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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

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)

I sent my mini 0803 back to Joovuu because the battery wouldn't hold barely seconds of charge, and despite updating its firmware was still prone to crashing.
They said they no longer supply it because of reliability issues, nor the 0805, and overall they've had so many problems they made a loss selling them.
So I guess I'm back in the market for a new dashcam :-/

March 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

I've a couple of these one after a couple of weeks using, the unit will start up as normal, but BEEP and then stop recording. If I press OK it will start recording again, but then will BEEP and stop recording.

Initially I thought that the memory card (32gb MicroSD) was full, so formatted the card.

The problem went away for a short while and then returned.

Has anyone else experienced this issue, or know the cause of this?

March 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGary Smith

@Gary Smith
mine did that, formatting the card helped a little, updating the firmware helped a lot more, it also seemed to be temperature related.

problem came back, probably with the warmer weather, sent it in for "repair" and Joovuu say they'll give me a refund. They won't even sell the 0805 at the moment, say they're hoping to sell the 0806 if they can find a manufacturer they can trust to make reliable units

March 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

Matt,
I ended up buying an 0805 from Amazon, but would advise all potential buyers to be VERY, VERY watchful when doing so.
They always advise the seller as being E-Prance (even though it is Amazon who take your money.)
In itself this does not sound that bad, but make SURE you buy from a page that says IN STOCK and you will be fine.

However, they use the same page when not in stock and if you take one it will take at least 3 weeks to arrive, and comes direct from E-Prance via Holland!
Even worse is the fact that they then insist you bought from E-Prance and in the event of a fault they deny you any resort to Amazons returns process, and you will have to ship it back to China at your own cost.

Amazons page does not make any of this clear at all - unlike the fully honest one that E-Prance advertise in the 'Marketplace' side of Amazon.

This has happened to me! - and I currently have a complaint being investigated by Trading Standards.
By the way, my new 0805 has a heat sink in it and is a superb camera, especially at less than £80.

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKevin Browne

When connecting the 0803 to the computer via mini USB, the screen from the camera keep displaying USB Connect ... is this normal? Not sure what is going on. Can anyone advise?

Lim

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKN Lim

Can anyone advise please??

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKN Lim

It means that it is connected via USB to your computer. You should then be able to access the files on the device just like a USB stick.

March 31, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks Techmoan

March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKN Lim

Brilliant! Thanks to your review, I bought one of these, and I'm very pleased with it, except that the audio seems not to work, but, heck, I don't need audio. The Registrator software is excellent too.

April 16, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGraham Smith

Sometimes issues like that lie with the codecs on your PC rather than the camera. Try playing a file using VLC just to be sure.

April 16, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Oh, dear! Wish I'd seen your Oct 14 update sooner. At first my 803 worked OK but then after a day and a half of use, it just corrupted all the files it recorded. Maybe this was because of overheating, I don't know. Anyway, I bought it through eBay, and I've started a return procedure through them. They're usually pretty good about getting your money back, so we'll see.
Wish I could find one that's as small but that WORKS!

April 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGraham Smith

Joovuu gave me a refund on my 0803, they said they'd had too many problems. They were very honest and good about it. I'd buy from them again - I'll be buying the K1S from them when they have stock.

Meanwhile I bought a mini 0805 from gearbest having seen them on dashcamtalk with promotional discount deal, and joovuu didn't have anything in stock I wanted at the time.
https://forum.dashcamtalk.com/
it's been very reliable in the nearly two weeks I've had it, even on the sunny days had recently.
The good thing is the 0805 can use the 0803 mount so I didn't need to remove the old mount.

April 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

I bought a Sandick class 10 32gb card and that solved my problems with the invalid playing

April 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Another word of caution re buying an 803, got mine from what I belived to be the official Eprance store on Amazon.

The unit is full of faults, it records speed in kph but the display says it is mph, there is no facility to switch between mph and kph and I'm told by Eprance the 803 does not have mph facility.

None of the dash cam players work to give me both picture and gps at the same time. Eprance have updated the firmware (actually rolled it back to an older version) but it is still faulty and as I didn't report my issue until after 30 days post purchase (it was a gift for my wife) I am told I have to return it to China at my cost for repair, if I'd known they were in China, I'd have never purchased it.

I'be now been offered a laughable £7 of compensation for all the faults I have with the dashcam, I'd certainly not touch one of these again.

April 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBryn

can somebody explain me how i can record by recycle?, becase i tested de camera and it didn't record by recycle, it says that i have to format the memory, can i configure it to overerite the oldest videos?

April 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJosue

I have recently installed a Ambarella E-Prance 801 webcam. I have noticed that on a trip of say 27 minutes, where I configured the filesize to be 5 minutes, that the first 4 files were good, downloadable and viewable, while the last 2 files showed as INVALID on the 801 itself (after a long downarrow press on the webcam) and these files are not readable by any video processor program I tried.

Has anybody experienced the same?

For me, if I need to prove the guilty party of an accident, the last file is the most important one.

May 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRon Kruize

I have an 0803 and I had a lot of problems when recording, the camera would freeze and had to wait until the battery drained completely in order to be able to restart it again.
Then I did a software update and everything seemed to have improved, no more video freezing and no more out of the blue
recording stops.
I went overseas for 3 months and I left it in the car (not mounted, but in the glove box), my wife drove the car during the australian summer (I live in Melbourne); guess what: I found the case had changed the shape and the top button was stuck because of the case shifting. I used it for a couple of days and it still worked but after I took it out and removed some movies, I was not able to make it work anymore.
I just ordered a 0805 because it seems there are not so many problems with the software, I just hope I will be one of those that will be lucky enough to get a non faulty cam.
If this one fails to satisfy me, I will shift to BelleVue, which is above 200AUD.

May 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterOctavian

Any comments on the 0806 ?

June 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

Just sent my 0803 back after it started having issues after 7 months replacement 0806 is due any time fingers crossed!

June 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCashy

I've had an 805 with GPS for about four months now and not had a single issue with the cam.

June 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTob

I got my 0805 as I ve mentioned in an earlier post. Never froze yet unlike 0803 but........
The overall movie quality is not as good as 0803 which was very clear day and night, a lot of blurr.
I found a site where they show you how to focus the camera, I ll have to open it and adjust the lens.
I will keep you jpdated about how i go.

June 25, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteroctavian

As a result of many negative comments, I see that you no longer recommend the 803 from E-Prance for those living in a hot country. I just wanted to let you know, I live near Nîmes (France), in a sun baked country side, the car sits outside all day long, no shadow anywhere, ...
I have an 803 installed on my windscreen since 9/9/2014 (I also have a Mobius at the back of the car for rear view recordings). True, the 803 gets very hot on occasion, and it freezes from time to time. When it freezes, I just push down the I/O button for a few seconds, until the wild beep stops, and it starts again, no problems.
Of course, I don't know how long it will go, but so far, so good.
PS: the Mobius also gets very hot, but never freezes
keep up the good work!

June 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndre

my mini 0805 has been much better than the 0803. Very occasionally it decides the memory card needs formatting, for no reason. If I format it outside the camera it doesn't like it so much and may complain again. I don't know why.

Overall I'm happy with it, especially the price bought from Gearbest using a discount code they posted to dashcamtalk.

June 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

for Paul M:
if my memory is correct, I've seen (I guess in the brochure) that memory cards MUST be formatted in the dash cam. So, you did well. Thanks for sharing the name of Gearbest, that I did not know. I just went to this site, and was flabbergasted by the announced regular price of $213.49 for the mini-805. With a 68% discount, ... the price comes however down to a normal level,

June 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndre

My 803 still hasn't crashed since I switched to powering it from an Anker charger instead of using the included one, which was outputting 6v when I checked it (120% of USB voltage), even with a few hot days and recording for 3+ hours.

June 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDan

to Dan:
this is interesting!
Do you think all the chargers sold with the dashcams may deliver the same voltage? Would the voltage be solely dependent on the number of turns on the secondary of the transformer? Last question (may be stupid like my other 2 questions): can one add an element on the charger to limit the voltage?

June 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndre

these in-car USB power adaptors won't have transformers, they're DC-DC converters and will have a primitive switch mode PSU in them. They're built down to rock bottom pricing, so I can imagine some are worse than others.

I am actually using the PSU that came with the mini 0803 for my mini 0805, the 0803 having gone back and the supplier not wanting all the accessories.

June 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

Some of the cheaper ones are poorly/cheaply made, yes. The Anker one I use is Amazon number B00D82O68Y (except the old 2.4A version) and it runs the camera and charges my phone (Nexus 5) at the same time without issue. I can even use the phone as a satnav and it still powers both and maintains the phone at 100%. I expect the newer 4.8A version to work fine as well.

It's possible the cameras can safely run at 6v, but they dismiss the extra energy as heat. If so this would cause a problem when it's generating the extra heat inside the camera body near to the CPU.

June 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Hi,

Has anyone had any success using mini's "motion sensor"? Any idea how that supposed to work?

Thnx,

June 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAsh

The cameras have a primitive shock sensor in them and you can set them to keep a recording if that goes over a certain threshold, measured in units of "g" (equivalent to earth's gravity), they also can determine if things are moving.

So the former is ideal to have in the event of a crash; set it too low though and even big bumps in the road can trigger it.

The latter is ideal if you keep the camera on when the car is in the drive way and you want it to capture video when people or vehicles in view are moving.

June 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

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