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ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
 
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Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
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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%! 

 
« Recording inside and outside the car - with the Transcend DrivePro 520 Dashcam | Main | What a 10 Hour Music playlist looked like in 1992 »
Wednesday
Jan062016

A 360º Appraisal of the Ricoh Theta S Camera

Since the introduction of the original 360º Theta Camera in 2013, the Ricoh engineers have continued to develop their two-lens spherical camera technology and now their latest model, the Theta S, is available in the UK.

You can see my full review below.

 

In the video I voice some disatisfaction with the apps and software that accompany the camera. I know that in many ways this is uncharted territory, however Ricoh have had over two years practice and to me the image management experience still feels very beta. The ecosystem surrounding the 360º Bublcam seemed a lot more user friendly. 

For example, the fact that Ricoh don't allow me to post full quality video clips over 11 seconds or batch-upload images seem like rookie errors....and the lack of a delayed shutter on a camera where you often need time to get out-of-shot is puzzling. The Bublcam has a delay shutter as standard. 

 

China Town - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

 

However software and firmware can always be updated - if the actual technology that creates the 360º images didn't work well then things would be a lot more serious, but it does work, and it works flawlessly.

The next time I go on holiday, in addition to my main camera I will definitely be taking the Theta S along as well, and that's really the biggest accolade that I can give to any camera. 

Affiliated links to Amazon below.

 

You can download my original 360º files here and you can watch the 360º youtube driving footage here (apparently you can zoom in/out if you have a numeric keypad with +/- keys).

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Reader Comments (7)

Hi Mat,

Brilliant video documentary - I was totally enthralled. Funny that you are looking at these as I only just recently discovered YouTube 360 videos were available and looked pretty impressive....is this the video of the future I wonder....4k is probably the way to go and will come soon I think the software just needs to catch uip.

Kolor Eyes is another piece of software that is a 360 player and works quite well I have this installed.

Great work - as always thanks for listening.

Daz

January 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

This really needs some sort of simple remote trigger mechanism. Just a (physical) button on a bit of wire with a jack on the end, like you get on DSLRs.

If they added that, I'd be very tempted to stick one on my bike somewhere, or on top of my helmet. That should make for some great on the move holiday snaps! If only because the helmet is a bit more anonymous. :-)

Is there any way in the software (or app) to get a full resolution shot of a particular framing so you can get normal pictures to share in normal places? That would be useful too.

January 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKeeees

The app can output flattened images with the top and bottom corrected - but they look like this: http://pc.cd/5AyctalK

January 7, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

A few things worth mentioning...

I have got some good shots suspending mine with a bungie chord, you can buy generic 1/4'' D-Ring on ebay for less than £2 to do that. Also good is the flexible leg mini tripods such as the Joby Gorilla.

You can create Google Street Views via the street view app.

The HDMI port is for live streaming the 360 video footage (something for the future)

You can also upload 360 stills and create tours - check out SPINATTIC http://www.spinattic.com/ or HOLOBUILDER https://www.holobuilder.com/ by linking the 360 photos and creating hotspots.

Flickr have announced they will support 360 in 2016

There is also a FB user group https://www.facebook.com/groups/RicohTHETAUsers/ where users are posting allot of interesting comments/tips. It's a good place for advice to get you going and to see some amazing techniques such as light writing (using a slow shutter speed - I believe)

Given the lenses etc I would also recommend a small insurance policy there are some out there for £50 or less for a couple of years of accidental damage cover.

January 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Tapping

Hi Mat
Latest Theta S firmware 1.50 released 27 April 2016 includes the self timer function, not tried it myself as I've not got one (yet).
For details, see https://theta360.com/uk/support/download/firmware/s/
Regards
Simon

May 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSimonB

Whoops I thought I'd added this on the end of the article. I've been using it since it came out. It works well. You've reminded me to update the page. Thanks.

May 10, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks SimonB, a useful firmware updated and it's much better.

Here is a 360 video at 1080p of an ale annual festival... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_LGTsX4j1Q

May 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Tapping

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