to backup the original one.

Any ideas?


Regards,

Hannibal

June 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannibal

I haven't tried flashing mine...I didn't even know that it was possible. I'll be honest, I haven't used mine since I made the review...I think I may have even given it to someone, but I'm not sure. There definitely seems to be a few versions of this camera around. It's the only thing that would explain why some people are happy whereas others seem to have nothing but problems. Good luck sorting it out.

June 17, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Too bad, I was about to ask You if You'd like to sell me yours... :)

Will let know if I figure it out.


Regards,

Hannibal

June 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannibal

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