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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%! 

            

 
« The HP Envy 120 - A printer you want to show off. | Main | Meze 11 Classics give a very enjoyable wooden performance »
Sunday
Dec082013

DOD LS430W GPS Dashcam Review

Here's my review of the DOD LS430W car camera. The camera was supplied by DOD-TECH UK

I mentioned in the video that this camera comes with both OSX & Windows GPS playback software. I didn't test out the Windows version but I believe that often Windows users opt to use a more fully featured, and free GPS playback software package called Registrator Viewer. I should mention that apparently the GPS implementation on the LS430W is a particularly accurate and fast one...I'll admit to knowing next to nothing about GPS, so I'll just take their word for that. 

You'll find my short downloadable sample clips here.

Buying links are below 

The price I mentioned in the video is the cheapest price I found on ebay...but some people who have bought from ebay sellers in China have received inferior clones, so you are probably better off getting one from an official dealer. My camera was supplied by DOD-TECH UK, who currently have the camera on sale at £149 including delivery. That comes with a 1 Year warranty and no chance of incurring any customs and importation charges for UK buyers.

UPDATE 2015

This camera has been discontinued and replaced with the very similar LS460W - I've had a number of people contact me to tell me that they've bought the LS460W and found it to be a very good camera. I've therefore put links to the LS460W below.

   

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Reader Comments (280)

I have both a DOD LS430W and an LS360W in my wife's car. My 460W is approx. two years old and is still working great. I'm not certain if the camera has a battery; or if it has a capacitor. In any event, the camera requires a constant power source to function. The battery/capacitor was never designed or meant to power the camera unless it has a power source attached. To cause the camera to record when your car is unattended you must provide a source of power, or "hot-wire" the camera into your car. This can, obviously drain your car's battery over time. As I see it, these dash video cameras are made to capture video as you drive, and are not really designed for surveillance when your car is unattended, although with a power source and the settings set to capture motion, the camera will / should capture something , but at the peril of your car's battery. If your vehicle was parked in a busy area with lots of vehicle and or pedestrian traffic passing by, then the camera would be activated frequently. Suppose it became very windy and a tree branch began to move, thus activating the camera. Now that would be exciting to watch!!

Has anyone out there purchased or used a Mini 0805 or 0806 model?
I am hopeful that DOD-Tech will release a camera that will provide additional video clarity along with a lens with a greater "depth of field" or range of focus. I find that with both of our cameras we have to be approx. as close as two car lengths in order to read a licence marker clearly. The other thing I am waiting for is a camera that shoots 60 FPS (frames per second). Have you noticed this when you play back video of oncoming traffic at highway speeds? Due to the combined rate of travel of both vehicles and these cameras only shoot 30 FPS; you are unable to read or capture a licence number clearly even though as you meet another oncoming vehicle in close proximity within the range of focus of the camera.
I did a little math and I find that at 100 KPH or approx 60 MPH for you Brits and Americans; we are moving at approx 27 metres per second or 88 feet per second, so divide that by 30 FPS to ascertain what is captured in one frame of video.
Answer: just under three feet or 0.9 of a metre...hence you get a blurred image when trying to read details of oncoming traffic at these speeds. If the DVR manufacturers increase the frame rate per second, then I guess they have to deal with file sizes that will likely be twice as large if the capture rate has doubled....Sorry to drift on about this......would appreciate comments or ideas from others and if someone can confirm if the DOD cameras have a battery or a capacitor I would be pleased to know.
Thanks for reading..
Best............SHUMBA

March 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSHUMBA

So now we have the LS470W with polarizing filter, bigger battery and screen and 'park' function. Has anyone tried it?

Michael

April 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichaelH

Dashcams: A question of safety vs. privacy?
By Brendan McAleer
Originally published: April 5, 2016

http://driving.ca/auto-news/news/dashcams-a-question-of-safety-versus-privacy

I found the above article an interesting read. This appeared in one of our national newspapers recently. (CANADA )
Regarding the DOD-TECH LS470 I have not tried it as both of our cameras LS360W and 430W are doing fine.
I did have a look at some video that DOD-TECH posted on their website. The 470 apparently has a faster GPS logger but I was unable to see any difference in the video.
Best regards
SHUMBA

April 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSHUMBA

Hi Shumba;

I read that article, and also the one embedded with it on the site, concerning dash cams, and I'd like to make a couple of observations if I may;

There is a suggestion made there, which I've heard elsewhere, that a dash cam is a distraction. It certainly would be if the driver spent his/her time trying to watch the little 2.5" screen rather than the real thing just outside the windscreen but why would you do that?. My camera's are set to switch to the speed display after 15 seconds and I only glance at them occasionally to check my speed on GPS. No distraction.

The other thing is reversing cameras. My car has reversing sensors which sound an audible signal; a series of 'beeps' that start at a distance of one metre from an obstruction and increase in frequency until they become a continuous tone at 300mm. I can hear them while I'm also looking around. On the other hand if I was staring at a reversing camera screen I might not see a pedestrian or car that was about to cross my path - I think that really is a distraction.

I reckon the most interesting thing about the LS470W camera is the fact it finally has a polarizing filter. Perhaps DOD have been listening to you Shumba. I suspect the video will be incrementally better than the 460 in the same way the 460 is incrementally better than the 430. When I get one I'll let you know what I discover.

April 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichaelH

Thanks for your comments Michael; agree with you that DVRS are only distracting if one allows them to be. ..just like a cell phone, GPS or any hand held device. My Subaru Forester (2016) turbo is equipped with blue tooth and a back up camera.
However there is no audio function only video. I brought my new Forester home a few months ago and carefully reversed into our garage only to connect with a shelf resulting in a scrape on the fender. Only 21 kilometres on the clock ! Wish it had the proximity beep beep feature.


Let me know if you get an LS470.
Best
SHUMBA

April 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSHUMBA

Your unfortunate experience illustrates my point very well, Shumba. A camera can't warn you of an obstruction it can't see, and if it's close enough to hit it's probably out of the camera's view anyway. Also even the widest field of view can't compete with human peripheral vision, which is why you should be looking out of the car when reversing - not staring at a little screen.

The reversing beeper on my FIAT 500C has convinced me that they are indispensable. Spaced around the rear bumper their 'field of view' is much wider than a camera's and their sensitivity such that they will pick up a blade of grass. The new Mazda 2 Genki I am considering buying has a reversing camera but I would have it supplemented by a proximity warning system as soon as it's delivered.

April 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichaelH

I have been using a pair of DOD LS470W cameras for about a month now so here are a few observations.

The new design is slightly bulkier than its predecessor but the general layout is the same. The power socket is the same mini USB as well, which meant I didn’t have to rewire the car from my pair of 460’s. What is missing is the little rubber covers over the card slot and HDMI socket.

I haven’t done a side-by-side comparison of the image quality because I was perfectly satisfied with the 460, and the 470 is just as good in my view. ISO now ranges up to 12800, so low-light performance should be improved.

What I have noticed is that the 470 has a wider field of view (150 degrees). Personally I see no real advantage in this and as the forward-facing camera is fitted in the exact location I had the 460 the rear view mirror now impinges on the image. There appears to be a more pronounced distortion to the edges of the video as well.

According to the literature the GPS updates 10x faster and this is reflected in the HUD speed display. I use the HUD display as a check on speed and in the 460 it was fine but on the 470 display the numbers roll over according to any slight change in speed and are rarely steady for more than a second, making it hard to judge. If they had damped the display response it would have been better I think.

The speed alarm is somewhat more audible and chimes more than once after you exceed the limit set – it’s a little more useful. The limit display and the compass on the screen are as useless as ever.

I decided not to purchase the optional CPL’s, mainly due to their cost but I haven’t really had much trouble with reflection in any case.

July 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Thanks for your great review and info regarding the LS 460-470 dash cams.
We are still using our LS 360 and 430 cameras. Both are functioning well and they suit
our needs. I would like to see a new camera that is capable of 60 frames per second
Or FPS along with superior video quality. Hopefully new technology will enable a DVR to constantly adjust
focus to provide a clearer video
Eventually this will become available.
If other readers find a superior camera that fits the above description, I would be pleased to hear from you.
Best..........SHUMBA

July 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSHUMBA

Hi there,

I have found on the Canadian DOD website a new Firmware update for the LS460W.
Strange is that this update is not found on the websites of DOD in Taiwan or Australia.

When I check the firmware version on my camera I see this:
LS460W
HG1400130EN08
E00ECAA00A01

However the downloaded filename of the firmwareupdate has the name: FWA8S711.bin and it seems no relation with the firmware on my camera.
I contacted support in Canada but they refuse to answer because I purchased the camera in Thailand.(living there)

I am cautious to install this firmware version because I think it is not the correct one with all kinds of trouble possible after updating the firmware.

Any ideas?

October 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWim de Visser

Hi Wim;

I had a look for firmware updates for the 460 and came up with the same file, on a US site. It appears to be the correct firmware update. I haven't used it because both my cameras are 470's but I wouldn't expect any problems.

Michael

October 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichaelH

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