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Pick of the Cameras

(Click the pictures for reviews & links)

ALL THE ONES THAT I LIKE ARE SHOWN BELOW. 

ACTION CAMS

Sony AS100V

SJCAM SJ4000

SJCAM M10

TCL SVC200
 
 
Sony AS15 / AS10

DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
G1W Budget 1080p Cam
A118 Wedge Cam
Marcus 5 Dual Camera
Vico WF-1
Marcus 4
DOD LS430W
MINI CAMERAS
(Some of these also work as dashcams)
Innovv C1
Mobius
Polaroid Cube
HTC Re

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 and experienced too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. 

NOTE - Some cameras work more reliably with Class 6 Cards as a Maximum (The Mini 0801 is an example).

VERY IMPORTANT. These links go to the product, but not necessarily to the Amazon Direct supplier. I recommend selecting from Amazon themselves not the reseller storefronts..even if it costs a bit more. 

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

CLASS 10 CARD

 

CLASS 6 CARD

 

 

            

Important Info For Companies

I never approach companies to ask for review samples, so if you get a request from someone pretending to represent Techmoan.com, it's bogus. I've been informed about one fraudster who uses the email techmoanreviews@gmail - so please be careful.

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 Give this a few seconds to load up - if it doesn't, try a different browser (Chrome works for me) or try again later. 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
At present the only stockist I've found for the K1S is in the US. The cost of importing means that this isn’t a viable option for UK residents. I’ll add links below as and when I discover additional resellers. I expect things to pick up soon on this front, so keep checking back here for seller updates.
   
   
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.
Saturday
Feb072015

The Big SJ5000+ Action Camera Review

Twenty-odd years ago I worked in HMV. I remember being amazed when people came in the shop asking whether the latest cinema release was also available to buy on video. Fast forward a couple of decades and within a few hours of the  SJCAM SJ5000+ being announced as a preorder, scores of people emailed me to inform me that the camera was out now, asking me when my review would be ready. It seems like some things haven't changed much.

I don't know why people thought that I wouldn’t have heard about the SJ5000+. My previous SJCAM reviews have amassed a couple of million views, so it's a company that I naturally keep a close eye on. I bought their SJ5000+ as soon as it went on sale and I've been testing it for the last few weeks.
 

The reason I mentioned the fevered anticipation for the SJ5000+ above, is because I wonder if the pressure on SJCAM to deliver a follow up to their big hit, the SJ4000, may have resulted in this camera being rushed out before it was ready. It's definitely in need of a few firmware tweaks to get rid of bugs and the battery management could have done with optimising before the camera went on sale. 

I'll have to consider this to be a review of an unfinished product.  I intend to revisit this camera if improvements are made to the way it performs and perhaps then I'll also get the chance to take it out on the motorbike on a sunny day.
 
Watch the video below to find out all about the SJ5000 Plus. Both the good.... and the not-so-good.
 
 
  
If you want a 1080p60 SJCAM now, there are some affiliated buying links below:
The ebay links are here: (click your country) UK  US  AU  DE  NL  FR
   
For my sample videos and stills click here (give this a few seconds to load up - if it doesn't, try a different browser or try again later).
As always, download these files to your machine before viewing them - streaming will make them look worse than youtube.
Other cameras I've recently reviewed in the SJCAM range (all capable of 1080p30).
 
Also note that at the time of posting - Amazon UK have a great offer on the Sony AS30 at £130. This camera may not have a live video screen, but it does record 1080p60 video and has excellent quality video stabilsation, stereo sound, WiFi and GPS logging.
IMPORTANT UPDATE - the Battery life is now approx 55 Mins (Using firmware 1.7) 
See video below for more info.

 

Sunday
Feb012015

JBL Pulse - The Bluetooth Speaker Party in a can

If you've seen some of my other HiFi reviews you'll know that I prefer to enjoy my music with a healthy dose of visualisation. Whether it's VU Meters,  Spinning Reels or LEDs, I like my music to move as well as it sounds.

So with that in mind the video below is my first (and likely my last) review of a Bluetooth speaker.

 

I bought mine as a refurbished model from the UK JBL outlet store. I have no idea if they will ever have these on offer again so if you really can't wait, the Amazon links are below.

 

Wednesday
Jan282015

For crying out loud - just stop getting scammed.

I’ve received an email from someone who has sent money to a random paypal address and are now asking me where their goods are. Apparently the people who requested the money must have said that they are associated with Techmoan.com. I have no idea what the scammers claimed to be selling. 

Let me spell this out. I do not sell anything. I do not charge for anything. I do not want your money. 

The way that this website works is as follows. I buy things. I make youtube videos about those things. I then link the video description box back to Techmoan.com where I have useful links or sample clips. It’s the simplest idea in the world.

The way I make money is from the youtube and website adverts that are automatically served by Google Adsense, as well as from any purchases made via the affiliated ebay and Amazon links you’ll find under each article. That’s it. Nothing else. 

If a manufacturer of a product wants to contact me (I’ve stopped interacting with resellers) then there is a CONTACT ME box on the ABOUT page. This sends me an email. If I respond to the email, the response will only come from the domain @TECHMOAN.COM. 

Just in case you don't know how a scam works, you may recall the bloke who sold the Eiffel Tower for scrap or the chaps who sold the Statue of Liberty, or Tower Bridge. Those items weren’t really for sale and the person ‘selling’ them was not acting on behalf of the true owners. Anyone who paid money to acquire those items will have lost it 

Scams nowadays are easier because the internet means that there's no need for face to face contact. So there is nothing to stop someone setting up the email address HRHTheQueen@GMAIL and then offering to sell the Crown Jewels for a tenner.  It’s highly unlikely that you would fall for that, so don’t fall for someone setting up a I’mTechmoanHonestGuv@GMAIL and asking for your money or products. 

I never actively ask anyone to send me anything. All contacts are first made as incoming messages from the CONTACT ME form on this website.  

All I want to do is make videos and I really don’t need this extra nonsense. The last thing I want to receive when I’m sat at my desk (doing my day job) is an angry email threatening to get the police on me and shut down the website. 

This is a one-man website - I’m that man. I do everything here, my name is Mat. The person who emailed me apparently sent their money to two people called Adam and Jamie - neither of those are me. You may have seen the warning I posted on my website last year about a scammer using the email address techmoanreviews@gmail that isn’t me either.

All you have to remember is that I just make videos and you don’t have to pay me anything. If you want to give your money to a random stranger, then put it in their hand in the street, don’t send it to a paypal address for someone you’ve never met or researched. 

I don't do Facebook, I've stopped posting anything to @Techmoan on Twitter (other than automatic youtube updates) and I have just one youtube account (youtube.com/techmoan). 

Now please let me get back to making videos...that's all I've ever wanted to do since I started this back in 2009. 

Sunday
Jan252015

The Epic Drift Ghost S Helmet Camera Review

I say epic because it took me almost three months to put this video together. Pretty much everything I can say about this camera is covered in my half hour video review below.

Click Here for downloadable sample clips. As always, don't try to stream these, as (obviously) you'll just get streaming quality, instead download the clips and play the files locally. If you find this link to be unresponsive - try using the Chrome browser and if that fails, take a break and try again later. The Dumptruck website I use sometimes has issues - but it's the only file sharing site I trust not to auto-delete my files after a few days.

If you want to buy the Drift Ghost S... there are some affiliated links below.

 Ebay: UK  US  AU  DE  NL  FR

  

Monday
Jan192015

Mini 0806 and SJ5000+ have arrived...

My inbox is full of people asking whether I'm going to review the Mini 0806 dashcam and the SJ5000+ action camera. For every email that I answer with "yes, I will when they arrive, but my reviews take two to three weeks to put together, so it will take a while, but you'll know when the review is finished because I'll post it on youtube and it will show up in your subscribed videos feed", I'll receive another three people asking the same thing. 

So I'm just posting here to say that my Mini 0806 and SJ5000+ both finally arrived yesterday and it will take me a couple of weeks to shoot and edit a full review of each. I like to test things thoroughly and discover as many quirks and features as I can (like the undocumented orientation sensor on the Polaroid Cube ). So I may not be as quick as the typical youtube video 'review' of a mumbling kid opening a box in the dark filmed with a potato...but hopefully the results will be a bit more worthwhile.

If you don't want to wait for my review, there are some affiliated links below.

 

UPDATE - The Mini 0806 was faulty and has been sent back for a refund.

I've really lost confidence in this particular camera now. I received a pre-production model in October 2014 direct from the manufacturer that never worked properly (it wouldn't auto start recording)... so I felt that it wouldn't be apropriate to make a video about it. However the model that arrived yesterday was the final retail version bought from an ebay store. It wouldn't receive power or GPS data from the new mount supplied with it or the mounts from my pre-production version. This confirmed the fault was with the camera and not the mount. I checked the wiring and saw no obvious issues. I also noticed that the buttons and case felt a lot cheaper than those on the pre production version I received last year and the rotating mount was difficult to move.  I did successfully update the firmware on it to the 16th January 2015 version which suggests to me that the camera wasn't a fake even though it felt and acted like one. 

Well that's one less thing to test, just the SJ5000+ to work on now.

Sunday
Jan112015

The HTC RE -view

One of my more popular videos of 2014 was a review of the Polaroid Cube camera. The HTC RE appears to be aimed at the same audience as the Cube. It's a hard device to categorise, it's not really an action camera but it has a wide angle lens, can be attached to a bike and record rain or shine for 90 mins on one charge. Now whilst the Cube just recorded video or stills, the HTC RE ups the feature list by including WiFi, slow motion and timelapse. The extra features packed in the RE result in it costing more than the Cube and it's up to you to decide whether these features are worth the price premium. Watch the video below for the full review.

The slow motion feature whilst fun doesn't produce the sharpest results and the timelapse mode requires the camera to be paired via wifi to a smartphone app - but it can be disconnected once recording has started. I've never been a fan of smartphone app controlled devices - I find them to be a hassle to connect up, so it's a shame that the timelapse mode can't be accessed without the app.

I'm glad that companies like HTC are trying out new concepts and designs. For some people the HTC RE will be a very handy mini camera, it is definitely not for everyone, but it's clearly not supposed to be.

I enjoyed using the HTC RE, and I plan on featuring the timelapse feature again in a future video, once the weather has improved a bit.

DOWNLOADABLE CLIPS
I have uploaded some sample videos and photos to DumptruckDo not stream these as this downgrades the quality - you need to download the clips and then play them back from your computer to see their true original quality. 
  
PURCHASING
I imported my camera from the US via ebay, but it's now officially available in the UK so you can buy the camera and accessories from the official HTC store. 
 
There are links below if you prefer to buy the HTC RE camera from Amazon.