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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%! 

 
« SJ2000 Helmet Cam - Letting the family down | Main | G1W - The cheapest Dash-Cam that’s worth buying. »
Monday
Dec232013

Christmas Special Episode - BNIB

Click for a giant versionIt's my first Techmoan Christmas Special and it's got everything you associate with Christmas, opening parcels, listening to music, 8-track tapes..... well OK, it's not strictly Christmas themed, but given the calendar date, I've decided that this will be my Christmas episode. 

It might not look much, but this video is one of the most expensive and protracted that I've assembled. It's taken me over six months to get everything together and my local recycling centre now has three 8-track machines from my earlier failed attempts. Reliability is one of the problems inherent in dealing with forty year old technology, and why I ended up buying a 'brand new' thirty eight year old piece of equipment, call it a delayed 1975 Christmas present to myself.

I intend to do some more 'Retro Tech' videos over the next year whenever I get the chance and I've already picked up a few items from ebay with this in mind. 

All that's left now is to wish everyone a Merry Christmas (or whatever it is you do where you are) and a happy 2014. I'll be taking a couple of weeks break away from releasing new videos but I'll use some of that time to reorganise the blog a bit, sort out some dead links etc.

So that's it, enjoy the most expensive and pointless video I've made so far.

UPDATE - Believe it or not, the ebay seller I bought my Pioneer H-R99 Recorder from has another one of these, again, it's brand new unused and he has replaced the belt. This chap must have a time machine. You can see the auction HERE 

 

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Reader Comments (22)

Like you, the 8 track was just before my time but it's amazing to see how it works. Ingenious way to cycle the whole tape pulling it from the middle. Obviously flawed technology in the long run but I guess they never expected it to live long enough.
I'm the first to slap on a few MP3s and listen to music but there's something a little bit magical about old tech doing what is so easy these days. Be it adjusting the tracking on a video, fast forwarding a tape on a biro, dusting a record with a velour block or playing a record wet with a floating wet brush. Putting a bit of effort into things seemed to make them that little bit more worthwhile.

I'd just like to add, thanks so much for the entertainment over 2013 Matt, I only became a watcher when I discovered you through your IP camera video back in January. I totally ignored your recommendation and got some cheap crap thing that would have turned up quicker if Mr Chan had walked it over. It's rubbish, it was a pain to set up and doesn't really do what I want it to. That's when I started listening properly.

I had got into DVRs in a big way in 2012 since having a Polish articulated lorry (the country, not Mr Sheen) side-swipe my smart on the M25. I did my own thing and tried a lot of new cameras. What amazes me is the difference in quality of cameras in comparison over the last 12 months. I have bought a few cameras that you have recommended and can't see much of an improvement until they perfect and cheapen 4K cameras. The Vico and the DOD are top notch, then the G1W arrived, quality at a low price, it's what we started the year looking for.

Enjoy your little break and remember we are all anxiously checking the site every few days for the next episode of entertainment.

Happy Christmas to you and your wife, I hope 2014 is a strong one for you in all areas.

Kane (evilution.co.uk) in Essex.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterevilution

Thanks Matt - nice video, as always.

Of course the real reason to go through all this is so you have something to play on the stereo in your 1981 Pontiac TransAm when street racing with the other cool guys in summer. :-)

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Another great vid!

i also vaguely remember my grandad having an 8 track player in his car, and one in the house. He also had a lot of the country and western tapes you mentioned...

In a previous life, I worked in radio and in those days (before computer playout systems) jingles, ads, etc, were recorded on cartridges, which I'm guessing were the one-track version of 8-track - a continuous loop of tape in the same plastic housing as the 8-track tapes.

Anyway, thank you for a year of great video reviews, I've really enjoyed them; and thanks to you, I bought a SJ1000 in the summer.

Best wishes,

Colin

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColin W

Great retro review and well done for taking the troubleand expense to do it.

As an aside...

When I started work on the radio in the early eighties the 8 track had already evolved into 'Carts' - same size and same tape except they ran with just a stereo L and R - basically the same as your reel-to-reel. The standard speed was 7.5 ips (Inches Per Second) and they too were a little hissy even with noise reduction circuits built in.

Like you, I collect vintage audio and I still have a Sonifex Cart machine known as a Micro HSx and it still works perfectly. I have a rather large collection of carts with varying running times (but like old 7" records I don't really want to throw them away) Each used to contain a commercial or jingle and were played sequentially usually in a triple stack cart player.

In medium and large scale radio, the carts format died out with the 'Dart' format - which was just a regular 1.4 mb floppy disc with digital audio on it - although the capacity was severly limited. Carts hung on in hospital radio stations that couldn't afford the new technologies. But eventuall, the carts mostly all went the way of the PC.

I'm sure there must be readers of your blog and site that know places that still use the old format - small stations in the USA and UK were still using them in the 2000's - but I suspect most have made the move to digital. Sad really, as the point you made in the review is the 'warm' sound that an analogue recording makes is natural to the ear.

In closing - as one of the near silent majority that watch and enjoy your efforts - I'd like to thank you for just basically taking the trouble to do it, as we all know - the reward isn't a king's ransom. I like too your humour, very dry and very, very funny.

With best wishes to you and to the fellow "Techmoaners" - Happy Christmas/New Year/Holidays or whatever!

Chris

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris

That foam strip looks very much like the self adhesive draft proof stuff you can buy on a roll for a pound a meter even down to the shiny plastic coating on the top,

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultraseal-Draught-Excluder-Strip-Brown/dp/B00FO7OM2G

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdrozd

Hi Matt, brilliant video, entertaining as always. I wonder how many people out there have done a video on an 8 Track recorder? None I would think, so count yourself pretty unique. I agree, the build quality of the machines back then was a different level entirely.

I remember my uncle had an 8 Track in his old Jaguar, back in the mid 70's. I remember his air freshner in the car too, the one with the traffic light colours and a little pin to start it off.

Keep up these interesting videos

Merry Xmas!

Daz

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Kane, I couldn't agree more. I think that we've definitely reached the point this year where the DVR technology is suitable for most people's requirements. I think there is still some work that could be done with the designs and with multi-camera set-ups, but as far as a single camera with a screen on the back, we are pretty much spoilt for choice. I'm also glad that I'm not the only one who has figured out that a bit of inconvenience can make you appreciate something more. I've been thinking about making a video that touches on this theme for a while. I don't want to spoil it, but the idea of having almost any album available at the touch of a button on a screen somehow devalues it...I'll try and articulate this thought better in the video, anyway a Merry Christmas to you and yours.

December 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Chris, I have seen a few of the cart players and carts on ebay. You can still buy blank carts as well. I kept coming across them last year when I was looking for NAB Adaptors for my Reel To Reel machine, and the NAB Carts kept appearing in my search results. I've got all the audio formats I want at the moment. There's one especially rare one that I haven't shown yet and I'll be making a video about as soon as I can get the time. Thanks for the positive words and best wishes to you too.

December 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Daz, You can still get the Traffic Light Air Freshener - it's called the "feu orange." Treat yourself and bring back the memories.

December 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Merry Christmas to u too Mr Moan (Matt) Tech

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

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