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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%! 

            

 
« Now this adds up - The SpikenzieLabs Calculator Kit. | Main | Proview HD Action Camera from Chinavasion - Review »
Saturday
May042013

A Beginners Guide to Car Cameras

Dashcams are already well established in some countries and people all across the globe are gradually learning about the usefulness of these devices. It can be difficult though, for newcomers to learn about a complicated product like a car camera from scratch, so to make things easier, I've made this one-stop video explanation that covers all the basics. 

This video explains the purpose of car cameras, what features are useful and which ones are unnecessary. 

Feel free to send this video link (below) to any friends or relatives who want to know more about 'those car camera things'.

http://youtu.be/HQ0Tm9FFpKM

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Reader Comments (22)

Good stuff Mat... One thing I have to say is that your reviews of dash cams is costing me money lol, presently own 3 previously reviewed cams that are in use daily with two more (DR32) on the way. :-)

Slivy58

May 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSlivy58

Hi Mat .......Clear Concise and to the point ....first class presentation as always .....just one point ....in the G sensor mode when a file is locked I find that when the card is reformatted all files are deleted including the locked ones thats been my experience up to now ....Regards Ipol......;there is no hint of a cold in your video presentation hopefully you have shaken it off

May 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIpol

Great, great, great, GREAT video. (I have small vocabulary.)

May 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercooco

@ techmoan clear and informative as usual .......sorry I missed the .....unless you format the card...... notice that flashed up on the screen the first time round regarding the flagged and saved files I must have been reaching for the wine glass at the time. Car dvr,s here in france seem to be relatively unheard of up until now.....perhaps as you mentioned with the russian meteorite footage people are suddenly aware of them.Whilst whiling away the time when my car tyres were being changed at one of the national car centres here I showed my camera to one of the staff and he said that the store had plans to sell car dvr,s in all their stores.in the next month or so.Perhaps we will see more of them here soon I may be wrong but I think I am the only person at present in the north of france with a dashcam installed apart from the Gendarmerie/Police cars and perhaps british day trippers and holidaymakers. Thanks for the information regarding formatting the card in the camera thats probably the error I made with the V2000gs when it arrived.Well the Lukas LK7900ACE just turned up as I was typing I will of course format as per your recommendations and let you know how the camera performs in due course. Regards Ipol

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIpol

I have an odd request. Would any of these Dash cams be good for recording inside a shuttle bus? Our company shuttles college students from their downtown campus to the local hotspot where there is a bar every 30 feet and coming back things can get dicey and we would like to record the shenanigans.

Requirements are 9 hours of recording and IR lights since its dark.

I was asked if I had a cheaper than $1,000 per vehicle solution and I'm like I know just the place to go. I have watched almost everyone of these videos.

This one looks like it may work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpJu5uwGlmE&list=PLFB79814F24001328&index=5

May 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercliff hartle

@Cliff. I'm pretty sure you'll find something you like. If you got a camera with a swivel lens and IR LEDs then you should be fine. Look at the one I reviewed in March 2012 as an example.

One question though....why do you need that much recording time and do you mean storage or battery life. Remember you are looping over video. If something happens and you need the recording of it...you wouldn't be leaving it hours after the event until you decide to retrieve that recording off the camera.

May 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Its 9 hours of recording and thats the length of a shift.

May 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercliff hartle

You need to be sure in your mind you need to save the full 9 hours of video. I think your requirement probably go beyond currently available consumer tech.

May 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Well for instance in the video of the one I referenced you used a 16 gb card and got 4 + hours of recording so 32 should be close or even over 9 hours.

The reason we have to save it all is that the driver will not be expected to manage this camera. If something happens the driver could note it and then a manager could pull the card from the night before and review the video at that spot.

I think what we are looking for is a way to go back to the university and show them the issues we are having with the fine upstanding citizens they are creating at their private Catholic university where mom and dad pay $45,000 a year for them to go there. :-)

thanks for the info and the videos.

One odd question do you get more ad money of we watch the entire ad that runs before your vids?

May 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercliff hartle

OK update. I poked around the Chinavasion site and found a 12 volt single channel DVR and a 12 Volt IR surveillance camera. Around $60 for the both and its a lot more secure than sticking a camera on the windshield. Both can be hard wired into the electrical system and the DVR put behind an electrical access panel.

As for Chinavasion, I'm assuming its like all the other Chinese gadget sites and it takes a month or so to get your order.

May 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercliff hartle

Thanks for such guide regarding car camera as it is becomes an essential accessory of car. This video is a high quality clip but cameras are rarely used in car due to less awareness. I think it is a good advertisement for create a great awareness. I’m impressed, I have to say. Actually hardly ever do I encounter a weblog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you will have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is outstanding; the problem is something that not sufficient people are talking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I stumbled across this in my seek for something relating to this.

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWalker

Hi Matt, brilliant presentation as always, good to see you in person for a change too, you should work on the TV - no offers yet?

By the way - on the subject of car cams - there's an iphone app out called Routeshoot - currently free that allows you to record your journey and places google maps against it using the iphone's GPS. Snag free, only issue is the quality of the video that gets sent to the site, but otherwise a quick and easy way to record your journey, albeit without sound (it seems) as all you would need is an iphone holder in the car. This is from a guy who has a car cam too!

I don't think it will replace the car cam yet, because it willl depend on your iphone memory size - but give it time and room for improvements and who knows, perhaps that's all you need.

Keep up the great work

Daz

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Thanks for a very informative video, very much appreciated.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWingman58

Thanks for taking the time to cover all the aspects of this "new" technology, rather this newly affordable tech....
Police cars have had them for decades, as we all know from watching "cops".

You were correct, it was the Russian metiorite that led to my interest in getting a dash cam.
Now that there is a plethera of them available for under $100, you have made it much easier to decide which one to choose, due to the research that you have shared, for free!

I have only seen your introduction to dash cams, but I plan on watching your other vid's later today and buying a cam immediately.
In fact I'm shocked that i've gone all this time without one!!!
Thanks again, Rich

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRich

Thanks for taking the time to cover all the aspects of this "new" technology, rather this newly affordable tech....
Police cars have had them for decades, as we all know from watching "cops".

You were correct, it was the Russian metiorite that led to my interest in getting a dash cam.
Now that there is a plethera of affordable cams available, you have made it much easier to decide which one to choose, due to the research that you have shared, for free!

I have only seen your introduction to dash cams, but I plan on watching your other vid's later today and buying a cam immediately.
In fact I'm shocked that i've gone all this time without one!!!
Thanks again, Rich

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRich

Have you seen Prestigio http://www.prestigio.com/catalogue/DVRs/Roadrunner_520GPS or Goclever DVRs (http://goclever.com/lv/lv/category/view/7).
In my country they are sold with 2y guarantee in shops and prices are also for some models starting at 40GBP.

May 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermm

Thanks for the videos. Rare to find such informative and comprehensive reviews these days.
Which cameras have the best low light performance?
I don't need GPS,nor infrared vision.
All I need is loop recording, wide angle and the best low light I can get.

Thanks again!

July 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIvan

For low light performance I liked the DR32 and the Viofo VF960. Also have a look at the SJ1000 camera that functions as both an action cam and a car cam.

July 6, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi,
I have watched a few vids and appreciate the effort you have put into this adventure.
Do you have a list that ranks the dash cams? I'm ready for a recommendation.

July 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPants

After watching this first rate video I found that I've been guilty of formatting the micro disk on my home computer and not in the camera, it's changed everything. In the past only some of the video files played and I thought the camera was faulty, NOT. Thanks for making this video.

September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Hello :)

I bought a cheaper Car camera and although it seems to work, every time I record while driving when I get home I unplug the 64Gb memory stick and place into my P.C. My computer loads the memory stick file and only the first 14 videos are usable. anything past the the 14 videos simply won't play.... My computer says it does not recognise the file type, but why would the camera change the file type half way through the journey ?

Is 64Gb to much memory or would it be the camera itself ?

I tried formatting the card both via P.C and through the camera menu's etc.....

I do plan to buy a better make so I was wondering what your personal preference was to the best value, easy to use car camera ? but any help in the mean time would be fantastic :)

I'll also post this message on your Youtube video if that is o.k

November 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Not many devices work with 64GB cards and cheap devices are very unreliable with them. As always NEVER get a SD card from an ebay seller. Buy from a real store that has a reputation to lose by selling fakes (like Amazon themselves but not a reseller on Amazon). I have links to 32GB cards on the right - I'd suggest you get a Class 6.

November 25, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

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