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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

 

 
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
Drift Ghost X

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%! 

 
Tuesday
Apr122016

The New 2016 Square Nixie Watch

Back in 2010 I bought a Nixie watch from Cathode Corner. This was something that I had wanted to own for a couple of years, but it was also a considerable amount of money for me to spend, and really far more than I could sensibly afford at the time. 

In hindsight though, buying that watch turned out to be one of the best investments I've made. The (amateurish) video I made about it has now been seen by well over a million people and has helped to introduce many new subscribers to the channel.

The idea I could buy something that I couldn't really afford to feature in a video and hope to pay for it over time using the ad revenue has shaped the way the channel has been run ever since. My slightly rash decision to buy that watch late one night has by now paid dividends, and also created a connection between myself and the watch creator, David from Cathode Corner. 

So when the time came for David to present his new square Nixie Watch to the world, he turned to me to make a new video, and you can see this below. As six years have elapsed between the two videos I'd like to think that this one is considerably less amateurish (and it's now in 4K).

It is moments like this that really make all the effort worthwhile.

For more information about the Nixie watch - visit CathodeCorner.

Thursday
Apr072016

Reverberation fails to resonate

In the second of two videos where I'm auditioning components for my HiFi I try out a Reverberation Amplifier. 

Always a niche HiFi component, the reverb box has intrigued me for a while. Why would people choose to spend money on a device that added reverb to pre-recorded music. This was something that I would have to try for myself to see if it earned a place in my audio system. Find out how I got on in the video below.

You can find HiFi reverb boxes on ebay 

Tuesday
Apr052016

Time to Equalize Some Graphics

I'll be making an upgrade to my HiFi setup in a few weeks which involves shifting quite a few things around. Before this happens I wanted to audition a couple of new (old) components to see if they deserve a place in the new setup.

In this video I look at a sophisticated and surprisingly useful graphic equalizer, the Akai EA-A7.

I realised after finishing the video, I didn't show the rear panel, so here it is.

If you want your own Graphic Equalizer, here are a few ebay options (click to perform a search).

Akai EA-A7 (good luck finding one)  Technics   PilePro    Rockville

Oh, by the way I've deliberately used the American spelling of Equalizer because this is how it it written on the device itself. Akai never made a Graphic Equaliser.

Friday
Apr012016

Vantrue OnDash R2 - Dashcam Review

Over the last few weeks a few people contacted me to as whether I would be reviewing a dashcam from the Vantrue range. So naturally when Vantrue themselves contacted me and offered to send a couple of their latest cameras, I took them up on it. 

You can see the full video review below.

  

Sample Clips

I've uploaded some sample clips here. Reminder - Do Not Stream These as this will look terrible. Download the files to your computer first before playing.  

Purchasing

See the Amazon links below also available on ebay and Amazon Canada. 

 
Using the Discount Code UHBTWINY at checkout will unlock the following prices.
Amazon US: $99.99 http://amzn.to/1PmGF3w
Amazon UK: £79.99 http://amzn.to/1PUmCiu
Amazon CA: $159.99CAD https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B017AV83UK

The Deal times are active from: 13th June 2016 00:01 PDT/BST until 19th June 2016 23:59 PDT/BST


Tuesday
Mar292016

Boombox or Bust?

In this video I take a look at a truly awful portable stereo that could date back to the 1980s, but is more likely from the early 1990s. This appears to be part of a shipment bound for foreign shores which somehow got diverted to the UK and then lay forgotton about in a warehouse for 25 years.  

If you want to buy one of these (for anything other than listening to) - here's a link to a seller on ebay in the UK. 

Thursday
Mar242016

Body-Cam from Transcend 

I've tested out many different kinds of cameras, but this is my first look at a Body-cam.

The promotional material for the Transcend DrivePro Body 10 body suggests it could be used by the police, but they will have existing contracts for equipment like this, it makes more sense though when aimed at an individual user, for example someone working the door at a club.

I really don't know how big a market there is for body-cams is, or whether people would be interested in seeing reviews of other models in the future. I suspect not, but if you do, please let me know.

The Body 10 camera isn't bad for a first effort, but there is plenty of room for improvements that could be incorporated into future models. I imagine though that Transcend, like myself, are seeing if there is enough interest in this segment before deciding whether to continue developing their body camera range.

Full video review below. 

 

   

 

Do you want to see any more Bodycam Reviews in the future?
Yes...but only occasionally.
No. I'm really not interested
Do Quizzes

 

Wednesday
Mar162016

The doorbell powered by your visitors.

A quick look at a wireless doorbell that can transmit a signal up to 100m using power generated by the finger that pushed it. 

You can buy one from Amazon at the links below.

  

 

Sunday
Mar132016

Retro-tech - The RCA CED Videodisc

Due to popular demand, I've made a video all about the RCA Videodisc system.

This was intended to be a quick and simple look at an obsolete technology, but somewhere during the course of the four problem-filled months that it took to put this video together, it went off the rails and ended up as a half hour video documenting man's struggle against machine(s).

It's like the youtube gadget-review version of Fitzcarraldo.

Some useful links:

CED Magic - The Website for everything about CED. Includes a full catalogue of every disc released.

The Full Electron microscope video on the Applied Science Channel can be seen here on youtube.

If you are interested in buying a CED player or discs on ebay - here are links for the US and the UK.

If you buy an old Hitachi player you'll need to replace those two rubber belts shown in the video. These can be purchased in the UK from CPC Farnell - here's the link

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