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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

 

 
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
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.

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%! 

 
« Memory Lane 1 - High Street Consumer Electronics, 25 years ago. | Main | The Smallest Car DVR - So close, but misses by a mile. »
Saturday
Feb092013

A review of the Sony AKA-LU1 Action Cam LCD Screen Grip

I've been waiting for this accessory to come out since I did my review of the Sony HDR-AS10 over Christmas. I'm actually a little bit surprised that it finally got released as I have a feeling that the Sony action cams haven't been as successful as they would have liked and there was always the potential for Sony to just pull the plug on the whole endeavour.

I'm a very big fan of these cameras though, so much so that since my original AS10 review I've now bought an HDR-AS15 as well. I intend to make at least one more video about the Sony AS15 and it's accessories.

You may have spotted that both my AS10 and the AS15 were used during the making of this video. I attached the AS15 to my head with the VCT-GM1 waterproof Helmet mount- which meant the sound quality suffered. I have therefore now ordered the BLT-HB1 Headband mount  which will leave the microphones exposed.

Mr Sony, if you are reading, I've got one question about the missing Mic Socket....what the heck were you thinking?

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Reader Comments (10)

I love the cam. Since I saw your gopro-as10 comparison / review I decided on getting one. The worst part is that I only find the as15...

Thanks for the update. Waiting for that AS15 review and any tips about it compared with the as10 (besides the known ones).

February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCalvinH

Hi Techmoan and Viewers,

Well, considering I just bought an AS15, this review was nicely timed. I was (and still am) tempted to get one of these but my first priority is to fit the waterproof casing to the side of my crash helmet.

I've gone mad on Sony stuff just recently. Always been a fan. I also bought a Sony Xperia T smartphone (gave up waiting for a Google Nexus 4). It's got the latest Jelly Bean Android software on it and I was also surprised how good the camera is on the phone.

The AS15 works great with the Xperia's WiFi but I haven't had chance to test it out in the real world yet. It might be a bit fiddly if your phone is already connected to another WiFi source and you have to go into the settings to change it. I'll see how it goes, but for now, I don't think I need the LCD screen and casing reviewed here.

Oh, and did I mention I also bought the superb Sony DSC-HX20v compact camera? Lowlight performance, steadyshot, and zoom is superb... I'm really liking that camera!

Anyway, back to the AS15. A tip about using an external mic... power off, plug mic in, then power on again... otherwise mic is ignored. Took me ages to work that one out! A great tip on modding the case to fit an external mic is here on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yvtky1GA3Us

I don't plan to go swimming in my crash helmet, so splashproof will suffice and a slight hole in the bottom for the lead will be fine. In fact, I might put another couple of holes in it for ventilation... a guy in a hot part of the Sates found his kept cutting out due to overheating in the case.

Some people have noticed rattles while in the casing. There's a couple of videos on YouTube about this and it's not too difficult to cure. One guy shows the camera taken apart and used two-part glue on it. Not a good idea if any component needs changing - foam rubber will do. Oh, and don't be tempted to use blue-tack 'cos it melts with the heat.

Techmoan, how about a few pics/mini-review of your headband mounting? I have a feeling it could be adapted to fit on the side of a helmet with some heavy duty 3M velcro?

Mind you, some helmets may need horizon and tilt adjustment plus a little left & right movement, so some sort of ball-joint may be needed. Mine comes into that category but I'd just like to see how the strap area works. There seems to be some sort of hinge and a flap? Can it be mounted either side?

I think the AS10/AS15 would be THE best camera for motorcyclists because of Sony's optical steadyshot system that really smooths out the video and the fantastic low light performance. This camera deserves to do well so let's hope for more accessories and maybe some firmware upgrades in the future.

If only Sony had addressed the mic and side helmet mounting problem from the beginning - I know there are loads of bikers who'd buy it like a shot. I didn't mind about these issues because I can usually fix them myself, but others will view them as deal-breakers and I know plenty that have.

As always Techmoan, great reviews. Just right for watching with a cup of tea and a sticky bun.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFlyingPanMan

Hello to Techmoan ur the best 4 the review 808 - (16) spy mini cam .cant want to see ur riview on the nex (20) vurgion

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarco

Hi Techmoan/viewers
I have just brought a Sony action cam and I am thinking of buying the AKA-LU1 LCD screen grip. I do a lot of things in the water so I was wondering if they make water proof cases for them

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCuzimaninja

I can't see Sony making a waterproof case for their LCD Screen. I've never seen a waterproof case for a flip out screen camcorder.

April 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

this morning my newest HDR AS15 "DIY Mod" got ready! now it's no tiny lightweight action cam no more ;-)


http://pingpong.posterous.com/sony-hdr-as15-action-cam-diy-modification


fat as my cat!

April 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjuergen

Actually Sony offers waterproof cases for their consumer camcorders where the flip-out screen is used for framing shots and monitoring the footage. However those cases are usable for snorkeling depths only (up to 5 meters I think).

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarts

If you hold down the arrow buttons it will act as a rewind or fast forward button until you click the play/pause button. Just clicking the arrow buttons will jump to the next or previous chapter.

July 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Herum

There is a new version, the hdr as30v, with wi-fi, nfc and a new case which allows you to change settings while it's in the case. I just ordered mine, the shipping takes at least 3 days...

March 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterstorm

Wanted to mention that I got one for my new AS100 and it is indeed a great accessory that makes the camera a lot more versatile. It seems it might have been "retooled" as I'd read quite a few complaints about the on/off/back/record button not working properly with the AS100. My version is dated 11/2014 and has the AS100 mentioned on the box and that button works fine.

Will try the FFWD/RWD tip mentioned above.

It would be perfect if there was some type of OSD and connectors for USB charging.

January 3, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterwebvan

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