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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

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
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
Sena Prism Tube

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%! 

 
« How To Shoot Yourself in the Face (& other tips). | Main | Belkin CarAudio Connect AUX with Bluetooth »
Sunday
Oct142012

720p Spy Pen Review (2012 h.264 Version)

Here is my review of the first 720p h.264 HD Spy Pen. This covert camera records pretty decent footage, and is leaps and bounds ahead of the 1280x960 mjpeg 'HD' Spy Spy Pen that I reviewed a couple of years ago.  The live video-out function might also result in this camera getting some use outside of its intended (and unlikely) spy pen purpose.

I believe that this pen is related to the 808 #18 camera from the fact that it is distributed by the same sellers on ebay. It is therefore likely that the firmware could be updated, and the small time stamp removed, although at the time of writing I cannot confirm this.

If you buy this pen and want to change the time, it uses the familiar technique of copying a text configuration file to the built in memory. You can dowload an example file here. All you need to do is edit the contents to show the correct time and date and then copy your updated file to the pen. The time is updated when the pen is next switched on. 

I mentioned in the video that this was a difficult review to shoot because I kept accidentally pressing the on/record button in transit and filling the memory up with footage of the inside of my bag or pocket. Every time this happened, the day's shoot had to be abandoned so I could return home, attach the camera up to my computer and empty the card out. After this happened twice I ended up taping a protective cap over the pen to stop it happening again. This is the only time that I've had a problem like this with a camera, and it was caused by the fact that the camera only needs one brief tap for it to both switch-on and automatically start recording. The fact that the memory can't be removed or swapped out also contributes to the problem. There is also no way to tell if the camera is on or off by looking at it. I know that this is so that it can't be detected as a camera....but it also makes it very hard to use as well.

If you want to buy one, here are a few links to stores on ebay.

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Reader Comments (38)

Love your sense of humor :)

Does the camera charge and record at the same time ?

I know you tested this while you were streaming, but i'm not sure if the camera was really charging while recording.


Thx a lot
Regards Sam

October 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Does the charging USB cable work to charge and record with the Y3000 ?

Still looking for a fuctional cable for the Y3000, so maybee this will work.

Thanks a lot

October 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBowi

It does charge and record at the same time. It's not possible to power it without also charging it. As far as the lead fitting the Y3000, my Y3000 was tested to destruction a long time ago and I don't have it any more, but I'm pretty certain that its plug was smaller and squarer than this one.

October 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hey man, any chance you could take a picture of the pen beside some normal pens? These things always look so huge in pictures and video, but I'm not sure if they actually are as big as it seems. Something I've been curious about for a while.

October 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKyosho

Nice review Techmoan, but does it work as a pen? ;-)

October 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

It will write, but due to the size of the ink cartridge, not for very long.

October 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Did you see this techmoan? Looks interesting. I wonder if its an actual 1080p camera or if it has 720p 60fps capabilities...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-FULL-HD-1080p-Key-Chain-Camera-720P-60-1080P-30-DVR-Time-Track-no-/150924507954?pt=US_Surveillance_Digital_Video_Recorders_Cards&hash=item2323cd3b32

October 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCody

I'm pretty much done with the Keyring cameras now. They could put a 4k sensor in there and it wouldn't attract me. I think the keyring case design is an anachronism now. I communicated with the manufactures two years ago who advised that they were going to start putting their cameras in sensible cases, but instead they just keep changing the insides. The 'Spy camera' design makes even less sense now that many Chinese companies are no longer allowed to sell any spy gadgets. What they should do is put their cameras in a torch style case like the ACT20. The ACT20 has a great case but a crappy sensor. By the way, I have another video about the ACT20 coming soon.

October 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Why arent chinese companies allowed to make spy cameras any more? What is this pen if not a spy cam?

October 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermatt

You might want to email the Chinese government that one, I'm sure they'll be happy to give you a response.

October 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

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