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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%! 

            

 
« Dual HD Dashcam is almost half as good as two cameras | Main | Sharp RP-114 Turntable - Stand up for the 80s »
Sunday
Jun152014

Mini 0803 - Probably The Best Mini Dashcam with a Screen

Here is my review of the Mini 0803 Car DVR, in the video you'll also see a brief low-light comparison with the old Mini 0801. Low light is the area where the biggest advancement can be seen over the older model - but there are other improvements too. 

As I've already made a full review of the Mini 0801, I decided to keep this video as brief as possible, and didn't test every option fully. I have a feeling that the video quality might be improved still further if the settings were tweaked a bit - perhaps the 'Super Fine' mode adds grain to the image. These are all things you could experiment with yourself if you buy one from one of the links below.

As the Mini 0803 is a good camera for people looking to get their first dashcam, I've included a brief dash-cam overview in this video - for a more detailed newcomers guide to dashcams - Click Here. 

I ordered mine from Amazon as I've been having a few issues recently with Chinese dash-cam orders getting returned back to the seller by Chinese customs. Perhaps it's an issue with the exportation of devices with built-in lithium batteries...but whatever the reason, you may find that Amazon is your best bet for a quick and hassle-free delivery with buyer protection as well as the possiblilty of returning the camera if it's faulty.

Downloadable Sample Clips - Click Here

Purchasing Options

(I bought mine via Amazon in the UK)

 

Amazon UK  Amazon US

ebay US (store) ebay US (search)   ebay UK   ebay DE   ebay NL

ebay AU   ebay FR   ebay ES

Additional info:

It is possible to manually lock files by pressing the down arrow when the camera is recording. The G-Sensor will do this automatically when it's triggered.

I bought mine via Amazon Prime UK. It arrived the next day. Not all the camera configurations are available with Prime....so have a browse around Amazon or ebay for a configuration and delivery option that is most suitable for you.

The Mac & Windows  Dashcam Viewer software is available here.
http://earthshinesw.com/dashcam-viewer/

The popular Windows GPS Playback program Registrator Viewer can be downloaded here.
http://www.registratorviewer.com/index_en.html

IMPORTANT UPDATE (Overheating issues) - OCTOBER 2014

I've received a number of reports from people who live in hotter countries that have experienced overheating issues and failures with the 0803. Due to the short time that I use any one camera for and the lower temperature where I live, I haven't had any issues myself but I would now recommend you avoid the 0803 if you live in a hot country.

Final Update - April 2015

I've heard so many negative stories about the reliability of this camera - I no longer recommend it at all.

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Reader Comments (400)

My 801 has just done a few thousand miles Scotland -> Costa del Sol -> Scotland without a problem.
I'm sure you can fasten it to the dashboard, even if you have to make a little mount (bit of polystyrene or foam for example). The camera body rotates so you can set the optimal angle.

Hope that helps

November 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlisdair

Hi Allan

I would say that the drive-eye which is based on the 0801 is the best model exactly because of this overheating and silly beeping and is available for £79.99. They also do a really nice hard wire kit so that you do not use up you lighter socket; its still 135degree view, 1080p hd with gps logging etc etc, have a look at

www.drive-eye.co.uk

hope this helps
Chris

November 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

On my car the 12v socket stays live with out the ignition on.
I presume these can't be set to start recording once the car starts to move?
I'm also thinking of adding one to the rear of my wife's car as she has been driven into twice while waiting to enter a roundabout. Can anyone see a problem with this? (I wish I could do the same with my car but its a convertible so no where to stick it).

November 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeterF

You can theoretically run a camera 24/7 and have the motion detection trigger recording, but it would probably kill the camera in a few days.

I think the best option might be to ask your car dealer if a switched socket can be fitted... It might be as simple as flipping a switch somewhere in the engine management.

November 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Even easier than going to the garage is to use a DIY hard wire kit from the fuse board. Simply pick an ignition activate circuit, plug in jobs done, takes 5 minutes These also then leave your lighter socket free for other gadgets

See how easy it is to fit with the video here;

http://drive-eye.co.uk/buy-now/hard-wire-the-drive-eye

November 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Hi, I´ve been using my Mini 0803 since a couple of months and work well, the only two issues I has so far: 1- Randomly, when I turned ON, it gets like frozen, and the only way to re-activated it holding the power button for a minute until is gets RESET. After that reset it start working again. This had happened 3 to 4 times.
2- It started to not recording the audio. I don't know why but videos now does not have audio, it doesn't matter if the microphone symbol is activated or with the red mark, the audio is not recorded.

Even with this two issues, I can recommend this camera, I also read about the overheating, I can say the it heats up but I thought that was normal.

November 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEdwmos

Hi there.
Thank you for this review! I have decided to buy this camera after watching your review!

November 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDilip

Hey Techmoan,
Great reviews! I got my 0803 a couple of weeks ago and and i'm using Registrator Viewer and so far works great. Until this past wknd. I went on a long road trip about 4 hours on friday until Sunday. When I checked out the micro SD, it had completely skipped that entire trip! The last recording was from Friday after I left work. It competely did not record any of my roadtrip to the snow. Any issues you think might be there? I just drove again and it started recording fine.
The weather where i drove to was is pretty cold and snowy about 32F at night but 60s during the day. But either way none of that long road trip was there. Any input? Thanks!

November 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBA

question to BA:
did you (as I did) turn the screen off? if no, was the screen showing anything? if yes, did you see the blue led blinking?

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndre

I've bought one, and am really impressed with the quality of video, especially at night. However, for the life of me I can't get the accompanying software to even install. So... I went to Dashware... having problems with configuring the gps file, there, too. Earthshine dashcam viewer... won't work. For Earthshine, I've tried converting the .mov to .avi, even wma... all to no avail. I'll keep pounding, but so far, it's almost more trouble than it's worth.
I'm running Windoze 7 64bit. I'll give it a go on an older machine running XP, will post if I achieve anything worth mentioning.
Suggestions welcome (constructive ones..:)
Keep up your reviews, they're the best on the web for us in the UK.

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPablo

for Pablo:
try registrator viewer: that program works: load it on the computer, connect your 0803, and it will start automatically to download the videos. Let the program do its job (a few minutes to maybe 15 min, depending on your computer (and USB type), then click on the video you want to read (on the list at the bottom right of the window
regards
André

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndre

Andre: Thank you so much for that tip, it works really well, I've just been using it for the first time. Effortless, it even hits the files needed on my machine. Another programme I'll have to donate to! :)

Again, thank you!

Pablo.

November 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPablo

Hey Andre. Yes I'm pretty sure it was blinking in record mode. I was able to constantly check because it is behind my review mirror
Only a passenger can see it.
Just strange that entire weekend round trip 400 miles was not recorded. The camera does wobble but It stays on when I try to move it or wiggle it around.

November 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBA

for BA: if I was you, I would wait till the problem returns. You know, it is always possible that the camera has a defect, and it is possible you made a mistake, or the cigarette lighter misfunctioned or something. No offense!
regards
André

November 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndre

hey Andre,
yes the camera is all hooked up correctly, I hardwired it to my fusebox so i don't have wires showing. The camera turns on when car is started, i always listen for the sound. It will start recording, then stop blinking red after a few miles. The connection is loose as most people have issies with. I did the paper method to make it fit better, but still same issue. Already emailed foxoffer to see whats up

November 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBA

Be aware that the USB connections on the Mini 803 are Micro-USB. The USB connections on the Mini 801 are Mini-USB.

According to Spy Tec Inc, the overheating problem with the Mini 803 dash cam has been fixed. Note: The Mini 803 is now including updated mount and internal heatsink for improved operating temperature usage.


http://www.spytecinc.com/mini-0803-car-dash-camera-w-gps-logger-1296p.html

November 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames

i've tried to read as much as possible but i get swamped so can anyone review this and confirm whether this will work:i want to hardwire my 803 so i flip a switch and the 803 starts recording whether the car iggy is on or off. this way it records while driving and when i'm parked but not in my garage when ii turn the switch to "off"; so here goes .. i plan to piggyback one of those fuse thingys into my fuse box from a fuse in the fuse box that is always on; use a 5 amp fuse go to my swithch and then contiunue power to the adapter that comes with the 803; the appropreiate grounding will be done; does this sound okay or is there anything else i should do... keep in mind i'm sure that there are 10 other ways of doing this but will this way work?? thaks in advance...ric

December 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterricardo

Hi Ricardo
You have over complicated your needs a little. Once you have hardwired to a permanently live feed using the power adapter you then switch the unit into motion detection mode. This means although it is always on it will only record when it detects movement through the lenses. If you really want to switch it off and stop drawing power, you do not need an extra switch you just use the power off switch on the unit itself.
Our camera does this sort of thing nicely have a look at www.drive-eye.co.uk

December 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

to Ricardo:
Chris' comments are OK, except that the E-Prance dashcam will do the same. I have no problem with Chris advertising his dashcam, but he ought to say the original (E-Prance) does the same. No offense, Chris!

December 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndre

Hi Andre
I never mentioned e prance as there are many companies offering this including combi, black bullet, ojo etc etc. My response explained how it would work on all the systems I only then mentioned ours at the end saying it works nicely, and we do have videos on how to install the hardwire kits, and the other accessories to make the job simpler.

Your Chris

December 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

hi andre and chris.. thanks for taking interest; chris's suggestion sounds easier but i think, without any experience using a dash com, that my readings indicate that the motion detection only will start after a "collision" and it might be too late to capture on the camera. so my question is will the camera start recording in time--i have the e prance 803... thanks in advance .. regards...ric

December 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterricardo

Why not leave the camera permanently turned on and recording all the time even when the vehicle is parked, and rely on the G sensor to detect an impact.

Or, have the camera turned on with video movement detector so it records?

December 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

Because a camera recording 24/7 will not survive very long.

December 6, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

hi tec..mn; you answered paul's comment which i knew to be not a reliable option to set for my 803; but you have not answered the previous comment/question... wiill the cameras start recording in time if i have the motion detection "on" or will it be too late to record the vehicle license which caused the motion; note i do realize that using the "g" and force is not a reliabel option...

December 6, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterricardo

It will be too late. It takes a few secs to start recording.

December 6, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

thank you

December 7, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterricardo

Hi Mat,

First of all, I have to congrat you for those 2 years of enthousiatic detailed reviews I've been watching

Being still looking for a "perfect" dashcam, (all around day & night 1080p recording with detached tiny cams and automatic reduced framerate parking mode) on Amazon I came across a mini 805 advertised as the updated version of the 803... All I have read so far about it lies here : https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/mini-0805-available-now.8143/
Do you plan to review one soon or wait for the 806to be on the shelves ?

Best regards, Olivier

December 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterOlivier

I bought the mini DVR 0801 1080P cam and it work fine for a little while, but now it says card absent. How can I fix this issue. The card has not been changed and it worked previously. I tried reformatting the card inside of the camera and even tried to reset the camera to the default settings and it still does not work. Before I buy another card I would like to see if it is in fact the camera. Thank you very much.

December 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSpenc

Does anyone know where I can Find the update software for the 0803? and is it reliable?

December 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLoganfire

joovuu recommended I go to https://dashcamtalk.com/mini-0803/ to download the latest firmware, this made my 0803 much better

it still crashes from time to time, but is much better than it used to be

battery is still shot, after only a few months, after a day on charge it lasts barely five seconds. will send it back for a replacement

December 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

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