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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)

Hi Dave - I have been looking for a high quality dual lens camera recorder like the K1S for the last few years. I went to two electronics shows in HK in October 2013 and after visiting 165 suppliers still didn't find what I was looking for.
I have bought and sampled many cameras from Koonlung (even the K1 - predecessor to the K1S) Samoon,Jagco,Camshot and a nice unit from Zowietek but it was only D1 and very disappointing quality.
I keep in touch with all these companies to see what they are developing and the K1S has been released to get into the market and Koonlung "will improve the video in due course" !! - It is all about first to market with a new product, they forget that these are cameras and we want quality images.
I would have my own camera developed however the cost is prohibitive.
Naturally the manufacturers are chasing the high volume markets like Russia where image quality is not the highest priority and so most cameras have very poor video.
I just want a high quality dual lens camera that I can use here in Australia! - any ideas

March 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Williamson

Hi Peter Wiliamson. Thanks for the follow-up! You sound like you've had a lot of experience looking for a great quality product. And I understand manufacturers chasing the mass market. Watching dash cam videos on YouTube seem to come almost exclusively from Russia. I wish you good luck in finding something that fits your needs (and would definitely fit my own needs as well).

Any thoughts on when (if ever) something like this could come to market? I'm going to keep an eye on this K1S since it would probably do everything I would need, even if the video quality could be better. Unless, of course, something better comes along before I make the jump on this product! :-)

March 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave K

Hi Dave - I'll check tomorrow to see what I can find out and let you know
Cheers - Pete

March 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Williamson

I don't understand the need for better quality than this. It's not like we're shooting The Hobbit with these cameras. This camera and pretty much all the other models I've tested recently produce excellent evidence of who did what in a crash. If anyone has watched the Car Crash Britain (or whatever it's called) programme on ITV....an entire program made up of Dashcam footage....and not one clip is of a comparable standard to this camera's footage. However every single clip perfectly shows the cause and results of each crash. That's all that's needed.

March 4, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat - I guess I'm looking for more than just a dashcam for evidence of an accident, and yes these cameras are ok and the K1S is very good for that. For me I am looking for something that can also be used in the recreational market and the video quality is important. I understand it is a different application but it's just what I am looking for.

March 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Williamson

I still think a couple of Mobius's (Mobii ?) , one front and one rear on one of those very compact sticky mounts is the way forward for a discreet 'all round' system, permamently wired to an ignition controlled power point is the way forward. Not only is the quality great, less than £100 for both cameras but very discreet because of their small size

March 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrian P

Yes, I agree that there's nothing wrong with that solution for a multi camera setup.

March 4, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

At last - price seems steep but then we are spoilt by the £45 mobius! - That said how hard could it be for them to make a mobius which supported a second remote lens?

March 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDerek

I concur with my learned friend Derek - not much to wish for is it.

Mobius still rules....so far

March 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Is there a specific model of Mobius that folks like? I haven't looked into that dash cam yet.

March 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave K

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