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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

 

 
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
Drift Ghost X

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)

April 11, 2014

Thanks for that Slivy58. I had another look at the Staples site, and their description of the LS 430W camera:
"•Included in the Box: 4M(13ft) Vehicle Power Charger, USB cable, suction cup bracket, HDMI Cable, User Manual."
No mention of a second bracket. I had a small problem with the suction cup bracket, so I got in touch directly with DOD in Scarborough, (Toronto) and they were kind enough to send me a new suction mount. Not sure how long the new one will last, perhaps it is just symptomatic of suction cups as my Garmin GPS falls off the windscreen at interval as well.....Maybe I can apply a certain type of glue that would be easy to remove from both the windshield and the suction cup. As you know it is "air-pressure" that holds the suction cup in place, so if the vacuum between the suction cup rubber and the windscreen is compromised, then it lets go. A tip I use to prevent the camera from falling onto the floor of my car is loop the power cable around the rear view mirror, so in the event the suction lets go, your camera does not fall and possibly get damaged it just dangles from the power cord.
Which mount are you using? The suction or the dash "stick-on"?

Thanks again for your input.....If there is anyone else out there....comments welcomed....
Best...........SHUMBA

April 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSHUMBA

SHUMBA,

I questioned Staples content description after seeing Techmoan's video review and had to wait until it was in my possession to verify, was happy to see in my case, Staples description was wrong.

Been mounting various devices onto my vehicles windshield for years (5+) and in the majority of the cases some form of suction mount has been used, for the most part I've had good luck with them staying put. They've gone through the rigors of our harsh winters and the +30 temperatures of the summer months, longest period before my intervention to remove has been close to a year if not longer... I'm always adjusting and reconfiguring dependent on what is being mounted. As with anything though there are occasions when they decide to part ways and just as you have done SHUMBA, I too configure the USB cable in such a fashion to prevent the device from crashing to the floorboards.
My secret and what has worked for me when installing a suction type mount... A clean even glass surface, moisten (water) the cup with a damp cloth and mounting in an environment that is not too hot or cold.

As to what I use... In the past three months I've chosen to go with the smallest mount that utilizes just the ball/socket and has the 3M adhesive, reasons being is to alleviate vibrations/shake, windshield obstructions and better concealment of device. Still deploy the suction type when needed as they provide more versatility in that they can be removed and remounted within seconds, with the adhesive it is a more permanent method, tough to remove and requires a "new" adhesive pad to reinstall.
One thing I have noticed is that many of the mounts I own use similar sized balls and sockets so mixing and matching is a breeze, one mount multiple devices, just have to keep intent in mind when choosing a location.

Hope this makes some sense SHUMBA and helps you in some way, best of luck.

PS... I'd inquire about your missing mount as I do believe it should have been included, it is a nice addition and having that 2nd adapter for your camera is a bonus. Possible DOD made some changes but think it was an omission during packaging.

Regards... Slivy58

April 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSlivy58

SHUMBA,

Forgot one step in my installation of a suction mount:

A clean even glass surface, moisten (water) the cup with a damp cloth and mounting in an environment that is not too hot or cold... AND... Firm pressure on mount against glass before activation of locking mechanism :-)

April 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSlivy58

April 11, 2014

Many thanks for your detailed input Slivy58. I appreciate that. I contacted Staples via "chat-line" only to be told that they shipped the camera as described, i.e. only one mount as per their description of the camera. I am going to contact DOD directly and ask them (DOD) about the second mount that uses a 3-M adhesive. I have see these as other GPS and dash cameras come with two mounts.
Thanks again.........will let you know what DOD has to say.........
Best...............SHUMBA

April 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSHUMBA

Yes I'd say the missing mount isn't Staples doing and contacting DOD is your best bet, hopefully they can clear up any confusion for us both as to why it was or was not included in our situations. Most of my earlier dash cam purchases came with a single suction mount and DOD is the second manufacture in my experience to include two, can never have enough I'd say LOL.

Regards... Slivy58

April 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSlivy58

Hi Matt,

What a minefield, trying to work out what camera to buy! Thanks for your reviews, which have left me *slightly* less confused but...

I have two vehicles, my daily use car and a 4x4 off roader. I would like a camera for 'evidence' when driving in my normal car and also to take videos of lane runs in the 4x4. I also want GPS so I can map where we've been off road. I want high quality video for the lane run element and general quality for the normal run. I'm not too bothered about the GPS in my normal car, so would leave an external GPS receiver in the Land Rover if needed, but built in is better as I can use in either.

So far, the DOD LS430W would appear to tick all the boxes. And I use Macs, so Mac software on this one is an added bonus (wife has a PC if I really needed to use one, so not a deal breaker).

Obvious question is, can you think of anything that I'm missing or should also consider?

Second question is more generic. I've only started looking because of the off roading but it strikes me that people don't talk much about rear facing cameras to video tailgaters etc. Wouldn't it be better having two cameras? Is there a reason why rear facing doesn't get mentioned or have I simply not come across it? I'm wondering whether one camera like this and a really cheap one for the rear window would be useful? Be handy if someone bumps it while parked!

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKeith

Hi, have purchased Sandisk 64g SDXC micro card, it seems to be already "Fat32" format, tried it from new and tried it again after formatting it with the DOD Fat32 format app and what happenens is it will record and store every file for the whole 64g (5 min loop), but at about the 15gig point on the card the files stop being recognised, have tried so many times formating, different settings, always the same result. After reading this forum, have realized that the Sandisk card is rubbish for this camera. So everybody, DO NOT BUY THIS CARD.
Can anybody tell me what 64 or 128 gig card will work with the DOD LS430W. Preferably someone that has actually used one.

Thanks
Derry

April 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerry

Derry,

I was using the recommended (by DOD) Kingston 64GB MicroSDXC Class10, all was fine until I went on an extended trip. After several hours the cam began to lockup requiring manual resets, soon the lockups became more frequent so I decided to revert back to my 32GB Lexar card, the trip home went smooth without one iota of a problem. So in summary, I'm not sure how reliable anything above 32GB is when used with this cam and have not tested my 64GB card to see if there are any pending issues, as for a 128GB version, I doubt that is an option.

Regards... Slivy58

April 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSlivy58

Hey Slivy58,
If you are still out there. DOD-tech was kind enough to send me a second mount for my LS430W. Great customer service from the DOD-tech folks in Toronto.
This mount is very small and attaches using a 3M stick on mount. As you mentioned earlier, you were using your stick on mount as it made the camera more obscure, or less noticeable. I have not used this mount and am wondering where to place it. The instruction manual says you can change or reverse the video, ie if the camera is mounted upside down, a camera setting will permit the video to replayed or displayed "right side up". So, will this sticky mount adhere to the windscreen above the rear view mirror? That area of the windscreen has a " dotted" area that acts as a sunvisor. My dash board is not smooth, as it has a slightly pebbled surface. Finally, have you had to remove or relocate your sticky mount?
Rumour has it, DOD is coming out with a newer dash cam, called the LS460W. By number it shoots 60 frames per second, or double that of our LS430's.
I would like to to see a better resolution with these cameras, as I have to be within about a car length to read a licence plate number. Oncoming traffic licence plates are illegible.
I would be grateful if you have any information to share with myself and the DVR community.
Best.......SHUMBA

May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSHUMBA

SHUMBA,

That’s awesome DOD-tech was so obliging, definitely good to know and thanks for sharing.

As for the mount location, my choice of placement is at the very top of the windshield just shy of the “dotted” area and to the right of the rear-view mirror mounting arm, that seems to work best for me, also prefer it situated as such that I can monitor the small status LED while driving without too much neck bending… Like knowing if the power source has been severed. The adhesive is basically a onetime use thingy so careful placement is a must, just leave the protective cover on and do a little trial fitting with the camera attached, once you are satisfied with the intended location remove the cover and stick away LOL… Have not removed any of mine but do know the 3M adhesive will require a bit of elbow grease to detach when the time comes and some form of thin bladed knifelike tool helps as well. With a dash mount itself I’d be inclined to have something with a larger base/adhesive pad as I’m not so sure the factory unit would suffice in this situation, that was my place of choice when using pocket cams as dash cams and I never had much luck getting anything to stick well to the dash itself not to mention the whole setup stuck out like a sore thumb.

I’ve seen the option to flip the video but in all honesty have not tried this feature nor have I had the need up to this point; hopefully the time/date/GPS stamp gets flipped as well and suppose giving it a go would alleviate any guessing. Just recently purchased a couple Joby Action Clamps and got to say they are awesome and allow the dash cam to be oriented properly if there is no option to flip the video, use mostly in a stationary application w/aux power supply and so far super stuff, perfect for those temp installs or when you want to relocate quickly. The ridged arm version is meant for mobile applications yet I’m not so sure it would keep the shake to a minimum due to its oval length, it incorporates a std. ¼” threaded mount which easily adapts to any tripod.

So SHUMBA what resolution do you have your cam set at, 720p, 1080p? I leave mine set to 1080p and must say I am very pleased with the daytime results, night-time recordings do lose a lot of detail unless you are close-up and are motionless but other than that I can’t complain. One thing to remember is that the wide angle lens does causes most objects to be further away and somewhat distorted on the outer edges hence diminishing the details, zooming in on the video via video editing software will only get you so far before the footage becomes unusable. Doubt one will find something in this price range either that will do a better job but then improvements are being made every day with various manufactures so who knows, one day they’ll have a 4K unit at a reasonable cost yet I can’t see that coming anytime soon.

Good to hear there may be a new model on the horizon but think my wife may beg to differ, got too many toys as it and a “new on my list” to purchase just makes her cringe LOL. Will keep an eye open for it either way and see whether or not it’s worthy of being added to my collection 

Regards… Slivy58

May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSlivy58

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