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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

 

 
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
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.

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%! 

 
« The flashy JVC KD-A7 Compact Cassette Player completes my HiFi | Main | 1080p Hidden Camera Spy Glasses »
Friday
May232014

Dashcam Review: The 1296p Marcus 3 from VicoVation

This is the first dash-cam review I've made this year. I took a break from reviewing car cameras for a few months after testing a string of good quality 1080p cameras. Amongst of the best of these were the WF1 and TF2+ cameras from Vicovation. The manufacturer of those cameras recently got in touch to see if I'd be interested in taking a look at their new 1296p capable Marcus 3 camera. The opportunity to review a 1296p dashcam is a great reason to end my dashcam review hiatus.
 
Perhaps of equal importance to its 1296p mode, the Marcus 3 is the first dashcam I've used that is also capable of recording in 1080p60. That's full HD at sixty frames per second and it's important because it means there's a better chance of capturing a sharp frame grab from a moving image. This is an especially useful feature in a dashcam as it could be the difference between being able to read a vehicle registration (license plate) number or not. 
 
My full (very long) video review is below.
 
 
As I mentioned in the review the only way you can see the true quality of the video produced by tis camera (in any of the recording modes) is by downloading one of my sample clips (Note these were all recorded with the mic turned off)

 

I've provided DOWNLOADABLE SAMPLES  here.


 

BUYING LINKS
US Ebay links (Provided by Vico)

 

Additional Seller Links (Click your Country)

US UK DE AU FR NL ES IT IE

AMAZON UK AMAZON US

More information about the Vico dashcam range is available on the VicoVation website. 

Here is an additional quick test showing the benefit of using the CPL Filter.

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Reader Comments (34)

As always a great review. A while back now you wrote about possibly doing some car dvr reviews that include reversing cams or rear view cams so it can record both in front and behind and possibly help as a reversing aid? Is there any progress on that?

May 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRob Perkins

Hi Mat, I have to give you praise once again, an absolutely brilliant review. Really there's perfection in your editing, voice over and production, amazing how you do it so well. A true professional.

On the car cam itself, it looks a good quality cam but a tad bulky for my liking, as you mentioned. The results look good just a tad pricey for me too. The two cables to connect and disconnect everytime you drive, is something that puts me off. I have experienced this first hand with my duel cam which has the same connections (i.e. two leads) and is a right pain to keep undoing it every time.

You mentioned you are waiting for the duel version of this cam. I have an early dual car cam which has GPS as well, the thing to note with these is that is cuts the quality in half as it uses the two lens side by side (front and back) on one disaply, which is very novel as you can see in the car and out of the car, at the same time, but it has half the quality. The GPS map feature is really clever but isnt always quite as acurate as you might imagine and has a tendency to become out of sync on occasion.

In it's simplicity, and good all rounder, I'm still a Mobius cam fan and I'm waiting for an upgrade there to possibly GPS. Why do these cams need a separate aerial, I've no idea, perhaps again to try to keep the cams small?

Thanks again for listening.

Daz

May 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Mat, this was a very detailed & informative review. I am from India but am currently in the UK at Widnes for the next 6 months. I am considering buying a dash cam for my cars back home while I drive my daughter's Honda Civic here. I was seriously considering buying a Blackvue DR 500 some months ago after reading your review but am now tempted to try out the Marcus 1.

Brilliant review, Mat done in your inimitable style. Thanks and keep them coming!

Sridhar

May 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSridhar

Brilliant quality. Now, if they'd allow the camera module to be remote from the recording module they would have a winner. That is why the mobius is so good. The days of having a bulky unit stuck on the windscreen are over. If manufacturers don't embrace that, then disruptive innovators will take the market.

May 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterterry

Thanks for this - an excellent production. I downloaded some clips and found that the 1296p files will not work for me. Mac OS 10.7.x (Lion) in Quicktime or VLC or Movavi Media Player. Does anyone have any suggestions (my Mac Mini cannot upgrade beyond 10.7).

May 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBusterGasket

Hello,
This vico Marcus 3 seems to be a very interesting product. However, the total mount isn't very elegant. A welcome substraction could be to simply connect the USB power to the GPS antenna, and to daisy chain to the Vico at the end. so there is a single cable to the dashcam.
Eventually, a cable could be arranged with three end, one from the power of the car, one from the gps antenna, and the third to the dashcam.
I'm pretty sure it could be with a little intervention inside the dashcam, but if it could be without this is better solution.
I don't know if the gps connector on the vico is a real usb connector or just a way to connect the antenna to the dashcam but, if it's a real usb connector, there is a chance that the gps could be connected to the power connection of the dashcam also.
Not the reverse because the dashcam is supposed to power the antenna, and not vice-versa. I think it's something that could be arranged. It's not so simple because there is no battery inside the dashcam to try this without powering it from the main.
This is just a trail, track, idea, what do you think? Have you a soldering iron? (I do).
Thanks for all your work anyway.
Andre

May 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndre

Ref Marcus 3. What happens to the time on the clock when power is off? No battery. Does the user have to reset the time every time car is off and back on?

May 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDon

No, that would be crazy no one would sell a camera that worked like that . It will probably retain it's settings for weeks using a super capacitor and may even have a small battery in there for the clock. The clock can also auto-set from the GPS.

May 25, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Do you have any UK links if needs be

I found the i-magic cam to work very well for me (1080p does not work but 720p is fine but that could just be my SD card) it does have a battery that I think is a good thing is you have a crash as it tends to go flying and getting disconnected (auto power off after 10 seconds), with the Vicovation cams soon loss of power there is risk of it not getting the crash

(your comment box is bit odd on chrome on a phone the author box's are very slim when not zoomed in, site not optimised for mobile use)

May 25, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermr lee x

Thanks , again for the outstanding review & production values.

May 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDanny from Sydney

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