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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 


Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

Yi Ultra 2.7K
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
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.


RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)


U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)




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'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%! 


« Rip it up and start again - Sony HAP-S1 vs Pioneer NP-01S | Main | K1S - The first Front & Rear Hidden 1080p Dash Camera »

CCTV Basics - Wired day & night outdoor camera.

Over the last couple of months I've been experimenting with CCTV with the aim of setting up a budget system to monitor a garden for nocturnal wildlife. I've condensed what I've learned so far into the video below. You'll see a demonstration of the day and night video quality from three budget cameras, I show how to connect everything together, pass on a few tips and I won't over complicate things with needless technical jargon.


After watching that, you'll see that setting up a CCTV system can be done very cheaply. If you want to buy any of the things shown in the video then you'll find the links below. (All links are for the UK only unless specified).

'White' Camera - from China (ebay UK)  - ebay US link here

'Silver' Camera (Amazon UK)                 'Johnny 5' Camera (Amazon UK)

8" LCD Monitor (Amazon UK)                 Old Sony 6" CRT Broadcast Monitor  (ebay UK)


Note - some of these items may come from China, take a while to arrive and could incur import duty costs.
As always I can't guarantee the long-term performance or longevity of anything I review.


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Reader Comments (19)

Hi Mat, entertaining as always, nice n cheap cams these...but I would miss the IP cam functionality I think.

Great work, thanks for listening.


March 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

"well actually, I think you'll find" - I spat my tea out

March 15, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterlagerstarfishl

Hi Mat, another top video. Like a commentator on your youtube site, I'd miss the IP functionality I think, but nevertheless I can see that there are a number of situations where these cameras would be ideal. Keep up the good work.

March 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterQuaser

Could you do something like this in a car? I'm keen as mustard to have a set up in the car with a decent capacity and small cameras.
My car's an ex cop car so has wiring all over and places to put big bits so could manage it!

March 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterOwyn

The (£50 +HDD) DVR recorder device is where the IP functionality is added- but I have no experience of this.

March 15, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Interesting. Nice to see another person's view on this stuff, I know a little bit but I almost always learn a bit more. Thanks.

A few months ago I 'took the plunge' and finally bought a Sannce security DVR and a Western Digital 500GB AV-GP harddrive (always get the AV-GP type as they're designed for continuous 24hour recording) both separately off eBay for around £50 altogether and they've been running fine since.

The Sannce H.264 recorder I bought was a slightly older model which they don't appear to sell anymore, it has 8 camera inputs, 4 audio inputs, 4 alarm inputs (PIR, door switches etc.), PTZ control output, 1 alarm output, composite+VGA+HDMI output, USB sockets for the included mouse and you can also plug your own keyboard in to completely operate the recorder on its own without the need of a computer, and most importantly, network connectivity so I can view realtime + recorded footage on a Windows PC with Internet Explorer (its web interface software requires ActiveX) and view the cameras in realtime with an Apple or Android phone/tablet device.

Whilst it's nice to be able to view cameras remotely in realtime on my Android tablet & phone, unfortunately that app falls flat in one specific area, I have to punch in an IP address for the recorder as I have been unable to get it to accept a name such as one of those from a dynamic dns provider, meaning after I configured my router to do the necessary port forwarding to the recorder I constantly have to find out what my external IP address is so I can punch that into the app (though thankfully that's all you have to change of the server setting, and not start the settings from scratch).

Another thing to note is the recording quality, PAL/NTSC analogue input Sannce recorders will usually only record one stream in full PAL/NTSC resolution whilst all the other streams are recorded at 1/4 the resolution (half the width & height of PAL/NTSC), so if you're looking for a level of quality that will allow you to clearly see burglars/trespassers faces for in the case of helping the police with their enquiries, start looking at the full HD setups.

Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention, the recorder with the harddrive in only uses approximately 14 watts.

As always with these things, if you're intending to get something for serious use - research, research, research. And then research some more, just to try and avoid unseen problems :)

March 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHaku

@Haku - my ISP offers an option to get static IP. That way you can avoid constantly changing DNS settings.

March 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJanky

@Janky, I wish BT would give you the option of a static IP, but hey my Infinity 2 connection does get me actual rates of 76mbit down and 18mbit up so I can't be too picky :)

@Owyn, a car system could be done, but would require some specialised kit, notably properly regulated power in the case of the Sannce recorder because although it runs off 12v and cars use a 12v battery, the recorder feeds that 12v straight into the harddrive and you don't want that 12v to fluctuate at all as it could damage the drive. Plus you'd probably want a 2nd battery to run it off which would require regular (probably daily) charging.

March 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHaku

I use "" the free account offers up to 3 free dynamic DNS hosts so you don't need a static IP address to see your CCTV from the internet. Just login to to your home router as admin and add your NOIP host dynamic DNS details, then when your local IP address changes these get relayed to NOIP. You may have to allow a port number through your router firewall, this port is then used to view and connect the android app via the internet. I have been using this method for last 2 years, NOIP email you each month to check you want to renew the host name. VMeye is also a good free android app to view CCTV output.

March 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterStu

Poor Techmoan :/

You spend all that money and time while you could have bought a cheap indoor Dericam H502W.

It's a wireless pan/tilt cam with lots of build-in features and records to a (micro)SD card. With a 32GB card you can record 3 days in 720p. It has IR-Leds which you can disable by cutting 1 wire while leaving the IR-filter intact so it operates just fine behind a window. Add a separate $20 IR-Floodlight from eBay to light up the garden at night and you're good to go.

I have a Dericam to monitor my garden and it perform quite good given the low price. With the IR-Floodlight and SDcard the total cost was about $140. The image quality is pretty good and if you want you can replace the lens which you can buy on eBay for about $8. And they come in either wide-angle view or telelens model.

Google for Dericam H502W and I'm sure you'll find the usefull links yourself.

March 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCamsmurf

Might be wise for you to watch the video again. The camera is being used to provide a live video feed from a garden (not sure why you would assume the area being recorded could be viewed through a window). I did also mention that the house had WiFi. I've reviewed IP cams before. This is a different type of product.

March 17, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

@Stu, hey thanks for the heads-up regarding the vMEye Android software, it works fine with my Sannce recorder but the picture only gets updated once every 5 seconds and I couldn't find any settings to increase the framerate, whereas the Android software suggested by Sannce that I've been using, SmartHD P2P, updates 2-3 times a second even through the internet, plus it can display up to 4 camera streams on screen at once.

I gave SmartHD P2P another go with the dynamic DNS IP address I get from's free service, it works! I don't know why it didn't work before as I can remember checking the IP address was correct etc.

The Sannce recorder has built-in capability to login to (and a few others) for when it's not on a static IP internet connection. I didn't have any luck getting it to work for me so I just run the IP update software on a PC.

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHaku

Just an idea for a project , How about using active USB extension cables, and a couple of Mobius's in webcam mode plugged into a Raspberry Pi (or similar) using an external hdd for storage ?- There's got to be some Linux cctv recording s/w out there it would run and you'd have decent HD with a wide angle lens

March 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDerek

Or - Some Mobius (whatever) attached to Plug Computers. ;-)

March 20, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChris

@Derek I didn't even know these cables existed. Thank you for pointing them out here.
This is exactly what I was looking for.

Mobius as an outdoor cam. Much, much smaller (and better to hide) than IP, CCTV etc. cams.
Switching the battery to a capacitor and it should be good to go.
With a USB splitter on could even have multiple Mobiuses facing different directions.

@Matt Which software would you use to watch and record the stream on a Mac?

March 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Are you going to review the xiaomi action cam?

March 22, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermagno

Just bought and tried a USB Active Extension / Repeater Cable to use the Mobius as a CCTV cam but it is not working.
It would charge the battery but failed in showing up as a removable drive and isn't recognized as a capturing device in VLC or QuickTime for instance.

March 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

I suspect depends on the quality of the cable - similar to what Mat found with his video cable found in the review - for instance several reviews for this one on amazon say:

"Using this cable to connect to a tripod mounted DSLR camera for astrophotography. No problems at all, even when using a "live" view video feed"

"I bought this cable in order to extend the length of an old web cam usb cable. I am reusing it as a security cam. The
cable works well and produces a clear picture with no issues over data dropping or power."

but the specs state "Devices with precise timing requirements (such as USB cameras) not recommended", so it may be the requirements of the Mobius vs other cameras, the quality of the cable, or a combination of the two.

March 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDerek

Also Frank - did I bit more digging - here ""

"For anybody coming across this thread, the USB cable I purchased didn't work. Mobius just goes into standby (I think) with that cable." -

Then the reply:-

"I wonder if your cable is bad? I have the exact same extension you listed and I use it to power a DropCam. I tested my new Mobius v3 with it and it worked with no problems at all. "

so it appears a bit of trial an error may be needed - Not entirely sure what a Mobius V3 is ?, although I noticed some later mobius's I bought had a different shape LED on the top - more lozenge than circular.

March 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDerek

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