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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)

Speed Cam Alerts info (please)

Hows that work?

whats it for? i know the K1S in the manual talks about it, Whats it do to help you guys?
Here in the USA that feature does us no good

=====================================
the way it works here is there is no notice,
and the cams at buy intersections take a photo
and they send you a bill in the mail

=====================================
and the cameras mis fire and send folks bills anyways
by mistake
you could end up serious issues if you dont pay
the list is long what happens so most just pay by mail
or cc card online to take care of it

most say its a racket, fraud, money maker for the city
but that does not stop them from using these intersection cameras

otherwise its a cop with a radar,
they too will send you a bill for $350 dollars for going to fast

====================================
you guys talk about Alerts?
here in the usa there is no alert

they just send the bill in the mail for hundreds of dollars

April 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

Also for You K1S Tech Wizards
that like to play with things

=================================
Menu Has LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System)
i guess that will help after the pub?

FCWS (Forward Collision Warning System )

has anyone played with this? and whats it do
the K1S does more than just Record Video i guess

Try a Regular Butter Knife as a Tool to hide wires under trim and around the windshield area
works great i have found as i redid my system a few times pulling the wires and starting over again.

April 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

Not in Techmoan Review

some might say read the manual or check out the review

==============================================
that is the reason the Tech Wizards Help is Needed.

No One Has Discussed it Yet
Techmoan says he dont use or need that stuff, and turns everything off
and prefers just to record vide front and back is what is important to him
he says he does not even use the gps just 2 cams and the dvr.

===============================================
any get the system going to what it does, and what its about
its not listed or discussed anywhere at this point

i was 1st individual to Post Install after K1S went Public
with Photos and a Review

You Got Something To Help Others.?...Show Photos....Tips and Tricks
visit / DashCamTalk dot com and talk about it,
listed bottom page under " other "

see Techmoans Review Forum Just Getting Started with users of K1S Dual Lens Dash Cam

April 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

Forward collision warning: This warns you if you are too close to the car in front.
Lane detection warning: This warns you if you are straying from your lane.

These are both things that I monitor myself whilst driving by looking out of the windscreen.

I tried these features out on one of the Vico Marcus cameras and they gave a lot of false warnings. Every time you go to overtake or move lanes on a roundabout the blooming thing beeps. With so many false alerts it's not a feature that can be trusted, so it's safer to turn these things off and instead use your eyes to monitor the situation around you.

My car has forward collision braking assist built in, where it will automatically brake if it determines that you are going to rear-end the car in front, that's all I need.

One bit of trivia. Cash for crash fraudsters sometimes disconnect their brake lights and stop suddenly in front of a car to deliberately cause a rear-end collision. If this is something that concerns you then play about with the forward collision settings, but expect lots of false positives every time you pull up behind another vehicle at a junction.

April 19, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi,
Just got my k1s. So far so good. Some observations:

- You CAN'T use a normal USB cable to the power input (bottom left input jack, when looking at the screen). It will somehow trigger the camera into thinking it needs to switch off the screen (same as when you use the the AV / Power combo cable).
- What on EARTH is that "windows os" sound (it sounds like some sound you will hear on your PC) that sometimes happens randomly? It is NOT the 3 tone startup sound, it is NOT the single beep sound, and it is NOT the SIngle warning sound (the one when you try to press the emergency button).
- Usually, after the "windows os" sound happens, recording will stop, then I will hear the single beep, and recording starts again. What is happening??? Why does recording stop for a few seconds?

April 19, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterpizzle

Whats Happening?

same thing to me and few others so far,
i call it " BUGGY RECORDING"
you will see this and more out of the box with K1S

why?
because its a 2 Camera Setup Going to 1 SD Card
others go to 2 Cards or 1 Camera 1 Card Setups
THIS IS UNIQUE TO THE K1S
issues can arise more easiliy

I Got It All Sorted out
and Others Too Have Reported Favorable Results

by Using the Proper Correct SD Micro Card installed
DO NOT USE FAKE OR GENERIC CARDS
cant say it more often, but this is where the problems start with 1st

=============================================
experiment with UHS-1 Cards only
dont use generics or fakes
you get " whats happening "

==============================================
that Windows OS Sound is 4 Tones, is Shut Down
it is musical and sounds decent. the K1S sounds are adjustable volume and off

startup is 3 tones
i rather like the sound, when i start the car as it is re-assuring things are powering up
there is a Red very small light on back of each cam, its hard to see but its there
It Does Not Distract You like the " other guys " with big blue and red leds let you know its on.

I'm not Distracted when i Drive
Nothing to See, My Cams Are Hidden,

i went stealth

=========================================

that 1 tone beep is G-Senor Firing off with every bump in the road
marking your files with a "!"

you will see them, in that long list of files and numbers
Video Viewer Stitches it together so it makes sense

===========================================

Good Luck with Your Install
others just like you are here talking about the issues and how to resolve

some folks have not received the K1S
Sold Out! Back Ordered,
Great You Got Yours!

We All Are 1st Group Of Pioneers
to Use This New Dual Cam Dash Cam

So Far: only Hundreds not Thousands
Own this Device

April 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

I found a link to the US vendor to purchase (less expensive) with free shipping inside the US: http://www.spytecinc.com/k1s-1080p-dual-car-dash-camera-gps.html

Cheers!

April 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChrisM

Update to my situation:

After much delay for various personal reasons, I got my K1S on Thursday (ordered direct from Koonlung).

Installed the unit Thursday evening. Everything seemed fine when in my driveway parked with the key in the ignition (did not start the engine).

I had a long drive Friday (5 hrs, approx. 500 km) on which I assumed everything was working. I had made a couple short pit stops (which had me turn on and off the ignition) along the way. When I arrived at my destination, I found short clips (about 9 seconds) for when I departed and at each pit stop and nothing in between.

Long story short (though still sort of long), after much trial and error and diagnostics attempts, I figured out that with the supplied 12V adapter, the unit would power when I started my car, start recording (for about 9 seconds), then the screen went black (which at first I thought was the screen turn off setting at first, turned out it wasn't that). I tried another power adapter, which turned the unit on and off repeatedly (think every 15 seconds).

Finally, a third adapter seemed to do the trick and keeps the unit powered on and recording. I am no expert, but it appears the unit must be provided with very specific and/or steady voltage/wattage and my cars 12V sockets must not provide that . Luckily, the third adapter appears to be working for now, however I thought I should share should anyone else run into the same problem.

April 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKarel

Regarding the power on/off/on/off issues - ensure you have some slack cable at the camera ends (you don't need loads, just enough to ensure the camera can be moved without the unit resetting). Also ensure that the USB plugs for each camera are securely inserted into the main unit.

April 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Also @pizzle - the noise you describe is exactly the same as I've been encountering.

One thing I did notice is that the unit takes no notice of what the initial menu settings are - you have to go into each one in turn, and set your desired setting. The G-sensor defaults to 0 (off) however I believe that it is still polled by the camera unless you actively set it.

This is the same with the park mode, motion sense and any other feature listed in the menus.

April 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave

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