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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


DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam

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


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%! 

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SJ1000 - At last...a good cheap action camera 

After years of fruitless searching and a not inconsiderable amount of money spent, I've finally found a good, cheap, 1080p waterproof action camera.

I get a lot of emails from people asking what action camera I would recommend for occasional use for paint-balling, mountain biking, etc - that costs around £50. Prior to today, my response has been that the cheapest camera I could really recommend was the Liquid Image Ego, but it costs£100.

If your budget doesn't stretch to £100 then there are very few action cameras to choose from. Perhaps the best camera from a very short shortlist is the the RD32II, but it suffers from a substandard mounting system and a non-standard video format. 

The SJ1000 changes everything. For about £60 you can buy a camera that is capable (under the right conditions) of producing video that rivals cameras costing over four times as much. I'm not suggesting that people throw away their GoPro HDHero 3 Black Edition cameras and get this instead...but if you are on a limited budget or don't see the point in spending £200+ on something you only plan on using a couple of times a year then this might well be the camera for you.

You'll have to do a bit of experimenting to get the mounting options to fit your requirements, but it's definitely worth the trouble when you see the video quality that you can get from this small camera. 



Click on your Country of Choice ... US UK AUS DE NL


Here is a folder of downloadable sample clips

I should mention that I haven't shot many 720p60 clips...and you'll only find 1080p on the bike.

The only thing I think that I forgot to say in the video was that when using it as a car DVR there is no gap between clips (as you expect nowadays) fact each clip repeats the last second of the previous one just to be sure.

UPDATE - 10 June 2013 - Answering a few questions.

First some bad news - The 720p60 mode turns out to actually be 720p30 (every frame is shown twice). I should have spotted this earlier, but I had only been testing the 1080p30 mode as that's the one I use. iMovie always converts 720p60 to 720p30 so that's why I didn't notice it before...apologies for that. Here is a link to a fast moving 720p clip I shot today.

Motion Detection mode - When this is on, the camera records 10 seconds of video and then stops until it sees another movement. If a movement occurs during the 10 seconds when it's recording then the timer is reset and it records for another 10 seconds. This way if the movement doesn't stop then the camera doesn't either....hope that makes sense.

The camera should be able to be mounted the right way up in a car if the correct mounts are combined....this is demonstrated in some of the ebay auction photos. 

File Sizes: 10 Minutes of video takes up 1.2GB in 1080p or 1.07GB in 720p modes.

The case floats in water and on it's own weighs 66.7g.

The camera itself is 7cm tall, 4.5cm wide, 3 cm thick at the bottom and 3.5cm thick at the top where the lens makes it deeper.

The timestamp can be switched off. I turned it off for the Night Time Driving clips and show this option on-screen 19:57 into the video.

I think the manufacturer may be a company with the snappy name of Shenzhen Hongfeng Century Technology Co. Ltd.

BATTERY LIFE is 2hrs 15mins (Could be 2hr 30 mins or more with the screen off)

UPDATE 29 August 2013 'NEW' FIRMWARE!

I know a few people have been waiting for this - so finally here is the updated firmware that fixes the screensaver bug. If the fact that the screen didn't automatically blank out wasn't an issue to you, I'd suggest skipping this update. If you want to update the firmware, you can download the file from the Files & Drivers Page. Updating it is very easy, but just in case you are's a quick video. Beware, if you somehow kill it, you are on your own.

Update 27 Sept 2013

Here's a link to another review of the camera by Tom Hardwick (he likes it).

Update 28/12/13.

This is a six month old review and a lot has happened since. You'll find the cases are improved, possibly the mounts too..and you now have the ability to turn the camera on when it's inside the case due to a different button arrangement. The current crop seem to have a 90º lens rather than the 140º on my camera. That means no fish-eye - but less FOV. I'm not doing any more videos about camera this but.....PLEASE READ THE COMMENTS...before posting a question that's been asked countless times before, it's the least you could do for all the kind people who have given up their time to elaborate on the features of this camera and posted their findings in the comments.  I'll give you a starter...NO IT DOESN'T DO TIMELAPSE...The way you can tell this is because there is no option for this on the screen when I go through all the menus in the camera...and it's the kind of thing I would have mentioned. I tend not to mention the things a camera doesn't do because we would be here all can't clip your toenails with this camera, it can't be used as a flotation device, it won't take x-rays etc..... 

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Reader Comments (1216)

Thank you very much, Richard. Really appreciate your reply. Did it broke on the tripod hole or anywhere else the mounter itself? I'm seeing this mounters at Do you think they would help?

June 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPedro Diogo

Having purchased the cycle mount Largey suggests to use my DR32 dashcam as an action cam on my mountainbike I can vouch that it is a very solid construction and holds the camera very solidly as well as having the ability to quick release.

Here is an action video I cobbled together using a combination of said mount and a diy chest mount, the terrain was very rough in places and I think the mount coped well and held the camera very steadily, maybe the only thing lacking is effective anti-shake not being part of the DR32s specs ..

June 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

I meant the mount Pedro suggests, not Largey :-)

June 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

That looks pretty good, Brian! Thank you for the feedback. I just hope this mount works ok with the SJ1000... As techmoan said, it's tripod hole is a bit small so it may not work that well... What matters is that it really is stable and seems to absorb some small vibrations.
Also, does anyone know if it will be possible to upgrade the firmware? Stabilization would be nice, although some videos look weird with it...

June 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPedro Diogo

Time lapse would be a useful upgrade which I guess would be an easy addition to the firmware. I wonder if Miss Ma (the contact at the Shenzhen hongfeng century technology co.,LTD) is reading this blog?

June 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim

I just got mine, and a friend got his. For the RC crowd, you can remove the battery and power it though 5V USB, it will work and you will shed some weight (though not as much as hoped). Nice extra is that it will start recording automatically once you connect the battery. Here is a clip a friend of mine recorded:

using a version 0.1 earplug based damper. Even thoough it doesnt do 60FPS, the result is rather excellent for the money if you ask me.

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterveritgo

Just received mine from a seller in Hong Kong via ebay. It's come with a newer version number Y130615 and the screen seems to go off to save power at the allocated screensaver time period.
Just an update to my previous comment, as the battery that comes with the camera is around the size of 3 AAA sized batteries, you can in fact just use those batteries to create your own easily enough.
Looks good in red. Only went for that colour because it was cheaper than the others for some daft reason. :)

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBen

I'm glad the deliveries are starting to come through now. Hopefully I put together an accurate and fair demonstration. If anyone spots something I missed, please share the details here so that other people can learn about it. Thanks, Mat.

June 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

@ Jim. I never bother with the time lapse feature built into my various cameras, much preferring to shoot everything in real time and vary the playback speed on the timeline in post. Best thing is the undo button, something not available to you if you've shot timelapse in camera.

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertom hardwick

Your review is excellent as always Matt. Wouldn't have bought this if it hadn't been for your video so thanks for that.

Just another few points I'd add. On mine there seems to be a little red light shining through, when it's plugged in and being powered externally, right behind the usb socket. Also when plugged into a pc it gives a menu onscreen for a choice of mass storage, or use as a webcam. That one's always a popular question it seems. ;)

For the price you got it spot on, seems to be a great little camera. Was surprised at how heavy the package containing all the parts was to be honest. That's a lot of accessories. I also got an allegedly 8gb Kingson card with mine, a UK adapter plug, a little instruction manual, which says it should record in avi, but it records in mov.

Oh and the plastic bits that form fit and hold the camera in most the mounts doesnt seem to want to clipin so tape will be required on mine I think for a sturdy hold.

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBen

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