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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)

Hi Eastman, where did you purchase the Koonlung camera and how much?

January 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterShimi

I have had the Marcus 5 now for two weeks and have tried on 3 computers to use as a card reader as I don't want to keep removing the SD card to see the recordings, I have also tried 2 new cables.

They say if using camera as card reader turn on manually but on all the computers it turns on when connected so also tried to turn off manually and it does not do that either,I have also tried to plug in and then boot computer up but still not recognized.

I contacted the company and they said that the computer needs to send out the correct voltage to the USB but I find that strange that 3 computers are not sending out supposed voltage,all 3 computers detects all my other USB items I connect but not this dash cam (STRANGE) all I can say is these cameras cannot be used as a card reader

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNorman

Interested in Koonlung K1s as well. From where did you get it?

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSomeOne

Hi Matt

I read with interest your latest review on the Marcus 5 dual camera and was pleased that at the end of your review you suggested they manufacture the kit with two small discreet cameras front and rear with a central control box this would be the perfect solution for bikers like me who need a front and rear camera set up thats discreet waterproof and durable, a kit you can hard wire into the bike electrics and forget about.

The additional GPS option plug in can act as a tracker too which is a bonus this I feel would be a big seller with in the biking community world wide.

If manufacturers could look at the needs of specific vehicle owners requirements they`d sell a hell of alot more cameras!!

January 28, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterandy

Hi
Thanks for your video's on dash cams, I think I have now watched them all When I started looking I thought I wanted a 2 channel front& back like the Blackvue you reviewed (there is a new model) but there is noway I could live with all those cables, and they are too big. I like a car to be uncluttered. I have an Auris Estate Hybrid which thanks to an unreadable speedo has a Hud-e attached to the ODB port. I know how important it is to get the angle correct and how hot black electronics in windscreens can get. I think I could mount a small camera on the rear door but getting a cable into the roof and down to the front would not be easy. Now I think two small wireless camera, capacitor fed,must be the way to go. I have power points front and back. The ideal of course would be your suggestion of a central two channel control box and two small Vico or better quality Wedges. As this is only for black box scenarios picture quality is not a major concern but hidden installations and reliability are. I already have a reversing camera, a device that could take a feed off that would be even better, but even with what is possibly the most technologically advanced car on the road it was designed by "marketing muppets". Keep up the good work, I will keep looking.

January 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterIan

Do you think it would be possible to mount it the other way round?
Put the smaller rear camera in the front, and all the tangle of wires hidden in the boot? I've got a 12v socket in the boot already.

Anything on the mounts that would make this impossible? would seem like too simple a solution!

February 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRich

It will be possible, however check thst your 12v socket in the boot is switched as they often aren't. If it's powered all the time the auto-start/stop feature won't work.

February 6, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat,

Very good reviews, thanks.

You haven't reviewed any cheap Dual (Back & Front) Camera. Please do so because many new users like me want to buy Dual camera at budget.

February 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKay

I have reviewed some cheap dual camera setups:
http://www.techmoan.com/blog/2014/6/30/dual-hd-dashcam-is-almost-half-as-good-as-two-cameras.html
http://www.techmoan.com/blog/2012/9/18/a-car-dvr-with-a-wired-rear-camera.html

The reason I haven't tested any recently is because all the cheap models currently on the market are based on the same innards as these two models - it's the same chipset and camera in a different package. As soon as someone makes a good one, I'll get it in to review.
I do check a number of sources every few days and this is one of the things I look for.

February 21, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi,
I just bought this Vico Marcus 5 and I have intention to use it on my bike.
I have a power bank with usb witch I planned to use as the source of power.
Even if this powerbank is 8000mah and have max output of 2.1A, its not enough to supply the cameras.
After a short moment it shuts off.

Any idea for a power bank with enogh power to supply this equipment for min. 5 hours?

Regards,

Carbo

March 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCarbo

I bought 3 of these Marcus5 units, for myself and two mates. 7 months in and they've turned bad. One doesn't turn on at all, one cuts in and out and the other forgets the time and date constantly. In the process of getting a refund.

Want to avoid the VicoVation range completely due to their extremely poor communication skills and issue resolution. Any suggestions for a similar unit for a similar price. I'm in Australia so I think the options are more limited than elsewhere, but desperate for something!

Thanks, Love the reviews. Ben.

January 23, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBen

After reading reviews for many of these dashcams, it seems these electronics have a high fail rate. I would be interested in hearing about the most robust dashcam, or thoughts on the most likely reasons these devices are failing (e.g. temperature? failing capacitors? etc)

March 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Well I've had an SJ1000 in my front windscreen since it first came out in 2012, and it's never failed, faltered or put a foot wrong. I'm most impressed.

March 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTom Hardwick

VicoVation has discontinued the Marcus 5 as of December 2015. I checked with them since there are none available on Amazon or Newegg and I thought I might try the Marcus 5 since I'm already trying the Koonlung K1S. VicoVation says they are working on a new dual camera kit. Hopefully, they'll have listened to Mat's very good advice and separate the LCD screen into a separate piece of hardware so the cameras can be made much smaller.

March 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterC. Smith

Car version and motorbike version(waterproof ) Ambarella A7LA70 front camera rear camera mini discreet camera with GPS,speed camera function,

the only authorized Aliexpress seller in China:
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/938911

April 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterR180 newest firmware

I've had a Lukas 7950 front and back for over a year in an Auris Hybrid TS. It is very good and does what I want.. Wired in a doddle with a fuse tap. hidden behind the mirror to avoid distraction it is hardly visible. I bought it in Canada (much less expensive that here) and fitted to a hired RV as insurance. Unfortunately It was not plugged in when we saw the bear so no clips. I posted installation and details on Dashcamtalk and Toyota forums for those interested. It may be pricey in Uk but I cannot fault its performance. I caught a dropped manhole cover in Broughton and thought I had damaged a rim. Luckily it was Ok but the clip to sent to Flint CC would have forced the issue if it had. Great investment. I check it once a month via the Android app to make sure its working and recording but not had to reformat or touch it since fitting.
Your page gave me the info and push to go down this road. Have you done one on the home smart cam like the Samsung Smartcam for security?

April 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterIan

Hi Mat,
would like to talk to you on the phone please. Have included my email address. Want to talk to you regarding this camera and your video. 6 Years ago we nearly died from a rear end crash that destroyed my nearly new jeep. 10 minutes from our house on a stretch of road that has killled many people in the last 10years of me living here in Bulgaria. We have created a FB page to try and help reduce the deaths, as we had 2 nearly fatal accidents on this road. On the second crash the woman who hit us did die. we have a plan to help reduce this problem and it always needed 4 cameras. But what we needed was not made 6 years ago, but is now and from your video is exactly what I was trying to get at the time or even get made for us. This message relates to your comments on the video. and goes further than you did and goes to where you were talking about in the maybe future. If you can give me your UK tel no, I'll call you from BG no problem. My house no here 00359 6167 9929. I created a community page on FB called " We do not want to die on Bulgarian roads" but it has not got very far, due to lack of suitable cameras.

Have a great day and many thanks for your video, is a brilliant piece of work.

Tony, :-)

May 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTony Rees (Bulgaria)

Hi,
Thanks for the great reviews. I have looked up the Vico Marcus 5 in Australia and one website shows it has been discontinued. I am wondering how accurate that is. However my query is this: Do you know if this product can run without issues with the rear camera NOT installed?
Thanks
Regards
JD

May 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJD

Be careful with this product. Relatively expensive and power input failed after 19 months so don't expect it to last. Not a quality product.

October 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNick

You have produced some superb reviews on dash cams and I wondr if you have updated the latest DUAL camera dash cams in one place. I did like your idea of two of the smaller Marcus5 cameras, as that seemed ideal, but I believe they have not adapted that as I recently made enquiries. Any update would be very helpful if you have time. Many thanks and do keep up your excellent work.
Malcolm

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMalcolm Alexander

Hi Mat

I'm loving your reviews on dascams and thought your idea of two smaller cameras on the Marcus5 was great. I contacted the copany but have had a rep[ly to say that teh Marcus5 is being discontinued. Surprising as I thought it was rather good. However, you may wish to know about this as it's one less than is available.

Now looking at either the DD Pia M6 or the Mobius. I do like small cameras and if the mobius could just be put on the dash with a velcro pad and removed easily, that would be ideal. I would prefer not to have it suspended on the windscreen ..... thats one of the reasons I laike the DDPia M6 Plus.
Keep up the excellent work.
Malcolm

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMalcolm Alexander

Apparently several of the dashcams aren't available any more. The Vico Marcus being one of those. There's still 1 K1S on Ebay. ;)
Maybe about time for a new round of victims?

I would be most interested in a dual small camera with external screen. As my windscreen wipers don't pass behind the rear view mirror that's not a good place for it in my Chrysler Voyager. I think the dirt would influence the image, wouldn't it? I'd have to mount them somewhere else on the front so it would hamper my vision even more than the mirror already does. I'm pretty tall, I already can't look passed the mirror underneath without bending over.

Keep up the good work!

January 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGert van der Does

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