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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.

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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.

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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%! 

 
« Creative Vado Review and Sample Footage | Main
Wednesday
Jun042008

Sony HDR-TG3 with a Wide Angle Lens

TG3 With Lens Attached

I briefly owned a Sanyo HD1000 camcorder. This camera has a particularly narrow field of vision so I also bought a wide angle lens attachment for it. It turns out that the lens was dreadful as objects off to the sides were totally out of focus. This was my first taste of separate lenses as I've always bought cameras that don't accommodate lenses. (No SLR's, DSLRs in my history). Despite the poor results this experience made me more aware of the potential of lenses and how they can be very useful under the correct circumstances.



When I recently bought the Sony TG3 I was aware that due to it's design this camera couldn't accommodate any lens accessories - but that's a small price to pay for a beautiful tiny camera with a built in lens cap (unlike the HD1000). The field of vision of the TG3 is considerably better than the HD1000 and pretty much on a par with all the other compact camcorders.

However, inspired by my experiences I made it my mission to seek out a way of getting a wide angle lens to fit the Sony TG3. I only intend to use this when absolutely necessary, when there is no other way to get the shot I desire. I have this niggling concern that on my holiday I will be stood in front of the colosseum in Rome and my camera will only manage to get two or three pillars in shot at once and I'll have no option but to pan left and right to give an impression of the majesty of the thing.

I only want to use a wide angle lens on very very rare occasions, just the odd shot here and there. The main reason for getting a TG3 was pocketability and I don't want to compromise this.

Anyway, I managed to find a 0.45x wide angle lens that is supposed to attach magnetically to a digital compact stills camera. It arrived today. Its not exactly professional quality - but it's good enough. The Lens comes in a small bag, and has two lens caps, one for each sides of the lens (these fall off a bit too easy) and a lanyard to attach it to your camera or camera strap. Also in the bag are two self adhesive magnetic hoops and the rear portion of the lens itself is magnetic. The idea is that you stick a magnetic loop to the lens on a camera and then magnetically attach the lens to this loop when required.



The LensSize Comparison

The first problem I encountered is that the area surrounding the lens on the Sony is slightly recessed from the front. The base of the lens was just a couple of mm too wide to fit in the recess and therefore would be unable to touch the magnetic loop. I solved this by stacking both loops on top of each other so that they were now level with the front of the camera.



Magnetic Loops 1Stacked loops

The only other problem is that the camera shows slightly less on the LCD screen than what is actually recorded. So when recording I can't see any lens infringement on the corners of the image - but when it comes to editing the vignetting is quite apparent in the corners if the lens isn't lined up absolutely perfectly. The solution is to zoom in a bit when using the lens .

The operation of the camera is un-infringed by the magnetic metal loop and the flash bulb is still visible (although it gets blocked if the lens is attached). I believe that the camera's aesthetics remain pretty much intact and the extra flexibility afforded by this modification is worth the slight disruption in the neat design. It is completely reversible too, the metal loop can be peeled off and the camera restored to it's normal state.

Attached 1Lens Front View

I wouldn't call it a 100% success due to the lens being visible in the corners of the image unless extra special care is taken. However I do think it's as near as I can get given the limited space available to mount a lens. It'll be good enough for me for the handful of times I'll need to use it.

TG3 Without Wide Angle Lens

TG3 Without

TG3 With Wide Angle Lens

TG3 With Wide Angle Lens

HD1000 With & Without Wide Angle Lens (for comparison)

HD1000 Wide HD1000 Normal

Click to Download a Sony HDR-TG3 Video Of Pachinko/Pachislo Machines With & Without the Lens Attached

Click to Download a Sony HDR-TG3 video of Wigan Park with and without the lens attached

(I slightly cropped this video in iMovie08 to get rid of the visible lens in the right hand corner- this was very easy to do).

I've now uploaded this to youtube and have embedded this below - but I suggest you double click on it then select the 'Watch In High Quality' button on Youtube to get a better image.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UVX42OVszc]

So now when I am off on my trip I can pop the lens in a pocket and if the situation requires it attach it on the camera to take in a wider vista. I'll probably also take a panning shot of the same scene without the lens and then decide which clip I prefer when I get back and start editing the footage together.

The lens was bought via Ebay and cost about £22 (a number of sellers have them at various prices). The lens is an M-Power Wide Lens 0.45x"

SEE IMPORTANT 2009 UPDATE HERE

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Reader Comments (34)

Nice work. Does the image stabilization still work properly after the conversion? I've heard others reported wierd motions after attachment of a wide angle in earlier models of Sony camcorders.

Thanks.

June 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

Hi Jackie.

I'm currently out of the country heading towards Gibraltar on Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas (hence the delay in replying). I haven't noticed any negative effects on the image stabilisation, it seems to function as it should. The TG3/TG1 uses a different type of stabilisation to the other Sony Cameras (a new variant of Digital rather than Optical)and therefore might not be affected in the same way. If I notice any weirdness, I'll report back.

June 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTechmoan

Hi There!

Just got a TG3 and I'm looking to get the lens you got.

However, when I do a search, I find that it comes in 2 different varieties -

Large - 17mm-27mm

and

Small - 10mm-17mm

Which one do you have?

I don't want to buy the wrong thing.

Thanks!

June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSid Scott

Hi Sid - The lens I got was the 27mm outer ring size lens. This was the Ebay Auction I got it from
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330238270171

It has come in very useful on my holidays. It was the only way to get all of some of the sites in Rome in the shot - the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain especially.

June 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks!

Wow..that's spooky! Before I got your reply that's the EXACT same lens and company that I was eyeing to buy from!

:)

What do you edit using? I've just got the camera and it's great...alas not so great for editing and filming in low-light (I like to film at gigs and whatnot).

I noticed that in the supplied Sony PMB software the movies get cut down in size quite a lot from the original when you convert to MPEG? Is this normal?

June 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSid Scott

Also,

Have you tried any other lenses or accessories on the camera?

I notice that the Battery Light is listed as a supported accessory on Sony's site, but how do you attach it?!

June 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSid Scott

Also, again...sorry!

I just bought the lens off ebay.

How long did it take to get to you? Cos I noticed from the sellers feedback that although he's stated as being in Glasgow, he posts from Poland???

Just wondered how long the wait is!

June 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSid Scott

OK - In reverse order.

Postage:
It took about a week - I forgot about the Poland/Glasgow issue. Yes there is something weird going on with his profile - but it took about a week if memory serves me right. I was expecting it in two days from Glasgow so I emailed him to ask where it was and he responded immediately - but it turned up the next day anyway.

Other Accessories:
Other than the official case and the two spare batteries that I carry around (essential) - I haven't tried anything else myself.
The Light that attaches to the TG3/TG1 is the HVL-10NH - it sticks out from the camera attached to a bracket screwed into the tripod screw - it looks awful. http://tinyurl.com/2zotxq

Editing:
Editing AVCHD is a nightmare at the moment and I have struggled to find an ideal solution. I haven't tried the stuff in the box.
Imovie08 is simple to use - but lacks some of the features I need. I bought Sony Vegas Studio because its one of the few programs that will keep the DD 5.1 track produced by this camera. It will however only output in a max resolution of 1440x1080 and it runs like an absolute dog on my 2.2Ghz Macbook running under Fusion.
I have therefore moved to Final Cut express on the Mac - it uses loads of disc space and takes its sweet time to render - but its my best Mac Based solution. I believe that Pinnacle Movie Studio on the PC is very good too. I have just got back from my European Cruise with about 5 hours of AVCHD footage to edit down - so I'll no doubt be an expert by the time I finish.

June 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks for the advice!

Yeah,having that problem too with editing.

On a PC at the moment but getting a Macbook Pro soon with Final Cut Studio but the issue of 5.1 Surround (or lack of) when converting does concern me.

Let me know how you get on?

One question I think you missed..I know I know, there were lots..was the issue of low-light and/or event and concert filming?

I've found low-light and indoor and night shooting to be HORRIBLE!

Any hints?

Thanks!

June 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSid Scott

Sorry Sid - I did miss that one...

I'm the opposite of you I only really film outdoors.

You've probably already tried manually turning up the exposure a couple of clicks as well as trying the Twilight Scene setting - I think that dark footage is not really this camera's forte.

The 5.1 sound will of course down mix into stereo in software that doesn't support it. Most camcorders only shoot in Stereo anyway. I don't think that it's too much of a handicap - but it would be preferable to keep the soundtrack in 5.1. Presumably this will come in the next version of Final Cut.

June 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTechmoan

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