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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
Yi Ultra 2.7K
   
    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%! 

            

 
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).

Wednesday
Dec302015

What a 10 Hour Music playlist looked like in 1992

In some ways 1992 doesn't feel all that long ago to me, but then in others it's a lifetime away. This is aptly demonstrated by the subject of this video. The Sony TC-C521 still feels like a cool piece of tech, interesting to watch, it looks smart and sounds great. The much maligned tape cassettes, to me still sound as good as I need my music to sound. I'm just as happy listening to a cassette as I am a lossless recording - for me it's the quality of the arrangement that counts rather than the medium it's on.

Where the march of progress is most notable though, is how we now take for granted the ease at which we can gather together individual music tracks and move them between different playback devices. As I mentioned in the video, I recently copied 15 hours of my favourite music onto my smartwatch, just for the heck of it. It would have taken me just a few more seconds to copy the same tracks to my smartphone or a portable music player. The most difficult and time consuming part of making a digital music playlist is selecting the tracks, things were a lot different in the analogue days as can be seen in the video below.

 

When putting this video together I came to the realisation that the art of playlist creation may soon become a thing of the past. The move from locally stored MP3s to streamed music means that the curation is now being done by someone else. Ready-made playlists of music that you should like are now offered up and are just a finger tap away.

Time marches on and inevitably hard drives full of MP3s will soon look as passé as a carousel of cassette tapes.

If you are interested in Cassette changers here's some other models I've found.The 1990 Pioneer 6 cassette changers, CT-M5R & CT-M6R, the 1980s Sony 10 cassette MTL-10, the 1970s 20 Cassette Panasonic RS296 and Philips N2401 6 cassette player.  Information on these and others can be found here.

Wednesday
Dec232015

2015 Christmas Lectures

I made a couple of special videos for the Christmas period - here they are:

Tuesday
Dec152015

2K Gyro Action Cam Showdown - P2+ vs M10+

I prefer to buy the products I review because it makes things a lot less awkward if the item turns out to be a poor performer. The 'thanks for sending me your product, but I had to tell everyone not to buy it' is not a fun email to send. 

However on occasion when I've had a good experience with the previous models in a range, I'll accept a sample of an upgraded version because it means that I get the chance to review something I would have otherwise passed over for financial reasons. 

So when both SJCAM and Dazzne contacted me a couple of months ago and offered to send over the 'Plus' versions of cameras that I rate highly, I gladly accepted. 

The SJCAM M10+ and the Dazzne P2+ arrived on the same day. This was unfortunate timing as my camera reviews usually take three to four weeks to put together, and I knew that neither manufacturer would be happy to wait two months to see their camera demonstrated on YouTube. I therefore decided to shoot both reviews at the same time, as things progressed I realised the cameras shared a lot in common and the two seperate reviews were merged into the comparison video that you can view below.



Sample video clips and photos from both cameras can be downloaded from pcloud. 

The SJCAM M10 can be purchased from eBay (click to see the latest price) and is also available on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

The official manufacturer website is SJCAMHD.COM

The Dazzne P2 Plus can be found on Amazon US and Amazon UK and here's an ebay search.

A word of advice, if the waterproof case is important to you, please check with the seller whether they are supplying the updated version I demonstrated in the video. The older version of the waterproof case didn't allow access to all three buttons on the side of the camera. 

I've yet to find any places selling  the Dazzne P2+ in volume, but when I do I'll put the links here. In the meantime you can always do your own searches on eBay. 

  

Sunday
Dec062015

Dashcam Review: Transcend DrivePro 220 with GPS & WiFi

The Transcend Drivepro 220 is a fully featured dashcam at a sensible price from a recognisable brand with a two year warranty. What's not to like? Watch the video below to find out all about this camera.

Purchasing

If you want to buy this camera, it is available online at Amazon UK or Amazon US (click the links to see the current price) There are also some good deals on ebay that may work out cheaper than Amazon (Click your country below to see the current prices available to you). 

AT  AU  BE  CA  CH  DE  ES  FR  IE  IT  NL  UK  US (ebay links)

Sample Clips

If you want to download some sample clips from this camera Click Here.

You can find out more about the Drivepro range of dashcams on the Transcend Website

 

Sunday
Nov222015

The Smallest Discman ever made - is a modern-day health and safety nightmare

I'm working on a number of camera tests at the moment, but the dark evenings and unrelentingly rainy days have delayed those reviews. Therefore in the meantime, here's a short retro-tech video featuring the smallest Sony Discman ever made.

I loved the tech world of the 1980s where you never knew what the next crazy gadget would be. It seemed like anything and everything was possible. One way to charge a premium for your gadget and make it more desireable was to stake a claim on it being the 'Smallest'.

Sony had the smallest Walkman - the WM10, and with the D-88 Discman they could claim to have the smallest portable CD player too. Once you've added on the bulky battery pack, and taken into account the fact that you easily play a CD album in it whilst on the go, being smallest isn't necessarily the big advantage that it first seems, but this is what makes this machine a highly sought after collectable nowadays. 

When it comes to collectables. no one is interested in collecting the old mid-range, mass-market, reliable and sensible products. The prized electronics are almost always the crazy devices, the failures, the expensive high-end or short lived experiments. The Sony D-88 ticks most if not all of these boxes.

I mentioned that this device would be considered a health and safety nightmare nowadays with the exposed edge of a CD spinning at up to 480rpm. What damage this could really do is negligible, however you can bet that some clown, somewhere in the world would claim that they were irrevocably injured by it - causing a class action suit, a withdrawal of the product from the market and a payout to all affected customers. What a different time the 1980s were. 

There are two links below - one will search ebay for a Sony D-88 Discman and the other is a link to the renovated BP-2EX Walkman batteries retrofitted with lithium ion cells.

SONY D-88    BP-2EX BATTERY

Wednesday
Nov182015

The WiFi Coffee Machine

You've probably figured out by now that I love a good gadget, and you may also have spotted that I enjoy a cup of coffee. Therefore you'd think that a WiFi enabled Coffee machine would be right up my street.....well so did I, until I bought one. 

If you like the look of this machine, or want to read other reviews. You can view it on Amazon.co.uk

Sunday
Nov152015

The Giant ready-made LED Music Visualiser 

I like to bag a bargain as much as the next person....but occasionally I'll discover something I like that is only available from one place and seems likely to be discontinued at any moment. At times like this, there is really only one choice, pay up, or miss out. 

On this occasion after months of deliberating about the considerable cost, I decided I had to pay up...and acquired what I believe to be the largest ready made LED music visualiser currently available. 
Once it arrived, I wasn't sure what to do with it...but after a few weeks I decided it would be employed as an interesting object to have in the background whenever I was doing sections to the camera. 
After it appeared in two videos I received a lot of enthusiastic enquiries about the visualiser, most people asking me to make a video about it and show where it can be purchased. It has certainly caught people's attention, however I suspect that the positive comments are going to stop abruptly once people have seen
the video below. 
 
 
Purchasing
Now if you are in the market for a giant ready-made LED visualiser, and are prepared to pay for it....the only place I've seen this for sale is on Aliexpress....click here for the details. Expect to pay import duties on top of the final price. 
If you want to see the video about the smaller cheaper LED panel that I reviewed a couple of years ago....click here. It is important to remember that this smaller display doesn't have a microphone input...it gets the sound via a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack input and also has a 3.5mm output, so it can be inserted between a source and the speaker. The small display can be purchased here.

 

 

Monday
Nov092015

The New Beginners Guide to Dash Cams

A few months ago a representative of Asus got in touch. They’d seen my 2013 Beginners Guide To Dashcams video and enquired whether I could make a new version of this for them to coincide with the launch of the Asus Reco Classic car camera. 

It seemed like a good opportunity to get a bit of exposure and perhaps gain some new subscribers, so I decided to do it at no charge providing I could use the video as well. 

You can see the video below.

 

The Asus Reco Classic Car Camera is available from Amazon; http://amzn.to/1Nkjszr (Link goes to Amazon UK)

Sample Clips from the Reco Classic can be downloaded from pcloud:  http://pc.cd/G1TrtalK
A list of my recommended dash cams can be found here: http://www.techmoan.com/what-is-the-best-dashcam/

 

Sunday
Nov082015

The simplest way to wirelessly play Streamed Apple Music through a HiFi 

Apple Music is the first streaming music service that I've subscribed to. Whilst it's fine listening via headphones when I'm out and about when I'm in the house I want to take advantages of the speakers attached to my hifi. 

With a brief of wireless, cheap and simple I settled on using bluetooth to bridge the gap. If I want quality I can use other audio components in my HiFi to play back Vinyl, CDs SACDs or lossless files, for me streamed music is all about convienience.

So in the quick video below, I show how the Logitech bluetooth receiver quickly and easily enabled this family to get the most from our family subscription and play streamed music back through a proper HiFi.

Purchasing

You can buy the Logitech Bluetooth Adaptor demonstrated in the video though Amazon - Click the following links to see the current price on  AMAZON UK  or AMAZON US 

Sunday
Nov012015

Git1 A great little budget action camera with mic-in

Luckily this camera doesn't live up to the rather unfortunate name, it's definitely not a git - it's a great little budget action camera.

People who want to try out Moto-Vlogging often ask me to recommend them a budget action camera that can accept an external microphone. The only cheap camera that springs to mind is the SVC200 I reviewed back in 2013 and that had an annoying whistle on the audio. If anyone asks me that question now, I'll definitely be recommending this little Git1. As you'll see in the video below, the external microphone works very well on the Git1, and in the video I also do some side by side video tests with the Git1's closest rival - the Dazzne P2.

Purchasing

You can pick up the Git1 with a microphone and the remote control for approximately £78. To make things simpler this time I'm just including the link where I purchased my camera from.

CLICK HERE TO BUY  I've bought cameras from these chaps in China many times without any problems - I can't recall paying any duty and the products arrive promptly especially if you pay extra for the courier option.

Sample Clips

If you are intersted in downloading sample photos and videos then they are available on the excellent PCloud service.  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Update - Colour Mystery Solved & more info

One of the sections of the video that has generated the most questions is something that I only spotted during editing. Coloured Text on a billboard was showing as Yellow on the Dazzne P2 and Green on the Git1...so which one was right. Well I went for a stroll past the sign today and and took a picture with my iPhone. The true colour of the text is.....Green. So the Git1 won this test. I've put a thumbnail below so you can see for yourself. Bear in mind the iPhone picture was taken on a different day in different light.

Other useful information people have kindly posted in the comments include the fact that an October firmware update now enables the camera to do 720p60 and fixes the problem with the mic - it was an issue with mono mics (hence why just my stereo Sony mic worked). In addition apparently the Git1 size is the same as some Gopro models and therefore 'should' fit in various gopro cases, gymbals etc.