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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)

Thanks for all the responses, but any chance of advising where to the get Firmware update from?

August 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNoggie

Dock reliability/fixes (two listed - scroll down) - http://forum.dashcamtalk.com/threads/gps-dock-pin-repair.6493/
Newest firmware (12th August) - http://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/mini0803-firmware-update-to-0812-version-megtech.6859/

August 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Hi guys
tried to follow the firmware up date instructions put the new firmware on the micro SD card inserted in to the camera only to find the card was not recognised where am I going wrong please help. I had to put it in my phone to reformat the card because the pc did not see it nor did the dashcam thanks Noggie

August 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNoggie

Hi Noggie,
Try getting the card recognised by the cam WITHOUT THE UPDATE. This may mean reformatting with PC or Phone. Once recognised by the cam reformat ON the cam. If this works, add the firmware to the SD card and try again. If it doesn't, try a different SD card. If you get this far and the cam won't update, ask again. Good luck.

August 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

Further to the above, I don't have that cam but I believe when you format the card on the cam it probably adds a program to run the update. If so, that would explain your problem. Can an owner confirm that formatting on the cam puts something on the card?

August 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

When formatting the sd card in the camera there is only a folder structure added and a pretty poor app for playing back video's.

August 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavidT

Thanks, DavidT

August 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

Further info to my earlier posts..
The SDcard was full again and the mini0803 stopped working.
So I reformatted and opied the latest firmware bin on the SDcard. After rebooting it started to update.
I deleted the firmware bin file and put the mini0803 back in the car.
See how long it will tak ethis time before it stops working.

September 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWil

Purchased my 803 from E-Prance fullfilled by Amazon on Friday 29th.
Firmware it shipped with is FW20140507 v1.0.
Not updated or changed the firmware, only tings Ive done is put black tape on the white text on the unit so its less visible and black tape over the mic until the mute/non-mute is rectified. Saves me constantly flicking it to mute each time it starts.

Have used it over the weekend, around 4hours driving and all seems fine at the moment. did notice that it does get a tad warm but not to the point where its cannot be held.

I'll keep the packaging just in case it starts to play up after a few weeks. Personally while its working i'll leave the firmware version as is until its been tested and confirmed as working ok.

At the moment, quite happy with the purchase ... time will tell I suppose.

September 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeteW

Just received my 0803 but it also says 1080 on the casing and this worries me a bit

September 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjay

@jay

I have read that these new units are in fact the old shell with new internals but am always wary. Personally I would send it back and request the "actual" 803 model. The new model also has the micro usb connection not the mini usb.

September 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeteW

After someone decided to overtake on the A10 near Milton straight into my path and I had to swerve hard to avoid a head-on collision, my previous thoughts that a dashcam might be a good thing to have, turned into a strong need!

I just ordered one on these mini 803 units after clicking through the link to joovuu - the free hardwire kit and t-shirt are a nice bonus.

I'll be ordering the memory card off Amazon because I only ever buy full retail packaged cards from major outlets and never off ebay or through amazon marketplace, too many fakes around; I'll be sure to click through your referrer links for that.

There's a good chance I'll buy another of them, for the wife's car too.

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

Hi, I seem to be having problem with dashcam viewer not recognising the movie files in the DCIM/100media folder, can anybody help?

September 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTerry

@Terry

Do you mean you can't view them on the PC? If so use the VLC player from here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
Open the VLC player click MEDIA (top left) and select open folder and point it to the DCIM folder. It will then play all files in sequence.

September 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeteW

Hi Pete , I can view the movie file ok with media player and also registrator viewer. but when i try to open the same file in earthshine dash cam viewr they arent recognised/seen.

Cheers

September 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTerry

To carry on from my previous post, I ordered it two days ago from JooVuu, got the free wiring kit and t-shirt, despite having selected the cheapest post option it all arrived the next day - yesterday. Fitted a Samsung class 10 uSDHC card (£8 off amazon), and voila! Very pleased so far.

September 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

Hi All,
This is for Jake Enns I thing I've narrowed the problem down I've been experimenting with the micro SD card just by removing it and running on internal 8Gig memory it ran fine not a problem but as soon as I put the SD card back in it went off in Stammer syndrome boot up Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr till battery ran out I Proceeded to take out the SD card and would you believe it runs fine now. To me it sounds like its got to be the firm ware or wrong SD card tried numerous 32 Gig cars of different classes so I have order a class 10 card Wife pointed out that Techmoan did say in his video that you should use a class 10 card so lets see is any one else using a crass 10 with no problems

September 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNoggie

New to this field of technology but found both your introductory video and full review of the 0803 extremely useful and professional. I have been contemplating buying a cam for a while but wasn't sure of specs against cost etc, however after your review, placed an order for the 0803.
I will re-post on it's performance when I get a chance to play around with it but would have still been looking had it not been for your excellent review so thanks for that.

September 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCush3231

Just found out that some of amazon 0803 dashcam's with SD card that are sent out have just like us a class 6 card with it instead of a class 10 SD should have posted this message first before all my others sorry folks for gassing on

September 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNoggie

@noggie

Thanks for the update on the class of SD card issue, most interesting.

September 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeteW

It's been four days and not a glitch same old firmware not the new one just new speck of sandisk ultra micro SDHC UHS-1 32 Gig Class 10 card bought from eBay £12.99 the seller Gizzmoheaven.com . I will let you all know straight away if there's any more problems if at all fingers crossed all the best Noggie

September 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNoggie

This is encouraging news. I hope this lockup problem can finally be diagnosed and put down to inferior cards.

September 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

No lock ups with mine for three weeks (around 22 hours of use, 40-45m sessions), since I updated the firmware, switched to 1080p with WDR mode OFF and inserted a paper shim in to the mount on the camera unit.

My card is a SanDisk class 10 (red/grey design) from Amazon UK (not a marketplace seller).

September 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Hi Dan
you say you got yours from Amazon and not the market place to be honest Amazon is a middle man for the market place sellers i.e the 0803 is sold by Eprance which is really China Prance Industrial Co., Ltd. The micro SD cards come all over the place it was amazon that sold us the Kingston micro SD card inferior to a lot of products including to the 0803 dashcam they offered to replace it for the same price of £30 but with a class 10 we got in touch with them and they said that it was the market price and you will not find it any cheaper well we did Amazon is just have a big warehouse distribution centre for sellers. EBay is a little different it takes bids and sells new from retailers, just saying

September 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNoggie

Amazon
-Sells their own products ("Dispatched from and sold by Amazon") - which is what happened with my SD card.
-Sells/ships other's products ("Sold by [seller], Fulfilled by Amazon"), where Amazon store the stock and ship it to the customer on behalf of the seller. Which is what happened with my camera.
-Lets others list products for sale (like eBay), where Amazon pass the order on and the seller stores their own stock and ships it out.

My card was sold by Amazon.
I only mentioned that as there are plenty of counterfeit cards which may not be reliable, therefore I usually buy SD cards and USB sticks direct from a reputable seller such as Amazon.
Plus, if there are any problems Amazon's return/replacement policies are very customer friendly.

September 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDan

My advice for anyone getting a memory card to avoid getting a substandard fake - there are many counterfeit cards which look perfectly like the real thing.

* only buy Sandisk, Toshiba, Crucial/Lexar or Samsung. As far as I know these are the only companies who actually make flash memory, all other brands are those with a different label and possibly different firmware in the flash controller. Some of the other brands buy rejects from the manufacturers, test them and grade them as lower specifications, or mask out the bad areas and reduce the capacity, but it could mean early failure.

* only buy cards in full retail packaging from very trusted sources - e.g. from Amazon (and not their marketplace) or Ebuyer, and not ebay. There are some reliable sellers like MyMemory or Mobymemory, but I personally always stick to Amazon or EBuyer themselves.


I once bought a Lexar card from Amazon Marketplace and it turned up in non-standard packaging, I did a non-destructive read test on it and it wasn't as quick as I expected, and the card reported a few bad blocks, which should never happen. I returned it for a refund, spend only a few quid more got a retail packaged Samsung and it passed all the tests with flying colours and noticeably more quickly.

September 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul M

Hi Dan,
Sometimes items are not available directly from Amazon but only fulfilled by them. As, under UK law, the seller and not the manufacturer is responsible for the quality of goods sold I am pleased that Amazon is accepting responsibility and not passing the buck to the original seller for "fulfilled by" items.

September 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Jenkinson

I liked the design of my 803, but it started to wipe out DAB reception in my Octavia and had to go back. Not sure what else to go for now.

September 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Alex, that has to do with the wiring, nothing with the camera.

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWil

I got one today from amazon with 8Gb internal and GPS.
Powered it up in my living room from a car booster battery unit (12v 20Ah battery with jump leads).

Worked at first but was amazed how warm it got. GPS set date & time okay but it just got hotter and hotter and then it stopped just giving the RED Led and was painful to hold (mainly near the camera lens).

It is back in its box all wrapped up to go back in the morning.

I am thinking of the HP F210 but I understand the unit displays speed and distance data in metric units only!
This seems odd to me for a product whose main user base would be in America who would not be seen dead using metric units...

If the Transcend did one with GPS I would go for that.

September 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIan

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