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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 


Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi


DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam

Yi Ultra 2.7K
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
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.


RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)


U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)




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'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%! 

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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)

Yes I prefer the slip in the pocket camera size also, if the HX9V had a tilt and swivel screen and as you say a re-positioned power socket, it would be (dare I say it) "perfect" for me.
I've searched the web but can't find anything from any manufacturer to match that wish list!

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Here's my question (and I should say that, like you, I want a small pocketable camera that I can always have with me): should I get this new little Sony GW55VE, or the equally small Canon S100? Both shoot 1080p. The Canon isn't specifically a video camera, but it's designed to shoot video easily (little 'record' button, just for videos); it also has manual controls for focus, exposure, etc.!
The other big plus, for me (I'm an editor, and Avid, which is what I use, is very slow to import AVCHD), is that the Canon S100 records video as H264. Now that may be a version of AVCHD, or something (I get confused with wrappers and codecs, etc.), but I tested it out the other day and Avid seems to import this H264 stuff pretty quickly, whereas any true AVCHD camera I've owned causes huge slowdowns when I'm importing footage.
Any comments or observations about these two cameras? I like the swivel screen on the small Sony (which the Canon S100 doesn't have, and I like the fact that the Sony is waterproof... but so far, for me, the ease-of-use of the H264 makes the Canon more enticing.
I would love to hear what others have to say.
Regards, malch

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermalch

@Malch To me, the reason I like the idea of this camera is almost entirely down to it's ergonomics. As I elaborated on in the video linked to in the post, my personal preference has always been towards single handed pistol grip style camcorders with a swivel screen. The Canon S100 is a traditional layout compact camera with a fixed screen. It's very possible that the video quality on the S100 might be better than the Sony, but the feel and design of a camcorder is always the first priority to me. I've never tried to take more than a few seconds of video on a compact camera, and I can't really comment on whether this would suit your needs, but it's not something I like doing.
I understand your reticence to record in AVCHD because of the need to convert the files to something more editor friendly, a process which is both time and memory consuming. Due to this I now choose to shoot in mp4 mode on my Sony HX100V, which restricts it to 1440x1080 30fps, but which makes editing a lot easier. This is a potential stumbling block for the GW55VE .The recording specs list it as: "Ver.2.0 standard compliant MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 AVCHD" but the video seems to either record in 60p (which iMovie doesn't edit) or 60i which would need deinterlacing. If the camera really doesn't have a 30fps mode, I may decide against getting one. I do get the feeling though that it shares a lot in common with my HX100V, so I would expect it to have an MP4 30fps mode.

May 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thank you for your thoughtful post. All very good points. And I agree that the ergonomics of the little Sony are better than the Canon S100's. I think for me, though, it's going to come down to the two different file formats they record in. AVCHD is just too much of a pain (even with a good Mac Pro with 24 GB of RAM!), at least for traditional Avid users like me, who don't like and trust AMA.
Anyway... there's no perfect camera, is there. I mean, neither of these cameras has an external mic jack. Would it be that hard to include such a thing?
Best Regards,

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermalch

Hi there!

I really like to watch your videos and read xour blog.
I currently own a Sony DSC-HX5, a compact camera with video functionality.
I discovered that I shoot more videos than I actually take still pictures with the camera, so I think I am going
to buy the new Sony GW55VE.
I like that it is waterproof and somewhat shock resistant.

Do you think this is a good first time camera for a novice like me?
Is the still image functionality as good as a pocket camera?

With best regard from Austria

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErnst

@Ernst. Well I don't have one yet, because it's not out in the UK yet. However I think that it would likely be the ideal video camera for you. A lot of the menus will be familiar to you coming from the HX5 too.

June 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thank you for your fast reply. I ordered the GW55VE yesterday.
I'll post a sample video as soon as possible.

June 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErnst

I just got my cam. It's really small and light.
It makes MTS files that I'm converting to mp4 via Wondershare Video converter.
I think its gonna be good. It will take a few days to find out.
And also; thank you techmoan for a great site! I want to see you review this cam.

best regards / anton from sweden

June 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnton

@ Anton. Unfortunately the camera only came out in the UK this week - whilst I was away on my annual vacation. The next time I would need to use one of these will be next year, so I won't be getting one now. I'll make do with the camera I've already got for creating my yourtube videos.

June 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I received one of these (Jul 30th 2012) and there was *significant* pick up of noise being generated inside the camera. I'm not sure if these have fans (I would have assumed just a heat sink) but filming in quiet locations isn't good at all with the whirring sound going on... Sounds like an old 8mm cine-camera, funilly enough. I thought I had activated some kind of retro sound effect!

I've RMA'd this now and ordered another from a different supplier (to avoid a potential 'bad batch' issue). I'll update this if I find the same problem with the new unit. If so, I'll be reporting it to Sony with my Victor Meldrew head on.

Apart from the 'deal-breaker' fault above, the camcorder is bang-tidy on all fronts. Image quality in both still and movie modes is excellent - crystal clear in fact. Features are very comprehensive, although I'd question the need for GPS... the very first thing I disabled. Only other very minor gripe is that it's very light. Would have preferred a little more weight but image stabilisation more than makes up for it.

July 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark B

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