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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)

Testing in Progress, Results Pending. DVR is in glove box. not changing anything other than " swap cam1 for cam 2 " using the reverse ports. I am putting the Rear Dash Cam on Port 1, and will report what happens. Weeks of Video Footage will be used to compare, to see Difference of Front and Rear Cam Video. wont take but 10 seconds to change the cable on the dvr. Doing It Today. Question is Can I see the Jackass Behind Me Better and do the Lic Plates Show up Clearer Further Away? will report back if the video stays constant, flip out, or if segments of video become missing or corrupted.

April 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

End of Test/ Results. Swapped the Cam1 and Cam2 cables on the DVR. about 2 hours today on it. Loaded it up on the Registrations Viewer and See the Journeys Fine. 1st I check the Map to see if any Breaks in the Sections. I did not see any. The Cams Do Record. No Video Flipping Going on where the front and back cams switch back and forth. I also did not notice much if any improvements, as i was hoping. Did Not Take Long for " you know who " to show up. It is Not Always a Guy. Women are Becoming Tail Gaters with Flashing Lights and Passing with Disregard. I did Not Notice the Plates any Clearer as i had thought. What Effects the Video the Most for me is Glare, and Sun Angles. Our Plates are Smaller and Have a Reflective Coating which makes it harder to see the numbers. Overall it works but offers no real benefit swapping cables and cams. Going Back to way it was.

April 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

Has anyone found somewhere to buy the K1S dual dash camera in the UK yet?

Joovuu has stock coming in, but I had such a bad experience with them recently I am reluctant to try again. Bought the Mobius camera which took a month to come from payment. Camera was faulty and then took another month to get my money back.

April 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

For the Dutch, Belgian and German: The Dutch website www.safeye.nl is now selling this camera too for a fair 249 euro. It can be found right here: http://www.safeye.nl/nl/koonlung-k1s.html

English page: http://www.safeye.nl/en/koonlung-k1s.html

April 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSafeye.nl

I've switched out my DAB aerial from the screenmount aftermarket kit to an OEM roofmount with OEM shielded antenna cabling, and can happily report that the K1S no longer interferes with the signal at all.

On checking the aftermarket kit, the cable was regular coax, not shielded coax therefore was hugely susceptible to EMI.

Other than the camera alerts being massively irritating (which I guess is the point), I'm now pretty happy with the K1S - the night performance is still poor but it's summer time and it doesn't get dark till after 9pm at the minute, so I'll put up with it for now!

April 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Now available on eBay as pre order! Shout out made to Techmoan on the listing for his excellent reviews!

April 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterIdris Patel

Went ahead and bought one of these because of your review instead of one I'd been looking at for about a month (can't remembrer the name of it though) and boy am I glad I did. I was able to hide all of those excess wires behind the little screen in the space below the radio in my 2013 Nissan Juke so they are barely noticeable. I'm thrilled with the video quality and how discreet these cameras are. Thank you so much!

April 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlison Eldet

<novel>
Well after two weeks of ownership, I am still impressed with the form factor and video quality. I can't say the same about the reliability.

My unit seems to have a mind of its own as to when it will work. I'd I change to the default settings it works for a couple days with no problems. But then it will start randomly turning itself off and on until after a couple more days it will only start up when I start my car, then turn off about 9 seconds later and not come back on until the next engine start. Then I reset to default settings and the whole cycle begins again.

I've tried new SD cards, different cables, camera connections, and everything in between. It seems to work fine on battery. I can't figure it out for sure, but it's either the unit itself, the 12V cable or my car. I don't have access to another car to long term test if it's my cars problem (2009 Hyundai Elantra) and I have no issues with other devices plugged into the sockets, so I figure it must be the cable or the unit.

I have reached out to the manufacturer and have so far had no response besides an inquiry into the firmware version.

At this point I will keep the unit in my car for when it does work, but I am disappointed I can't rely on it to work all the time.
</novel>

April 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKarel

@Karel I have not had those type of problems except when the camera cable was stretched too tight.But your problem sounds different.
Have you tried the power of social media to get your unit exchanged/repaired? They do have a Facebook page...

April 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrett

I just tried to buy this from Amazon US but they won't ship to the UK. How did you get yours techmoan?

Amazon's reason:

"The following types of items can’t be shipped to buyers outside the U.S.: video games, toy and baby items, electronics, cameras and photo items, tools and hardware, kitchenware and housewares, sporting goods and outdoor equipment, software, and computers.
Amazon may be restricted from shipping to your country or location due to manufacturer restrictions or warranty issues.
There may be item-specific shipping restrictions, for example hazardous-materials restrictions. See the product detail page for information.
You may have chosen an offer from a seller who doesn’t offer international shipping. Try looking for another seller."

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmethi

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