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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 


Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam

Yi Ultra 2.7K
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
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.


RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)


U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)




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'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%! 


« Zoogue - Case Prodigy - The best iPad case (again). | Main | The New Video Intro - why, what and how. »

The A8 Car DVR - Another 'smallest' Car cam.

After reviewing the faulty Smallest Car DVR and still coming away impressed with it's design and night-time performance I thought I should see if I could get a fully working version of the newer h.264 model in to test. So I ordered another one and here it is. 

 I didn't do a exhaustive review this time as some of the info was covered in the previous video - I would recommend you watch both reviews as the cameras perform quite differently from each other. This new one records using an h.264 codec in a .avi container (not the .mov format mentioned on the box).  

Given the number of different variations of this model I've provided a link to the auction from where I bought mine - HERE IT IS 

 If you want the older mjpeg one I reviewed previously, you'll have to do a bit of a search yourself - THIS LINK will point you in the right direction. The main visible difference between the two cameras is the absence of a Mute slider switch on the old model. Assuming the seller is using accurate pictures - then you'll need to check the specs to ensure the camera is 720p as there are some 640x480 versions available too.

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Reader Comments (33)

I think this one will do the trick for me. Thanks for the helpful review!

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeoff

Looks like a great little camera, even with the low light issue, and slightly poor sound, the only fiddly bit I think is having to solder your own connections to your cigarette lighter connector, pity it doesnt come with that.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Thanks for your review of this new model. This is the exact one I have. I wrote a followup message last Wednesday (13-Feb) to my initial review (in your blog of the 'thermonuclear' camera), but it disappeared into cyberspace after pressing 'Create Post' ($hit happens... LOL). I'll try again in this blog...

What I had originally thought was a TF card issue turned out to be a camera issue. In the two weeks I've had this camera, 9 out of 10 times, it will not automatically start when I start my car. The 'AUDIO" LED just illuminates dimly. If I press RESET, it starts up fine. Thankfully, pressing reset doesn't change any of my settings. It basically just reboots the camera (FYI, using 'default setting' in the menu doesn't seem to change any settings either). I have tried numerous things to resolve this, with no luck. Currently, I just check the camera each time I start my car, and if it fails to start, I press reset. If it weren't for this annoying problem, I would be very happy with this camera.

Occasionally, I get a 'corrupted video' indication (red and green LEDs lit), which corrects itself after a few seconds. I have tried the different 'loop recording' settings, and this seems to occur at the end of a clip. I've read that some of these Chinese cameras don't like SanDisk cards, so I may try a different brand. I even tried formatting the card with 'SD Card Formatter' from, but no difference.

Since I want to relocate the camera on my windshield, I may pop it open while it's removed, and see if there is anything visibly wrong (cold solder joint, etc.). I think the quality control on these cameras is non-existent, so it's probably just 'pot luck' to get one that works properly. It's not worth the time or effort to try and return this one. This camera has the features I want, so if I can't fix it, I may just take my chances and order another. Maybe I'll get lucky next time?

Thanks again for, yet another, excellent review!... :o)


March 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdericn

Thanks for the newer product update on this. I still wonder about how these inexpensive car cams will hold up to the direct sun heat build up while an auto is sitting for hours in the hot summer sun. Have you any experience with problems of this sort? I guess an auturnitive would be to mount the cam back away from the windshield a bit and out of direct sun light in some manner.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterConnor

Hi Techmoan glad you decided to continue with the reviews and not take a short break ( although you probably deserve one) I think your followers myself included would suffer withdrawal symptoms had you done so.Nice reviews as always whatever the item you are reviewing.....I have got the car dvr buying urge again but this time for a genuine korean model and I am currently looking at the Lukas LK7900 ACE which will take up to a 128GB card but at just under 260 USD is a little too steep at the moment so I will wait to see if the price comes down.The urge is ill-timed as in april the car has a controle technique the equivalent to the uk MOT test and I think I might need 4 new tyres....If anyone is interested to see what the cam looks like and read the specifications I found it on an Ebay seller site Apple-ct ..... I refrain from posting the camera details myself for fear of once again being accused as an undercover sales rep or TROLL if my memory serves me correctly....I am in fact like most who use this site a dashcam and gadget enthusiast .Regards to one and all.....the french connection....

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIPOL

Last weekend I won bidding on a HD dashcam similar to the HD SmartCam you reviewed, I'll find out in a few weeks time if the camera is Ronseal (does what it says on the tin) but it only cost me 20 quid so I can't really complain if it's not up to scratch.

My intention for owning a car cam is actually to fit one to my electric bike (drawing power from its battery), I don't have trouble riding on the roads but I do like getting new gadgets to tinker with. The one I won bidding on would look out of place mounted to my handlebars so it might end up in a relative's car, yet this A8 looks ideal for mounting on a bike, but this brings me onto a point I haven't seen mentioned anywhere:

Why don't dashcams use a docking setup?

It makes sense, eliminating the hassle of having to plug/unplug one or more (in the case of GPS antenna) wires when you don't want the camera on view when you leave your car, a dock would mean simple & quick clipping and unclipping the device. Car stereo makers adopted this technique with the removable faceplate years ago to cut down on car crime, so why don't the dashcam makers follow suit.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaku

As a final followup, I purchased a new Samsung 16GB Class 6 microSDHC card this past Saturday, to verify it is not a card issue. I did a 'quick format' in my PC using 'SD Card Formatter', then formatted it in the camera itself. Same results... More than half the time it will not automatically start, so it must simply be a defective unit... :o(

Although I liked the form factor of this camera, and don't need a screen, I am now seriously considering purchasing the new DR32 camera. If I ever figure out how to fix this broken camera, I will just mount it looking out the back window.


March 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdericn

It seams these dash cams are all about compromises!

I have just installed this camera in my Audi A3: the lead is (just) long enough, and wiring it into fuse slot 6-11 means that it comes on with the ignition. Larger cars may have difficulty as the lead may not be long enough.
The cable and connector 6" from the camera can easily be stuffed into the edge of the roof head lining (i initially thought the connector would be too bulky to stuff in there).

Picture quality is as you describe, although 'soft' compared to the 1080p cameras - but you expect that as its 720p. The memory card can be plugged directly into my computer and played in VLC. No nasty software needed to extract the files.

This camera doesn't have a screen, therefore it is very small. It can be mounted right at the very top of the screen, just to the left of the rear view mirror. It doesn't need to be removed each time you park the car, as to 99% of those passing by it is invisible.

That last point is very important to me. The whole point of this sort of camera is to 'set and forget'. Removing a bulky camera and mount each time you drive will soon start to annoy and it is just my luck to have something happen when im having a lazy day.

Thanks for the really good review btw.

March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicholas

Thanks for the review.
I still got some questions in mind:
There are 2 functions in specification, automatic video recording and motion detection.
Does those actually work and how well?

Thanks in advance!

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermatt

Automatic start & stop recording is a feature of every car cam and works exactly as expected. This camera doesn't have motion detection.

March 31, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks for reply!
Does automatic recording is started when camera gets it's voltage?
Sorry for stupid question :)

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermatt

Yes...every car dashcam has this feature. That's the thing that makes them car cameras rather than camcorders.

April 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hey Techmoan,

I watched your review online after researching the Roadhawk 720P - it appears to be the same as the A8 rebranded as Roadhawk. I'm not sure what the benefits would be of ordering from them over buying from China, other than warranty and support I guess.

Do you have any thoughts? do you think they'll have a better firmware version / or it will be more reliable? I don't think I can justify spending all that extra money just to order from the UK. Although I do want something that isn't going to die after 5 minutes.

April 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwhooosh

I couldn't really comment. Sometimes these are rebranding exercises, sometimes knock-offs or clones, sometimes they just look similar, It's impossible to tell without testing one.

April 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I usually have no issue for A8 to start recording. I know for sure you need to start your car quickly, do not delay in ACC mode - start you car immediately after you enable power on camera (ACC). The camera is not sensitive to power disconnects for a few seconds after boot (when you crank your engine). Otherwise, it may perform shutdown sequence and ignore power until next power cycle.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterA8Rocks

Hey Techmoan,
thanks for this review. Currently I'm searching the web for the newer one you reviewed here and I found another one which looks slightly different. Try to find 271193916256 on ebay(.de). The seller is located in the UK, so maybe he is willing to let you review this product, too.

Thanks for all your reviews and best regards,

April 23, 2013 | Unregistered posted camera, I found that something similar is here for 29 GBP
I would like to hear your opinion, maybe i would buy this one - as 29 GBP is cheap for this kind of cam :)

May 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermm

I have had a roadhawk for years but I've fitted 4 of these cameras for family members wanting a cheaper alternative and one for my wife's car.

Daytime footage is excellent, in fact way better than the roadhawk that cost me £200 at the time. BUT nightime and sound is useless. I have also had one camera DOA. Another problem is that the despite using it every day it never remembers the correct day and time or the settings which is a huge pain in the backside.

If only they could sought out these issues it would be the best on the market because they are by far the most discreet camera sitting hidden in front of the rear view mirror, so much so you forget they are there.

I also hard wire these with a switch on the dashboard so that you can choose to leave them on when parked up.

June 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSimon6374

Please could you help!!!!!!!!

I am sure you have been asked this 100 times! I have watched allot of your car dash video and still cant make head nor tail of which one. Last week an teenager looking girl missed her junction and decided to swing over three lanes to get to it on the motorway! To avoid her i had to break really hard thus got a bump up my tail end. Not the guys fault behind, I have taken responsibility because I had to break really hard to avoid her. My ten year old ended up hitting the window hard. I just wish i had had a camera. I am not very technical to be honest and want something compact and easy to use. I managed to get part of her plate and the make of the car so the rest is in the police hands however video evedence would have been easier. Please help a 46 year old technophobic woman who seems to attract astra teenagers!

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdawn wilson

i really liked this one because it was discreet and the kids would love it! Not a sensible reason to purchase however as a woman who is a technophobe logic is not always present!

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdawn wilson

i really liked this one because it was discreet and the kids would love it! Not a sensible reason to purchase however as a woman who is a technophobe logic is not always present!

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdawn wilson

The most recent camera that I've tested that seems reliable, and easy to use (but not exactly compact) is the Viofo VF960. The SJ1000 action camera might be an option too.

July 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Dawn, The camera you linked to might be a good choice. It doesn't look like a car cam...but the specs (Ambrella) indicate that it could be good.

July 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

hi just bought one of these camera's but when I took it out the box it has three wire's red black and a white
the booklet that came with the unit does not cover any of the wiring so at a bit of a loss has anyone else
had this problem

October 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersteve

Hello. I've watched your presentations on Dash Cams and one of the questions I have for you is whether or not you or your viewing public have installed one on a Class 8 truck in the USA or Canada. ( aka Semi or Tractor/Trailer combination). What brand/model would you suggest? We are not interested in a rear cam for the trailer, for the simple reason that if someone hits the DOT bumper, you would know it. Thank you for making these informative videos.

October 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDLeonard

this cam is just a waste of money and useless piece of junk..
after i used it some time it will not turn on/off properly ..
and the video got a lots of gaps and lost video ...
and some time it will turned off when i but the audio on !!

although i use a 10 class micro sd Card !

February 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAhmed


thank you very much for this review! This little camera seems to be exactly what I was looking for. But it seems that it´s not available anywhere. Do you have any idea where I can get this (improved) version?


April 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

I have to agree with previous comments, I've had 3 of these cameras, and the 3rd camera worked flawless, for a week. Now I just get a solid red light, all the time, even with the ignition off, and no output from the camera or on to the memory card. I really had hoped I wouldn't have to spend £70 on a "better" one, as this £25 is brilliant when it works...

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

i was thinking of getting this unit or a three camera using and using the AV out into a 7 inch BACK UP mirror camera since it uses 2 AV ins,

June 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike Hunt

I bought the A8 at ALIEXPRESS for about 40 $ which seemed to me a very good price. After some weeks the package arrived and I started testing it. My findings are, that the menu looks different, the image isn´t as sharp as in the video above and it has the same problem like the "smallest car DVR" with bright situations: The picture is useless.

It seemes there are also different verrsions of the A8 :-(

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

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