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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)

As per my earlier post have sent back my so called 0803 back to amazon and there in the process of refunding me, I mailed them said that my 0803 was going into standby mode every few days so that good news. My next question is where else can I buy a 0803 and this time I was to make sure I get an 0803 and not a 0801 upgrade which means they just added new software. Also wanting somewhere that will provide a good customer service if I have any questions. Any suggestions?

August 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLoganfire

I'd be interested to know if all 0803s with 1080p printed on them have mini USB slots instead of micro USB. Also the converse,
Are people with the upgraded 0801s having more problems than those with 'genuine' 0803s?
CAN a software. Upgrade alone give higher than 1080p?

August 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

During a trip today my 0803 beeped and then beeped about three minutes later and turned off. It was not hot to the touch, the power lead was plugged into the cigarette lighter.

Any ideas? I've been using it daily for about 8 days with no problems.

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Was just about to fit the 0803 then reading another forum someone mounted it with M3 dual lock "velco" but stronger stuff anyone else done that. I was wondering if stability would be compromised?

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCashy

@Cashy,
If that is hook and loop tape you should be able to remove it fairly easily if it doesn't work. Worth an experiment. You could try with a cheap "poundshop" version first as the hook and loop joint should be the same.

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

@Andy. Cheers for that I've just heard this M3 stuff is supposed to be 10 time better than usual stuff but don't know if that's the hook and eye or the adhesive backing!!

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCashy

@Cashy,

Lol. Almost certainly the adhesive. My partner wanted a clock on our mirror. Problem was how to change the battery! Solved it by supergluing a few strips of velcro to mirror and clock back. Still up after 8 months!

August 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

I've recently purchased and installed the GPS version this camera (0803) in my car.
1. I have noticed that the camera is not a very tight fit in the windscreen mount, it moves quite a bit. However, there is no evidence of movement on the recorded image. Is this normal, if not I've still plenty of time to return to seller?
2. Has anyone found it takes some time to achieve a GPS fix?
3. I'm using Registrator software for playback. I've only used by playing back using the SD in my PC and not from the camera with SD fitted and via USB. Although there is a timeline displayed in the Registrator window the time and date do not show on the footage in spite of showing on the camera display when recording. I've not tried by connecting the camera via USB yet. Does the time/date display in the video window when connected by that method?
Any feedback much appreciated.

August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

If you mean the time/date being burnt in to the video, that's a setting you need to enable on the camera.

August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Looks like I'm going to ask FoxOffer for a refund. My camera turned off again today - even after I did the "shim" fix the camera. As I feared, it appears the Achilles's heal of this camera is the mount/camera connection.

August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

@Chris,
To check it is not a fault at the cigarette lighter you could try taking it indoors and running it from a USB charger mains plug. If you leave it overnight and it is still on that suggests the cigarette lighter socket. If it switches off that suggests a faulty 0803. Hope that helps.
Andy

August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

It worked great for two weeks, but then I've had to shutdowns the past three days. I could plug the power directly into the camera, but I wonder if the GPS will work?

August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Try putting it next to a window for best gps reception. How long were the trips on average? If it is the camera then I would expect it to shut down if left connected for 8+ hours.

August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

On Tuesday it was about 1 1/2 hours into a trip. Today it was while backing out of my driveway. I just went outside and tried powering the camera by plugging the power cord directly into the 0803. It works and the GPS module is also powered.

I'll do some driving tomorrow to see if the problem reoccurs. I have my old camera on ebay, but it doesn't end until Saturday. I'll end the auction if I determine the 0803 is a dud.

August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Andy, why would you say it could be the camera if left connected for 8+hours? I've just bought one as I'm a wagon driver so it's going to be connected for 13 to 15 hours a day!!

August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCashy

@Cashy
I mean IF the camera shuts off while connected to power then the camera is almost certainly faulty, 8+ hours should be long enough for the fault to recur. Sorry, I didn't make it clear I was replying to Chris. I would expect these cameras to stay on as long as powered unless faulty or in a hot environment for example.

August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

Very interesting... while reviewing footage from today, I noticed the camera was recording,but not collecting GPS data. At some point coming home today the GPS data started recording.

August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

@Chris
Perhaps the camera only displays GPS data if the signal is strong enough.
In case anyone is wondering about my suggestions:-
If the camera is switching off then either
1. There is an intermittent fault in the power generated at the cigarette lighter
2, There is an intermittent fault in the camera
3. There is a faulty connection on the camera side
4.There is a faulty connection on the cigarette lighter side
5. The USB cable is faulty.

Using a mains charger takes the cigarette lighter out of the equation.
Using a different cable takes the cable out of the equation.

You don't want to send rhe camera back if the cigarette lighter is faulty and you may not want to send it back if all you need is a new cable.

August 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

"If you mean the time/date being burnt in to the video, that's a setting you need to enable on the camera."

Hello Dan. Yes, that's what I mean. The date/time shows on the camera screen but not on the video during playback.. I'm fairly sure that it's set up for that as opposed to driver number. I will re-check though.
I think I will be returning for refund because of that poor connection between the camera and mount, it can only deteriorate over time. Plus the apparent poor GPS fix.
Very impressed with the image quality etc.. I personally think that connection lets it down though.
Thanks for the reply.

August 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

So far this year I have owned (and binned!) the Smallest DVR without a screen (the one you tested), a 0801 and a 0803. I think dash cams are a fantastic idea and will be standard on all cars in the near future. I just hope their reliability improves first though.
I think the failure of all 3 of my dash cams this year, is due to heat (I live in the U.K. by the way), they just seem to run a 'tad' hot and can't dissipate the heat they generate, efficiently.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

A Mobius with a Capacitor in-place of the battery may be your best bet. It runs hot (but that's good because it means the heat is dissipating through the heat sinks). People all over the world, some in very hot climates, have told me that it's working reliably for them.

August 9, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Mine crashed again today. I turned the ignition on to put the window up, then turned it off right away. It was on the E-PRANCE screen and playing the jingle at the time.

I'm tempted to blame the included power supply - perhaps a suitable capacitor between live and ground to smooth things a bit might help...

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDan

CCTV cameras only have low FPS in order to save disk space. This can hold up to 64GB of data. If you are using it for in a store, just set the video quality lower and put in a 64GB card and it will record for days

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

For home use a CCTV really needs to by HD. You need not only to have footage of an intruder but have the best chance of recognising him. A 0803 should be great for covering areas which do not have high traffic such as a back garden. Put a bright motion detecting light in the garden and point the camera through your window also on motion detect. If the intruder steals the light then it is a fairly low-cost item and at least you should have an excellent image of him! The battery for the light should last for ages and the camera can be run of USB mains.

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

Hiye, can anyone tell me in plain language how after I've downloaded Registrator Viewer I get it to work on my 0801!
Thanx.

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJSP

Launch the software.
Place your SD card in drive
RV finds the card and starts reading the files.

Have fun!

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Hi, I bought a mini 0803 a while ago and it seems that the loop-recording doesn't work.
It has the internal 16Gb storage and the micro SD card, but when the storage where you are saving to is full, the camera stops.
Anyone else has this problem?

August 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWil

As I understand it it cannot switch between internal and external memory. Does loop recording not occur for the internal, external or both?

August 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

@Andy, first I had it recording to the internal drive, but that stopped when the drive was full.
Then I inserted a micro SDcard and switch the recording to the SDcard. Same result.
I will try to format the SDcard and see what happens.

August 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWil

@Wil,
What size are the video segments you have recorded, please?

August 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

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