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Advice on how to buy a good cheapy?

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  • Advice on how to buy a good cheapy?

    Are any of the cheap 4k Hd Action cams that are for sale on eBay any good? I've ordered 3 of the $25 items now and none are any good. I don't know what to look for. I'd like to just have a decent helmet cam for biking and XC skiing.

    Probably quite a few thousands of ppl will be looking at my videos. They are meant to be innovative in my sports. So they need to be good quality despite being low cost.

    My needs are simple and I won't be doing any modding. I want sharp video and a wide view. I also at some point need image stabilization -- is it possible to add that in post-processing? If not, I'll need it in the camera.

    I make innovative ski and bike videos that are helpful additions to these cultures but I can't afford a GoPro. My first ski video was just an old cam taped to a tree -- got 300k views and is considered very helpful. I've also taped an old cam to a helmet and made some popular videos that way -- before GoPro was widely available.

    Thanks for any tips!

  • #2
    Please feel free shraing your youtube channel links here.
    Donate here if you want to support my efforts and this site.

    Email me if you have any offers, requests or ideas.


    • #3
      Hi... OK! Here is my channel:

      And here is one of the first videos we made in 2007. ...I found a better version and uploaded it in 2010:

      We made this one with a Go-Pro:

      We make these because "official" xc ski videos out there feature athletes and expensive resorts in perfect conditions. We encourage ppl just to get outside in winter and have fun for free anywhere there's any amount of snow. You don't need anything fancy. Skiing is in big trouble and also the ppl of Michigan tend to gain weight and get depressed every winter. We want to fix that. By showing fun. But we need a good quality video image to do it!


    • #4
      Thanks! I'll check those out. Being able to see samples would be great. But all I need is "sharp." I suppose that means diff things to diff ppl...


    • #5
      it looks like the Ausek and the SooCoo are the only 2 with EIS that hopefully work well out of the box. -- is that right?

      ...the first one also has EIS but it makes me nervous bec it apparently needs modding to work well?

      Of the Ausek and SooCoo is one known to be better? I've seen "Allwinner" mentioned quite a bit.
      Last edited by JeffOYB; 11-24-2019, 11:21 PM.


      • petesimon
        petesimon commented
        Editing a comment
        Ausek/Q6H does not have EIS. Soocoo C50 does have EIS buts its mild/minimal.

        If the Dbpower D5 has a Sunplus V50 chip inside, then EIS is quite probable.

      • petesimon
        petesimon commented
        Editing a comment
        You may need to to increase your budget to around $80 to $100 USD. For example, the Akaso V50 series or Thieye T5 series.

        Like this one -

      • DrekiTech
        DrekiTech commented
        Editing a comment
        D5 does have EIS and it is reasonable *for the price* but not as good as the step up cameras. Do note I have not tested the D5 on my helmet yet, only my bike handle bars. If you increase your budget to $100 USD you will get a camera with much better EIS and sharper video, for example the akaso V50x is one of the better budget EIS (or campark V30 seems to be the same camera from initial tests). Audio quality on those last two suck but if that does not matter for you then maybe that is a good option. If your budget absolutely has to be as cheap as possible the D5 is going to be my present recommendation though.

    • #6

      All your samples look fine to me.

      I do need EIS. (The Ausek specs say "EIS: optional." I wonder what that means! I thot it meant you can turn it on or off. But maybe it means...?)

      What do you mean the D5 not as good as 'step up' cams -- mean the ones that are somewhat better? If i got D5 wd i need to do a mod for useful quality?

      I'll make a couple samples of my bad cheapies to show. Jaw droppers.

      It's amazing how BAD the cheapies on eBay are! and their angle of view might be 60 deg as likely as the 170 or 140 they claim! and the image is so FUZZY! The wifi was very sketchy on the one that I tried to use the wifi. The other was a 60 deg view so I'm immediately asking for refund and haven't tried the wifi. both of their image quality is BAD.
      Last edited by JeffOYB; 11-24-2019, 11:24 PM.


      • petesimon
        petesimon commented
        Editing a comment
        Better to believe reviews by users and not believe everything in sales sites.

        Note that there is just "EIS" , and there is real EIS which actually stabilizes the video image. So plz don't expect real EIS from sub $50 or $60 cams. Compare a Firefly 7s to a Firefly 8SE for example.

        Oh, I am waiting for my jaw to be dropped! Surprise me

    • #7
      Can you see this? I uploaded a short video sample that I took with my latest $20 cheapy.

      For me this clip has a nauseous quality when the camera moves -- it doesn't flow. there's a lagginess. And it's washed out. And low-rez. ?? What do you think?

      Another weird thing on my camera is the Settings mode. I've tried finding a link to a manual for mine but can't. Similar items have manuals but with different settings. Mine has options in the Settings mode called Recording and another called Motion Detection -- both of these have On / Off options. I wonder what they are? I have turned on the Motion Detection setting. Now I see an icon of a running figure in the Record mode. I tried it out with both of those settings turned on and I can't tell the difference with what it does. Weird.


      I've been looking at reviews of the DBPower D5 at Amazon and the video samples uploaded look TERRIBLE shown in large view on my 15" laptop. ...Maybe it's just the Amazon video upload hurts the quality? When I look at the review on YouTube the quality looks good.

      Also I see that Amazon is selling two different looking versions. DBPower D5 and also one with a silver band across the front -- it says 20mp compared to 14mp of the D5 -- and the silver-band one is $5 cheaper.
      Last edited by JeffOYB; 11-25-2019, 03:41 PM.


      • petesimon
        petesimon commented
        Editing a comment
        thanks but the google drive link is somehow protected or blocked. could you grant public access to your link ? or could you re-upload the video file to pcloud, dropbox, or yandex-disk and share a new link here?

    • #8
      hi... i just got notice about this. i added your email. thanks so much for your time and thoughts about this!

      i don't know if i changed anything but it says anyone with this link can view:


      • nutsey
        nutsey commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh, the image quality is really awful...

      • petesimon
        petesimon commented
        Editing a comment
        another decent budget cam is the Firefly 7s and clones of it. AC-Robin firmware can be loaded successfully, and some f/w features are different, I don't remember which. Basic EIS is available and working too. See posts here and video samples are here .

        Clones that I had & tested were:
        1. Elecam Explorer REXSO Dual, with basic EIS - samples here
        2. Sungo S9100, with basic EIS - samples here

        Surprisingly, the EIS in both clones (but not FF7s) was quite nice for their $55 to $65 USD price.

    • #9
      Hey how do you measure field of view for these cameras? I see many say they are 140-170 degrees.

      Just using my own guesswork, that's almost half of a 360deg view. 180 degrees would be from one side of us to the other side entirely -- all the way left to all the way right. ...but not anything BEHIND us. ... a 90 deg view would be if you can see from straight in front of you all the way to one side.

      Am I right?

      I have a cheapy action cam marked 140 degrees that seems more like 30 degrees! the widest cheapy action cam I've bought doesn't seem quite 60 degrees yet it's marked 170 degrees. what's up?

      basically the 140 degree item isn't usable -- if you stand 10 yards away from a car you can't even fit the whole car in the view.'s tightly cropped, like a telephoto. the opposite of wide angle.

      but maybe i'm not understanding the view angle measurement right?


    • #10
      Thanks everybody -- i ended up ordering a DBPower D5. I saw a youtube sample and it seems decent. we'll see!

      say, has anyone posted a guide to buying cheap action cams on ebay? it seems like the public should be guided and warned. you guys have awesome insights. ...though with all the knockoffs it might be hard for any layperson to have much confidence no matter what they do! at least to warn ppl that the cheap ones below $30 are likely not accurately described in a few critical ways -- like quality, EIS, view angle -- might be helpful. (ebay is down for me right now. maybe the guides already exist!)


      • petesimon
        petesimon commented
        Editing a comment
        has anyone posted a guide to buying cheap action cams on ebay?
        haven't seen that yet.

        okie dokie. please share 1080p, 2.5k, and 4k mp4 (or mov) videos samples via google drive when you get the camera.
        here are my samples from a similar looking camera - - download them first
        Last edited by petesimon; 12-12-2019, 02:13 PM.

    • #11
      Hi! I recently got a D5 DBpower cheapy. It seems a lot better than the $20 super cheapy I bought before. Much wider view. Sharper. Easier to use in every way.

      Here are a couple 30 sec samples...

      Video shot at default setting out of the box:

      Video with image stabilizing turned on -- when it's on it seems that the auto-exposure no longer functions:


      • #12
        DBPower N6
        Novatek 96660 chipset
        Sony IMX078 sensor
        touch screen
        voice prompt
        and decent EIS (stabilization) at 720p and 1080p
        ~$30 on Amazon or

        More info in another thread -
        Last edited by petesimon; 01-24-2020, 07:13 AM.


        • #13
          any good source for extra batteries for these? ...especially for DBP D5. i see a few options on eBay but they say NOT for D5. sigh...


          • nutsey
            nutsey commented
            Editing a comment
            We could widen our searches with Akaso V50 Pro/Pro SE batteries, but I can't find any as well.

          • petesimon
            petesimon commented
            Editing a comment
            These batteries should fit some cameras made by TAT electronics, including: Akaso V50 Pro, DBPOWER D5 , and DBPOWER EX7000


            Try searching for the battery's model number B028115350001

            click the small photos shown above

            - I can't yet find much in other sites. 😿
            Last edited by petesimon; 01-24-2020, 07:27 AM.