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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%! 

 
Sunday
Aug302015

The Bublcam Review - Take a good look around this 360º camera.

The Bublcam isn't the first 360º camera I've used, but it's definitely the best. The interactive 360º stills can produce impressive results, however I feel that the video quality is still too soft for it to be considered anything other than an interesting novelty.

The full video review is below. Underneath it you'll find links to sample clips that you can view in your browser (the video clips require Chrome). I find the touch controls on a phone or tablet are the most intuitive way to manipulate the images and a portrait orientation seems to produce the best results. If you download the Bubl Xplor App on your Android or IOS device you can also access additional VR functionality and view Bubl uploads from other Bubl users.

360º Stills

Arndale 

Lloyd Street (embedded above)

Central Library

Manchester Central

Manchester Cenotaph 

Albert Square

360º Video Clips (these only play in Chrome, the latest version of Firefox or the Bubl Xplor App)

Arndale 

Lloyd Street

Driving

If you want to inspect some files straight off the memory card  - there's an .mp4 and a .jpg here

The official bublcam website is here - http://www.bublcam.com 

Clips from other Bubl users can be found on http://www.bubl.io/experiences

 

Saturday
Aug222015

Demonstrating the Head-Up Display in a Mini Cooper 

A couple of years ago I attempted to review a HUD (that's a head-up or heads-up display) which could be fitted into any car and powered by the OBD (on-board diagnostic) port. 

It wasn't a great success - however I still regularly receive emails about the video telling me how I should have applied the anti-reflective film to my windscreen, despite the fact that I no longer have the film, the car or the HUD.

Nevertheless the idea of a HUD had sufficient merit for me to request one as a manufacturer fitted option when I specced up my new Mini earlier this year. A number of people spotted this HUD in my other videos and have asked me to make a video about it....so here it is.

 

Since releasing the video a number of people have complained that this isn't a true HUD because it's not projected on the windscreen. That's nonsense - a quick google image search will show that the HUDs in fighter jets are not projected on the canopy - but on a piece of plastic(?) above the instrument panel and in front of the pilots line of sight. 

Many, many people mentioned that the image displayed on the HUD looked very small in the video. During the commentry on the video I did take some time to explain how problematic it is to shoot a HUD with a camera, and mentioned that the image would look smaller in the video than it does to the driver..but it seems that this section of commentry has largely fallen on deaf ears.

They say a picture paints a thousand words, so the 12 second video below should be worth a million. It demonstrates the magnification factor as seen from (just in front of) the driver's perspective. 

 

Saturday
Aug082015

Kanto YU3 Active Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

I bought some speakers, and I thought you might want to see them, so here they are.

These are active (built in amplifier) speakers that are beautiful to look at have a good well rounded sound quality and plenty of inputs (including two optical-in) as well as Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX and a full remote control.

I've seen some criticism in the youtube comments about the price of these. My suggestion is never to buy anything you can't afford - even if someone like me makes a nice video about it. These speakers were imported from the US - I bought mine via Amazon (CLICK HERE) If, like me you would have to import these, you can work out the total cost (including taxes, postage etc) by adding some to your Amazon basket - this will then calculate the taxes and postage costs to your location before you have to commit an order.  

When I did that today, the total including delivery and taxes came to $389 USD - that's £251. When you consider this is about the same price as the basic  'Jawbone Big Jambox' bluetooth speaker the Kanto's start to look like a much better deal.   

Some people on youtube seem genuinely disappointed that I didn't demonstrate the sound from these speakers by playing music through them. I'd like to share my opinion below about why I didn't do this - and why (to me) the idea of being able to demonstrate speaker sound quality via youtube is just plain crazy. 

People who want to listen to sound from these speakers on youtube, must believe that they can accurately assess the quality of a speaker by hearing the noise it produces recorded with a camera's microphone, encoded to a youtube stream and played back over their computer speakers or headphones.

That to me is the equivalent of trying to demonstrate a 4K TV's picture quality by showing someone a Polaroid photo of it. HiFi magazines have been reviewing speakers for years without the need to attach a tape cassette on the front cover so you can hear the true sound quality of a set of £10k speakers played back via your own £150 midi-system

The only true way to assess the sound from a speaker is to listen to it yourself, however what I am able to do in a video is demonstrate the features, setup, build quality and size. I can comment about my opinion of the sound quality (in my room with it's unique acoustics heard through my old worn-out ears)...but if you really want to know what something sounds like - then you have to hear it in person.

Perhaps I'm out of step with what the audience wants, and if anyone wants to start a youtube channel demonstrating speaker sound quality by recording it with a cell phone then it seems like there's definitely a ready audience for it - but call me crazy, I'm going to just stick to doing things my old fashioned way. 

Monday
Aug032015

The Picocassette - the smallest (analog) tape cassette ever made

My quest to demonstrate unusual tape based audio formats might have reached its conclusion with the Picocassette. This is the smallest analogue tape format ever released. Created by Dictaphone for their sophisticated handheld voice recorder, the high price and well established competition, meant the Picocassette was a commercial failure. Introduced to the market in 1985, the same year that Back to the Future debuted at the cinema, I've used my own time machine to get hold of a BNIB example of this 30 year old technological wonder. 

If you are lucky, you may still be able to get hold of one of these on ebay.

Sunday
Jul262015

YoNanas!

People are always asking me to do more kitchen gadget reviews. As much as I'd like to make more of these videos, there seems to be a dearth of suitably wacky gadgets at the moment.  However a recent trip to Costco and a £10-off offer ended up with me coming home with a YoNanas machine. So ignoring the fact that I have no sense of taste and am unable to eat sweet food, today I'm demonstrating this machine that claims to create frozen fruit sorbet deserts.

 

Saturday
Jul182015

The Waterproof Nautilus WiFi Mini Camera

In the video below I review the latest budget mini camera from the people behind the 808#26 keyring camera. It's called the Nautilus cam (good name that) and the camera itself is waterproof to 5m without an additional case and has WiFi connectivity.

 

Downloadable sample clips and photos: Available Here 

Purchasing link - Click here to go direct to the product on ebay.

Sunday
Jul122015

The Freestyle Libre is a gadget that will help me to live longer & better

It's not often that I buy a gadget that significantly improves my life - but the Freestyle Libre is one such device. It's the latest type of blood glucose monitor. These are devices which are essential to managing the chronic illness diabetes, of which I'm a sufferer. 

It used to be estimated that type 1 diabetes took 20 years off a persons life, but with modern blood glucose management its more likely that diabetics can live into old age. Ignoring blood glucose levels whilst seemingly having little affect in the short term, over a longer period of time will lead to serious complications, including amputations and blindness - both things I'm obviously very anxious to avoid. 

Whilst the video below is only intended to be of interest to diabetics, of course anyone is welcome to watch.

 

Sunday
Jul052015

The Mini 0806 Dashcam Review - Better late than never.

Two false starts and over half a year later I've finally completed my review of the Mini 0806 Dashcam. It turns out that this one was worth the wait and if I didn't already have a K1S dual camera installed in both of my cars I'd definitely be using a Mini 0806 instead. 

For downloadable sample clips Click Here 

Purchasing the Mini 0806 - a few tips

I found the best deals for this camera are on eBay - Look for sellers offering the “3rd Gen” model to get the latest version. Check what's bundled - remember the CPL filter is usually an optional extra. The mounts come with or without GPS capability, so read the description carefully. Finally buy your own Class 10 MicroSD card from a reliable source, e.g. Amazon direct (not a marketplace seller) - I always have links to SD memory on the right hand side of this page and I've yet to buy a fake by following my own advice.

Click on your country below to see what offers are available where you live.

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

The 0806 is also available on Amazon - but I'd stick to ebay (above) for the best prices and bundles.

Amazon UK     Amazon US

Sunday
Jun282015

The Dazzne P2 - Budget Action Camera Review

The Dazzne P2 is a budget action camera that comes with a surprising number of accessories inside the box for a very reasonable price. Surely there must be a catch....watch the video below where I find out that sometimes good things do come in small packages.

 

 

Downloadable Sample Clips - CLICK HERE

PURCHASING LINKS (click your country)

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

 (Note the links above are cheaper than the links below)

 

UPDATE 2017 - I've been advised that replacement batteries are nigh on impossible to find. Please factor this information in when making your purchasing decision. The supplied batteries aren't the most robust.

Sunday
Jun212015

Obscure HiFi - The Stereo MicroCassette

Interest in my vintage HiFi equipment videos has really picked up since the Tefifon demonstration a couple of months ago. So with this in mind, I used my consumer electronics time machine to retrieve a Brand New HiFi component from 1982. In the video below I take a look at an audio format that came and went with barely a whisper in the early 80s and has since been largely forgotten.

If you want to see this item on ebay - click here.

Sunday
Jun142015

The Boogie Board Jot 8.5 Paperless Memo Pad

The item that I planned to bring you this week self destructed, ended up in a thousand pieces and ultimately went in the bin (make a note...WD40 can make some things worse). So instead of that I'm bringing you a simple video about a simple gadget.  

The Boogie Board has always seemed to me like a solution to a problem that didn't exist, however after using one for a couple of days I've come to appreciate it for what it is. It does still feel like it's a product that no one really needs, but I could also say that about 90% of the things in my house. Video review below.

I mentioned in the video that I bought mine at Costco, they only had a couple left and were selling them off at £24 a piece to make room for new merchandise. It turns out that this wasn't much of a discount from the normal price and the best place to get one from now is probably Amazon.