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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
DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam
Yi

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%! 

 
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. 

 

Friday
Feb262016

Auto-Reverse: The Hard Way

In 1972 to avoid their customers the inconvenience of getting out of a chair to turn a cassette tape over manually, Akai developed Invert-O-Matic. This was an amazingly complicated electro-mechanical auto-reverse system constructed from hundreds of perfectly syncronised belts, wheels, levers, switches and sensors. It really is a joy to watch it in action - and you can do so in the video below. 

Tuesday
Feb232016

Ring WiFi Video Doorbell Review

A WiFi doorbell sounds like something imagined in a drunken conversation...but look on Amazon and you'll find more than a dozen competing models.

Whilst the idea of a doorbell ringing your phone might be fun, once you've added a camera, motion activation and cloud recording it begins to make a lot of sense as a security device.

I decided that I should try one for myself and after reading reviews it seems that the 'Ring Video Doorbell' is the best model currently on the market, so that's what I bought. 

Regardless of the extra features that a WiFi doorbell has, there's one simple function that I need it to do..alert me that someone is at the door. However it appears that in the hi-tech world of the WiFi doorbell, this particular feature seems a low down on the list of priorites.

Watch the video below to see why ultimately I came to the conclusion that WiFi is something I don't need in my doorbell.

If you want to try the Ring Video Doorbell for yourself - it can be purchased on Amazon UK or Amazon US.

In the end I opted for a traditional Wireless Doorbell...with a slight twist. It's called the Teqin OBell and the thing that makes this one different is the outside button generates its own electricity when pressed - so no need to worry about batteries going flat. If you are interested, here's a link to it on Amazon UK. or Amazon US

 

Wednesday
Feb172016

Yi Dash-Cam Review

Over the last year, Xiaoyi's Yi action camera has turned out to be a very popular model due to its keen price and excellent image quality. So when the company announced their first dashcam, I instantly put in my order. That was back on New Year's day...there have been some delays with shipping, but it finally arrived a couple of weeks ago and I can demonstrate it to you now.

In the video below you can find out whether the Xiaoyi Car Camera can live up to the familiy name.

If you click your country below you can find the sellers of this camera on ebay. You may need to activate International Search in the left hand panel.

UPDATE: Now available with English language menus.

There is now a black model that is more discreet, as well as multiple menu language options.

EBAY:

 

 

AMAZON

US: http://amzn.to/2eY3HaK

UK: http://amzn.to/2vbw0IV

 

You can DOWNLOAD my sample clips from PCloud if you click here.

Please DO NOT STREAM the pCloud samples - if you do they look like garbage!

Saturday
Feb132016

Teac AI-501DA-S - Amp/DAC 

I try to make videos that don't date quickly - and that's why I rarely mention the price of the object being shown. This video is an exception, the Teac AI-501DA is a discountined product with the remaining stock currently being sold off at half price on Amazon. I can't see it being around for more than a few weeks at that price. I've put this video together quickly so you don't miss out on the opportunity to pick up one at a good discount.

In the brief time I had it available to test - it felt like a very well built and capable machine. If I was putting together a compact HiFi system then it would certainly be on my shortlist, for its looks alone if nothing else.

Video demonstration below.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Feb102016

Retro HiFi Two-in-One video

This video features two devices, The first is the Realistic APM-200 - an external add-on VU meter sold in the 1970s & 1980s through Radioshack and Tandy. The main subject of the video though is the Onkyo U30 - an RCA Switchbox/Pre-amp. 

I really don't see why an enterprising manufacturer couldn't bring back either one or both of these types of devices. If they were to go a step further and add in a DAC, then we'd really have an handy all-in-one HiFi component. Perhaps I've just given someone the idea for a Kickstarter.

Wednesday
Feb102016

Techmoan is now on Patreon

Techmoan can now be supported through donations on Patreon. If you are unsure as to what Patreon is, it's a way of paying for something that you can also get for free. It's akin to throwing a coin into a busker's hat, you don't have to do it, there's no obligation, it's merely a way of showing gratitude and providing financial support.

There's no hard sell here. My youtube videos and this site will remain free to all, however if you want to pay a visit to my Patreon page - it's here: Patreon.com/Techmoan

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. 

Wednesday
Jan272016

Yaqin SD-CD3 Tube Processor - add valves to any Hi-Fi

We're back in the world of audio today with one of the strange devices you can usually find in the back of a HiFi magazine. Alongside the adverts for isolation feet, electricity conditioners and oxygen free cable I spotted a device that promised to bring the 'richness of tubes' to any HiFi. However I didn't buy that device (the IFi Micro itube stage buffer), and I'd still love to test it out, but it did plant a seed in my head which ultimately resulted in me buying the Yaqin SD-CD3 that you can see tested below.

The Yaqin SD-CD3, can be found on Amazon US and UK

Friday
Jan222016

The fully-loaded Gitup Git2 Pro Camera - what more do you need?

I've reviewed many action cameras with each new model (usually) improving upon the last. However pretty much every camera I've tested has had an achilles heel, whether it was the lack of a mic input, poor exposure control, or general operational issues, it's often a case of 'close, but no cigar'.

Well I think the Git2 deserves that cigar, because I'm really struggling to find anything that it doesn't do. As far as these kinds of cameras go, it seems to tick the box for every feature you need and then throw in a few more besides.

If you are looking for a matchbox sized camera and the Git2 falls within your budget, I really can't think of anything that should prevent you from buying it. I suppose you might prefer to pay more for a camera with less features but labelled up with a brand name you are more familiar with...and if so then that's your prerogative, however I know which camera I'd buy.

Watch the video below to see the full review.

If you want to buy a Gitup Git2 Pro, I found the best deals are on ebay, so click your country below to see the current price that is available to you. 

US   UK   AT   AU   BE   CA   CH   DE   ES   FR   IE   IT   NL 

Read the listings carefully because different accessory bundles are available. 

   

You can download a selection of sample videos and stills taken with the Git2 from pCloud by clicking here.

The official manufacturer website is here - Gitup.com

Wednesday
Jan132016

Here's something old - The Playtape

Before compact cassette, before 8-track...there was Playtape.

I like nothing better than trying out a piece of obscure technology for the first time. Opening up a BNIB (brand new in box) gadget from the past really can feel like taking a trip back in time.

Almost fifty years ago, a teenager somewhere in America will have opened up a box, taken out their Playtape machine and played their first tape. That teenager will be a pensioner now, and their tapes and machine long since gone. However the Playtape machine that they didn't buy, the one that got left in the store in 1967, stuck in a warehouse for almost half a century, frozen in time, sealed in styrofoam, finally gets it's chance to entertain... in the video below. 

 

The playtape format is largely forgotten and doesn't have a great online presence, however there are a few places you can find out more, including the always excellent Museum of Obsolete Media and Baja's Playtape page which also includes a comprehensive tapeography.

Playtapes can usually be bought from ebay and you can still find unopened tapes on there, some for over $100.

If you enjoyed this video, be sure to have a look at my other HiFi videos on youtube and please subscribe to the channel