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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 (1215)

Done a reset ' remove and reinstall battery '

Turned on and it worked but connect to computer or mains to recharge battery it reverts to as above or sticks on 'welcome' screen

July 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBernie

As I said. Mine does not power on at all. Only the blue led on top is tuned on. If I connect the power cable (USB) the led in the usb port turns red and the battery seams to be charging. I have tried all kinds of reset. I have measured the battery and it seams to be charged.. The problems to mine seams to be with the camera it self. The seller requested me send the camera back and he will send me a new one.. but he requested me to send it on unregistered... air mail... to send in a package it would cost about 35$.. In a mail envelope .. I don't know.. I will try tomorrow... but I am not sure this is safe for me... I had the same problem with another car dvr... it would not turn on just the led would light up...
Any ideas?

July 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian

@Adrian the blue LED on top signals that the camera IS powered on or recording (if it's flashing). If after you turn on the camera and the blue LED is lit try to press the OK button to record, it should start recording. If it does start recording and the LED flashes it means there's something wrong with the LCD display or the connection between it and the chip. If it doesn't do anything after you press the OK button it must be a software freeze problem. Did the problems start right after you set the screensaver to OFF or were you able to use it with that setting a few times and it died after the car ride? Should I be afraid to set the screensaver off? :)

@gillebob and Bernie: your problems seem to be software related or worse: a faulty microchip. No idea what might have set off this problem? I honestly don't think the battery is at fault...

July 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohnny B

Wonderful blog and thanks so very much for your reviews, they are enormously helpful. I am leery of buying stuff out of China, or eBay, for several reasons and I have not seen any post that deals with the issues, but if you have spoken to them, I'd be thrilled to go read up if you'd point me thereto. First, how do they handle warranty claims? Even at a bargain price, it is still turning cash into trash if the product doesn't perform for at least a full year. I know you don't test them for warranty but I wondered if you have ever tried returning any for your money back when they proved defective out of the box? Or do you just take the hit to the wallet? Yow. Next, in the case of the SJ1000, do you have to download any software from a Chinese website? You don't mention any in this case, but you do with other Chinese made cameras. Considering the, shall we say, controversial, "appropriation" of the IP of other countries by the Chinese government, what sort of nonsense could be hitching a ride into our hardware, if you know what I mean? Particularly considering the end use of recording devices. In any case, I remain intrigued but wary.

July 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersparkylumens

Here is a link with the video describing the problem :
As I said before the led does not blink at all. The screen is not just off.. The camera would make a sound when it is turned on or it would connect to pc or it would connect to hdmi.. but nothing.

July 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian

this camera is avaiable from various ebay sellers now. There was a bit of confusion about the zoom: some of them claim it's a "4x OPTICAL zoom". But after I ask to check better they changed the description as "digital zoom". Another chinese seller told me: " We call this camera F10/s J1000. They are all the same and coming from the same factory..."

July 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSherin4W

I worry more of NSA and Tempora than Chinese camera!

July 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat

Most small sport camera including GoPro/Rollei were made in China.. Find me one US/German/British/Japan made for under €100, please!
Talking is cheap! May be find another forum for your political correct!

July 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat

I took the housing out diving again in a local puddle, this time with the camera. Dive time 47 minutes, maximum depth 11,8 meters. The pike was still sitting in the same spot:

FWIW, I took a load of stills as well which I put up here:
Not too impressive, I'll admit. Most shots suffer from shoddy focus, motion blur, vignetting and my middle finger intruding into the picture. But you get an idea of how the camera performs.

July 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArthur

After several resets and over night rest, it's working again this morning.
Just tried it out in the car with the supplied windscreen mount, wobbles more than a fiddlers elbow.
So I need something more substantial, any suggestions anyone.

Also what editing software did you use Techmoan to turn image 180 degrees?


July 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBernie

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