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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)

It's too bad the audio is so terrible on the current version of K1S. (totally unacceptable) You can barely hear anything. If you don't need audio $199 isn't a bad price from SpyTec, Inc. I doubt it's anything that can be fixed via firmware, so hardware has room for improvement.

@DESFORM, tried the D36, totally unstable, don't recommend unless you like frustration. (bought two, both were the same)

March 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPier28

Excellent! This is the price point for me!

Question Mat... Will the one in the US Amazon links (SpyTec) be identical to the Koonlung one which you reviewed, or will they have different image quality etc?


Pier28... I think the 1* review you left on Amazon (under your alter ego 'JazJon') is unfair if the only issue you had was the microphone. This isn't important to everyone, unless you can expand on other reasons you only gave 1*? Is it because you won't be selling it on your online shop by any chance?!

March 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTheCarMadDad

Mat, surely with SpyTec using your review video on their website (http://www.spytecinc.com/k1s-1080p-dual-car-dash-camera-gps.html), they could do a special offer to all your subscribers of free delivery to UK and wangle something with Mr Import Tax Man Bloke? Couldn't they? Put me down for two!

March 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRiggers

Hi,

If people want to order the K1S from outside the U.S., they should order it on our website rather than through Amazon. USPS 1st class rates are generally pretty reasonable. Also FYI, ordering USPS International 1st class often allows one to avoid paying import duties .

Thanks!

March 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSpy Tec

Thanks PIER28 for the warning about the D36

http://www.iro-electronics.com/en/productshow.php?id=157

What price did u buy one ? unreliable about what are they ?

ANYWAY concept 2 lens cams one DVR are bound to come some days, because this is what most people want, not these ugly ducklings DUAL CAMS like the ones we see on ebay when we enter key words ""dual cam dvr""in the search

SURE ENOUGH, if MOBIUS INVEST THE MARKET, I think they would be much sucessfull, with no doubts...

HOPING, someone with enough money can get them K1S from china in bulk and resale them here in Europe, BUT preferably not in UK because their pounds rockets up any prices + the postage, it ends up being like u get it from the states

March 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDESFORM

@TheCarMadDad, I stand by my 1 star review. The super low weak audio is a total deal breaker and people should know. If Koonlung fixes it I'll gladly update the review. Also there is no such thing as a Roadcam or SpyTec "Brand" K1S edition. I'll be monitoring things and hope it gets fixed.

March 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJazJon

Well, I've just purchased directly through the SpyTec website. It was fairly painless to be fair! I chose the USPS 1st Class shipping as advised by SpyTec above. If anyone is interested the total price including shipping was £152.97, which I think is quite reasonable. It could be more if I end up getting import duty charges. Up to 14 day wait now :(

March 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTheCarMadDad

@TheCarMadDad Look forward to hearing if you have to pay duties. If you don't then I think I'll take a punt.

March 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRiggers

@ Jazjon - Seems a bit of an odd way to rate a product - I start by assuming everything is entitled to a maximum score and then mentally take points off for things I don't like (but everyone is entitled to their opinion - no one can be wrong when it comes to opinions). My score 4 out of 5.
If sound is vital then all pre 1930s Laurel & Hardy Films could be considered useless...but 'Big Business' - a 1929 Silent film where Laurel & Hardy try to Deliver a Christmas Tree to James Findlayson is one of my favourites.
Anyway, I've put a K1S in both my cars now.

March 19, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Can someone post the link fo rthe direct purchase on their website please.
i cant find it..

cheers
Hugh

March 20, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterhughdunit

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