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ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
A119
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Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
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Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
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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%! 

 
« Budget Wireless HDMI Transmission - does it work? | Main | The 1080p Jumbo Camera »
Thursday
Mar012012

My next camcorder - The Sony HDR-GW55VE

HDR-GW55VE in SilverMy favourite camcorder from all the models that I've owned up till now is the Sony HDR-TG3 (aka the TG1 in the US & Japan) it came out in 2008 and I bought one pretty much the first day it was available. It's a 1080i50 premium quality pocket camcorder.2009's HDR-TG7

The next year, Sony brought out the HDR-TG7 (TG5 in the US and Japan). The upgrades were a Capacitive touch screen rather than the Resistive model of the TG3 and a new on-screen interface, GPS Photo and Video tagging and a slightly redesigned case. Strangely the camera downgraded its 5.1 sound to stereo during the upgrade. I stuck with my TG3, and thought I'd wait for the next year's model instead, hoping for a 1080p upgrade. However 2010 came and went as did 2011, both without an update. The TG7 was subsequently discontinued and I really thought that I had seen the last in the line of these upmarket Sony pocket camcorders. Perhaps, I guessed, that Sony assumed that as now people were recording video with their SLRs, compact cameras, smartphones or their bloggie range, there was no need for a camera like this.

Finally, last month I finally decided I couldn't wait any longer and bought a Sony HX100V superzoom. I needed a camcorder/camera that utilised 2011 rather than 2008 technology. A much wider angle lens, significantly better low light capability, GPS, AVCHD 50p, plus features like sweep panorama and a tilting screen all meant that this camera was the best replacement I could find. After using it for a while I began to wish that Sony had tried to find some way of incorporating this technology into their pocket-friendly TG style case. HDR-GW55VE in Black

Well to my surprise, the 1st March 2012 brought a long overdue and unexpected update. The catchily named HDR-GW55VE. Sony are touting the 5m water resistance as the headline feature of this camera, but to me the big features are all from my wishlist. 1080p 50 AVCHD video at 28Mbps, a wider angle 29.8-298mm lens and 20.4MP stills. Take that last spec with a pinch of salt it's only a 5MP sensor - albeit still a big step up from the old 2MP sensor. Most importantly to me though is the fact that its all still in that gorgeous pocketable case, with the vertical orientation that I insist on in all my camcorders (I explain why this is important at the start of this old video).

So thank you Sony for making my next camcorder, I was beginning to think that you'd forgotten about me.

Update 26 April 2012 It's going to be called the HDR-GW77V in Japan.

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Reader Comments (31)

Hey Techmoan
How r u? this Sony HDR-GW55VE camcorder seem really good. what is its price? and plz reply my e-mails about HD808#11 cam.
thanx & bye

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnees Ahmad

Just one question, being a Sony product, do you really own it?!

Question based on the fact that, according to Sony, no one owns their PS3 consoles, it's just loaned to them as part of a license to use the firmware and software, you just happen to get to keep it after the end of the warranty period, kindda like a router.

Sony makes good products, but they way they treated their gaming customers I suggest people boycott Sony!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbigo93

I can't wait for a video review about your new cam ;-). I am looking forward ..
Best Regards.

March 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBlub

low light video will be terrible - not sure it will be a wise move - try n play with one before u buy

March 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermatt

I was wondering if you could a review between the Sony HX100V vs Sony HDR CX-260V or HDR-CX250E, just curious the difference in video. As one is primary camera and other is primary camcorder. Both camera use a different imaging sensor. Thanks in advance.

March 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamual

@Samual. That's something that I would have been interested to see as well. Unfortunately I don't have access to those other camcorder models, and I usually only get to review things that I buy (unless Sony is reading this, then please get in touch).

March 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Techmoan thanks for your reviews, I to like the tilt swivel LCDs, I have a HDR-TG3, prior to that I had (still have) the pentax Optio 750z with a even better tilt swivel lcd arrangement in that it will angle sideways as well, but the technology is now dated.
I bought a new Sony Cyber-shot DSCHX9VB after seeing the incredible spec 16x optical zoom and 16 megapixals! but with a fixed LCD screen I just thought I'd try and see if I can use it but as I suspected I don't like it, plus the screen is very hard to see in bright sunny conditions.
But how do sony get away with saying the GW55VE has a 20.4MP stills capability when as you say the sensor is only 5MP surely thats a con trying to mislead buyers, is it not covered by the trade descriptions act?

March 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

@Jeff. The tilt screen is the reason I went for the Sony HX100v over the HX9V - that and the fact that it could use my spare batteries from the TG3. Other positives for studio work are that I can power and record at the same time whilst mounting it on a tripod. I believe that this isn't possible on the HX9V due to the power socket being too close to the tripod hole.
In case you don't already know - Binary Cafe's youtube channel is a great place to see everything about these cameras


Whilst the HX100V is ok for studio work, and it allows me to take stills and video on the same camera, it's still lacking some user friendly features when compared to the TG3 - I miss the touch screen and the ability to easily lock the exposure by tapping on the screen. The HX100v doesn't let me alter the exposure for videos - it's auto only, and as you'll see from my last couple of videos tends to underexpose black electronics when shot against my white photography table.

So I'm still very interested in the GW55VE - but based on previous experience, I'm probably going to wait for a couple of months after it comes out for the price to settle down to a sensible level.

March 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi thanks for that link to binary cafe, the HX100v now 200v they talk about is an impressive piece of kit, spec wise, but not exactly pocketable.
Do you not find the bulkiness puts you off carrying it about with you after awhile?

April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Jeff...it's not as bulky as I thought., but it's very rarely left the house so far. I haven't been lucky, rich or well enough to go on holiday since I got the camera, so I haven't really field tested it. I've never been an SLR user, and I prefer a camera that can slip inside my pocket. I think I'll keep the HX100v for studio work and get the GW55VE just before I go on my next holiday, whenever that is.

April 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

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