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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%! 

            

 
« The Useless Machine from Spikenzielabs | Main | At last it's the Real SJ4000 WiFi Review »
Monday
Sep292014

Watch your back - with the Vico Marcus 5 Dual 1080p Dash-Cam

This is the first true Dual 1080p Dash-cam that I've tested and it's very impressive. Both the front and rear cameras record in full 1920x1080 at 30 FPS, the video never skips any frames and all recordings are seamless (there are no frames missing between files). In order to record two 1080p files to the same SD card at the same time the bit-rate has been lowered slightly, but I haven't noticed any unpleasant artifacts as a result. The camera records the same great quailty video whether it's day or night. 

Now, of course, nothing is perfect and I do have a few ideas and thoughts that I share about the product (and possible future updates) during the course of the video, but I don't want to detract from what's been achieved here, this is a trailblazing camera and it's available now (for a price). 

Purchasing Links

Vico’s Suggested ebay sellers

UK   US

My ebay search links (Click your country to find a supplier)

UK   US   AT   AU   BE   CA   CH   DE   ES   FR   IE   IT   NL  

   

Downloadable Samples

I've uploaded a few samples that I've trimmed for length and the same files are available to download from this link Notice I wrote Download, don't stream these, because you won't gain anything. Its only when you play the downloaded clips from your own HDD that you see their true quality.

 

 

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Reader Comments (52)

2 small cameras would be ideal, just as long as they were waterproof. (think motorcycle)

September 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRick77

Hi Mat,

Fab review as always, very detailed. I quite agree, the front camera is bulky and difficult to hide, I agree with your suggestion of two small cameras with perhaps a separate box doing the recording. I think using this logic then multi-cameras might be something for the future, not beyond the realms of possibility.

My main issues are price, the size of the unit and all those dam cables, but at least it's a start with the 1080p as standard in the rear cam.

My existing duel cam does place the images side by side but there's no option to split them entirely, but it is handy to see both views at the same time on screen.

Separately, I've noticed that theres a GoPro Hero 3 using 4K...I know none of us have a 4k TV yet but it shows the technology is there and not that expensive either considering- £220 on some sites. I know it's not a car cam but I thought I'd mention it.

Thanks again for listening.
Daz

September 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Another perfectly executed review as per usual Mat, not sure where you find the time to do all these but must say they are greatly appreciated.

The video quality is superb but as already mentioned the front camera is a bit too bulky, incorporating two smaller cams and having the main control unit separate would definitely be a bonus and something I'd consider purchasing. On occasion I use dual cams utilizing my existing units on-hand, for the front the DOD LS430W is my preferred choice with the DR32 coming up in the rear, a little tougher in the sync department but does the trick.

Regards,
Slivy58

September 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSlivy58

I am strongly considering this cam for use on my bicycle. Currently I have the Mobius on the front but filming synchronously front and rear would be aiding much better in exposing reckless car drivers, passing too close and fast, which happens almost every day.
How accurate is the GPS-Module in terms of showing your own speed?

Of course power source would be a problem, wouldn't it?
So let's say with an 1.5A Output 10000mAh power bank (something like this just popped up: http://www.amazon.co.uk/EasyAcc-10000mAh-Brilliant-Smartphone-Bluetooth/dp/B00H9BEC8E); how long could I expect to record?

And doesn't the software run under Wine or some PC emulator on a Mac?

Thank you for the review.
Frank

September 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Yes: 2 small cameras would be ideal, just as long as they were waterproof. (think bicycle and motorcycle)

Seriously, don't know why no one hasn't come up with it yet. Quite frustrating.
Just make both camera-modules separate from its's recording/screen module and versatility, especially mounting options least possibility, will be much greater.

I mean, manufactures, just listen to Matt/Techmoan (and the commenters). In almost every review video of a dash cam he complains about the camera being too bulky and awkward to mount. Why do you think he is still using the Mobius?

Key words are:

- separate, small camera modules (stealth)
- waterproofness of all components
- no protruding cable sockets (integrate into housing)
- small, flexible mounts

September 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Agree that 2 separate cameras and a control box would be much better.
Ideally the front camera could attach the back of the rear view mirror and have adjusters to line the camera up.

I have a load of roadster rear view mirrors and have worked out how to open them. There is a reasonable amount of room inside so the idea is a DVR inside the rear view mirror. The mirror foil can be trimmed to create a window for any LCD. I have just had a 3D printer delivered so I'm going to try and print a lens holder with built in adjustment. Should work.

October 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvilution

Hi Mat,

Very informative - thank you.

I can see some similarities with my Transcend DrivePro 200. That said, can you say if the capacitor in the Marcus 5 is likely to retain the date and time settings for several days?

If not, then for owners without the optional gps attatchment it may be a bit of a pain to enter these details on a regular basis (and also re enter any additional on screen information as described).

The DP200 does of course have wi fi which makes regular resetting that much easier but the same cannot be said fot the Marcus 5.

October 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn J

Great review, I was eager to see this one as I've been considering getting a rear camera.
And of course I have a question, do you still have the camera? Could you try plug the USB camera into your PC and see what happens if anything! Would be interesting to build a multi camera DVR with that camera.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Hi Mat...great review,

A dual camera set-up is high up on my want list (currently using two 0801's) and this looked like a solution but I agree the front camera/dvr is too bulky two small camera's and separate dvr is the way to go, unfortunately there are not many about the only half decent looking one I've came across is this - http://www.koonlung.com/english/productview.asp?id=33 - but I can't find it for sale anywhere.

Here's hoping the manufacturer takes note of your request.

October 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKlippie

Good find. I think it's just a render of a concept so far, but I'll see if I can find one anywhere too. I've reviewed some Koonlung products before.

October 5, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I came to the same conclusion regarding fitting of a rear mount potentially damaging the heated rear window element.
I just put a strip of paper a few mill wide across middle of the adhesive pad and lined that up with the element when I fitted mine.
That way the sticky pad doesn't touch the element.

October 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerek

Good tip Derek.

October 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom

a question Mat. You don't say, but I hope you remembered to remove the polarizing filter for your night shots as these act as 1.5 stop ND filters for lots of the time. The other slightly worrying thing is the bit rate. I know it has to be divided between two cameras running in sync onto the same SD card, but the bit rate is a lot lower than the rate SJ4000 uses. I wonder, is the picture quality of this camera as good as the SJ's?

October 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertom hardwick

1) I see kits for connecting a USB power cord to a cars fuse box and running it behind the body panels to a dash cam or anything else. Maybe Techmoan should review these. How badly will I damage my car if I do this and screw up?

2) Maybe Techmoan should review cars as there must be more money in that than reviewing dash cams. You would be uniquely able to review mounting small electronics like dash cams in various cars and maybe other aspects of the car. For people who really do not enjoy driving conveniences like mounting a GPS or dash cam might be important to which car they select.

3) You might be interested in the Accele RVC50 license plate camera which mounts to a car's license plate. This may only work with US style license plates and not European style, I don't know. It is advertised as a "back up" camera, but I do not see why it could not also mount on the front plate and replace a dash cam.

October 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

1) Well worst case you create a short in the fuse box and your car burns to the ground.

2) As a biker I've enjoyed Matt's couple of reviews on scooters and bikes.

and 3) re the RCV50 - what are you going to use to record the image on ?

October 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerek

This is one kit that plugs into a fuse receptacle and provides USB power. It seems like a sound idea. A better idea would be for the car to have usb on all interior lighting mounts.

http://thedashcamstore.com/dashcam-installation-kit-5-volt-usb-plug-mini-fuse/

re the RCV50 - what are you going to use to record the image on ? I have no idea, I am still wondering if I can get the cables from outside to inside the car, and then behind the interior panels to a DVR in the car. Something that broadcast ethernet over the car's lighting system wiring would be very nice. I could just connect to the brake light and one of the front lights and then the magic of ethernet will take over. After that I could even use a laptop as a dvr, although a dedicated dashcam recording device would be nice too. But I have no idea how to run the cables and not sure I want to put in the effort or expense. What I am attracted to is mounting the camera on the license plate which seems like a good but vulnerable place to put it.

October 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

Koonlung K1 available here http://www.diytrade.com/china/pd/12436361/Car_DVR_recorder.html ... anyone bought one ?

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenternorthernlanes

It's pre-order at the moment. The manufacturer has been in touch and offered to send me one over to review in a couple of weeks when the camera is ready. I thought it would be a camera that a lot of people would be interested in, so I've asked them to send me one. I'd expect the review will be ready sometime in December if there are no delays.

October 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Will look forward to that review, currently running two mobius's (one forward and one rearward facing), but a 2 in 1 unit could be interesting espec with such small camera's

October 31, 2014 | Unregistered Commenternorthernlanes

Hey Techomoan.

First of all .. Greetings from Denmark.

It's fucking nice videos you have on YT, I watched them all - and the newest one I have a question for you.

"New: A brand-new, unused, unopened and undamaged item in original retail packaging (where packaging is applicable). If the item comes direct from a manufacturer, it may be delivered in non-retail packaging, such as a plain or unprinted box or plastic bag. See the seller's listing for full details."


Ehm in my world (as in my latest purchases) it tells me that the packing could be a copy ..

There are tons copycats out there, and I just want the real one.

How could I get the "REAL" one, like the one you reviewed in the video? Without the chance of being fraud....

Live in Denmark, no big marked "YET" . but where could I buy this camera to try, and then if I want buy 500 pieces ?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts in dashcams .. keep it on :-) Nice work.

/greetings from Denmark - Mikkel.

November 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMikkel

I'm not aware of anyone making copies of the Marcus 5 camera. You may even be able to buy directly from the manufacturer Vicovation.

November 7, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hello,

I am looking to purchase a dual camera dvr, came across the following on ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-2-7-1080P-HD-Dual-lens-Car-DVR-Dash-Cam-Rear-View-Camera-Recorder-G-Sensor-/171421918857 any thoughts on this.

Thank you,

November 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShimi

Fantastic review.... Your final though on a small box that could be hidden away is what I've been desperately seeking for months now... The Marcus 5 seems to tick the boxes on quality, I just couldn't live with that large screen and all those wires... Fingers crossed the manufacture is open to suggestions... I know I'd be one of the first people in line!

Great work!

November 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLRR_uk

Hi Matt, excellent review, very informative and a first class idea to have the forward facing camera separate from the main unit. If this were the case then you could possibly dispense with a power lead by having the main unit plugged directly into the chosen power supply. As you stated in the review this would then make the installation much more discrete and less likely to prompt an attempted theft.

November 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Smith

@Frank - about mounting cameras on a bike - Theoretically you could use any battery but the charge of such a small one won't last long. Why not use a small 12 Volt battery? Dashcams typically use a 12 Volt power source so the voltage just right. Prices go from £ 20 / € 25 online. The higher amperage won't harm. There a dozens of types, so you can probably find one that fits your needs, for example a long/flat one. They weigh more and are bigger, then a pocket battery but then again they are only a fraction of the size and weight of a car battery. The weight is probably not an issue anyway, since your bike can support it easily.

Once in a while you will have to load it, obviously. There are plenty of cheap, 'intelligent', small 12 Volt loaders that will keep your battery full. Loading slowly is better for your battery so a light loader is usually better. If you keep your bike in a shed or garage where you have a power outlet, this is a matter of plugin it in for a night every now and then.

November 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbeeldbuijs

Just to mention all dashcams use 5V usually supplied by a USB adaptor that converts the car 12V supply. When you plug a USB charger in your house it converts 120/230/240v into 5V. All USB devices are 5V.

November 19, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

HI just like to say great down to earth reviews. Something other reviewers need to look at. Anyway have you recieved the koonlung dual camera yet. I have enquired about buying and don't want to send any money until you have reviewed.

December 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSpicemelange

Awesome work Mr Techmoan. Really helped me out when looking to buy a dashcam after watching many of your reviews.

Thank you.

December 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCraig8585

Hi Matt,

I stumbled across your reviews while looking for a dashboard camera and they've been really helpful. Having seen the ones on dual cameras I've decided that's the way to go so have been looking at the various offerings.

I came across the S300A on amazon and ebay and quite liked the idea of both cameras being separate from the recording unit. Have you seen it and what do you think about it. Here's an Amazon link http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kool-TM-Rearview-Recorder-Camcorder/dp/B00JO7ZEGK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1419177611&sr=8-2&keywords=dual+dash+camera

Cheers
Phil

December 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

Got the Koonlung KS1 twin camera system with GPS (see http://www.koonlung.com/english/productview.asp?id=33) fitted to my Audi Allroad. Great system, well made, still checking it out so will report more later. Purchased it direct from Koonlung no problem. Got the Mini 0803 that was in Allroad fitted in rear window of my Suzuki Splash which already has an 0803 in front.

January 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEastman

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