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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)

You can not find the link because does not exist.

March 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterThanos

The website you are looking for is http://www.spytecinc.com/

Being a US store it's pretty much guaranteed that you'll be charged import duty if you live outside the US.

March 20, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Techmoan,

I am thinking of getting this for my motorcycle. I have a vstrom, very similiar in size and layout to your bike. Do you think this could be installed in a motorcycle nicely? I am thinking I could mount one camera somewhere in the front, perhaps underneath the light cluster and one on the rear near the fender. HOWEVER, i figure the main problem is this isnt waterproof and wont be easy to remove when it rains. This with waterproof cameras would be the ultimate motorcycle dashcam/black box.

March 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike

This is not suitable for a motorcycle.

March 21, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks for responding techmoan, my search continues for a tiny remote water resistant camera i can install on the front of my motorcycle with the brains elsewhere attached by wire!

March 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Hi Matt, thanks for the reviews. My cheap mirror camera with rear camera quit working, I have been looking for a better replacement that is still a bit stealthy, and today an old woman ran into the back of my van, said she did not and drove off, side-swiping a car as she pulled into the lane to get around me,stopped and cursed them for being in her way, and drove off.
Such a dangerous and nasty driver, and she could have been off the road if any of us had had a front/rear dashcam.
Any idea of how reliable the K1S will be, as I know Street Guardian said the K1 was rubbish?

March 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrett

Hi Matt, thanks for the reviews. My cheap mirror camera with rear camera quit working, I have been looking for a better replacement that is still a bit stealthy, and today an old woman ran into the back of my van, said she did not and drove off, side-swiping a car as she pulled into the lane to get around me,stopped and cursed them for being in her way, and drove off.
Such a dangerous and nasty driver, and she could have been off the road if any of us had had a front/rear dashcam.
Any idea of how reliable the K1S will be, as I know Street Guardian said the K1 was rubbish?

March 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrett

I've just ordered a K1S from Spytec... well, I've actually ordered two but one was from Amazon before reading the comments on here! Fingers crossed Spytec cancel the amazon order as requested!!

Roll on up to 14 days!

I've also put an order in for some 90 degree rear angle Micro USB adaptors to drop the wires down the back of the main unit rather than have them poking out the side, £1 each from some Chinese seller on ebay so fingers crossed they all come at the same time and a nice discreet hidden install is on the cards :)

March 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave

@ Brett - there's no-one on the planet who is able to advise of the long term reliability of the K1S yet - since it's only been out a few weeks. I'm now using one in both my cars and the short term reliability is great.

March 22, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

@Techmoan - I've had a quick look at the Navitel DB, and it is nothing more complicated than a Comma Separated Values (.csv) file.

I've got a hunch that the Pocket GPS World database will be able to be used in the K1S by downloading it as a .csv file and reformatting it to the same header as the Navitel DB. This way, us UK lot would be able to use the speed cam functionality.

Of course, this is provided that modifying the PGPSW DB is allowed by their Ts & Cs. If I can find anything out I'll report back.

March 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave

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