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Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

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Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
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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%! 

            

 
« Repairing Sony’s Tape-to-Tape Walkman | Main | Shaking up the Hollywood blockbuster »
Monday
Apr032017

The joke's on me

A year or more ago I bought a modified Fisher Price PXL-2000 camera. This is a one-off video camera from 1987 that records onto standard chrome compact cassettes.  As it is something that never came out in the UK, I was interested in testing one for myself as well as making a video about it. However before I got around to it other videos and articles appeared online about the camera, so I felt there was no need to rehash what had already been said and left it on a shelf. 

In the months that followed I kept receiving emails and comments asking me if I'd ever heard of this device and suggesting if I could ever get hold of one that it would be an interesting thing to review. Seeing that the first of April was coming up in a couple of weeks, I hatched a plan to finally use the PXL-2000 - and you can see the results below.

There's a bit of subtext here - in April 2016 I made a video explaining that from my experience the most noticeable difference between viewing UHD Blu-rays and standard Blu-rays on a 65" TV is more likely to be the colour depth and HDR rather than the resolution increase. I explained that this was something that could only be experienced in person - not through youtube and certainly not through a non-HDR camera pointed at a screen and shown in a non-HDR video stream on a non HDR computer screen. Just to be sure this message got through, I repeated it a couple of times in the video as well as displaying as text to warn people not to try and assess the performance from a youtube video.

Unfortunately despite my best efforts most of the comments posted were along the lines of "the HDR version looks darker and a bit orange to me". All I really wanted to get across in the video was that a lot of the internet articles at the time were only focussing on the increased resolution when the reality was that this didn't make much difference at a typical viewing distance unless your screen size was getting on for 80" - however the changes brought via HDR encoded discs would be apparent on a HDR capable screen of any size.

This disheartening experience gave me an idea. If this many people believed they could assess HDR performance whilst watching a non HDR video, how far would they take this idea... and that's why I decided to use a 90p resolution B&W 15fps mono camera to demonstrate a 2160p HDR Atmos surround video. 

There is no trickery here - the UHD Blu-ray and the standard Blu-ray are really being shown one after the other...and the camera recording them is the PXL-2000, and the microphone being used is the built in one on the camera (except during the voice-over sections). The outro graphics were recorded through the camera from a video displayed on my TV. The reason that you can't hear the usual whining sound of the PXL-2000's motor is that the camera was in standby and the video was being captured over composite out cables from my modified camera. For greater effect I should probably have recorded to tape and then captured that to get the full effect - but this was much easier and allowed longer recording times. 

A bit of trivia - the UK tradition of April Fools Day states that it should finish at noon. If it carries on after this time then the perpetrator themselves becomes the fool.  Before I went to bed the night before I scheduled the video to go live at 8am. As soon as I got up I had to go out for the morning and returned just after noon at which point I set the video to unlisted...to ensure that I was following the tradition. I then came to the realisation that I'd done a heck of a lot of work for just four hours of 'fun'...so this is one tradition that I have no plans to repeat in the future. 

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Reader Comments (8)

I laughed all the way through, very well done.

Just a thought though, instead of Unlisted, you could append to the title to '[April Fools Joke]' or similar, then it's still available but mainains the spirits of the tradition.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Kay

Brilliant!!

Like watching 1950's Techmoan Lol

" I then came to the realisation that I'd done a heck of a lot of work for just four hours of 'fun' "

Made me chuckle. Thanks.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermesh

I really enjoyed the video. In countries where it is not celebrated the first of April (fools' day) it is very easy to be fooled! Obviously after a few seconds watching I noticed the joke I had a good time laughing.

You made my day. Your sense of humor is excellent and you are a great professional. I would like you to continue including comedy on your channel.

Have a nice day!

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSergio

I came across one of these PXL 2000's at a car boot sale about a year ago. Mine doesn't work and I haven't got round to looking at it yet so I found it very interesting to see what the picture quality is like. I thought the pixelation gave things a rather artistic effect! So as well as giving me a laugh this has spurred me on to look at this device!

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian Sekinger

oh it did work. cant get the wide grin out of my face

April 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterOliver

:)

April 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

Hi Tech-Mat, though the video is meant as an april fool's joke it still is perfect satire. So just add "(SATIRE)" to the title, set it public again and you won't be a fool! Only those who don't get it are the fools! Anyway, due to YouTube being available globally somewhere in the world it was already past noon even before the video went live. The internet is not a place for such superstition. Cheers from Germany!

April 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarius Loubeeka

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