Pick of the Cameras

(Click the pictures for reviews & links)

ALL THE ONES THAT I LIKE ARE SHOWN BELOW. 

ACTION CAMS

Sony AS100V

SJ4000

TCL SVC200
SJ1000
 
Sony AS15/AS10
Liquid Image EGO

DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
G1W Budget 1080p Cam
Mini 0803
Vico WF-1
Vico Marcus 3
DOD LS430W
Mobius
MINI CAMERAS
Innovv C1
Mobius

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MY CAMERA REVIEWS ON YOUTUBE

Dash Cams

Action Cams

Spy Cams

YOUTUBE.COM/TECHMOAN

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

 

 

Articles by Category

            

Thursday
Aug282014

I'm not dead...I'm on Holiday

Just had to post this quick message to say I'm not dead, just on a cruise ship with dial-up speed internet that costs $100 for 120 mins. It's almost impossible to do anything other than send an email...posting this has taken 30 mins. I'm aware some clown has posted a comment saying I'm dead...and whilst being on a cruise ship gets pretty close at times...right now I'm still here. Things might change when I have to settle my bar bill though. 

Sorry that I don't have the opportunity to moderate the comments right now, but things will be back to normal next week.

 

Mat. 

Monday
Aug112014

Simplify travel charging with the Anker 5-Port 40W USB Charger 

Charging devices on the go is a lot simpler now that most things can now be charged via USB, and whilst I still use some stand-alone camera battery chargers, this Anker device is capable of looking after pretty much everything else.

Here are some purchasing links to most of the items seen in the video

Amazon UK

Anker 40W 5-Port USB White  Anker 40W 5-Port USB Black

UPDATE: It appears that Amazon are having trouble keeping up with demand for the Anker - if it's out of stock Click this link for an alternative device on Amazon UK 

Amazon US

Anker 40W 5-Port USB White Anker 40W 5-Port USB Black


Other items (all UK links)

 Coloured Braded USB Cables (Amazon)

US Figure 8 Power Lead  Euro Figure 8 Power Lead (Amazon) 

Panasonic TZ60 30x Zoom Camera (Silver) (£290 Manufacturer Refurb on ebay)

Kindle Paperwhite  Sony RX100 M2 Camera (Amazon) 

Saturday
Aug092014

The World's Smallest Tape... actually sounds good.

I've always been fascinated by miniaturisation, but whilst many modern solid-state advancements leave me strangely unimpressed (256 GB Micro SDXC...yawn) when it comes to the world's smallest tape , that's another thing entirely.

 

If you want to buy a Sony NT2 - a police surplus auction on ebay (UK) have a couple left at £80. They are advertised as 'for parts only' and come with no accessories or tapes, and whilst mine works fine it's definitely a gamble. 

Wednesday
Jul232014

First! - The Omate TrueSmart 3G Smartwatch

My Omate TrueSmart watch turned up today. This is definitely my most successful experience with a Kickstarter campaign to date. When I backed it in September 2013, it sounded a tad overambitious, but true to their word Omate have delivered. It's a few months late - but they've used that time to iron out some kinks rather than hurry out an unfinished substandard product.

Within two minutes of unboxing the watch, it was connected up to WiFi and I was viewing my website on a comically tiny screen. It has definitely made a good first impression, however if you've been here before you'll know that I like to test things properly before formulating an opinion. So bear with me whilst I wear it every day for a couple of weeks before putting my full review together.

Here's a very quick look at the watch.

UPDATE: (Almost) Two Weeks Later

I've been wearing the watch daily since it arrived and now my full review is below.

 

I've never reviewed smartphones because I feel that the hardware is often much less intersting than the apps that run on it. That sentiment also applies for this smart-watch. I haven't found a killer-app for it yet, but that's not to say that one day it won't be made. 

I'll be be interesting to see how Apple overcomes the inherent limitations of a tiny screen if their wrist device ever comes out. It's much more clear to me, now that I've lived with a smartwatch, that most smartphone activities like browsing the internet, watching videos and typing are just not practical on a tiny screen.

A successful wrist device will therefore need to do things very differently to a smartphone. I'm really not sure how this could work and what it will look like - but I'm confident that it's not going to be as simple as shrinking down a smartphone and slapping it on a wrist strap.

Tuesday
Jul222014

Adding some boom to a 1975 Panasonic TNT

This is what I did on Sunday.

Repair videos like this look simple but they are the most difficult videos I make. Trying to take something apart and repair it with a camera in the way isn't easy. I have to make sure things are framed for the camera, and my hands aren't obscuring the view, whilst also trying to perform a delicate task. There is also no way to know whether the repair I set out to attempt is going to be successful. If something goes wrong they are no second chances - the video will just get deleted.

Nevertheless when these types of video work out, I think they are especially entertaining to watch. I made a conscientious effort to edit this video down to within an inch of it's life. I went through the video multiple times in an attempt to shave off any unnecessary seconds of footage. Hopefully as a result you'll find this one moves along quickly.

I'm fully aware that no one watching the video will ever replicate my repair, so I'm just attempting to achieve the same things as the average TV cooking show. If I've done my job properly, you'll find this video easy to watch and you'll have learnt nothing by the end.

Saturday
Jul192014

Batteries Cables and Confusion

Extending the power lead on a dashcam.

I’ve had a lot of questions recently about extending the power lead on the Mini 0803 dashcam - because the supplied 3.5m lead isn’t long enough for some vehicles. So to answer those questions here is the solution I use myself. (Links to all the products mentioned are at the bottom).

i) Buy a new USB A Male to Micro B Male lead of the right length (link to 5m cable below)

ii) Buy a vehicle accessory socket (lighter plug) to 5V adaptor. Most dashcams and phones need a 1 Amp supply, so I use an adaptor that outputs 2x1Amp. That way I can power my dashcam and my phone at the same time. I use a Griffin - beware there are lot of cheap fakes of this which are useless and probably dangerous too. For that reason I’d only buy from Amazon Direct themselves and not even any of the resellers on there. If you find a cheap one (below £5) then buy elsewhere.

If you drive a vehicle with a 24V power socket (HGVs etc) then you will need a 24V capable USB power adaptor, rather than the 12V adaptors commonly used in cars.

Don't be afraid of amps.

Whilst I’m on the subject of amps, the level of confusion about these is surprising, because when it is stripped down to the basics, there is very little to know. Below is my quick generalised guide.

(If you believe yourself to be an expert in this field and feel the urge to post a comment to educate everyone about electricity - Don’t. This really isn’t the time or place).

Most modern USB devices need 1 Amp to charge and often devices like phones and tablets will charge quicker when they can draw more amps. You really don’t need to research the specs of your devices though, because it’s foolproof.

USB chargers always supply 5V. Whether they plug in a wall, a car, a bike, use solar, a wind-up handle, a battery pack, and irrespective of what country you are in - you’ll always get 5V out of a USB socket.

Now as far as amps go, that’s easy too. A device will only draw as many amps as it can handle. So if you plug a phone that only needs 1 amp to charge into a 2 amp USB charger, it won’t damage it, because it only takes the level of amps it needs. If you plug it into a 500 millamp device (0.5 amps) it may not charge at all.

If you plug an iPhone into a 2.1 amp iPad charger, it will charge quicker than they it does on the iPhone 1 amp charger. The same goes for many other devices that come with a 1 amp charger in the box. Computer USB ports supply 500ma or less - hence the slow charging when you attach your phone to your computer.

Below are the links to all the items mentioned above.


 

Battery Packs

To all those people who ask me whether you can run a Mobius camera (or insert camera here) on a USB battery pack the answer is yes. If it can run off USB power from a car or a wall plug then it will also run off USB power from a battery pack. All USB power looks the same to the device - it’s just 5V. The only thing you need to check is whether the battery pack you choose outputs sufficient amps to power the device.

With battery packs the amount of power they store is shown as mAh (milliampere hours). The larger the number, the longer the battery can power your device. A bigger capacity battery will also be physically bigger/heavier and take longer to charge up itself - so it's up to you where you draw the line. Outputting 2 amps from a battery pack will drain it quicker than outputting 1amp. Below are a few battery pack examples that have 2.1amp output sockets on them.

Wall Plugs

To those people trying to charge an SJ4000 action camera on their PC USB ports and wondering why it never charges up - then you know what you are doing wrong. Buy a 1 amp (or better still a 2.1 amp) USB wall power adaptor and charge it on that. I'd recommend you try to replace your 1amp chargers with 2.1 amp models wherever possible as you might find that your existing electronic devices can charge in half the time.

Right, hopefully that’s that cleared up now.