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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
DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam
Yi

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%! 

 
« 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)

Thanks Techmoan!

for update on K1S Feature LDWS (lane departure warning system) and the FCWS (forward Warning System)
good advice Turn It Off, and Trust Your own judgements by looking thru the windshield
if someone needs that feature they should not be on the road, or must like beeps while driving.

I DONT HEAR ANY BEEPS AT ALL,
only the nice musical tone on and off
===============================
GOT IT ALL TURNED OFF
Sound Included
all i use and want is 2 Cam front and back recording, with GPS info To DVR Recording
Thats It! and finally got it, without seeing anything, no cams no wires, it just works.
I USE LEXAR 633 CARD WITH GOOD RESULTS on the recording,

i am a simple man only wanting decent front and back recording in case of claims and evidence.
IT MAKES ME A BETTER DRIVER SOMEHOW......knowing i am recording myself,

April 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

Gosh Eric Edwards, why are you posting in that format and layout? Just like the way you have been posting in Dashcamtalk forum, it is so hard to read and follow what you are trying to say.

April 20, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterefoo

Looks like my power on/off problem is back. I had a good 2 hours of it working fine. Then at about the mid point of a drive home (about 10 minutes) it suddenly just turned off. When I got home, I turned the car off/on again. Unit powered on for the magical 9 seconds and turned off. Nothing was moved/changed/touched at all during my journey or time between. I had given the cameras some slack as suggested before all this. So I guess it's not the power adapter, or the camera cables. I doubt its the SD card as its a genuine SanDisk 32 GB and it seems to record to it fine. I restored the device to default settings and it seems to have fixed the problem again (for now). But now I am just not sure what is going on. If anyone has any other insight, please let me know. I would like this device to be set it and forget it, but so far it hasn't given me that confidence.

April 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKarel

@Karel, that sounds similar to how the previous dual channel Koonlung (pre-K1S) product behaved. Just when you thought it was working ok, it would randomly power off a few hours/days or even a week later. I was not confident the product was ready for prime time, and I'm still not convinced the K1S is.

April 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPier28

@Pier28

That's unfortunate if true. I really like the product. It's discrete and when it does record, the video quality is excellent (I don't care about audio). I really hope this issue can be resolved. I have contacted the manufacturer for help. Hopefully there is a solution.

April 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKarel

Eric - calling people names will get your comments deleted. From now on - no statements, rants or crazy nonsense. I only want to see comments that help people. This is supposed to be a friendly place for people to discuss things. Lunatic BS has no place here.

April 21, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Sorry Techmoan,
10-4 on that

April 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

Will Change My Format, i did not understand, that leaving white space between the lines would create such " issue " not only here but on dashcam talk. a few say hard to read. I am using a 22 inch samsung. my Posts if reviewed from the beginning are very helpful as i was 1st to receive the K1S in the USA . Did an Instal Review. there are Known Issues and Problems at 1st, & i give kindly advice on How to Resolve. on your YouTube Channel, hundreds of Posts, I have read each one. Recently 4 days ago, a fellow who has a K1S reported seeing the Cam 1 and Cam 2 Flip Recording. in other words on the Video File Viewer he sees the journey cam1 but then all of a sudden, without notice watching cam2 on the same video file. He Asked What that was.? Your Answer was brief " Have You Checked Your Cables maybe they are reversed." In Previous Posts I have Mentioned many times this same thing happened to me, and what resolved it. "It was Not the Cables" Not Plugged In Correctly. My Questions is How Could That be possible where the cam1 cam2 flip on the same video file number and that be a cable issue?

April 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

It is also reported here by others, that it might be a good idea or option to do just that. Reverse the Cam1 Cam2 Cables. Works Just Fine, The Cable Length 3m on the front 6 m on the rear. Reversing Allows The DVR to be In the Booty. Plus it Puts the Higher Def on the Back where the Jackass is. Most Issues i encounter come from the rear, maybe reversing the cables is a " good idea " Cables are USB if you need longer length Leads on the Cams its easy to locate an extension. How Long Length? not known yet

April 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

Technical Question: Reversing the Cams Works, but at different Bit Rates. Questions is does placing Cam1 on Cam2 Port change the bit rate. Is it on the cam circuit board or on the main dvr. will it stay low the bit rate on cam 2 port if cam1 is installed. another questions is the Length of the Cable. Does this change the Bit Rate? techmoans review indicates the specs for the front and back bit rates if you need to know.

April 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

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