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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

 

 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam
Yi

Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    MINI CAMERAS
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
    HELMET CAMERA
Drift Ghost X

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 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.

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

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%! 

 
« (Finally) A Real HD Mini Keyring Spy Camera #11 808 | Main | The £34 HD Media Player »
Saturday
Feb052011

My review of the Sanyo VPC-CS1 pocket 1080p Camcorder

Many thanks to Sanyo for sending me their VPC-CS1 camera for review. I really enjoyed my time with the camera and as you can see from the review it is capable of taking some stunningly clear video. I think it offers the best value for money in pocket camcorders today - especially if you manage to pick one up at Amazon for £110.

I just want to say one thing about pink coloured electronics - does anyone buy these? Every year I see the January sales full of unwanted pink versions of electronics whilst the black/silver devices remain at full price. Surely that is an indicator of the lack of demand that exists. For every teenage girl who wants a pink camera - there must be hundreds of adults who would rather have something a bit more subtle. I bet I'm not alone in feeling that it also cheapens the whole range of products concerned, making them associated with toys and fads. It might be crazy - but I think I'd be be less likely to buy a product where a pink coloured version also exists in the range. Anyway, rant over - but I want the manufacturers to realise that for every pink device they sell, they may well be losing out tens of sales in more normal colours.

 

Back to the VPC-CS1, I won't be trading in my trusty Sony TG3 camera yet, but it wouldn't take too much for Sanyo, Sony or even someone else to get me to upgrade - they would just have to bring out a new camera that meets all these requirements. 

Vertical Orientation

Pocket Size

Wide Angle Lens (I'd happily sacrifice my 10x zoom for an 8x if I could get a wider angle lens)

Auto Lens Cap - Absolutely essential for a one handed camera

720p - I'm not too bothered about 1080p in a pocket camera - it's also easier to edit (forget 1080i)

60fps - This would enable me to do better slow-motion.

Decent & quick Still Photos - good enough so I won't need my Panasonic Lumix TZ10

GPS for Photos - I want all my photos GPS tagged from now on

Touch Screen - 

Decent Battery Life -with swappable batteries

Good Stabilisation -

Microphone-In socket - Many people ask for this, but it's rarely included 

Multi Speed Zoom - This should be standard

One Thumb Operation - For stop, start, zoom etc.

Comfortable ergonomic design  

In the video I also indulge myself by stating the case for the vertical oriented camcorder  - this is a very important feature for me and I felt I needed to defend this format. I have no idea why everyone seems to buy horizontal cameras, for me the design makes no sense at all. However people do, and as a result this is what the manufacturers make. The vertical camera design as used in the Sanyo CS1 makes so much more sense to me - and hopefully after watching the video you'll understand why I'm so enthusiastic about this orientation of camera over the traditional style. If you don't want to listen to me going on and would rather see the review itself,  just skip 5 minutes into the video.

Unfortunately I have a bad feeling that the Sony TG5 / TG7 might be the end of the line for the vertical style of camera from Sony.  The last time this range was revised was in 2009 - and Sony now appear to be concentrating on 3D and the Bloggie range instead. So that leaves Sanyo as the last man standing in the quality vertical camcorder game and I await their future models with great interest.

Most companies currently appear to be involved in a race to the bottom and are attempting to make the cheapest Flip competitor - but the way that the cameras in mobile phones are improving year on year, this appears to be a very short sighted strategy. The alternative is people shooting videos using a SLR or Micro 4/3 camera, this is fine for the high-end of the market - but there is plenty of room in the middle for someone to bring out a convenient and powerful pocket camcorder to suit my needs.

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Reader Comments (10)

Hi - Thanks for all the reviews ! I was looking at the small ( cheap ) spy type camcorders but have just purchased the Sanyo on the strength of your review - £99.99 on eBay for a ' returned to manufacturer ' / 'new - other' - so I hope it's OK ! I did find a company selling it at £109 + postage of £8, but went for the eBay one. Just wondered if you could recommend what class of SD card to use and a rough idea of how much space an hour of HD video takes up ? Thanks again, Malcolm.

April 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMalcolm

@Malcolm. Unfortunately I can't confirm the recording time per GB as I no longer have the camera, it was only a loaner and went back to Sanyo. I suggest you use a Class 6 or higher card, I'd probably get a 16GB one, then you know you have more than enough recording space, you might want a spare battery too.

April 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi, Thanks very much for your prompt reply - I'll order a card now !
Malcolm.

April 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMalcolm

Amazing review as always. and I gotta say I love the pink color when I saw it in person and after this review, I went ahead and bought them at my local store.

August 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThat Guy

Hi - Love your fantastic website and the excellent impartial reviews. After watching loads of your reviews I decided I would go for the Sanyo VPC CS1. After much searching, I found it on Ebay for an astounding £54.99 with free shipping. I have ordered the camera and hope it really is as advertised, I will let you know if it’s a con.
The Ebay web address is:- http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&clk_rvr_id=304552681520&item=120821844415
and for that price I can live with the pink case.
Thanks again for your super website and the witty dry humour.
Regards
Alan

January 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Staples

Just a quick update on my purchase of a Sanyo VPC CS1 Camcorder.
The Ebay website price is a bargain. My camera arrived this morning and was as stated brand new and in a sealed Sanyo box. The camera tested out perfectly, so go grab a bargain for £54.99
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&clk_rvr_id=304552681520&item=120821844415

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Staples

@Alan. Thats great news - as long as you can live with the pink then you can get a bargain. The ease of editing the footage from the Sanyo is a big selling point too, you won't lose quality the same way I do when converting my 1080i AVCHD footage from my Sony camcorder.

January 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

WaHaaY! I'm skint and am desperate to replace my old Sony camcorder that broke... I had been squeaking by withe the video from my compact but now there's sand in the lens drive so its always out of focus... If only I could find somewhere selling a really cheap decent camcorder I'd be over the moon! Oh, did I mention my fav colour is... pink! No seriously... I've a pink wallet, a pink phone and a pink camera case...even my editing pc is pink :o) Thank you allan... theres 5 left!

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZane

Hello from sunny Australia! I have the slightly bigger version of this one, the VPC-GH1, and I have used it as a helmet cam when I am out riding my mountain bike. I was so impressed that I bought 2 others and have one on the helmet, one on the seatpost, and the other as spare. They are very light, easy to use, and produce high quality video (I always use full 1929 x 1980 HD at 60fps). My only complaint is the short battery life. They are fitted with an 800mAh battery, which in reality is probably closer to 600mAh, and lasts only 35 minutes. However, the solution is to buy 4 batteries and change them regularly, also turn off the Autofocus mode and use Manual focus set to infinity. This stops the electronic drive motor in the focus mechanism from working flat out trying to keeps everything focussed! It also stays focussed down to a few metres, it's just out of focus for the few brief milliseconds as I go over the handlebars and hit the dirt with my face/helmet/camera! I would thoroughly recommend these as a good alternative to the GoPro.
Here is a recent video for you to check out http://youtu.be/yxOeRWmH9rc
Finally, I have just received one of the mini 720HD cam (Y3000?) that you reviewed a few months ago. I am surprised at the quality!

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeoff

Hi,

I am currently trying to start up a youtube channel on cars and currently have a gopro 2 which is fit for its purpose of the outside action shots etc

However I am looking for a camera that is capable of filming the vehicles themselves and the interiors as well as for interviewing people and other normal filming where a fish eye effect isn't desirable. Is this camera good for the job? Budget wise around £100 marl

Thank you,

Joe

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Marano

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