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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

 

 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam
Yi

Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Drift Ghost X

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%! 

 
« CCTV Basics - Wired day & night outdoor camera. | Main | The Big SJ5000+ Action Camera Review »
Sunday
Mar012015

K1S - The first Front & Rear Hidden 1080p Dash Camera

My full video review for the K1S 2ch HD Car DVR is below. 
   
  
If you want to watch my 'Beginners Guide To Dashcams' video - Click here.
   
The K1S manufacturer website is here, and pdf manuals for the camera can be found here.
   
For my downloadable sample videos click here  As always, download these files to your machine before viewing them - streaming will make them look worse than youtube.
Note: These files have been manually trimmed for length (and filesize) - therefore the start and end points for the front and rear clips no longer match each other perfectly.
  
Size Comparison
The control unit is approximately the same thickness as a box of cards but a bit smaller overall (without cables).
   
Buying the K1S
I’ll add links below as and when I discover additional resellers. 
 
EBAY
US link here
UK link here
  
AMAZON
(US) With GPS: http://amzn.to/1MKU4lY
(US) Without GPS: http://amzn.to/1DBbUpZ
  
  
 
   
UPDATE 02 March 2015
I've received the answers to a few questions I asked the manufacturers.
 
1) The Car Lamp Open/Closed menu as expected does warn the driver if they are driving in the dark with the headlamps off. It judges this by the exposure.
  
2) Apparently the battery used is a Standard GoPro size....which is great. Normally I try to avoid dashcams that use batteries, because when the internal battery fails you have to replace the whole camera - in this case you can buy a new battery. Just a reminder -  I can't comment on the long term reliability of any cam after only a month of use.
 
3) I wasn't sure how the emergency button handled the files. I was concerned that if you saw something you wanted to keep - but the camera started recording the next file before you managed to press the button then you would be protecting the wrong clip. Well it turns out the manufacturer has thought of this. "When this button is pressed, if current recording is less than 1 minute, then current file and the file before this (together 2 files) are locked"
 
4) Not a question, but I have raised the issue of the need for resellers in China who can export to Europe and also the Speedcam database is no use in the UK until the camera can support additional database formats. Both these things are being explored...but the database issue isn't a simple quick fix.
>>>>>IMPORTANT - READ THIS... (OCTOBER 2016)
Both my cars had a K1S installed until a couple of months ago - They were still working 100% at the point I took them out. I removed them so that I could test other cameras, although I was getting a bit sick of the rear wire interfering with the rear hatchback door on both cars - this would work better in a car with a fixed rear window.  It seems that my experience is not the same as that of other people - perhaps the manufacturer changed the product after I purchased my cameras...but if you read through the comments it seems that other people are having lots of reliability issues. You may have noticed that this is no longer on my list of Recommended Cameras - and this is the reason. I was happy with the performance of both of my cameras for 18 months...but perhaps my experience was uncommon. 

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Reader Comments (642)

it doesnt look like theres a way to update the firmware. through gui. i guess it looks for a bin file.

March 26, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterchris

That looks good Chris, if I could make one suggestion though, I'd round down the KPH speeds rather than have them as fractions of whole speeds. That way you ensure you don't have any issues with the device possibly not being able to parse the given values.

March 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Thanks dave. I'll do that

March 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I got the K1s installed in my Merz this last week. I dont See Any Wires as it tucked right in around the rubber and glass, Brain is in the Glove Box, with the GPS inside and gets a signal. Did not mount on glass or dash. I wanted Not To See it From The Front.
The Cams are the Smallest Dual Lens Set Up Available in 1080P . Took about an hour to install it / front& back plug and play

Sound I have on Mute , i dont want to record conversations i have with passengers, and it makes me feel like i have watch what i say and uncomfortable so i just leave the sound off. Yea My Sound Was Like The Review, somewhat low and muffled.

I got it for $245 from Roadcam with Free shipping in 3 days. Came with an included Sony 32g Card and the extra items, like an event button switch that tags the file from being recorded over.
Menu is Basic Not Robust but does the job. Comes with Built in Registrations Viewer to stitch the video files together, and provide the GPS Maps to see the journey, and watch clips by clicking on the map. Uses only 1 Chip with the 2 Cams, others use 2 chips, with a big Bulky Boxxy thing up front. That is Old School and a Bust.

if your looking for Stealth, you found the SetUp.

March 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

also on the review of the K1S, i had to add another thing

it is in KM per hour, and you cant change it like other dash cams thru the menu options
its not there,

on the gps info maps it looks like your going faster than your are in KM's
i asked about it, and roadcam man said the factory knows about,
that he needs to order 1000 units order before they will fix it

I will look for another dash cam viewer that can take my km info
and swap to the mph, hoping a software solutions maybe the answer to this
cause it sort of bothers me being seeing it that way,

like i am speeding when i am not.

March 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

Does anyone know if when using the additional "emergency" button, you have the option to capture and protect footage in advance of pushing the button, 1 minute, 5 minutes etc, hope that makes sense..!!

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRuss

i will check on that Event Switch how it works, it right now in the glove box, and have not played with it. small buttons switch with a red dot in the middle and peel and stick will go just under dash under the steering wheel within easy reach.

what i do know, is you cant use Cheap Sd Cards that go for $8 16g $15 32g,
its ghost recording and buggy.

one minute i see front cam video, then it switches to back cam,
then back again, and sections of the video are missing, where it did not get stitched in.

a Sony Card came with it, but my Sony Cam Camcorder needed it for an event, and recorded other events and dont want to erase the card, so i went on Ebay to buy a Samsung EVO, funny thing ebay sends me an e-mail about the seller, and his storefront is gone, but i get the chip 3 days later.

Techmoan Warns about ebay Chips Fakes and He is Right,

It Says Taiwan on Back where it should Say Korea.
The Samsung evo Fake Worked Better, but still buggy on a few clips in 2 hour journey.

So What To Do? DashCam Talk // place to go for advice,

i find Lexar 633 listed of about 8 approved Dash Cam Chips, on a post that discusses this Chip Topic and ratings.
K1S Unit Has 2 Cams into 1 Chip So only the Best Quality SD Cards Will Work!

dont fool around with fake chips they dont Work!
ok for your photos and word docs, and music but not video.

The Lexar 633 16G / i know its small but pricey , $1.50 - $2 G /currently
i wanted to use a card that is approved on dashcam talk is why i went with it

I Could of Should have used the Sony 32 g card RoadCam Man sent with the Deal,
he says others don't report issue.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

@Eric Edwards Here is a memory card supplier I have used for many years and never had a problem, good reviews on Hotukdeals, and for a 32gb Micro SDHC UHS-1 card, which this unit apparently uses, the prices start at £11.99. Here is a link

http://www.mymemory.co.uk/search?searchTerm=SDHC+UHS-1

I do not work for them or have any interest in that company, and you use at your own risk, just saying they have worked well for me.

March 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrett

Parbold hill - I see you slowed down for the camera at the bottom!

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSkemperor

Hi Brett:

You Raise An Important Point in your above kindly Advice
and i did learn something from it.

UHS-1 Ultra High Speed vs Class 10 Blows it away in this youtube clip i found
on " whats the difference "
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7IL_tH5wx8

the for K1s to work its best, need better than Class 10

i think that is the issue with buggy recording and missing sections of video
at least on this unit because Its 2 Cams Video Feeds into 1 Card.
That is Unique
but Creates an Issue,

Class 10 i thought was the Best.

NOT SO i just learned some more here about UHS-1
http://www.integralmemory.com/faq/what-uhs-1

Thanks Brett for your input on this matter

March 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

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