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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 (My recommendation)
Yi Dashcam (also in black)
   
    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%! 

            

 
« Retro-tech - The RCA CED Videodisc | Main | Auto-Reverse: The Hard Way »
Thursday
Mar032016

Polaroid Cube Plus - Mini Camera, Big Performance

If the view-count of my original Polaroid Cube video is anything to go by (900,000+), there should be plenty of interest in this new Cube+ which manages to pack a lot more tech into the same tiny box.

Highlights include 1080p60, 1440p30, image-stabilisation, time-lapse, slow-motion...and in what may be a first, even the WiFi app performs perfectly. Watch the video below to see it all in action.

If you want to buy a Cube+ you might be able to find a deal on ebay by clicking here...or click one of the Amazon Links below.

 

My Downloadable Sample Clips can be found here. Please note, these clips SHOULD NOT BE STREAMED. They are provided here, just for DOWNLOADING. If for some bizarre masochistic reason you decide you stream them...they will look worse than the youtube videos...which negates the whole point of their existence.

An important update to the comment I made in the video about occasional black frames appearing in 1080p60. Since uploading the video I've narrowed the fault down to iMovie (the drop-outs were only present on imported video - not on the original clips), so it's nothing to worry about. 

You may be interested to know that the Cube+ WiFi utilises the faster 802.11N standard...this explains the snappy WiFi streaming performance. 

The buskers featured in the video are the Rag Tag Misfits.

UPDATE: Battery life is shown at the beginning of the video on the box as 90 mins. I got 85 mins in 1080p30 with WiFi off and 75 mins in 1080p30 with the WiFi on and streaming a live video to an iPhone. 

 

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Reader Comments (23)

Great review as always! Couple of questions:

Does the app allow you to use the phone horizontally?
Does it repeat frames between clips?

Without pixel by pixel comparison, how does the video quality compare to the Xiaomi Yi?

March 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterrcboosted

Hi Mat,

Great review - loved it. How come this version of the camera with wifi is super speedy when historically wifi wasnt worth bothering with as it was too slow. How come this one is amazingly fast? I wonder what version of wifi they are using then. Hopefully all wifi enabled cameras will work like this. As my old Nikon with wifi is hopeless really

Good little camera - pity there's no car cam version as well though.

As always thanks for listening...

Daz

March 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Daz, I had a theory that it must be using 802.11N - but I couldn't find the stats listed anywhere. So I've just checked it now with a WiFi interrogation tool and, yes the WiFi signal from the Cube+ is 802.11N, (2.4ghz). So that explains the much quicker wifi performance.

March 4, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

rcboosted, The app will work horizontally as well for the live video and playback screens, the setting screen is a vertical layout only. There's no clip overlap - although the audio drops out for a quarter of a second at the beginning of each clip. However a 4GB clip at 1080p30 is 1hr 6mins...so if joining clips together is a concern, there's no need to do it if you don't want.

March 4, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Appreciate the clarification on my questions! Keep up the great work as always.

March 5, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterrcboosted

Hi, Mat! Thanks for the video.
How long does it operate in 1080p/30fps mode without external power?

March 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSlo

It's mentioned at the beginning of the video when it is shown on the box specs as up-to 90 mins. I got approx 85 mins (or 10mins less with WiFi on).

March 5, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Just bought one and had it sitting recording for about half an hour in the house at 1080p60. Lifted it up and almost burned my fingers on the mag mount on the bottom!

Can someone else tell me if this is a design fact or maybe a problem unit Ive got?

Thanks

Rikki

March 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRikki

The Magnet is the heat sink - without it there is no way to get the heat out of the inside of the sealed plastic cube. I mention it in the video. See 01:27

March 10, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Can the App control more than one camera. I'd like to put a couple on my motorcycle when I'm touring

March 18, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermazfaz

I'm pretty sure it can't, as the app connects to the wifi hotspot created by the camera....and your phone can only connect to one wifi hotspot at a time.

March 18, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks, Matt for another great review. And how's your bike? Miss your bike's onboard videos. Cheers from Brazil.

March 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

Unfortunately I haven’t found the opportunity to get out on it over winter. I had my first ride of the year last week, and hope to shoot some more bike footage soon.

March 20, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi! Great review!
I'm really interested in an action cam, and this one caught my attention, but many reviewers are having huge problems with sound recording... What was your experience?

March 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMattia

I didn't have any problems. Perhaps the people with problems need to update their codecs - it's usually the cause of most playback problems....but I've really no idea as it's all fine for me.

March 20, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

If you start with your recording via the application and for various reasons phone disconnects from wifi, what happens? it will stop recording?
The fastest way to check this is to turn off the wifi on the phone.
I think this situation should be checked with all cameras have this option.

I understand that you can change your password. But the name (SSID) can change?

Thank you.
ThP

May 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterThP

How is the low light performance compared to a Sony AS20 or AS30 action cam?
I watched a comparison video on youtube and i must say that It's definetely better than the 3 other tiny action cams,Mobius-Runcam HD 2 and Foxeer Legend 1,so i want to know how it does compared to a sony :)
Thank you!

May 28, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdjdog

Hi ! Compliments for your review! as usual the best on the web.
I have some questions about the polaroid Cube:
is there the possibilities to start recording when you turn on the camera and stop when turn off automatically (a sort of "one click" mode)?
How much time is necessary to start recording from the camera turned off (time to turn on + time to wait until ready + time to start from when you click the button) ?
How do you judge the big button, do you think is usefull to use with gloves? the button allow to have the sensation to be sure that has been pressed also with gloves?
How much is louder the Buzzer? do you think is possible to hear it with a full face helmet on?

All these question because because of the form factor I want to use to stick the camera on my motorcycle helmet.
Thank you very much for your wanderfull and "in depth" review.
Sorry for the tons of questions.

Best Regards

July 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterIvan

It's probably not suitable for you. The beep is very quiet and the camera only operates the one way that I show in the video. You have to turn it on, then double tap to start recoding video.

July 20, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I purchased a cube yesterday from Argos (£99.00) I plugged it in to charge it and watched the red light going on and off while it was charging. Eventually when it had charged the green light came on. I turned the wifi on until the blue light came on and tried connecting the cube to my ipad but it wouldn't connect so I left it until this morning and thought I'd stick the cube on my dash board to film my journey to work but when I tried turning on the wifi nothing happened. I suspect I must have left the camera on over night when I was trying to connect it to my ipad. I tried charging it again but nothing happened. Since this morning I've tried charging it from my computer, my car and the mains but to no avail. Can anyone advise me as to what has happened?

September 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMick

Hi,
Thanks for your review. Can you tell me how many photos the Cube+ can take before the battery dies (like copmact cameras do)?

November 22, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterandreas

Hi Mat,

I'm in the process of trying to build a live view underwater camera system and thought that the Polariod Cube might be good candidate for the actual camera part. The thing I don't understand though is, is there a way to stream the video live through the micro USB port (since WiFi won't travel through water)? If so I'll make a water proof housing for it with an integral video/power cable and tether. I understand that it can record and charge at the same time.

Thanks

Flip

July 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFlippa

It doesn't have video out over USB so you'll need to use something else for your project.

July 18, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

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