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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%! 

 
« Adding 80's flair to modern digital music playback | Main | SJ2000 Helmet Cam - Letting the family down »
Monday
Jan062014

Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camera Review

This is my very long review of the Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camera. Brevity is not one of my strengths when it comes to these reviews so I suggest you skip past any sections that don't interest you. I'm sure you'll be able to decide whether this camera could be of any use to you within the first 30 seconds, as it's a very specialised device designed for a very specific purpose. 

 

Downloadable Samples 

It turns out that files with LPCM audio are very difficult to trim without re-encoding first. All my trimming tools refuse to import these files. As all the LPCM encoded files I recorded of the street musicians are well over 100MB each, I'm unable to share these anywhere. I've therefore done the best I can and re-encoded a few files that you can download at the link above. Unfortunately there are no untouched LPCM encoded music recordings there...so contrary to what I said in the video you can't listen to an untouched LPCM recording. I have uploaded one small file with LPCM audio (Filename: VanDang) that file is there for you to see if your own editing software can cope with Videos that have LPCM Audio. Please remember that this camera has the option to record videos with AAC Audio instead - and I do have one AAC Audio Clip (the operatic singer)...that file can be handled by most editing packages. 

Buying Links  

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Sony US 

Sony UK (This is cheaper than Amazon UK at time of publishing)

UPDATE 10 January - As requested here's more of that nice lady singing...

 

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Reader Comments (18)

Hi Mat, an nteresting review, as always.

I wonder if anyone else listening to the footage heard a lot of either wind noise or some kind of sound distortion, particularly when you were walking. I was listening to the sample footage with my headphones and this seeemed very obvious. If this camera's purpose is to produce extra sound quality, based on the examples, I wouldn't be so impressed. It will be interesting to see if any others heard the same. I guess a wind sock over the mics might help. I'm not overly impressed with the design showing the mics either.

Like the little gimick of the wifi feature, it seems a few cameras are doing this now, even the top end ones. Not sure if it will catch on or not, time will tell.

Thanks again Mat

Daz

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

I hope my review didn't confuse matters, don't pay too much attention to the situations in which I was using the camera. I don't go to live music events or play in a band...so this is the best I could do. This is definitely not designed as a walking about camera, so in a concert or a studio Wind Noise should not be an issue.

January 8, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Excellent review, thanks! I'd just noticed that strange device on a Sony site earlier this week.

Did you get a chance to do some side by side AS15/MV1 picture comparisons? Similar 120 angle it seems although you mention 140ish in the review.

I wonder if an AS15/Zoom H1N combo wouldn't work better (be cheaper) as it shouldn't be too hard to merge the sound after the fact and it's easier to hide the H1N and the AS15 if you have to.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterwebvan

Hi, as an owner of a Zoom H1N I can assure that the sound quality would not be much improved by using it as an external recorder. While the Zoom H1N has excellent microphones, it is as sensitive to wind noise as this camera, if not even worse. Also the H1 is so flimsily put together that it's almost impossible to avoid handling noises.

While this is a video camera with decent microphones, you'd also might find Zoom's Q3HD or Q2HD devices interesting, they are quality sound recorders with an HD camera.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkikkomies

It is sensitive indeed, although there is an intriguing "dead cat" screen available on eBay UK, I need to try it some day!

What I had in mind though was using the AS15/AS30 action cam + the H1N instead of the MV1 to record a live show, not replacing the MV1's sound by the H1N's sound. Actually that's what I'll be attempting to do tonight for a friend's band and will report back if anyone's interested ;-)

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterwebvan

Since the SJ1000 was such a great camera, could you review the SJ4000? It seems to also fit with the gopro mountings and it also has a built in LCD screen so it seems to be bang for the buck.

January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterM4X

Hi Mat, good review! I was wondering if it would be possible for you to review some "glasses camera" like this one.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SPY-EYEWEAR-GLASSES-CAMERA-HIDDEN-MINI-DVR-1280-x-720-HD-30FPS-UP-TO-o-32GB-/321008045165

Im looking into getting one for POV street football shots and paragliding shots. I know I may be better off with a decent action camera tied to a strap around my head or such, but as only glasses cameras provide "true POV" shots and I would be able to "perform headers while having the camera strapped to my head" etc. Thanks again, and once more your work is amazing and very very informative!

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDoc

Thanks for review this.
I had a Sony DSLR and its video is great, sound is poor. I bought an external mic Rode StereoVideomic, but on large concerts there is too much gain. So I bought a Tascam DR05 external soind recorder and its amazing. With Rode mic its almost CD quality. I use the Sony DSLR with an old Pentax m42 lens f1,4 and the concert recording now in an awesome quality, :) Of course not as foldalble like this Sony but its worth to carry. Grettings from Hungray, keep up the good work. ;)

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGyörgy

Hi! Excellent Reviewm as always! Yours are most always the most informative, witty and real world-ish among the reviews I find online.

Question #1: Could you say the this MV1 is good enough to record, say, weddings inside a church? I have been using a Canon M52 Vixia, and although it is a much more expensive camcorder, it is not wide angle and the audio is not really that good. I am looking to replace that with this MV1 from Sony. I am mostly going to record events as-is, meaning there's no creative angles, or any gimmick camera tricks involved, just plain recording. The Canon M52 feels a little constricted for my tastes, and the audio seems lacking.

Question #2: If you were to choose, which will perform better, video and audio-wise: This MV1 or the Canon Legria Mini / X. The "X" is coming out soon with enhanced audio capacities.

Thanks!

March 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Reyes

Thank you for the comprehensive review of the Sony hdr-mv1. I am looking for a video recorder specifically to record interviews (indoor) so the microphone is the essential bit. I was recommended this camera by the guy in the Sony shop (I haven't bought it yet) and, now that I've seen your review I may not buy it as it has no zoom function or viewing screen (essential). I have been looking for a standard video camera that has a jack input to take an external microphone and I can't find one anywhere, can you recommend anything?

May 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Thomson

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