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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
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%! 

            

 
« Chromecast - Is the convenience worth the effort? | Main | Moto-Vlogging with the Sony Action Camera »
Monday
Apr212014

Mini F9 Sport Helmet Camera

After last week's extravagant video featuring the Sony AS100 Action camera, this week I've landed back down in budget camera territory with a thump.

I've nothing of note to add here - this is just a quick video about an unimpressive camera, and I'm sorry to say that despite this camera's mediocre performance, it's still probably the best of a bad bunch when it comes to cheap bullet-style helmet cameras (from the ones I've tested).  

You (could) buy one here UK US

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Reader Comments (46)

Hi Mat

Once again I enjoyed your review of something that I am never going to buy!!

I started reading your reviews when I was looking for a car cam - I bought one eventually, and I am pleased with my purchase.

However, keep up the good work. I am sure that I am only one amongst many who really enjoy the review videos you make, not least because they are honest, and criticise where necessary. If only other reviewers would do the same.

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterquaser

Slight hijack, if I may. As a regular visitor and big fan of your work here at techmoan.com, there are a few curiosities that repeatedly cross my mind. Perhaps you'd be willing to answer some of these questions (in a fun little video even, like "a walk down memory lane.. how far have we come"), if I'm not being too forward.

1. What do you do for a living?

2. What is your average monthly expenditure on gadgets ("how does this guy afford this hobby")?

3. I've seen you dispose of a few items over the years in various ways (tossing them in the bin, smashing them with a hammer, etc.), but my guess it that you hang on to most of this stuff. What do you do with all of these cameras and so forth? Are they crammed into a big box that sits in the "garridge"?

4. Is there a lady-friend around that has an opinion about all this tomfoolery?

5. And a side note: Have you ever been to the States?

Thanks!

April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike W.

@Mike W.

1. See http://www.techmoan.com/about/

2; I think many items (most) are 'donated' by the respective sellers

3. Poking fun of his English is not very elegant imho. I feel Matt is very clear and easy to understand for non-English speakers (like I).

4. He has mentioned her already in many videos

5. This seems hardly relevant but you can always invite him and send him a (return) airplane ticket ;-)

All the best

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteraviva

Can't imagine why anyone would buy one of these cameras purposefully for paintballing , other than target practice ?
Where oh where was the hammer of justice today Matt .

P.S. As ever . . . . . . . thanks for making the video ;-) :-P

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFat Biker

I think it would be OK if you only intended to use it in the daytime. Still, even though it's only £40 you could get either the Innovv C1 or the mobius for similar money and they would do a better job at night and with the sound quality. Shame really, nice idea, poor execution

I want a cheap camera for airsoft and don't intend to use it at night but the sound on this is the big flaw for me, I'm not bothered about the poor night quality but I need the sound decent

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter I

Mike, I prefer to keep the blog and videos about the gadgets...I take a back seat. However just to answer one thing, I buy most of the things I review so I can remain impartial - the adverts and affiliated links pay for the cheaper items, with the more expensive products like the Sony AS100 being funded out of my pocket.

April 22, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks for the review, it's not easy to spend time on a lackluster product...Any plans to review some spycam glasses at some point, you know, going back to the origins of your blog with that pretty hilarious 808 review ;-)

April 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterwebvan

Thanks for this review, I have seen these on Ebay and always wondered...but now I know. After watching all of your reviews I ignored you completely and went out and bought an SJ3000. This turned out to be a brilliant cam in all respects...except one. After two 30 minute clips I charged it and it refused to power up ever again. I am now trying to get my money back so that I can buy something a little more reliable. Next time I will get one off Amazon as the returns/refunds process is more straightforward. I would happily get the same model again though as I was impressed with it.

I took the case off and discovered that it is really a different model rebranded. There is another set of three undocumented buttons down the side of the screen that can't be accessed, you just have the three across the top.

One thing that does frustrate me is processing large 1080p .mov files. It takes hours to get them into a YouTube format, and in the case of my editing software, it pushes the sound out of synch, meaning that I have to put the .mov through a further piece of software before I can edit it and keep the sound.

15 min SJ3000 demo...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8g6_Ltdc34

April 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRob

@aviva

1. Thank you. Admittedly, I should have though of that.
2. Wrong, apparently.
3. What? I think Mat is "very clear and easy to understand" too. I like the way he says "garridge". Lighten up!
4. Oh, wonderful. I hadn't noticed.
5. Hardly relevant to what? It's just a question.
6. I didn't ask you.

Cheerio!

April 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike W.

i think your blog very informative, thanks for sharing.

April 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterProtein Tozu

Great review. Wish I'd read it before I bought it...

One observation: you say it can't film while charging. This is not true: if you are explicitly charging, it will record. However, if you are charging via USB from a PC/Laptop it will not record. As you say you planned to bin the charger, I assume you used a computer USB to charge and that's why you could not record. Happy to be corrected.

My biggest bugbear: the mounts. Tried on top but look like a tellytubby! The side mount was a one-shot stick with no adjustment up/down...

June 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTimO

Good review.
I disagree about the night performance. Most digital cameras turn the sensor gain right up in low light situations which gives horrible grainy images. The F9 camera doesn't do that and produces sharp low noise images at night, even though they are dark. At least it does what it says on the box ! Personally, I'd rather have dark, high contrast images with low noise.

August 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBG

Hi,

I'm one of the people who bought one of these! (Damn you late night shopping on ebay!}

I was wondering if you could tell me what type the connector is to the camera? I've misplaced the USB cable and need to source another.

Help much appreciated!

August 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGuesty

useless camera

my camera hang everytime i used and can not updated the firmware

October 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterade

Hello, can anyone help me with a dummies guide to changing the date/time and also changing the clips size from 3 minutes to 15 minutes?
The files don't show up in the laptop as they are demonstrated in the review. I just get the My computer, removable disc (F), DCIM.
I've been messing with it for days and just can't work out what to do.

HELP!!!!!!

Thanks in advance.

October 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSH

Bought two of these cameras. One records 30 mins then stops, can't update the firmware. The other records about 5 mins then hangs. Wasted way too much time trying to work out what's wrong . Don't buy

November 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDisappointed

More information here: http://club.dx.com/forums/forums.dx/threadid.1315377?page=1
How to updated firmware, settings time and more

April 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMcJOHN

I found your video very helpful thank you mat. I intended this for use on my bicycle but I've made a bit of a error by reformatting the memory card before I copied the folders and txt file. The camera now doesn't work!!!! can you advise a link where I might get the files i need on the card and what format should it be? I'm running a mac at home and I understand how to use disk utils to fit it.

Many thanks

Colin

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterColin

The camera will automatically put the files on the card when you turn it on and start recording. Remember my card didn't come with the camera - I've used it before and yet it still contained the files from the camera on it. Format the card to FAT32 in your computer then insert it into the camera.

April 28, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I cant get the audio working at all with mine. Why wont it pickup sound? I don't understand the settings in the SportDV text doc Do I need to change anything?

At the moment it looks like this:
SPORTS DV- V1.0
Version:M500 V15.0518
UPDATE:N
FORMAT
EV:6
CTST:100
SAT:100
AWB:0
Sharpness:100
AudioVol:4
Quality:0
LightFreq:0
AE:0
RTCDisplay:1
SensorRotateEnable:1
LoopRecording:3
year:2015
month:1
day:1
hour:0
minute:0
second:0
==================================
Exposure(EV)
0 ~ 12, def:6
Contrast(CTST)
1 ~ 200, def:100
Saturation(SAT)
1 ~ 200, def:100
White Balance(AWB)
0 ~ 3, def:0, 0(auto), 1(Daylight), 2(Cloudy), 3(Fluorescent)
Sharpness
1 ~ 200, def:100
AudioVol
0 ~ 2, def:1, 0:Max 1:Mid 2:Min
Quality
0 ~ 2, def:0, 0:High 1:Middle 2:Low
LightFreq

August 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Hello,

Bit of a longshot, but I was wondering if you have any idea where I could get just the external mic *and* the rubber cover for the back? I made sure to buy the camera with the mic input but the seller did not include these, even though they were in his advert photos. :(

Love your reviews: thorough and honest.

Thank you!

Geneviève

August 20, 2015 | Unregistered Commentergenchong

Sorry but I haven't got a clue. I'm not even sure of the manufacturers name. I can't imagine it being sold separately.

August 20, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat,
Thanks for the interesting review.
I bought this camera about 3 months ago. Initially I could record continuously for about 60min........ however........ that slowly decreased to..... at present only 20 minutes. Could you perhaps advice me if the battery can be replaced...... and if so how to open the camera to remove the battery ? ? ?
Kind regards
Hans
Durban, South Africa

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHans Knop

@Hans,

I took mine apart a few times and, from memory, the battery was similar to an AA rechargeable. However, I would recommend against it unless you have some good soldering gear. The camera is easy to take apart but the soldering also breaks easily on some of the cables.

I have since thrown mine away after taking it apart one time too many! I also noticed a decreased battery performance.

I have since gone with an SJ4000 WiFi. Wish I had done that first...

Good luck.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTimO

Thanks for your prompt reply.
Can you perhaps remember how to take the camera apart ? ? ?
Regards
Hans

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHans Knop

From what I remember, unscrew the lens cap and remove the glass. Under that is a couple of screws. The whole lot slides out the front. Don't lose the dust seals. That's as best as I can remember.
As I say, mine has since gone in the bin!

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTimO

Thanks Tim. got it opened and trying to get the battery out without braking anything.

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHans Knop

Hi Tim.... I can't get the battery out.
After I removed the 2 screws I then removed another 2 screws to loosen the camera lens from it's position. Now I can see the battery..... but can't take it out as there is a little plastic plate partly covering the battery preventing the battery from being removed. Any advice....... if you can remember....... will be appreciated.

November 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHans Knop

Hi. I own a Mini F9 Sport DV camera and I'm having problems with it. I did a 20 min clip and after that when I power it on (blue light comes on and vibrate 3 times) and try to press the button to record another video, the red light won't come on and the video recording won't start. I can tell you that the card is readable and battery is charged and everything seems to be ok.. but the red light won't come on no matter what. Please help ?

December 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I have tried to upgrade the firmware many times following the videos and the other written guides but I still can't get more than 3 minutes videos. I wonder if the SD card size or brand might have something to do with that problem. Would anyone have some insight on this subject. As for the guy that can't update the time and date on his cam, my suggestion is that you use Notepad or Word to open the SportDV.txt file on the microSD card, change the year, month, day, hour and minute in the same format that exist already, make sure you change at the top of the file in the UPDATE field the "N" for a "Y" and most important of all SAVE the changes you just made to this file. There, now your cam videos will show proper date and time.

February 5, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterbazou

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