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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)

You'll know best what fits in your car - sometimes you can only figure out the angles when you try and mount the camera in there. How the camera sits on the rake of the windscreen, whether the rear view is in the way - how you hide the wires - are all things that you'll really need to experiment with.

June 19, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Re the Chinese translation from the clip that was on the camera when you received it is as follows, "this one got faulty sound, send it to Matt at Techmoan".

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdrozd

Hi mate, can you use a micro SD to SD extender and record on a 128 GB SD card? I know 64GB micro sd card works (on loop too) just thinking of leaving on 24/7. Also you should review circular polarizing filters like the Fotga 37mm one, to stop reflections off the dash. All the best. Great site/youtube by the way. ;-) Al

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Perfect. You've just answered all the questions I had regarding 0801 Vs 0803. The night footage of the 0801 looked reasonable but the 0803 is considerably better. I have a 1080p camera at the moment which has already helped in one accident (foreign lorry pulled out wide on a turn and trashed the side of my car) - but the night quality is poor. The 0803 looks like it will tick all the boxes.

Excellent video.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Hi!Nice review as always! Anyone knows if the gps logger is compatible with the logger of the 801 cam?I have the 801 and would like to known if it is possible to use the preview one (it is the economic way). Thanks. Chorondus

June 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChorondus

Hi, love your reviews - very thorough. I wish you worked in an electronics store so you could review everything for us, especially TV's.

I'm torn between the 0803 and the GT680W. Have you ever gotten a chance to check out the GT? If you do another new dash-cam review that would be my vote.

June 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbeirwer

Re, My post on the 18 June, regarding gaps between clips:
As I didn't have a Class 10 Micro card, I had to order one (SanDisk Ultra microSDHC UHS-1), which has just arrived. Unfortunately, it doesn't clear the problem on my 0803, as the gap is still there in 1296P. I forgot to mention previously, that I had also tried 720P and there was a gap in that mode as well (again with both cards). So it looks as though I have a faulty sample to send back.

June 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Millns

Has anyone noticed either their 0801 or 0803 smell? Like an electrical smell if that makes sense?

Had two of these units and they both smell, the first was over powering when in the car!

June 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJD

Love youre reviews Techmoan. Youve covered all the answers and angles of car dash cams ive been wanting to know. This mini 0803looks great but I am after a dual cam front and back dash cam and I could only find 1 decent but old review in 2012 you did on a front and rear dash cam aka i1000.
Please can you review more front and rear dash cams or recomend me a good one?
I mean in a car accident its mainly front impact and secondly being rear ended.

Thanks

June 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRay

Great review - I ordered the 0803 on the basis of the excellent 0801 review and thought 'newer is probably better'.

It's an absolutely fantastic camera for the price, but two extra things to note (for what it's worth) that I'm not sure were in the video:
- I mounted the camera behind the rear view mirror, but because I drive a tiny little car, the rake on the windscreen reflects the shiny shiny dashboard in almost every lighting condition. That said, it's still the best place to put the camera, I think.
- From the preliminary attempts I've made, it's not possible to edit together 1296p clips in Windows Movie Maker - 1080p works fine, though.
- Oh, and I was quite impressed with the quality of the internal microphone. Which doesn't count as an extra thing to note. I just like audio.

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjames H

how many hours can this cam record with a 32 GB card?

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commenters

FILESIZES:
In 1296p mode the filesize is about 730MB per 5 minutes ~ 3.5 hours
In 1080p mode the filesize is about 510MB per 5 minutes ~ 5 hours

j

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjames

Hi
Can I ask you clever people for advice.
just got my 0803 - version with GPS without internal memory - love the quality and all seems fine apart from the fact that camera does not switch on every time I start the engine. It happens randomly . In majority of times I have to manually disconnect and reconnect quickly to see the blue light and screen to come on.
I tried 3 different power points in my car - via USB or straight from the cigarette lighter socket. Still no luck.
Do you think it might be faulty ?
thanks in advance

July 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLuka

Hi,

What do you do with the cameras after you finish evaluating them?

thanks

Martin

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

Better Mini 0803 User Manual
When I was evaluating this unit (re my posts mid June), it soon became obvious that the supplied manual had 'some' limitations (to say the least!!) and I ended up with a misunderstanding of the 'Auto Power Off' function, which didn't seem to work as expected. This turned out to be due to a UK supplier wrongly stating that this unit had a 'Parking Mode' and I had thought the auto power off function was to do with that.
My second issue was the distinct gap between my clips during playback (which didn't fit in with the review). After playing around with different class cards (to no avail), this turned out be down to the supplied Qt Player, which cannot provide smooth, seamless playback from multiple files.
I eventually found that files played via the Registrator Viewer player, or inserted into a video editing package (such as Pinnacle Studio 15), gave seamless playback, as per the 0803 review.
So, for those people still struggling to figure out the functions from the supplied manual, I have rewritten it and hopefully it is now more comprehensive and accurate.
It is available here:
http://dashcamtalk.com/mini-0803/#User_Manual

July 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Millns

Hi, brilliant review of the mini 0803 and I got one from Joovuu based on your review. The unit is working just as you noted and I use the dash cam viewer for my iMac. This might have been mentioned somewhere else so apologies if I missed it but I found that iMovie can import and play the videos from my mini 0803 very easily. So there was no need to buy another viewer, unless of course the viewer i did download from earthshinesw.com has enabled something to make it possible...

July 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom

The only reason to use Dashcam viewer is to show the video alongside the GPS data.

July 4, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Sorry if this has been asked before, but does anyone know if an 0803 without GPS can be changed to a GPS version just by buying a new GPS mount?

July 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCodger

Codger, yes the unit 803 is the same, it just has the GPS receiver in the mount, or not.

July 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMainsail

There seems to be a few versions of this from E-prance.

I have had 2 in my hands now, one has E-PRANCE and 1296p silkscreen on the unit and a dark lens with some form of coating and and the other one says 1080p with a clear lens with no coating. And no E-PRANCE logo. Both from same seller and both in identical boxes with same firmware.

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTheBay

Hi, exist this same camera a little bit smaller (like A8), but keeping 0803 video quality ? Perfect would be A8 with same video quality that 0803 have.. Thank you

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFelipe

Hey,

the German distributor of this cam says not to use any 3rd party power supplys. It says the cam wouldn't work as designed. There are rumors that the USB plug is wired differently than the standard. Can anybody share their experience with a 3rd party power supply i.e. one from a smartphone charger with USB-Port?

Thanks

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher

I bought a mini 0803 from FoxOffer June 08 2014,it arrived June 26 2014.It does not work.. no display , blue light stays on all the time.My computer cant connect to it. tried the reset hold power on .Fox Offer has not got back to me as of yet. Paid with Paypal anyone have any suggestions on what I should do. I spent a lot money and it does not work
Thanks Paul

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

It is unclear to me whether the 0803 will stay on and record when parking the car so long as I have it hard wired to the battery. Can anyone address this? I would really like a cam that stays on when I am parked as well as driving. Thanks!

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbill

Christopher,

I have my 0803 hooked up to one of the two USB cables I having running from the back of my Kenwood receiver and have had no issues. It powers on with the receiver and powers off with it. The power output from the receivers USB is 5v 1A. I used a charger for a Galaxy S3 to test it before installing in my car.

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterfred96ws6

Permanently Powering up the 0803 in a car, Re: query on 10 July from Bill
Please see warning on page 5 of my user manual rewrite, under Motion Detection:
http://dashcamtalk.com/mini-0803/#User_Manual

Video and Photo Resolution and Photo Aspect Ratio
After using the 0803 for a couple of weeks, I thought it would be useful to confirm the 1296P comments in the ‘Techmoan’ review, check out photo mode and look at the effect of changing the Quality setting. So I set up a test layout with a number plate 14m away from the camera and I then took a number of videos & photos at various settings.
Photos:
I was surprised to find that still photos taken on their own, have an aspect ratio of 4:3 (1920 x 1440), not 16:9 and this is regardless of the resolution setting being set to 1296, or 1080 (I didn’t check 720). From this, it looks as though straight photo shooting is completely independent of video recording and no tweaking of settings is possible (the jpg file sizes were always in the order of 1.7MB). Whereas, photos taken while video recording are 16:9 (as expected) and are approx. 940KB at 1920 x 1080. Note: Still photos cannot be taken while recording in 1296P mode.
Video:
While the QtPlayer supplied with the 0803 cannot provide seamless playback of multiple files, it does have a facility to grab frames and download them into the ‘VideoShots’ folder supplied with the player. The downloaded files are in bitmap (.bmp) format and are 5.93MB @ 1080P and 8.5MB @ 1296P, so it is reasonable to assume that the files size increase reflects the two resolutions.
Therefore, as I don’t have a 4K TV/Computer monitor needed to correctly display 1296P video at full resolution, I thought that the best way to compare settings was to grab frames via the QtPlayer and compare enlargements. So I recorded four clips at 1080P and 1296P, with Fine and Super Fine quality settings.
Quality Settings: The default is ‘Super Fine’, but ‘Fine’ is very slightly better, as there is less distortion from over peaking.
Resolution: I totally agree with the ‘Techmoan’ review, in that 1296P is not yet providing the increase in resolution that would be expected from ‘Super-HD’, obviously some further work is needed to sort this out.
However, 1296P mode did provide a very slight improvement in reading the number plate, simply because the image was less pixelated.

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Millns

That you for sharing your experience fred96ws6. I bought one now.

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher

Just received my 0803 from China, but came with no instruction user manual. Thank goodness for your review, as at least I now know a bit about the camera. Is it possible to get a copy of the user manual online? I have done some searching, but to no avail.
I purchased this to use as an action cam on my cruiser (motorcycle), Just need to work out how to stop/start at will, most likely with use of power switch inline.

Cheers, and thanks in advance...WoodDuck

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWoodDuck

Please disregard my previous post. Found the link to the re-written version of the User manual above (http://dashcamtalk.com/mini-0803/#User_Manual). Great work by those concerned. Can't wait to set it up on my M'Cycle to see quality etc.
Once again, Thanks...Cheers, WoodDuck

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWoodDuck

Fred96ws6: thank you. I think that answers my question in that yes, it will remain on but to take caution in summer heat.

As a separate question, I'm about to purchase the 0803 and am deciding between eBay and Amazon. Im leaning towards eBay (from estore009) since I can purchase a Squaretrade warranty AND the price is about the same as Amazon without the warranty. Thoughts?

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbill

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