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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%! 

 
Monday
Feb032014

The SJ4000 Action Camera Review

Winter isn't the best time of year to shoot an action camera review...especially when it's one of Britain's wettest winters on record. I haven't managed to get out on my motorbike for weeks...and as a result this action camera review features very little action. I'll try to upload some biking footage taken with this camera when conditions improve. Despite the lack of extreme action footage, hopefully this review can still help you to decide whether the SJ4000 fits your needs.

 

SAMPLE CLIPS

You can download sample clips HERE.

WHERE TO BUY

The SJ4000 has been renamed to the SJCAM SJ4000 and the links below take you to companies selling this product on ebay. Click on your country to find a suitable supplier for you.

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

Here are some alternative suppliers

 

 

Foxoffer supplied me with this camera on behalf of the Manufacturer, Hongfeng Century. Foxoffer and HC saw my review on the SJ1000 and are interested in hearing your feedback about this camera as well, so if there is a feature you'd like to see included in one of their future budget cameras, be sure to let them know in the comments below.

I held back on releasing this review for a day so that I could pick up some of the original mounts made for this camera's doppelgänger. I wanted to test out the interchangeability of the original accessories with the SJ4000 versions, and I can happily confirm that the mounts that attach at the case hinge or onto the clip all work perfectly well...all the dimensions are the same. 

Anyone looking for a budget waterproof action camera with access to a wide variety of mounting options should put the SJ4000 at the top of their shortlist....and I can't think of what would go in second place.

UPDATE 1: FIRMWARE

Here's the Jan 2014 Firmware (DELETED). If you want to install it, download the zip file, unzip it, copy the FW96650A.BIN file to the SD card in the camera. Turn the camera on WAIT until it (eventually) boots up. You'll then need to delete the bin file from the card...the simplest way to do this would be to format the card using the camera menus...or alternatively attach the camera or SD card up to your computer and delete the file manually. Below is a comprehensive list of all the exciting features added if you install this update.

1) The yellow light now flashes when the camera is recording. 

UPDATE 2: MOUNTS

When attempting to attach this to my motorcycle helment I discovered that however hard I tightened the screws on the hinge mounts, they could still be feely moved. My solution to this was to use sandpaper on the disassembled hinges to roughen up the shiny plastic. They now work how they should. I will demonstrate this in a new video when I manage to finally take this out on my bike...but unfortunately as soon as I finished mounting the camera to my helmet another storm blew in, so it's not going to be today.

UPDATE 3: I've taken the SJ4000 out on the bike.

UPDATE 4: Firmware deleted - out of date.  All newly purchased cameras will have newer firmware than this with additional features. 

I've also done a new review of the SJ4000 WiFi model too. CLICK HERE for more info.

Wednesday
Jan292014

Gtech AirRam Battery Powered Vacuum Cleaner

After Christmas I had some Amazon vouchers to spend and this coincided with a sale....so I bought a vacuum cleaner. Here's a video I made about it.

If you want to get hold of one in the UK they are stocked by Costco but it might be easier getting one sent directly from the Manufacturer with free UK next day delivery. US viewers can get one at Greytechnology.com and of course it can also be found at Amazon in the UK or US.

Monday
Jan202014

The Innovv C1 Review

At long last here is my review of the Innovv C1 camera. This is a very interesting little camera with a number of clever features. The manufacturer has set-out to make the best mini 1080p camera, watch the video to see if they succeeded. I didn't mention price in the video because these things often change, but if you click the links below the video you'll see the latest deals.

Innovv has been putting out regular firmware updates to tweak the camera and add features...which is of course a good thing, but it also makes it difficult to review when the goalposts keep moving. So consider this video to be a demonstration of this camera's features and abilities as of early January 2014 if you are reading this in a few months then some of the things I've mentioned may well have changed.

I haven't found anyone selling the Dash-cam lead seperately, I'd imagine it's the same one used in some of the 808 keyring cameras, but I can't confirm this until I unearth my old 808 #26 wire. It's unfortunate that a special lead is required if you want to power and record at the same time or utilise the auto power on/off function, so hopefully they'll consider bundling this important USB wire with future sales. 

One thing I didnt mention in the video is that, as expected, there is no gap between clips when using this camera as a dash-cam...rather each new clip repeats a fraction of a second of the previous one.

If you want to read the manuals, install the GUI Update Utility or get the firmware updates, they can all be obtained from the Manufacturer's website HERE.

BUYING LINKS BELOW (Ebay sellers recommended by Innovv)

INNOVV C1

ELETECH086 (US) HXELEPRO360 (US)

ELETECH086 (UK) HXELEPRO360 (UK)

INNOVV C2 (Model with wider FOV)

POWER-GPS (USPOWER-GPS (UK)

BUYING LINKS for other countries:  DE  NL  AU  FR  ES

Download Samples HERE. As always, don't stream these, because if you do the quality will be no different to watching them on youtube. To download, change the dropbox thumbnail-based file page into a list (icon at the top right) then click on a file and choose Download (Icon bottom right 'More Actions'). Once they are downloaded you can play them from your hard-drive to see the true untouched video quality.

More info about the Innov C1 is available on the Dashcamtalk and RCGroups forums.

Sunday
Jan122014

Adding 80's flair to modern digital music playback

A short video about a fun product I found on ebay that adds some much needed pizzazz to visually uninteresting modern audio devices like the Sonos. 

 

Want to Buy One?

Click here to see the current price on ebay.

Monday
Jan062014

Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camera Review

This is my very long review of the Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camera. Brevity is not one of my strengths when it comes to these reviews so I suggest you skip past any sections that don't interest you. I'm sure you'll be able to decide whether this camera could be of any use to you within the first 30 seconds, as it's a very specialised device designed for a very specific purpose. 

 

Downloadable Samples 

It turns out that files with LPCM audio are very difficult to trim without re-encoding first. All my trimming tools refuse to import these files. As all the LPCM encoded files I recorded of the street musicians are well over 100MB each, I'm unable to share these anywhere. I've therefore done the best I can and re-encoded a few files that you can download at the link above. Unfortunately there are no untouched LPCM encoded music recordings there...so contrary to what I said in the video you can't listen to an untouched LPCM recording. I have uploaded one small file with LPCM audio (Filename: VanDang) that file is there for you to see if your own editing software can cope with Videos that have LPCM Audio. Please remember that this camera has the option to record videos with AAC Audio instead - and I do have one AAC Audio Clip (the operatic singer)...that file can be handled by most editing packages. 

Buying Links  

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Sony US 

Sony UK (This is cheaper than Amazon UK at time of publishing)

UPDATE 10 January - As requested here's more of that nice lady singing...

 

Sunday
Dec292013

SJ2000 Helmet Cam - Letting the family down

Chad McQueen, Don Swayze, Frank Stallone....sometimes it's hard to live up to a family name and the SJ2000 is no exception. The SJ1000 is a popular cheap action camera that punches well above it's weight, so you'd assume that if you transplanted it's innards into a metal waterproof tube then you would be onto a winner. It seems that it's not quite that easy...

When I realised that the SJ2000 wasn't a camera that I could recommend I decided to rush this video out quickly before the end of 2013, rather than kick off the new year with a disappointment. 

Here are the Buying Links (but I'd suggest you look at the SJ1000 instead).

US UK

Monday
Dec232013

Christmas Special Episode - BNIB

Click for a giant versionIt's my first Techmoan Christmas Special and it's got everything you associate with Christmas, opening parcels, listening to music, 8-track tapes..... well OK, it's not strictly Christmas themed, but given the calendar date, I've decided that this will be my Christmas episode. 

It might not look much, but this video is one of the most expensive and protracted that I've assembled. It's taken me over six months to get everything together and my local recycling centre now has three 8-track machines from my earlier failed attempts. Reliability is one of the problems inherent in dealing with forty year old technology, and why I ended up buying a 'brand new' thirty eight year old piece of equipment, call it a delayed 1975 Christmas present to myself.

I intend to do some more 'Retro Tech' videos over the next year whenever I get the chance and I've already picked up a few items from ebay with this in mind. 

All that's left now is to wish everyone a Merry Christmas (or whatever it is you do where you are) and a happy 2014. I'll be taking a couple of weeks break away from releasing new videos but I'll use some of that time to reorganise the blog a bit, sort out some dead links etc.

So that's it, enjoy the most expensive and pointless video I've made so far.

UPDATE - Believe it or not, the ebay seller I bought my Pioneer H-R99 Recorder from has another one of these, again, it's brand new unused and he has replaced the belt. This chap must have a time machine. You can see the auction HERE 

 

Monday
Dec162013

G1W - The cheapest Dash-Cam that’s worth buying.

When I recently tried to find a good cheap dash-cam, quite a few people suggested that I should take a look at the G1W camera, so I picked one up. Delivery from China took a while, but the wait was worth it. This camera is capable of recording good quality video day and night, better than many more expensive cameras, more than adequate for the majority of people and at a price that can’t be beaten.

To put it simply, if you have any intention at all of picking up a dash-cam but up until this point have been put-off by the price, then this is the camera for you. You will need to obtain your own MicroSD card – (Class 6 or 4, but not Class 10)  from a reputable retailer.

The following paragraph is only for people who are thinking about buying this as their first dash-cam and who may not realise what they are getting themselves into…

Do not buy this camera and expect to get superior levels of build quality and customer service. If you choose to have your camera sent from the Chinese ebay supplier I used, it will take some time to arrive (mine took over 3 weeks to the UK).  If you break the mounts you will not get spares. If it arrives DOA your best option might be to bin it, as the alternative would be to send it back to China. I have no idea how reliable this camera will prove to be over time – but like all electronic devices, it will not work forever. Dash-cams have to work for hours on end, often in extreme temperatures, the kind of thing that puts a strain on even the best made cameras. I have no connection with the manufacturer or retailers. I bought mine off ebay.

Now that’s said, if you do want to buy what I think is the best performing dash-cam currently available for £32/$55 – this is it and you can get one from one of the links below.

DOWNLOADABLE SAMPLES HERE

BUYING LINKS - NEW 2014 VERSION (Click a country)

UK US NL IT FR ES DE AU

 

Monday
Dec092013

The HP Envy 120 - A printer you want to show off.

No one likes buying a printer. Just like a central heating boiler, car exhaust (muffler), or shoes (for men)...it's something that you take no pleasure in using and when it eventually dies you reluctantly buy a replacement.

Many people are able to get by now without a printer/scanner at home, but for me there's a handful of occasions each year when it is a necessity, so when my Epson printer decided that it wanted to go to the landfill I begrudgingly set about the task of finding a replacement. Luckily I stumbled across the HP Envy 120.

The HP Envy has enough fun features to make me (almost) forget about the fact I just spent a considerable sum of money on yet another printer. This is the first printer I've owned that is fun to use and definitely the first one I've thought was worth demonstrating in a video review.

You can buy one through Amazon. 

 

Sunday
Dec082013

DOD LS430W GPS Dashcam Review

Here's my review of the DOD LS430W car camera. The camera was supplied by DOD-TECH UK

I mentioned in the video that this camera comes with both OSX & Windows GPS playback software. I didn't test out the Windows version but I believe that often Windows users opt to use a more fully featured, and free GPS playback software package called Registrator Viewer. I should mention that apparently the GPS implementation on the LS430W is a particularly accurate and fast one...I'll admit to knowing next to nothing about GPS, so I'll just take their word for that. 

You'll find my short downloadable sample clips here.

Buying links are below 

The price I mentioned in the video is the cheapest price I found on ebay...but some people who have bought from ebay sellers in China have received inferior clones, so you are probably better off getting one from an official dealer. My camera was supplied by DOD-TECH UK, who currently have the camera on sale at £149 including delivery. That comes with a 1 Year warranty and no chance of incurring any customs and importation charges for UK buyers.

UPDATE 2015

This camera has been discontinued and replaced with the very similar LS460W - I've had a number of people contact me to tell me that they've bought the LS460W and found it to be a very good camera. I've therefore put links to the LS460W below.

   

Sunday
Dec012013

Meze 11 Classics give a very enjoyable wooden performance

I've taken a break away from the camera reviews to take a look at the Classic 11 Earbuds from Meze. These earbuds stand apart from most of the other models on the market due to the quality of the construction and because they are made from handcrafted ebony wood.

The fact that they are wooden makes me believe they sound richer and more luxurious than the usual plastic earphones. Now I can't say how much of that is just down to my imagination and how much is scientific fact, but to describe it in another way.... If these headphones were a drink, they would be a Licor 43 Coffee enjoyed outside a Spanish Bar watching the sunset, rather than a Pepsi Max gulped down at lunchtime in a fast food restaurant.

To the wearer, headphones are all about the sound, but the way they look also communicates a lot. If I saw someone wearing wooden headphones or earphones, I'd imagine that they they enjoyed their music, appreciated good quality sound and had an eclectic and extensive record collection. Now of course that might be completely inaccurate, but it's really not a bad image to convey. 

If you want to know more about the Meze earphone and headphone range go to Mezeheadphones.com

You can buy all their headphone and earphone range from there and a selection are also available on Amazon. 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk