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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
Sep042018

RetroTech - The WikiReader - an offline Wikipedia in your pocket

Remember this? If you can't, you're not alone.
   
The WikiReader was launched with the noble ideal "how can knowledge equal freedom if people need a modem to get it?"  but perhaps unsurprisingly it met an ignominious bargain-bin end. 
   

Monday
Aug272018

The Olympus O-Product and a 35mm B&W photo shoot-out

Shooting photos on Fujifilm's discontinued Neopan Acros 100 film using the amazing looking Olympus O Product camera as well as the Minolta Prod 20's. 
 
  
   
Setting the stage / lowering expectations for photographers.
This is intended to be a quick fun video about my experiences taking photos with two point & shoot fully automatic film cameras. Nothing more than that - just a bit of lighthearted entertainment. Something anyone could have a go at.
I don't have any desire to start developing my own film and film photography is not a hobby I intend to invest any time in. I already have a full-time 'hobby' in making youtube videos. Like all my videos, it's a quick dip into a topic before moving straight on to the next one.
    
As a child I noticed that well-meaning, but ultimately off-putting advice would follow as soon as I showed the slightest glimmer of an interest in any topic. I'd play chess once and someone would suggest joining a chess club. I'd get a computer for playing games and I was immediately destined to be a programmer. Kick a football - join a team etc...
   
Sometimes though all you want is just to have a bit of fun - you don't want to 'take up a hobby' and you don't need a pastime to take over all your free time - if someone cooks dinner it doesn't necessarily follow that they want to become a professional chef.
There are of course many people who like their activities to be structured and organised - they want to join a club and get deeply into something, but I'm not one of them. I prefer to skim lots of things but never settle on one, which is perfect for youtube where each video can be about something different.
    
After each video, comments will often fill with advice from people who are really deeply into whatever the thing is that was featured. These can be advice on how to take that topic further as well as point out the things that should have been covered and what was wrong with the video. The person commenting will usually know much more about the topic than the person who made the video, because they were just a presenter, rather than an expert...and they were making a short video introduction to a topic the commenter had ploughed years of their life into.
   
Back in the 1980s my favourite TV show was Tomorrows World - each week they'd show new technology. Perhaps one week Kieran Prendiville would demonstrate a device, for example a multi-track digital recorder. The people who made that machine would know more about it than him.
  
The people using it professionally in a recording studio would also know more about it than him...however he was just presenting the script he'd been given to summarise this device in a five minute slot on a prime time TV show to a varied audience. When the show was over and he went home that night, he wouldn't carry on using that digital recorder. Next week he would show something else.
    
This week's video was about taking black and white film with two fully auto point and shoot cameras. Next week will be about something completely different. As a serial hobbyist, I move from topic to topic, never staying too long in one place. Some of the things I try out in a video I will continue using behind the scenes - but for this to happen they need to have minimum impact on my time because each week a new video has to come out featuring something unusual or interesting, hopefully both.

I know there are lots of people who will balk at the vinyl record analogy used in the video because they already think people who buy records are silly for doing so, however it's not the only example I wanted to mention (I had to edit it for length). There has been a big increase in people baking cakes at home over the last few years - no doubt due to TV baking shows. It would be easier, less time consuming and sometimes cheaper just to buy a cake, but many people like the satisfaction that comes from baking their own. Sometimes the simplest option isn't the most satisfying one.

The internet likes to focus on best, quickest, easiest...and it's usually A or B - rarely can two opposing ideas co-exist. But just because you enjoy something you don't have to be all in on it - you might like to ride a bicycle, but it doesn't mean you have to get rid of your car. So I'll keep taking smartphone photos and every now and then I may take a roll of film to mix things up a bit. Just like I buy records and I stream music.       

Like many of these things it isn't a matter of what's best - it's about finding something you enjoy doing, and each person needs to discover their own thing.  
   
CAMERAS on ebay (affiliated links)
Olympus O-Product: https://ebay.to/2MSbjrn
Minolta Prod 20's: https://ebay.to/2nJGCtv
     
Articles about the Olympus O-Product
  
Articles about Film discontinuations taken from  https://petapixel.com
   
GALLERY MUSIC
George Street Shuffle by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Monday
Aug272018

Blu-ray region-lock blues

I'd been hitting up against a region lockout on some imported Blu-rays - so I decided I should finally sort this out once and for all.

However, it turned out a solution had been just three remote control button presses away all along. 

 

Sunday
Aug192018

Sennheiser Surrounder - Surround yourself with oddness

The Sennheiser Surrounder is a personal surround-sound neck-worn speaker. On paper this doesn't sound like a bad idea, however reality has a way of ruining things. This was a ridiculous device that's just the right side of crazy to make it interesting.

If I were running a different kind of youtube channel I'd wear this on a bus or a train and have a friend with a camera capture video of everyone's annoyed and baffled reaction. That sounds like it would probably get a few million views. However I don't really do that kind of thing and I don't have a friend to hold the camera so here's a much less entertaining video about the Surrounder instead. Enjoy(?)

Monday
Aug132018

Sony FH-7 Mkii - Can you handle it?

There were countless mini component HiFi units in the 1980s - but very few of them came with a handle. The Sony FH-7 is one exception and this video is all about my quest to assemble this classic system.  

 

My FH-7 Mk2 came from ebay: https://ebay.to/2nmacVT

If you are interested in the Boombox Calendar - you can find more details here: https://www.facebook.com/myradio.berlin

The Music and media featured in the video include; Purple Cassette - Anders Enger Jensen - Retro Grooves Vol 2 http://eox.no/product/retro-grooves-v...

Colourful Printed Cassette: Jazz Spastiks - Midnight Method (Sold Out) https://jazzspastiks.bandcamp.com/alb...

Labyrinth Soundtrack https://amzn.to/2AIMtZt

Red Record - Colemine Records - Soul Slabs Vol 1. https://bit.ly/2ng0h3O

CD - Marvin Gaye - What's Going On https://amzn.to/2ONzs3y

LP -Culture Club - Colour By Numbers https://amzn.to/2vp7a7r

Also I used a tape of some music from the youtube audio library - I don’t know the track names - If you filter these http://youtube.com/audiolibrary/music... by ‘Attribution Not Required’ and Genre - ‘Jazz & Blues’ you’ll find the tunes used amongst the results.

Boombox and FH7 Resources

 http://boomboxery.com/

http://wikiboombox.com

http://www.thevintageknob.org/sony-FH...

https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_lib...

http://audioidiots.com/

Wednesday
Aug082018

Fujifilm SQ6 - Instant Regret?

Over the years I've reviewed instant cameras that use both Zink and Instax technologies.

After taking into account the significant premium of using the Fujifilm system I've never felt less than short changed. Everyone else appears to be having a lot more 'fun' with their Instax cameras and it's been a sales success for Fuji. In an attempt to see what I was missing out on, I decided to give it one more try and bought the latest SQ6 square format camera.

Was this a wise decision...

 

Saturday
Jul282018

Measuring turntable speed with an App

A look at a new(ish) way to measure the speed of a record player. 

Saturday
Jul282018

Off the wall

A very quick video about a wall radio. 

Saturday
Jul282018

Extra Long play - The 2 hour LP & 2.5 hour CD

A look at two different approaches at squeezing more music onto one disc. 

Sunday
Jul152018

Hi-Vision Laserdisc 

A two-part video about Hi-Vision LD, the first way to play High Definition movies from an optical disc.

This launched twenty five years ago in Japan, thirteen years before Blu-ray & HD-DVD. In these videos I talk about the background, the technology and titles available and do some side-by-side video quality comparisons.

You might also be intersted in some overpriced merch.

Tuesday
Jul102018

Sony's TV Sound De-mumbler

This is something that I bought for my parents, but I thought it was worth sharing in a video.

If you have trouble hearing the TV across a room this wireless Sony speaker might be the answer. It receives the audio from the TV - boosts the vocals and enables you bring the sound closer to where you sit. 

 

AMAZON LINKS BELOW (Affiliated Links)

CA: JAPAN MODEL https://amzn.to/2tEL68c
US:  JAPAN MODEL  https://amzn.to/2lIBUuX
Here's the product on the Sony UK Website