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Pick of the Camera Reviews

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ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
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A119 (My recommendation)
Yi Dashcam (also in black)
   
    MINI CAMERAS
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%! 

            

 
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Monday
Feb012016

I'm tired of suckers talking smack about my K7s

Or in plain English - I'm fed up with cassettes getting a bad rap. Yes the technology has been superseded, but that's no reason to be dissing (there I go again) the best-selling pre-recorded music format of the 80s & 90s. To me it's akin to slagging off your grandma....at her funeral. 

I made the video below to put the record (tape) straight. The cassette may have come and gone, but few people ever heard it at it's best. Before I made this video, I was one of those people. However rather than make up stories about how bad it was in an attempt to be hip and popular, I've made an effort to find out the truth about tapes. Watch the video below to see how I get on.

So saying cassettes were rubbish is the same as driving a Trabant and then saying cars are rubbish. Listening to cheap tapes on a dodgy stack system, or a Saisho/Matsui 'Walkman' was how most people remember them, but that's doing cassettes a massive disservice. 

I've got a few links below if you want to give cassettes a second chance. 

You can find all sorts of machines on ebay
  
If you are looking to buy the same model of machine I bought - the model is the Sony TC-S1 - this link will search for it on eBay UK 
However the TC-S1 is part of the Sony Scala system and some people list it under this - so this link will look for the Sony Scala on eBay UK 
  
Whatever eBay search you are doing - it's advisable to expand it to include the rest of Europe - the prices and condition are often better if you source a machine from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands etc.  
Don't just search for Dolby S - as often this spec is not mentioned in the title of an auction.
  
I buy blank Metal Tapes from Tapeline in the UK 
  

Here's a link to the video I mention at the end, about the Last Audio Cassette Factory

If my video was too basic for you - don't complain, just head over to TAPEHEADS.NET where you can get really technical about whatever tape related topic you want.

*Regarding the K7 in the article title - it's a slang abbreviation of Cassette used in a number of countries around the world - just pronounce the letter and number in French and you'll understand why. 

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Reader Comments (15)

Hi Mat, both informative and interesting, really enjoyed it.

I wonder if I still have all my old tapes in the loft, gathering dust.

..thanks for listening

Daz

February 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Hey there. Yet another textbook Techmoan video. Love it. But I couldn't help notice you struggle with not being able to play copyright music quite a lot - not just in this but other videos too. Simply put (and I've been meaning to email you about this for a while, this video just reminded me) I'm a professional musician and sound recordist. Would you like me to produce a test track for you, which you can use as often as you like? No catch. No fees. No royalties. Just a favour from one Brit gear nerd to another. If so, write to me at thatjim@gmail.com and I'll put something together for you. I was thinking something along the lines of 4 tracks. One with high dynamics; heavy drums and rock guitar, another with soft strings and synthesisers, a third with spoken word and foley, and a fourth with a mixture of all three. I was going to just go ahead and do something, and then send you an email saying "there you go", but I thought it best to ask first in case someone has already offered to do something similar in the past and you're not really arsed. Either way, pip pip tally ho! Jim.

February 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJim

I could not agree with you more on this- your latest in a long ln a long line of excellent videos! With a good quality machine such as your own gorgeous Pioneer or similar ( i own a fabulous 3 head Akai machine still working well since the late 70's) & using high quality cassettes , the results obtainable can be superb! what you say about driving a Trabant re: cars is so true & perfectly sums up most peoples negative views on tapes.

Lastly i have been a You Tube fan of yours for some time & really enjoy all your videos, well done & keep up the great work!
M

February 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMBradnum

Mark,
Thanks for the positive words - and I'm glad you enjoyed the video (and agreed with the sentiment).

Jim,
I'll definitely get back to you on this. The copyright thing is often something I can't get around - unless you could also record a Playtape, a Tefifon, a Laserdisc and some Vinyl for me. However if I do ever need to demonstrate something from a digital file, it would definitely come in handy. I'd also put some attribution or a link to your website/portfolio in the video description text too.

February 2, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Fantastic video Mat. This brings a tear to my eye. I used to save up for TDK MA-XG tapes at school. I lusted after the weight, solid metal construction and see through tape shell. I was using Dolby C at the time (the only deck I had access to) and I always recorded my best albums on Metal tape (eg Pink Floyd). I was so obsessive about getting the levels perfect at +4-5dB and would always re-do a recording if it ever nudged in to distortion or was too low. None of that auto level control nonsense. I'm going to dig up my 100+ cassettes and buy a tape deck because I've been meaning to do this for ages. I did have a play with a DBX tape deck in the late 90's/early 2000's and it was OK, but not as good as Dolby C in my opinion. I did find a Dolby S tape deck at a friends many years ago and loved listening to it. But I've never found one for a reasonable cost.

Have you found that there seem to be a group of auction site people who seem to buy up all the cheap decks and resell them at ridiculous prices? It's really hard to find a good price deck for what is 20+ year old equipment. Oh well. I'll find one one day!

February 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRexy

I've found that it's best to import tape recorders from elsewhere in Europe (if you are in the UK) and also find out what machine(s) you are interested in buying first. Set up an automated alert on ebay for those models and you might find someone offering one on a buy-it-now at a cheap price and you can snap it up before it gets noticed by other people.

February 2, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Techmoan, I really like your videos about old audio stuff. I've enjoyed it a lot. Totally agree about your statement that cassettes can sound really well.
In fact, cassettes can sound even better than you say, but you need better decks (than of that sony) properly restored by a professional technician.
I'm a lucky owner of some of the best decks, like your Pioneer F1250 (restored and upgraded), SONY K909ES, Nakamichi RX505, TEAC 8030S, Nakamichi Dragon or the Tandberg 3014. Using Dolby S and an excellent Chrome or metal tape, the sound can reach the level of a hi-res file. And if the source is an excellent AAA vinyl, it can sound better.
I've made some videos with real audio capture using this equipment that can be watched and download in my youtube channel if you wish:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgDjhc0w-Fs

Thanks for doing; it was a pleasure to watch!

Hugo from Walkman Archive

February 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHugo

Great video again :) Inspired me to listen some of my old tapes for a change and they still work. My player is portable Sharp QT-CD7 from 1992 which has cassetteplayer, radio and cd-player. Cassetteplayer still works ok but CD player is skipping and jerking, makes terrible noise when the laserhead is returning to the home position from the end of the CD. Funny how older technology in it still works but the newer part failed.

February 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJust a guy from Finland

Great Vid mate, I love watching this sort of thing. I've long since got rid of all my cassettes, but I used to love buying high quality Chrome and Metal TDK, Maxell and TEAC tapes back in the 80s and 90s.

February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Another great informational video. I love the format of all of your videos and always leave better educated. I was wondering what the songs are on your playlist in this particular video. The acoustic guitar caught my ear and like Pandora does, I'm sure you've created a wonderful p!aylist with complementary music. Also, this isn't related to the video in this post but would you buy the git2 over the mj10+? I'm looking for an action cam, but can't afford GoPro prices.

February 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTam

I can't really take any credit for the music selection - it's a compilation from HDTracks - I'd recommend it though as a great way to test out your system - the recordings are all very clean - http://www.hdtracks.co.uk/the-world-s-greatest-audiophile-vocal-recordings
Also - I'd go for the Git2, yes.

February 8, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Techmoan,

Can you tell me if the Sony TC-S1 can be remotecontrolled?

As far as i can see its not possible without the Scala Amplifier.

After watching your Video i found my old Sony TC-K 511S and restored it (new belts and pinchroller). Its simply fantastic - and its got a remote control.

My idea was to sell the 511S and for the money get the S1, because its small, got autoreverse and a cassette tray loader.
But if i can't remote control it... i might as well keep the 511S

February 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPer Hoffmann Olsen

Great feature, congratulations.
I fully agree with your review and everything you said about cassettes and their potential audio quality. Being myself in my mid fifties I am sittl holding to my cassette recordings and players. Sadly my top of the line JVC portable "walkman" went belly up a few years ago with no hope of repair.
If only you could be now persuaded to do a minidisc review....

Thanks again from Chile!

March 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Mini-disc is on the to-do list.

March 1, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hey Mat, perhaps Tape may be about to follow in the shoes of the Vinyl revival.

http://www.whathifi.com/news/eminem-to-re-release-slim-shady-lp-cassette-tape

March 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTom

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