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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)

There's really only one model with three different types of lens (for different fields of view). It's also worth swapping the battery for a capacitor of its being used as a Dashcam. It's not a plug and play solution, requires a bit of setting up from the user. These links should give you idea what to expect and whether it fits your requirements.

http://www.techmoan.com/blog/2014/2/24/using-a-mobius-camera-and-some-accessories-to-make-my-ideal.html

http://www.techmoan.com/blog/2013/7/8/the-mobius-camera-the-do-it-all-mount-anywhere-1080p-micro-c.html

March 4, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Great, thanks Mat! Looking at the second link I do recognize the device, but didn't remember its name. But I don't recall seeing the first link with accessories. I'll watch them both today - thanks again!

March 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave K

For Dave - The standard Mobius is here - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mobius-ActionCam-Full-HD-Sports-Camera-1080P-30FPS-720P-60FPS-Pocket-Camcorder-/151071891306?pt=Camcorders_Professional_Video_Cameras&hash=item232c961f6a - the other variation is the wide angle lens.

Note there is no screen included and there is a fairly large heat sink on top, which I find does get hot on long term use but the quality and neat design is great.

March 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Thanks for the link and the information about the wide angle lens. I watched Mat's video about the available accessories and another about hiding it in a plastic housing behind the rear-view mirror. I want to see if I can find something like that for my vehicle. I may just pick up one of the Mobius cameras (maybe 2?) and use that for a while. Thanks, Daz!

March 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave K

This looks to be the dash camera I've been waiting for, I've been looking to replace my ageing BlackVue for a while now.

How do you think the rear camera would perform if looking out of a factory rear tinted window? Does the manufacturer plan to update the firmware to include MPH as well as KPH?

Looking forward to seeing a UK reseller.

Keep up the good work, I enjoy your reviews and you've got a bit of a following on the dashcam thread on pistonheads.

March 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave W

Hey Mat. Have you looked into kome CR900?. Its seems to have all the features this one has with better resolution

March 5, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterparker

First I've heard of it. it appears (from the scant information available) that each camera is a separate recorder in its own right and the LCD Screen is there to switch between them and provide the power. The cameras look quite large.

March 5, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Is there a good reason why car manufacturers do not offer new cars with an inbuilt dashcam as an option? After all, they can be had with parking cameras and all sorts of other technical wizardry. A built-in camera, utilising the cars existing lcd screen, would solve the problem of opportunist thieves - just as it has almost completely with car radios. An OEM camera built-in would undoubtedly be of a higher quality than the majority of dashcams flooding the market and they would be covered by the vehicle's warranty.
Re the K1S, it appears to be an excellent camera and hopefully the minor niggles will be sorted soon. Oh and the price needs to come down alot. Finally, thanks for a great review as always. Very professional - apart from the sellotape holding on your lapel mic!!!

March 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTerryC

Hi Mat,

Excellent review...I read this with great interest as its exactly the type of Dashcam I want...good to see you managed to get one to test, if you remember I sent you a link to this camera from Koonlung's website in one of your other dashcam reviews.

A couple of questions...how do you rate the image quality front and rear compared to a 0803 camera, and does it feel like a nice bit of kit regarding quality.

I must admit the price is quite off putting its way more expensive than two 0806 2nd batch cameras, it's a shame it's so expensive as I really like the idea of the descreet cameras and separate recorder...it's the way forward for dashcams.

March 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKlippie

Hi Peter Williamson,

I would love to see this camera in the Australian market as well. I contacted Koonlung direct to see what option Aussie buyers have but as yet got no reply. I am guessing our market is to small to be of interest to them just yet.

March 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChris H

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