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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Sony AS100V

Drift Stealth 2

Git2 Pro

 

Dazzne P2

Xiaomi Yi

SJCAM SJ4000

SJCAM M10+
SVC200
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
G1W Budget 1080p Cam

A118 Wedge Cam
Koonlung K1S
Marcus 5 Dual Camera
DrivePro 200
Transcend DrivePro 220
Transcend Drivepro 520
Marcus 4
MINI CAMERAS
(Some of these also work as dashcams)
Mobius
Polaroid Cube+
Mobius
HTC Re

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 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). A lot of cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB - so don't just buy the biggest card you can - read the specs in the manual first. 

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

 

 

            

Monday
Jun202016

The flashing lights on this EL USB cable aren't just for show.

A short video about a USB cable that's a bit smarter than most.

The links below are affiliated.

   

 

Friday
Jun172016

Star Wars Scratch-Hologram Vinyl 

A quick video looking at the Holographic Star Wars The Force Awakens soundtrack record.

You can buy this record from Amazon in the UK and the US amongst other places.

If you've got ten minutes to spare, take a look through the youtube comments to see how many people insist on informing everyone else that Jack White and Rush used scratch-holograms on records first (without themselves noticing that dozens of people already posted this same information)....bizarre with a twist of irony.

Sunday
Jun122016

Vantrue Dashcam Discounts

I have been given some discount codes to share for the Vantrue Dashcams I reviewed recently. These are fathers day discounts and are valid between 13th June 2016 and 19th June (or until stocks run out).

Important

The Deal times are active from: 13th June 2016 00:01 PDT/BST until 19th June 2016 23:59 PDT/BST

Outside these times - the deals Will Not Work.

Vantrue N1

Using the Discount Code YHBTWINU at checkout will unlock the following prices.

Amazon US: $69.99 http://amzn.to/1UJQoFa

Amazon UK: £59.99 http://amzn.to/1PmHysV

Amazon CA: CAD$99.99 https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01A4YUITY

Vantrue R2

Using the Discount Code UHBTWINY at checkout will unlock the following prices.
Amazon US: $99.99 http://amzn.to/1PmGF3w
Amazon UK: £79.99 http://amzn.to/1PUmCiu
   

I have been advised that the codes mean "You have been there when I needed you", which is a Father's Day message. 

Thursday
Jun092016

Bring out the Gimbal

It's always great to try out some tech I haven't used before.  So when I was offered the opportunity to try out the AiBird Uoplay Smartphone Gimbal, I couldn't refuse.

I'm a big movie fan, there's nothing I enjoy more than discovering a great movie from the 60s or 70s that I haven't seen before, and the way that the look of movies has changed over the years, can often be attributed to the technology that was available at the time. For example in the 1960s, smaller hand held cameras gave filmmakers a way to get out from the film sets and shoot gritty street scenes in real locations. 

More recently, improvements in digital photography have allowed filmmakers to shoot scenes at night time using ambient light. The improved low light sensitivity of a digital sensor over film stock has made movies like Collateral,  Drive and The Revenant possible.

Steadicams started off being used for a handful of shots in a film, but they quickly become a standard tool in a filmmaker's arsenal. Before the steadicam, to follow an actor walking through a scene, a dolly track would have to be set-up to give the camera a smooth surface to roll down. This restricted the length of the shot, it meant the camera couldn't shoot angles that might show the track, it would be difficult to go across uneven surfaces or up a hill, and going in any direction other than a straight line was problematic. A steadicam operator can do away with the track and follow the protagonists round a corner, through a doorway, and up the stairs. It has changed the whole look of movies. 

Nowadays an amateur video maker can shoot 4K footage with a smartphone, and by using a handheld gimbal can achieve results that a filmmaker in the 1960s could only have dreamed of. 

A gimbal is still very much a product for an enthusiast, rather than the mass-market, but for those people who want the benefits of a steadicam but can't afford $25,000 - it's a revelation. 

Watch the video below to see how I get on with the Uoplay 3 Axis Gyroscopically Stabilised Smartphone Gimbal.

PURCHASING

You can buy the AiBird Uoplay Gimbal from Amazon in the US 
ebay links are below - Click your country to find the best price. 
UK  US  DE  CA  AU  NL  BE  FR  CH  ES  IE  IT 
When buying items from China, don’t forget to factor in potential import duty charges.
The official website for the AiBird Uoplay Gimbal can be found here.

 

Sunday
Jun052016

Retro HiFi: The DBX Disc

One thing that often comes as a surprise to anyone getting into vinyl for the first time is surface noise. As soon as the stylus touches down on a spinning disc there’s a noticeable background rumble. You could spend thousands in trying to eradicate this, but turn the volume up and you’ll discover that whenever one object scrapes along another, surface noise is inevitable. 
  
The absence of any background noise was one of the things I noticed when I listened to a CD for the first time in 1982. The complete lack of vinyl rumble, or tape hiss between tracks was something that was impossible to miss. A father of a friend who sold BAE aircraft around the world brought a Sony CDP-101 player back from a business trip to Japan. I remember turning the volume way up in order to hear what wasn’t there, just as much as what was.
  
In addition to no surface noise the new CDs had no static cracks and pops, and classical music recordings benefitted from the expanded dynamic range offered by the new format. Other attractions were of course the smaller size, longer playing time, easy track access, and a resilience to dust.
  
It turns out that many of the ‘new’ features available on CDs were already possible with Vinyl, it’s just that most people weren’t aware. Track access, random play and  each side play were all possible with the right turntable. Lesser known is the fact that zero disc noise, CD levels of dynamic range and reduced pops and crackles from dust were all features available on the obscure DBX disc format since the early 1970s.
  
In this video I look at (and listen to) DBX discs for the first time, and I’m shocked with the results. Watch the video below to find out more. 
You can still find old DBX Disc decoders on ebay where you can also find some DBX encoded records. The Discogs marketplace is also a good place to source DBX discs.
  
UPDATE: 
In a (soon to be proved misguided) attempt to placate the angry crowds brandishing pitchforks and flaming torches - HERE IS A DIGITAL RECORDING of the first two minutes of Pramlatta's Hips. 
 
You can hear the needle drop at 2 secs in...the silence after that is the lead in and then the music starts. There has been no manipulation of the recording - it's just phono out from the DBX 224 decoder into the audio in of a Sony HDR-MV1 recording in PCM WAV
  
I still feel that analog audio can only really be experienced in person, not via a digital recording - just like a photo of a oil painting, while all the information is there it's just not the same ...but hey what do I know, I'm just some guy on the internet.
Friday
May272016

Dashcam Battery pack lets you record whilst parked

The Cellink B Dash-cam battery pack is an unusual device that can only really be explained in a video. In the past I have reviewed the DOD SP1 camera provided by HDigital Eye in the UK, so they got in touch again to see if I would demonstrate the new Cellink B dashcam battery pack for them. Watch the video below where I expain how it works and go through the various installation options including hard-wiring it to a fuse box. 

In Korea where they take their dashcams seriously, this is a best selling product. In the UK dashcams are still quite a niche product, which makes this is an accessory for a niche product. As a result, the vast majority of people watching this video won't have a pressing need to buy one. However from the feedback I receive, I know that there are also a lot of people interested in recording video whilst their car is parked...so this could be the thing that they've been waiting for.

Purchasing

If you want to buy one (and are in the UK or Australia) the links are below.

ebay: UK  Australia 

Amazon UK
Monday
May232016

Cheap Gadget: USB LED Dimmer light

I have been asked to feature cheaper gadgets every now and then...so here's the cheapest yet. 

 

You can buy these USB 6 LED dimmer lights from the links below (Click your Country) 

UK  US   CA   AU   DE   NL   BE   FR   ES   CH   IE   IT 

They are also available on Amazon - but usually cost more and often still come from China.

Amazon UK  Amazon US 

The Pebble USB Battery Pack can be found (heavily discounted) on Amazon UK or Amazon US

Friday
May202016

Harman Kardon Aura Airplay Speaker

I bought a refurbished Airplay speaker I'm very happy with. Here's my video about it.

I bought it from the Harman Kardon Outlet Store where they sell refurbished models. It's much like the Apple Refurb store where the items look brand new...but even better as these products come in standard packaging.

For people elsewhere in the world - you could always try your luck on ebay.