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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%! 

            

 
« Christmas Special Episode - BNIB | Main | The HP Envy 120 - A printer you want to show off. »
Monday
Dec162013

G1W - The cheapest Dash-Cam that’s worth buying.

When I recently tried to find a good cheap dash-cam, quite a few people suggested that I should take a look at the G1W camera, so I picked one up. Delivery from China took a while, but the wait was worth it. This camera is capable of recording good quality video day and night, better than many more expensive cameras, more than adequate for the majority of people and at a price that can’t be beaten.

To put it simply, if you have any intention at all of picking up a dash-cam but up until this point have been put-off by the price, then this is the camera for you. You will need to obtain your own MicroSD card – (Class 6 or 4, but not Class 10)  from a reputable retailer.

The following paragraph is only for people who are thinking about buying this as their first dash-cam and who may not realise what they are getting themselves into…

Do not buy this camera and expect to get superior levels of build quality and customer service. If you choose to have your camera sent from the Chinese ebay supplier I used, it will take some time to arrive (mine took over 3 weeks to the UK).  If you break the mounts you will not get spares. If it arrives DOA your best option might be to bin it, as the alternative would be to send it back to China. I have no idea how reliable this camera will prove to be over time – but like all electronic devices, it will not work forever. Dash-cams have to work for hours on end, often in extreme temperatures, the kind of thing that puts a strain on even the best made cameras. I have no connection with the manufacturer or retailers. I bought mine off ebay.

Now that’s said, if you do want to buy what I think is the best performing dash-cam currently available for £32/$55 – this is it and you can get one from one of the links below.

DOWNLOADABLE SAMPLES HERE

BUYING LINKS - NEW 2014 VERSION (Click a country)

UK US NL IT FR ES DE AU

 

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Reader Comments (259)

Thank you Matthew and your Techman contributors.
I'm off to a successful start with my GW-C and I wouldn't have made it without your input.
Thank you and all the best to everyone..

August 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Sorry for typo.
I meant Techmoan.

August 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Clearly Now,

With regard the exposure factor, what the number represent is the opening and closing of the lens aperture (much the same as the iris in our own eyes) to allow more or less light in as required, depending on available light. 0.0 is deemed 'optimal' - not too much and not too little. The problem I would suggest in trying to change them would be 1/entering the menu every time you wish to change settings and 2/ light varies in any cause in given circumstances i.e. going in and out of dark/light areas, trees and building say? What I would suggest is see how the 0.0. exposure copes overall, if too much light (bright images) enters, CLOSE (-) the setting one setting at a time, conversely, should there be not enough light (dark images) then OPEN (+) one notch at a time. Hope this helps. Then leave the setting you find satisfactory.

Finally, regarding the vibration - I had 2 new front tyres fitted yesterday as the old ones were showing 'feathering' on the outside ridge (both tyres) meaning the tracking was out. The difference is huge in both handling and steering (as expected). There would have been some vibration through the vehicle, although not so noticeable whilst driving? I'm just going to view the latest images 'before and after' fitting to see how they look.

Hope this helps. DaveR

August 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaveR

Good Day DaveR
Thanks for the Exposure + and - tip.
We'll have snow on the ground the last week of November and that is likely when I will adjust the exposure setting.
I don't want to lose any sharpness or detail.
I'll be replacing my tires the end of November as well. They are not affecting my dash cam but they are getting noisy and due for replacement.
I'm looking forward to a 4 hour drive in various road conditions on Wednesday.
I've had no problems with my G sensor since I put it on low setting Saturday morning. I had it off before.
I have no intention to ever use Motion detection or Led light so they will remain in Off.
I'm still a very happy camper with my G1W-C, it's excellent value that's for sur.

August 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Clearly Now,

Your welcome. That's what we are all here for.

I live in Scotland and years ago one could guarantee snow come Winter, but the weather is all over the place due to!!!! (but that's another subject entirely??), but I take note of your use of exposure during these times.

I'll replace my rear tyres also in time for winter, there is still a good tread on those yet. There was no discernible difference on playback, but I've still got the cable ties on, I don't see the need to take them off (lazy or what!!!!). I hope your journey goes well tomorrow (Wednesday). Look forward to a report. Have a safe and pleasant journey.

I'm also still pleased with the results of this dash cam. Does all I need or want. Take care. DaveR

August 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaveR

DaveR –
I got my big drive in today and I came across a couple of situations I hadn't thought about.
Firstly I ran into some fog ½ way through the trip.
I also came upon a construction site where they were resurfacing the highway.
They score the surface of the highway with grid lines so a new surface bonds better to the roadway.
The dash cam saw what in the foggy mist.
The image didn't appear to be affected by the noisy pebbly ride caused by construction.
The time and date have been right on since the get go.
I don't fool with the dash cam once I have formatted the microcard.
I had 74 separate and completed clips on the microSDHS card.
I didn't drive enough hours to fill the card this trip and make it loop, next time I will.
It took 33 minutes to download the 74 files to my computer.
The only negative thing I noticed was an intermittent static noise coming from the speaker.
It wasn't constant and varied with speed and type of road surface.
At times it sounded like a piece of paper snapping rapidly in the wind.
It wasn't any noisier than the sound of my engine or road noise.
I'll check with the seller estore009 on ebay to see what they have to say.
Other than the bit of static I don't have any complaints and it does what I want and expect.
I will format the microcard tomorrow morning and this time leave it in for the next 2 weeks.
I know I will have enough driving hours in to test the loop feature next time.

August 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

My G1W lasted about a month and today it died a horrible death. First, the unit refuses to hold a charge. I never successfully got the battery to charge via USB, only via the cigarette lighter. The cam now refuses to power on at all. Also, I tried a factory reset and the button inside the unit broke off...don't use a lot of force when attempting this. Anyways, if/when I purchase a replacement I'll be sure to buy from a reputable manufacturer with a good support track record.

August 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSomeDude

I bought the G1W on your recommendation and it was really worth it. Trouble is I've gone and busted the power supply when trying to install it permanently in my car. With your experience would you know where I can get another Power cable, especially a longer one so I can finish what I started.

Thank you

August 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames Burns

Final comment on my G1W-C. (capacitor model)
I've had a real good run using it and I'm pleased with it.
The only problem I've had is variable static in the background.
It reminds me of audio static that sometimes you may hear in an old black and white movie.
I'm keeping my G Sensor on low and Motion Detection off.
I've been formatting the micro card once a week.
Everything else including Date & Time, works fine.
If anything unto wards happens I'll post it.

August 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Clearly Now,

Great to hear you've had a good run and pleased with the Dash Cam. They are really worth the money, save for a few little niggles that appear now and again from those buying new, (maybe just a some put together badly?), but overall, a good buy.

Depending on where you buy and how long it takes for something to show up, you can always return for a replacement or another?

The 'audio click' may be a 'dry joint' on the PC board? Unless you can get to the innards and find out, it shouldn't be to much of a distraction?

Likewise, if anything untoward happens with mine, I'll leave it at that.

DaveR

August 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaveR

Looks like they changed a few things on the C version. It may become my first cam...

September 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterschu

I found out where my static sound is coming from.
My 2011 Focus is equipped with an electronic Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror.
I use the dash cam bracket and it is clamped on the shaft that supports the rear view mirror and its wiring.
I'm not changing a thing because the static sound doesn't bother or interfere with the dash cam.
I can here all sounds in the cabin including directional signals, which are much louder than the intermittent static.

September 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

I'm learning more as I go.
There are "Grounding Kits" for cars that have static interference problems.
I mentioned in earlier posts I'm going to use 2 SDHC microcards as my dash cam will stay in the car.
They are Class 10, FHD microcards with similar specifications:
TRANSCEND microSDHC UHS-1, model TS32GUSDU1, Premium 300x, 32GB c/w adapter.
LEXAR MOBILE/SPORT microSDHC UHS-1, model LSDMI32GBSBNA300A, 300x, 32GB c/w adapter.
There will always be a microcard in the dash cam while the other is in the house on my computer.
I don't want my wife to take out the car without a microcard in the dash cam.
Both are working perfectly.

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClearly Now

Do you know if you can record directly to an external hard drive verses the 32 GB card?
Thanks.

September 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert M

It just records to MicroSD (the same as any other Dashcam I've tested).

September 9, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I have just purchased the GW1.
I have a Samsung 32gb microSDHC card. I have turned off loop function.
My question is how long will the DashCam record for, Before card fills ?

Skipper....

September 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSkipper....

I have purchased the GW1. It has a Samsung 32gb SDHC CARD class 6.
I have turned off the Loop Function .
My question is how long will the Dash Cam continuously record for using this set up?
I tow a caravan for up to 6hrs a day.

Skipper....

September 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSkipper....

Have you done any homework on this thing! So many reviews say it's only lasts weeks at best and then dies. How can you say it's good value.

September 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjohn nelson

@john nelson: I've had mine running daily since early January (read my post on 13 Jan). No problems, still perfect picture. I wipe the card once a month or so, or whenever I check back on incidents that have occurred. Mat reviews things as he sees them - he doesn't run long-term testing, and who can blame him for that? He gives his impressions, which may or may not gel with everyone else's experience. After all, you gets what you pay for. Personally, I thought the review was very fair - and my experience has been positive.

September 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterQuaser

I have just bought theG1W.H 2014 model from E.Store 009 on Ebay, which is attached to the rear window,the results are exceptional for a average budget dash cam, daylight results are good can read all number plates as cars are overtaking,however night is not so good but I put that down to the dark tint on window,I paid £47.00 which included a 32gb sd card,if you want to wait for approx 3 weeks from a reputable seller reccomended by Techmoan you should not be disappointed as you know that there are a lot of hookey
models out there,I have a Mini 0803 on the front screen and have travelled hundreds of miles thro really hot sun and it performed well tho the G.P.S is C..p. not really an advantage.Hope this blog is of help to those out there thinking of buying a Dash Cam.

October 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Hi Matthew. Recently bought a G1W capacitor model after studying your reviews. No problem so far, pleased. Just one query : i can't find a function to manually lock/protect a file segment 'on the run', that is without stopping recording. Do you know if one of the buttons has that feature?
I re-listened to your review a couple of timesbut don't think you mentioned this......?
Regards, ed

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Just bought this. What mov joiner software do you use to combine the 5 minute clips? Thanks for your help!

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterem

General question but I'll ask it here as I think I'd like to buy this particular camera. How well does this, or any camera in general, stand up to heat?
I live in Phoenix, AZ and 120°F days are quite common during the summers. Inside a parked car that can easily become 140°F and if an object is sitting in direct sunlight, even hotter.
I would prefer to set-it-and-forget-it rather than having to remove and replace my camera every single time I get out of the car. In these temperatures, is that even a possibility?
In the past I have tried using my cellphone as a makeshift dashcam and I've had it shut itself down due to excessive heat. That's in an air conditioned interior. There's plenty of heat absorption just in the direct sunlight of the windshield which, unfortunately, is where a dashcam needs to be. I'm sure the average cellphone is a little more delicate than a dashcam but, does this dashcam shut down in excessive heat, and if not, should it?

October 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike_M

Thanks for the review of this camera, I have just got mine and wondered about the led light on the front that wouldn't turn off.
No menu item to disable, however, I had a little play with it and it seems that if you hold the rec button for a second or two, you can toggle it off or on.
Looking forwards to trying it out tomorrow...

PeterM

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeterM

Has anyone ordered a G1W or G1WH from estore009 (ebay) and had to pay customs duty or are they shipped and marked as a "gift"?

thanks!

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill

UPDATE on my purchase from BAIKLOV from Amazon Markertplace: GIW

This seller was very easy to work when both my newish cameras stopped working after I plugged them into a newly purchased dual cigar lighter I also purchased from China.my vehicle is a 2000 Mercedes c280. I don't know what went wrong with the cameras, but both no longer would not stay on even after the seller and I tried several of his detailed suggestions such as building up the battery in the house and then plugging them into the cars. The cameras would not keep a charge. We tried everything he suggested and I was very honest with him as I really wanted to get them working again.

INCREDIBLY, the seller asked me to ship both cameras back to the seller in China which cost me around $13. They took a month or so to arrive, but once there, this kind and very professional seller not only refunded my money in full for the cameras, he also refunded me my costs to ship it back. I was only out the time and frustration.

I must say I was not expecting this, but BAIKLOV was kind, thorough, included detailed instructions with every message, worked with me during my frustration and both of us remained calm, honest and professional during our entire communication.

I chose to not reorder as I decided to go with the new heat resistant Lukas dual from Amazon from a domestic seller who is also a very kind man and who shipped me an additional cable at no extra cost.

BTW: I live in New Orleans. Very hot so heat resistant camera is a must I believe.
No additional duty on BAIKLOV purchase from China
I will post later a review if the Lukas once installed.

October 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal Wells

Hi, can someone tell me if and where I can download a g1w-c english manual? please attach to email if you can. Thanks, Don dhas@charter.net

November 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDon

Can't recommend it.!!

I've bought 4 of these units. The earlier units were great video quality but had problems with operational issues like suddenly stopping recording or not starting, but the latest ones I've bought (and returned ) have operational issues resolved, but noticeably poorer video quality. Lower resolution, Colors are wrong and anti aliasing is excessive.

I used the earlier ones for aerial filming on my drone because the quality was up there with GoPro.. , but the latest ones are no where near acceptable. So I can't recommend it..

November 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter D

Can't recommend it.!!

I've bought 4 of these units. The earlier units were great video quality but had problems with operational issues like suddenly stopping recording or not starting, but the latest ones I've bought (and returned ) have operational issues resolved, but noticeably poorer video quality. Lower resolution, Colors are wrong and anti aliasing is excessive.

I used the earlier ones for aerial filming on my drone because the quality was up there with GoPro.. , but the latest ones are no where near acceptable. So I can't recommend it..

November 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter D

Ello'!
I was wondering if this was a good product to buy and I was seeing if you could do a review on it and let me know if the Motion detection function and the G-sensor can be turned off or not. Thank you.
http://www.spytecinc.com/g90-a7-1080p-hd-car-dash-camera.html

December 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIke

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