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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%! 

 
« Changes for 2013 - More types of videos and hopefully more of them. | Main | Christmas Surprise - GoPro Hero3 White Review (Coming soon). »
Tuesday
Jan012013

GoPro HD Hero3 White vs Sony HDR-AS10

This the longest and most expensive review I've made so far. With a budget of over £300 and a running length of just over 40 minutes you might (justifiably) assume that I've been able to cover all the features of these two cameras in great depth, but unfortunately that's not the case. Notable by their absence from this video is any examination of the stills capabilities of either camera, 720p60 tests or a demonstration of the playback functions over HDMI. 

With so many things missing I think I will need to make a follow-up video about these cameras but I'll save the 720p60 tests until I can get some more suitable weather for going out on the bike……so don't hold your breath.

The heavily discounted Sony that I bought seems to be the result of a product being canned just before it came to market and therefore ending up in the hands of ebay close-out sellers. The Sony HDR-AS10 is the HDR-AS15 minus the WiFi, a feature that I don't really need or miss. With an action camera the whole idea is that the lens is wide enough to capture everything without the need for accurate framing. The WiFi function merely gives you the viewfinder that you never wanted together with an ability to share files wirelessly. The Sony has a 170º Lens, meaning that virtually everything in front of the camera is in shot, so no need for a viewfinder.

The biggest problem with the Sony surrounds the mounts, not only the lack of choice but also the shape and design of the supplied case. The fact that it completely blocks off the microphone, can't be tilted up or down, can't be mounted to the side of things, but is also too long and tall to be mounted on the top of a helmet means that the Sony ultimately fails as an action cam. I will be experimenting with finding some way to attach the camera to my bike helmet whilst also recording sound through the mic-in socket…. but I'm really more interested in using this as a general purpose mini camera. For example when I was shooting another review over Christmas it turned out to be the most suitable camera I owned for filming inside the cramped interior of the car when I needed to demonstrate how a Car DVR mounted to the windscreen. I'm also looking forward to getting the Camcorder type mount if/when it is released. This apparently adds both an LCD screen and a much needed tripod hole to the camera. I should mention again the low light recording capabilities which are really amazing and the best I've ever experienced in any camera.

I think that the GoPro 3 White whilst being a cheaper entry point into the GoPro product line might have skimped a bit too much on the image sensor. The problem seems to be that GoPro needed a product at a price-point to deter people from buying the Chinese GoPro clones. Whilst most people would prefer to buy a real GoPro so that they could use the multitude of mounts available it was previously way more expensive than some other action cameras. Whilst the White edition is certainly a more attractive prospect at £200, but it seems that GoPro needed to create a reason for people to want to pay the extra for the Silver edition and therefore lumped the White Edition with a smeary slow sensor, prone to CMOS wobble and dark images. I can't actually believe that the sensor in the Silver Edition costs anything more than a few pence extra over the one in the White so the £80 price difference between the two must just be there to add some kind of desirability and prestige for the more expensive model. The Lens and functional capabilities of the White are a match for the Silver model…it's just the sensor in the white that feels old and tired. The Black model suddenly doesn't seem such bad value for money, especially now that it comes with the WiFi remote and some additional mounts. Perhaps one for a future test….

I must however point out that I will continue to concentrate on reviewing the cheap Chinese cameras. One of the reasons for getting these two expensive models was so that I could benchmark the cheaper cameras against them. In future tests I'll now know how close a £50 camera from China comes to matching the quality of one of these £200 models. 

I have uploaded some raw samples from each camera to my DumpTruck folder.

I am also now aware that the green light I mention being inside the Sony Battery Compartment is a reflection from a hologram. 

SAMPLE FILES CAN BE ACCESSED BY CLICKING HERE

Oh, and by the way - Happy New Year. Thanks for watching during 2012 and I hope I'll have some more things worth sharing with you throughout 2013. 

UPDATE - Sony sell a replacement door set for the waterproof case, and one door is designed to allow sound to get in. Looks like another thing for me to test out.

Follow up video on the Sony AS15, new firmware and mounts HERE

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Reader Comments (52)

Although, the speed is a bit better(6 times, compared to my earlier test) half an hour later.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMikk36

Great review Techmoan! Quite insightful about the Japanese and the Californian products being calibrated to their respective latitudes. The GoPro seems unacceptably dark in general. Thanks again.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim in SF

I can see the files listed, but can't dl.

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermax

Hi Matt,

Thanks for another great review,your timing was spot on for me as i want to buy one of these two cams but was unsure of what one to get.
Now i know its the sony for me.You can get the lcd screen from here in the uk for £69

http://www.bristolcameras.co.uk/p-sony-aka-lu1-handheld-grip-with-lcd-screen-for-action-cam.htm

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwillie

The LCD screen isn't out until the end of January. Unfortunately Bristol Cameras is one of those places that lists everything as being in stock...but then they order it when you do. That's when they find its not actually available. I'll probably stick to Amazon for mine...but it's not listed there yet.

January 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I'm going to re-upload all the files as zips. I have a feeling this will resolve the issues some people are having.

January 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Epic review! Fantastic as always, but now as you have upped your budget perhaps you should have a look at the Veho Muvi HD10

I also cant open your files, but i am using IPad, but that shouldnt be a problem should it?

January 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEddie

No you wont be able to view the files on an iPad.

January 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Excellent review, why can't all tech reviews be more like this and less like the gadget show. I've had quite a few action cameras (now sold as i wanted better picture quality) was torn between the GoPro Silver and Sony HDR10, but like you, found the Sony on ebay very cheap and went for it. You've covered almost all the "issues" with the Sony, except the battery rattling in the tray. Set the sony up to record, slide the back cover open and shake the camera, then use your finger to hold the battery and tray from moving and shake again..... you'll notice it stops the rattling sound in your footage. I used some double sided tape to stick my battery to the tray to stop the noise.... unfortunately i didn't notice the rattling till I was back from my skiing holiday.

The image stabilization really is excellent and makes the sony an amazing camera when only £120-140, but as you say in your review, it's just really let down by the mounting options....Still I wont be trying a gopro now until they have image stabilization too. (btw the sony anti-shake seems to work much better that the stabilization effect on youtube or in my copy of powerdirector)

January 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpb

Nice review, and pretty much what I expected from the cameras too.

What I don't understand is that Sony, a company who are reportedly is not doing as well as they would like (who is?), could clearly market a product like the HS-10 properly at the price you paid for it and if they did they would clean up. Who would bother with often flaky 'Chinese' cameras if a major manufacture would sell decent enough entry level kit for sensible money? Obviously I really don't understand international marketing!

January 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

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