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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%! 

 
« The Contour Roam 2 - Using the right tool for the job | Main | The Rollie Eggmaster Vertical Grill »
Sunday
Jun232013

Q) Which car camera is best for catching a vandal in the act? A) None of them.

I wanted to explain in a video why its a really bad idea to consider using a car camera to catch a vandal. You may think that no-one would contemplate doing this, but every week I receive a handful of emails asking me to recommend a car camera for this very purpose. This video also demonstrates why motion activation isn't all its cracked up to be.

Extra information to think about;

If you want a camera to record for a prolonged period whilst your car is locked up you will have to hard-wire it in to your vehicle. Then to catch the offender, the incident would have to happen in the daytime - or in a very well lit area at night, the offender doesn't wear a hood or faces away from the camera, they decides to damage your bonnet rather than the side of the car, you have a tall vehicle, e.g. a 4x4 so you capture more than just an image of their headless torso, and you'll also have to notice the damage to your vehicle and check the footage on your memory card before it is overwritten...this will usually happens every few hours. In addition if you park on a busy street, every passing car or pedestrian will trigger the camera to start recording. It's more than likely that something happening at 10pm will not longer be on your memory card when it gets light enough for you to spot the scratch the next day.

You may not agree with my assessment, and if so that's great, please do whatever makes you happy - but IN MY OPINION, trying to catch someone 'keying' your car with a dashcam is ALMOST impossible.

 

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Reader Comments (70)

Thanks for your message. I do think I need to take things a bit slower as I've been burning the candle at both ends for a few weeks, and its affecting the quality...so in future i'll only be uploading videos when they are finished, rather than trying to fit them to a weekly schedule.

I'll probably elect to stay behind the camera wherever possible, as I do think that most people prefer the disembodied voice videos. Also none of my cameras have mic-in sockets, so the sound quality is compromised on live sound, and I don't have or want the technology/ability to sync externally recorded live sound.

June 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

@techmoan, completely off topic, I've noticed the Kodak Playfull Ze2 "waterproof" camera is very affordable right now. It's GBP 34.95 at Amazon UK and € 38.76 at Amazon DE. Both are eligible for free shipment if I'm not mistaken. It's only 720p but it's been getting some good reviews. I've quoted waterproof since at least one person allegedly had a dead camera after 5 minutes under water. Still, the camera should be splash proof and has the suitable form factor for a in-helmet velcro mounting. Unfortunately the microphone it on the wrong side and close to the lens so wrapping it in textile might be required.

I know, there are reviews for this camera. Still, maybe you could make a reference to it somewhere. Or otherwise, I've made a reference just now :)

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteven Devijver

"and I don't have or want the technology/ability to sync externally recorded live sound"
The easiest solution to that usually is just to make a clap in front of the camera with hands or some objects and take that as a reference point.
Oh and, that Sony actioncam has marvellous sound compared to the rest of your cameras.

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMikk36

@Mikk36 - Or use something like this

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/film-set-sound-clapper-board/id417737193?mt=8

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVoyager03

Yes I could definitely do that with a simpler video with less edits, but a video like this used an insane number of edits...the PIP video was rendered out and them re-imported, so I could put another PIP on the top. My Sony action cams are 30/60fps, but the main camera is 25/50, so manually syncing in iMovie is tricky. It all got a bit crazy in the end....and to be honest, it really wasn't worth the effort.

June 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

This device: http://www.amazon.com/Zetta-Z12-Intelligent-Security-Camcorder/dp/B00B7733E0 is well suited to catching car vandals and is actually built for that purpose. Has a long battery life and a lot of customizable settings. It's also small and can be mounted in a lot of different locations. Will not record well during night though.

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZ12100

Theses are informative videos for YT advising us layabouts about gadgets. If the sound can be heard then that's a good start. I don't think Matt is attempting to win any Oscars for sound or video so lets just give external mic a rest ehh !!! :@)

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

I've heard (never used) of PluralEyes for sound syncing purposes. The current setup works though.

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpylb

maybe you should disable comments on the YouTube uploads if you're attracting knobhead comments and only allow comments on the Techmoan site where people are on the whole far more sensible and appreciative

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

I agree with Brian. In my opinion, in case you care, only the people here, on your website, your fans, should be of any concern to you and then maybe only slightly. :) We come here and participate because we really really enjoy what you do. You're good at it... and it's entertaining (and helpful), EVEN WHEN YOU'RE ON CAMERA. I mean, what kind of person would have the nerve to post a comment that insists that you not be seen in your videos? I tell you... a jackass... a worthless tool.

You should be in your videos whenever it's appropriate and... AND, whenever you flim-flam feel like being in your videos. In fact, I'd like to see an entire video devoted to seeing YOU walking around Manchester showing us yanks all the sights and sounds of what looks to be a rather lovely place to live. "This is where I work... this is where I get a cup of coffee every morning... ", etc.

This isn't the first time you've fretted over certain comments made by the daily sludge that trolls YouTube. Forget them, seriously. That site is mostly a nightmare. Techmoan.com is great... the videos, the fans, their comments, and YOU sir.

-Mike

June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike W.

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