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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)

One additional question re: memory. Will the 0803 accept a 64gb or 128gb mini SD card? I thought I may have seen a limitation of 32gb somewhere...

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbill

I've just received a mini0803 ex E prance through Amazon. The printing on the camera body says "1080"rather than the 1296 which is spec. for the 0803.
Before I start installing/hard wiring this, have they sent me the wrong unit....how does this happen??

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRob McClair

I have a 0801 from E-prance and got my 0803 from them today.
The 0803 is missing the following settings from the setup menu:
The following items are missing from the setup:
1. The language settings - it is English and I do not have an option to change(but English is ok).
2. Lens wide angle
3. TV Type
4. Video record mode
5. Beep sound
6. USB Mode
7. Choose card

Does anyone know something about this issue?
Thanks,
Shmulik

July 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShmulik

I am sorry in Japanese, but am a comparison between 0803mini and other CAR DVR animation.
http://youtu.be/xoh7YY3jmVo

July 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterunidon

@Rob the earlier version print 1080p in the camera body, changed to 1296p in new version, but don't worry, the hardware is same.

@Shmulik, 0803 is just released about 2 month, like 801, firmware keep updating.

There will be a new version coming soon, video quality improved.

July 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbill

@Paul, is it your order number #889869, I see email replied in 24 hours, If the problem can not be solved, foxoffer will replace it for free or refund to you.

July 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbill

I am sorry in Japanese, but am a comparison between 0803mini and other CAR DVR animation.
http://youtu.be/xoh7YY3jmVo

July 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterunidon

Hi, I watched your reviews for the Mini 0801 & 0803 and I found them very informative. I then purchased the 0803 from Amazon. I found that I need an extension lead in order to fit it in the car. Do you have any idea where these might be purchased. I have been told I need a Micro usb female to micro usb male. Regards.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Harvey

Instead of extending your existing lead, I'd probably get a new USB A to Micro B lead of the correct length.
I don't know how much you need, but here's a 5m example... http://goo.gl/qGVcHY

Then you'll need a USB power plug (I use this Griffin two port plug http://www.amazon.co.uk/Griffin-Compact-Charger-Mobiles-Others-black/dp/B0042B9U8Q (watch out for fakes - hence the Amazon link) The real ones deliver the necessary 1amp simultaneously from both ports. I use mine to power a sat nav or my phone and the camera at the same time.

July 13, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi, Many thanks for such a quick response. I have ordered both items. Regards John

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Harvey

Do any of these cameras accept 24v as an input? I'm interested in getting an 0803 for a commercial vehicle but these things usually have a 24 lighter socket.
It will often say on the plug - my Samsung chargers can take 24v as an input voltage for example and it says so on the barrel of the plug.
Are there any such markings on the 0803, do you know?
Thanks,
Paul

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

All these cameras operate on 5V - the power adaptor converts the vehicle voltage down to 5v. I'm not sure if the 0803 supplied charger will convert 24V to 5V, but if it does't you can always pick up a 24V usb convertor. Do an ebay search for '24V usb'. Then you need to add a lead like the one I linked to a couple of comments back.
If you want an out of the box solution - the Vico Marcus 3 I tested recently had a 12v/24v to 5v adaptor lead.

July 14, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Well Techmoan, you just saved me £30 on my car insurance, for so many years companies have just laughed at you when you mention dashcams when quoting. Swiftcover were the best price, but when I mentioned the camera I got another 10% (£30) off the price.

Back to the subject of cameras, I have an 803 and so far very impressed with it.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGordon

Thanks for the reply, TechMoan. I've ordered an 0803

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Hi. You advised me to buy a longer lead and connector rather than extending the existing lead to the 0803. The parts arrived today and I have got the camera fitted and working. Many thanks I would never have been able to work out the equipment required. So glad I seen your reviews. Regards John

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Harvey

John,

Glad it worked out in the end.

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Gordon,

Happy to help. That's two of us with Swiftcover now due to their Dashcam discount.

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

My 0803 arrived a few days ago. I installed the GPS mount to my windshield (windscreen) last night and am letting the adhesive cure for a few days before I attach the camera.

July 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I'm in the process of installing my 0803, but for my car( Kia Sorento) the power cable to the cigarette lightersocket is much too short, if I, m to hide it.
Can I get either
a) a simple extension cable that'll make up the 1metre or so shorfall ...or....
b) another power cable ...still longer....with connections suitable for wiring into the fuse box....although I DON'T want the camera live when the ignition is off.
Anybody got any suggestions??

July 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRob McClair

@Rob McClair I use these parts:

Power Supply: http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00A6LEN2Y/

Extension: http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B001TH7GUU/

and the data cable that came with the cam.

This way the Cam has power and i can still charge my phone.

July 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher

I linked to some extension wires a few comments back.

July 17, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Further to my question about power supply input voltages... my 0803 had just arrived and the sticker on it says 'input DC 8 48V'. So this will work out-of-the-box in vehicles that have a 24v cigarette lighter.

I think that this might be useful information for people watching your reviews, as many of the potential buyers of these things are commercial vehicle drivers.

July 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Hi Mat
Thanks for anohter great vid.
Looking at amazon currently for a 0803. Also aiming to get a sandisk 32gb class 10 card.
Question: any value in getting Sandisk extreme or even Extreme pro over ultra?
Thanks

July 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHerbie V

I can't get my mini to record video. When I plug in the SD card, instead of beginning the recording, it shows how much time is available to record on. I formatted the card on my laptop, still nothing. I tried to format the card inside the camera, but I had it on doing that all night (8-9 hours) and it was still "processing" when I woke up. I'm using a class 10 SanDisk 64mb card.

July 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Herbie, no there would be no benefit at all.

July 18, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Great reviews as always.

Just like to ask if you know where I can get a longer car cable for the mini 0803 (at least 3.5m) . I initially bought the 0801 where the supplied cable was not long enough, then went out and bought a longer one. Then I thought that it would be an easy process to upgrade to the 0803.....oh! NO, the 0803 uses a Mini USB. But I can't seem to find a cable that is specifically for the 0803.

Any ideas where I can get one?

regards

July 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Please see the comments above yours where this is answered a few times.

July 19, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I'd like to wire my 803 directly to a 12 VDC line. I know that the USB standard is 5 VDC. Is the voltage regulation done in the camera, or in the cigarette light adapter?

In other words, if I put 12 VDC directly into the camera, will that fry the camera?

July 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I don't own a dashcam, I am still looking.
One feature my insurance wants is to have the speed of my vehicle recorded by the camera. Only that way will I get a discount on my rates. How does this unit record the speed, does it only work if I buy the GPS enabled - this what I assume or how else could it figure out the speed?

July 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJake Enns

I recently purchased the Mini 803. (I wish I had noticed that this was a model WITHOUT internal memory!).

I've found the video quality much worse than what I saw in your review. I've tried both 1080p and 1296p, and even your trick of rotating the camera down to pick up more of the dash. Nothing seems to improve it. there's no way I could make out the numbers on the car tags in front of me, even in optimal light.

I'm using Dashcam Viewer, as well as opening the files directly with Preview (I'm using a Mac with OS X 10.9).

Please tell me how you pulled the sample frames in the review and got the numbers to look very clear.

Thanks,
David

July 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

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