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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
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%! 

            

 
« Self powered HDMI splitter. | Main | 360º Video and the Sony Bloggie Touch »
Wednesday
Aug222012

Liquid Image EGO Review (2 part review)

Here is part one of a two part review of the Liquid Image EGO 1080p sport camera. (Part 2 here)

Over the next two weeks I will spend more time using the camera and then post the final part of the review, together with some downloadable sample.

This is the first time I've split a video review in this manner. I did this because I wanted to give myself more time to perform all the tests that a camera like this warrants, as well as discover any quirks and idiosyncrasies it may exhibit.

If there is anything specific that you want to see in part 2, please put details in the comments and I'll see what I can do.

I bought this camera from Amazon, it cost me approx £120.

PDF Manual on the Liquid Image Site (not much other info there though).

Here is a gallery of all the set-up menus from the Actionconnect app.

 

Update 27 August 2012

I took the Ego out on the bike yesterday and got some really nice looking video. I'm very impressed with this camera.  I'm currently working on my review of the bike and then on the final part of the Ego review...but if you want to see something from the Ego now - you can download a clip using This link. This clip was shot in 1080p30 with a 90º FOV and the plastic protective shield was on. The clip has been trimmed for length using MPEG streamclip (but not re-encoded).

PART 2 OF THIS REVIEW IS HERE

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Reader Comments (65)

Hello Techmoan,

Thanks a lot for your in-depth review. I love my Ego and use it almost everyday.

Firstly I updated firmware from 2.2.1.2 (out of the box from ebay USA) to 2.2.1.0

to solve 30 mins stop shooting issue. Recently the App Action Connect for iOS update

and it notify that 2.2.1.0 is out of date and I lose control function of my Ego.

The app suggest me to find the new firmware at weltin.com.hk. I did download the newest version and tried to update to Ego

many times. But the Ego keep freezing with "UP" shown and nothing happen at all even for an hour.

I have to push the reset button and it still has the 2.2.1.0. Anyone can help?

And I found some trick about using external power. Although LIC said Ego can't be charged and shooting clip at the same time,

but using external power while shooting can be done easily!

Just plug the usb cable to the 5V1A power source, as in my case I mount the Ego and usb powerbank to the handlebar of

motorcycle, insert usb cable then Ego will go to charging mode with lcd show "USB".

Now wait for about 30sec the lcd will change to "CHA", then just simply push the shutter button!

The Ego will bypass the internal battery and use the power directly from external source. Internal battery will not be charged

nor consumed its power So literally, you can't charge the battery and shoot video at the same time.

But you could shoot like 6hour straight (maximum 32g sdhc) by using this trick. Enjoy!

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelvin

Hi, what mounts are compatable with the camera. Mainly can you use the gopro head strap with the camera? And how do you go about mounting it?

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSean

Got an Ego which I am looking to take skiing at the weekend. Love the app to see the preview on my iPad/iPhone.
The go pro mounts don't take the Ego bracket unless you sand down the centre section. That done they seem to hold once sanded down.

Problem I am having is with firmware!!!!
I downloaded the latest version but on following instructions it will not update.
Any solution gratefully received.

January 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

Hi,

I've just updated my firmware to 3.3.1.0. (from 2.2.1.2)
Continous shooting now works, but lose about 3seconds of footage with the file switch.
New framerates: 25/30/50/60 for 720p , 25/30 for 1080p. That's very welcome!

But what I found out the photo's quality dropped significantly.
Most obvious in my room with the lights on at night: http://timeslip.hu/files/egophotocomparison.jpg
Photo & video stills quality used to be the same, now the video is still good, but the photos are much worse.

Anybody noticed something similar? The continuous photo mode is a feature I'd use a lot, but with this firmware it's unlikely.

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterave

For those of you wondering whether GoPro mounts can be used on the EGO, the anwser is YES :)
I just modded mine and I'm using a bunch of GoPro accessories.

March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

I have version 2.1.4.0, I installed version 2.2.2.2 and 3.3.1.0
http://www.weltin.com.hk/support/liquid-image/

Thereafter, I had a lot of problems, the image is choppy 60 fps.
In addition, I have crashes material version 3.3.1.0, the unit stops, the icons are frozen, I have to do an update and reset.

I leave the link of the video file format "RAR" :

2.2.2.2 to 3.2.1.0 : http://sdrv.ms/16W5PkB
2.2.2.2 to 3.3.1.0 : http://sdrv.ms/16W5Hl3


I went back to version 2.2.2.2 and 3.2.1.0 and everything seems back to normal.
Can you give me the proper handling to update to version 3.3.1.0?

I apologize because I speak little English, my language is French.
You can answer me in English or French.
Thank you for your answer.

April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSofteac

Really great reviews, thanks.

July 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRae Gates

Motorcycle-based Review Written

I never got around to mentioning this:

1) About a month ago, I had a review of the Ego published on webBikeWorld (which you may be familiar with, if you're a motorcyclist), here: http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-video-camera-reviews/liquid-image-ego-727-review/ . It's not as good as Techmoan's review, but you may find some of the motorcycle-related info useful, e.g., I use a more robust mounting system.

2) As part of that article, I have a number of on-bike YouTube videos posted. For instance, here's a six-minute one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yUxD1Ez-aU . If you want to see more, just go to my "channel," https://www.youtube.com/user/wspollack .

3) I have five Ego clips available for your downloading pleasure on Dropbox -- i.e., if you want to see what the real Ego output looks like, as opposed to the compressed YouTube videos -- here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0wse4r79k1msb97/z5F3CI__g2?lst . They range from one minute (100MB) to six minutes (525MB).

I'm very pleased with how well the Ego works on a motorcycle -- very good quality output, and a very useful built-in metal tripod socket.

July 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill Pollack

Bill,

Apologies about the delay in your comment being posted. Squarespace quarantines any comments with links in them...but doesn't tell me. I have to manually check for blocked comments every few days.

July 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Ah, I didn't know that. Sorry for the extra work I caused you.

July 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill Pollack

My EGO got 2 issues:
1)sometimes picture got really noisy in 1080p mode (looks like compression artifacts)
2)in really low light conditions picture became only BLUE colored. No other colors at all.

I've contacted their support, but no answer yet (2days).

Anyone experiencing the same?

P.S. Using latest firmware from weltin site.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYury

Yury:

1) It is realy compression artifacts.
EGO camera produce in 1080p cca. 12Mbit/s h264 video stream.
Firmware 2.2.2.2 use 4 reference frames in H264 compression = nice video quality for 1080p (12Mbit)
Firmware 3.2.1.0 and higher use only 2 reference frames in H264 compression = bad video quality for 1080p (12Mbit), but still usable in 720p mode

For comparison, my compact camera canon powershot sx1is use ONLY 1 reference frame(very quick compression), video has good quality, but camera produce 40Mbit video stream = 17,5 GB for 1 hour video :((

You can check reference frames in all h264 movies. I use media player classic home cinema - properties - media info tab - and "Format settings, ReFrames" line.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBzuco

Bzuco:
Thanks for clarifying that. I've flashed 2.2.2.2 back, will try my luck with it. Also, I wonder why our cam having such low bitrate compare to GoPro?

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYury

Yury:
GoPro is higher class of cameras and higher price (maybe higher bitrate :) ). I bought ego for 145€ last week.

I dont know which firmware use:
2.2.2.2 - higher quality compression, darker image in low light conditions, can´t on/off led light and beep, time from start camera to recording is 18s.

3.2.1.0 - lower quality compression, better image in low light conditions, can turn off led light and beep, time from start camera to recordingreduced to 9s.

Another thing, recorded sound has a very low volume level. I have to increase it on PC = higher noise.
I wonder, if i keep or sell this camera...

August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBzuco

Bzuco:
I've hacked our cam's firmware to get inside and use scripting for really long timelapse shots (well, now I can setup any period). It's actually nice linux system inside on which you can login via telnet. Also I discovered that main video processor chip is Ambarella (I believe, A5s) which also makes chips for GoPro, so it could be the same chip as lower level GoPro cameras. Thats why I still hope to get cheaper alternative with the same quality.

I'm with you on firmware dilemma. Another thing to note, consider using ver. 3.3.1.0 instead of 3.2.1.0. Same low reframes as 3.2.1.0, but wifi and everything works faster.

When I get free time I'll try to find where in firmware we can set the bitrate and reframes, so I could patch that with my own higher settings.

August 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYury

Yury:
Good job ;). And what is the name and password for telnet connection. I tried some default passwords and names for other cameras, but i have no luck.

I've made some web client for change settings ( http://bzucko.sk/Liquid-image-EGO-web-browser-controll ).
Maybe it is possible to change another parameters, but i dont know what ist the script file name on EGO web server.
All is working except frame rates for 720p resolution.

August 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBzuco

Bzuco, to keep this thread clean - drop me a line at yurymonzon@gmail.com

Yesterday I've ruined a few good video footages with 2.2.2.2 =( Too dark =( Dang, I'm going back to 3.3.1.0! *sigh* Also, I've noticed really hight level of rolling shutter, while filming from hands.

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYury

I'll take my words back - 3.2.1.0 is terrible =(

Here is the sample photo cropped and side by side with 2.2.2.2 version
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4lX9jP4VIImNFY4VTktdnlGWTg/edit?usp=sharing

Here are the original files
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4lX9jP4VIImc0RIMnAydm5DMTA/edit?usp=sharing
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4lX9jP4VIImYmZMakttMEs1UzQ/edit?usp=sharing

So we're stuck with 2.2.2.2.

Should we try to write a collective email to developers? Who is with me?
E-mail me at yurymonzon@gmail.com

August 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYury

Dear EGO 727 users!
Please, sign this petition, so we could ask developers to fix firmware issues. Thanks!

Fix Liquid Image Ego 727 camera firmware Petition | GoPetition

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYury

hello, can you change the time between photos in continuous photo mode?
thx

September 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbarry

Hi Barry!

Yes, you can do that through the app but only to preset values - check the second Techmoan's video.

September 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYury

I was using firmware 3.2.1. Whenever i shot continious photos the camera crashes after a while. Now i'm testing firmware 3.3.1

October 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamal

Where can I find firmware 3.3.1.0 please?

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDanny

@Danny:

THE BAD NEWS:

That's an interesting question. I downloaded my copy of 3.3.1.0 months ago from Weltin's site, at http://www.weltin.com.hk/support/liquid-image/ . However, if you go to that page, they claim it doesn't exist now, sort of. On the other hand, they still have a drop-down choice for Support --> Liquid Image on that page... which results in the same ("Page not found") problem.

And Liquid Image itself has a firmware support page, https://liquidimage.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/847125-firmware-updates , which for the Ego has a link to http://www.yousendit.com/download/UW13dFdkNEhVbTlESjlVag , which in turn automatically redirects you to https://www.hightail.com/dl?phi_action=app/orchestrateDownload&rurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hightail.com%2Ftransfer.php%3Faction%3Dbatch_download%26batch_id%3DUW13dFdkNEhVbTlESjlVag ; that page, however, has a download of only the 3.2.1.0 firmware.

THE GOOD NEWS:

I saved the 3.3.1.0 file when I downloaded it months ago, and have just copied that file from my PC to my public DropBox folder, https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0wse4r79k1msb97/z5F3CI__g2 ; the direct download link to the file from my DropBox folder is https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0wse4r79k1msb97/4TEx2GSNEp/ego-firmware-V3310.bin .

So, if you trust me -- or are just getting desperate -- feel free to download it from my DropBox account. Once you do so, I disavow responsibility for any and all problems, I am not responsible if you "brick" your Ego or for any other problems, your mileage may vary, batteries not included, and so forth.

Cheers,

Bill P.

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill Pollack

Many thanks, Bill. Yes, I also found the Weltin page not to be working. I have downloaded your file, but not yet updated. What, if any, improvement do you find over 3.2.1.0?

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDanny

@Danny: I really forget what (if any) improvements there were. I just like to keep up to date, when it comes to firmware... so I upgraded when it became available. (I use WebMon, http://www.cmcode.co.uk/webmon/ , to watch for page changes, and I had the Weltin page monitored. So, when it was available, I just downloaded and installed it.)

I think -- maybe -- that that was the version that allowed you to turn off sounds and the blinking light, if you wanted to. And possibly it had some internal bug fixes. But, sorry, I can't really answer your question.

Bill P.

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill Pollack

Thanks Bill, it worked! All seems fine:)

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDanny

Hi

I read both parts of the review and so far, I've learned more than reading stuff on the official web site.
Great review and really useful comments here.
I'm using the Ego with firmware 3.2.1.0. With Action connect, whatever option I'm choosing (WGVGA, HQ) I get always my videos in low definition format, never in HQ, on my iPad (action connect local). Does somebody got also this issue? I'd appreciate your feedback

Remiguel

December 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRemiguel

Remiguel, That's a feature of the WiFi app, the HD files are too big to transfer across wirelessly, so the camera only sends SD versions. The same thing happens with the Sony Action Camera too.

December 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks for you quick reply
The action connect let you select between WGVGA and HQ option for downloading files. Therefore I thought I could download HD format even at low speed, with patience. My mistake

Cheers
Remiguel

December 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRemiguel

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