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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)

Thanks for your help. Finally worked out that the screen saver was ste for 3 minutes so that's why it went off. Still have the flashing light where the battery charged sign should be. If I can sort it I'll be happy, thanks again.

May 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWinnie S

Hi Mat
Many thanks for the G1 W article, it is very helpful to me. ( I was brought up in the days of wind up gramophones) . What I want to do is use a laptop to see what the camera is recording. Your article seems to suggest that this can be done using an AV lead, could you please explain in a little more detail how this can be achieved.

May 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohnS

You can't view the video live on a laptop - but you could plug an AV lead from the camera (3.5mm to RCA yellow/red/white) into a television.

May 9, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Many thanks, I'll try that.

May 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohnS

Bought this little camera mainly because almost everyone recommended it. I did not want to spend too much for what to me is essentially a fun gimmick. Still, I am quite amazed that something so cheap works so well. It has seen a significant amount of abuse yet still works flawlessly.

September 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRonald

Do these not power on and off automatically when you turn the car on and off?

September 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPep

If you direct wire them up to ignition then yes they will. If you use the cigarette lighter adapter you will have to plug in and unplug to turn the dash cam on or off respectively. FYI, you must get the conversion wire kit because these dash cams run on 5 volt and NOT 12 volt. Ask me how I know...
On my 14 Silverado I tapped the aux 12 volt power supply on the dash: on my 96 Corvette I found a fuse that had power with the key switch in the on position. 06 Trailblazer I again found a fuse that had power when the key was in the on position.
You set the dash cam up to record in loops and you drive on until you need to see some footage. They pop the SD card into your computer.

September 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRob L

So even if it's the model with the capacitors I'll still have to hard wire it? It's amazing that the $18 cams on gear best have the auto on off feature but this one that costs double doesn't have such s simple feature.

Anyone have the newer G1W HC? I think it's the latest model with capacitors. I'm wondering if they fixed the vibration/shake issue they were having with the cheap mounts.

September 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPep

I have both older and the newer G1 with the capacitor. The capacitor just replaces the battery in the cam that keeps date and time. The battery's seem to crap out after a couple of years so now they use capacitors. For constant power you will need it hard wired if you want it to turn on and off with the key. Unless you don't mind popping in the plug in to the cigarette lighter and unplugging every day. REMEMBER, 5 volt not 12 volt.

September 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRob L

Pick up one of these and you never have to look back.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MH4ZVHO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

September 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRob L

Any experience with the viofo a118c? That looks pretty decent at a good price too. Good features and video quality. Not sure if it has the auto on off and not crazy about sticking it to my windshield and not being able to remove it but it's rated best value cam in it's class.

September 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPep

Excellent video quality day and night. Worked well for 15 months until battery packed up. This means that while when powered up the camera still takes excellent video BUT at the start and end of your journey some files are corrupted I guess because the battery power which is used to finalise the file is not present. It has because of no battery also lost all its settings and has defaulted to a date in 1999 which makes the evidential value of the footage a non starter.

A real shame. Tried to use it then as a rear pointing camera with a replacement Transcend unit at the front BUT for reasons unknown while camera works when ignition on, it stops working when engine starts and so no video of your journey.

For money I paid could I have expected better. Probably not.

October 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRuss B

Guys, I DO NOT RECOMMEND this camera.
It's shitty quality.
I had 2 of them - the original wit battery which died after one year.
The second one with capacitator is also dying. Didn't last a year. It stops recoding or the picture gets frozen or wont start recoding automatically.
I'm very disappointed. Next time I will buy rather something more expensive in a normal store and with warranty (2 years in Europe).

October 24, 2016 | Unregistered Commentertomas

I have one of these, the capacitor version, and my only criticism is it forgets the time and date. My car, a 2003 Ford Focus, keeps the lighter socket powered all the time. I used to keep the dashcam plugged in and never had an issue with time and date or depleted car battery until I left the car for a week. When I returned the car battery was too weak to start the car. I charged it overnight and things were back to normal but because of this I decided to unplug the camera between uses. The net effect of this is the time and date revert to March 2000 regularly. I was thinking with no battery in the camera and only a capacitor in its place, how could the time and date be maintained with the camera unplugged? Anybody have any different experience with the capacitor version?

November 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Isaacs

I've had my G1W-C for over 2 years now, I bought it Aug 2014 and it is still going strong and I use it daily.
The cable got accidentally broken and was replaced a few months ago.
I'm very pleased with this dash cam as it suits my needs perfectly.

November 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterClearer Now

I bought one of these sometime following your review. Goodness it was reviewed in December 2013! It is now January 2017!

The dash cam has run continuously ever since with no problems. This being so I have just bought another for my son. There may be 'better' ones but you can't beat this on reliability, performance and price. Reliability, such an unknown quantity in this sort of kit has been proven in my case and it more than adequately does the job for which it is intended. I am not sure why it is recommended to not use a Class10 card as this is what I put in the new one. No idea what is in mine at the moment but could well be the same. The new one runs fine but maybe I need to change the card.

Anyway the point is that this cam has proved to be reliable!

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKaragan

I have used the class 10 from the start.
I started out with a Transcend and added a Lexar to switch back and forth.
I use the Lexar class 10 and it is perfect so I have 2 Lexar Class 10 now.
I check them alternately in my computer once a month to make sure everything is running ok...

January 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClearer Now

Just wanted to make a comment that I purchased a G1W dash cam based on your original video review and it is still going strong 2.5 years on. I am so impressed with the quality of this video and I think one would be hard pushed to get the same quality so cheaply now.

I have been in the process of purchasing an inexpensive dash cam for my daughter and have tried and returned three due to poor quality. I've finally purchased the Maxtek from Aldi with a 3year warranty and this is an almost identical spec to the G1W with good quality recording.

Thanks for your video reviews - so helpful and interesting

January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSheila

online shopping for memory card

August 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRajat

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