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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)

It's now available on eBay as pre order, due to be delivered by 21st May to the customer.

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterIdris Patel

@Karel - if you have access to a multimeter, it might be worth checking to ensure your alternator is putting out enough voltage for the unit to work with. A healthy alternator should put out between 13.7-14.5v when the engine is running. If yours is putting out anything less than 13v with the engine running, then you might have an issue.

As consumers are switched on, the voltage could drop to a level that the camera is fussy about. Stuff like EPAS (electrical power assisted steering) can consume lots of power, meaning that issues such as this can rear their heads.

Of course, it could also be a fault with the K1S but as you say it works fine on battery, that sounds like a supply issue more than anything else.

If you enable parking mode, does the unit continue to work? It should - when it detects the power loss (or drop below its comfortable voltage) switch over to the battery. If it does it, this could confirm or deny a supply issue. Worth a try anyway!

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave

to all K1S owners that have a mac , the datakam software is avalible here (as well as newer versions 6.0 for windows seems to stabilize the heading over 5.8 (whats included) would jump around alot on the heading)

link:
http://datakam.com/download/

April 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNicholas S.

@Amethi

Joovuu will be shipping in the UK soon

SpyTecinc from USA New York also ships internationally and has this in stock today

Also, Amazon has TWO options when you buy something. Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA/Prime) and Fulfilled by Merchant. The default is FBA and they won't ship internationally for electronics. Click the "3 new from" small hyperlink on the listing, and choose Spy Tec's other non FBA listing.

April 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPier28

Another Test Coming Soon, got 2m lengths of Micro USB Leads from ebay on the way. want to know " how far cams go " from the DVR and still record clear video. this would be good to know for large Vehicles or RV. Will Report Back how many sections of leads, can be connected in series. Another Test will attempt to Remove the Glue on Lens Threads, and Manual Adjust FOV, see if i can get sharper focus further away. any body else with Tips Tricks and Install Help on the K1S let others know

April 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

I've just tested the new Datakam Player as linked by @Nicholas S and it has a KMH/MPH switch in it, so although KMH is overlaid on the video, the speed readout on the player is displayed in MPH.

To set it, select the View menu, then Measurement, and British System (feet, miles).

April 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave

BAM ! got another K1S for the Girl Friend, right now all she uses is a " baby on board " decal on back window to hopefully keep some drivers more than 1 Car Length Away. I use Ebay and Paypal all the time, So I Did TechMoans Direct Link above on the Review, and Found the K1S easy
I only had to press Buy Now $239.95 Free Shipping, & Pay. Done! no cc card info, Got An E-mail confirmations with Tracking #
TechMoans ebay Link is Good and Arrives in 3-4 days Instock ready to ship. For Those that use Ebay and Paypal Its The Way to go.

April 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEric Edwards

did that include the GPS? how about Warranty & SD Card?
spytech says 90 days, no card installed, and gps thats optional +20.
what other retailers got this in the USA? you guys got me interested in this thing, but dont know much about it.

April 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBlake K.

I got Mine on Amazon couple weeks ago, after seeing the review.

Spytech was Back Ordered on Website, but it showed up on the Amazon Site. so i got the K1S,
but it did not come from spytech.
It Came From Roadcam Dan. He sent it out Fast and had SD Card in it.
Going to have my Husband install it for Mothers Day Gift, for myself and our children. Bless His Heart.

April 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSusan S.

I ordered the K1S (w/GPS) from SpyTec on 19MAR2015 through Amazon and received it on 22MAR2015. The first control box was defective. It would reboot constantly and every 30sec or so, it would go into Alert mode. I contacted SpyTec and they replaced the control box without issue.

The K1S, IMO, is the best out there 'today'. I had been using Techmoan's reviews, but when I heard him say it was his 'favorite' dual cam setup, that sold it for me. The VQ is quite good. The audio, well, I can hear everything (road noise, me, my stereo, etc...). Along with the replacement box, I was also loaded with an April 2015 firmware, so, it "might" be that they fixed it. I don't know.
My menu setup is fairly generic: LDWS-off; G-sensor off; FCWS-off; LCD Screen Off-3min; using Lexar 128GB micro SDXC; hard wired to IGN fuse. All wires hidden, tucked and secured. No issues with EMI. Camera see's right through heavy tinted ceramic window tint.

I tried Park mode once, and really, the thing just ran for about 30min before the battery died. I guess it could be useful in a crowded parking lot. I really like the GPS and speed indicators. Our small county in Georgia loves to generate revenue.

May 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterImpliedConsent

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