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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 


Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi


DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam

Yi Ultra 2.7K
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
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.


RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)


U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)




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'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%! 


Sony MHS-FS3 3D Bloggie - Discounted, Discontinued and Disappointing

When I was researching this camera, deciding whether it was worth buying, I found it impossible to find any raw unconverted sample clips that had been produced by this camera. There were a few videos on youtube, but as we all know, these aren't an accurate representation of the true video quality.

Everything I did manage to view though looked absolutely terrible. Washed out, shakey and blurry. Well it turns out that this was in fact an accurate representation of this camera's capabilities after all. There are a few reasons as to why this is the case. First off, the 3D video is 1080p AVC MP4 Half SBS, which means that each eye gets allocated half of the 1080p frame - this results in softer video than normal 2D 1080p. This would be forgivable, if it wasn't for the camera's achilles heel.

This camera deactivates image stabilisation when it is recording in 3D mode. A camera this small relies heavily upon image stabilisation to prevent the footage degenerating into a shaky mess. This is probably even more important when recording in 3D mode. The final problem with this camera is that its lenses are far too close together to capture a proper sense of depth. I really don't know what Sony was thinking here, but the effects of having the lenses next to each other like this, is that anything more than a few feet in front of the camera ends up on the same visual plane. Untimately it becomes very difficult to spot that the 3D footage is actually 3D. It just ends up looking odd. The 3D effect produced by this camera is to 3D what virtual surround is to Dolby 7.1. You can tell something different is supposed to be happening, but you can't quite put your finger on what it is.

So in effect we have a 3D camera that takes soft, shaky, flat 3D video. I can see why Sony discountinued this one very quicky and liquidated all existing stocks through heavy discounting. I just can't understand why they went ahead and brought it out in the first place. However if you want a pocket camera that records reasonable 1080p video then this isn't a bad camera. Just make sure you keep the 3D mode switched off at all times.

You may have noticed from file dates in the video that a lot of the work on this 'review' was done in March 2012. I sold the camera on ebay and moved on to other things. I've only just managed to return to this and finish it off over this bank holiday weekend. This explains why I didn't go as indepth as normal on this review, and it is why I will find it difficult to answer any questions about this camera.

The main reason I decided to go back and finish this video is so that there is a bit of context to the sample clips that I wanted people to have the opportunity to download and see for themselves. One other reason is that I could finally delete the video files off my laptop to free up some space.

Below is a link to the sample clips. All of these are straight from the camera and uploaded to Mediafire. All video clips are unedited and in AVC MP4 format. The 3D video is SBS 1080p. The 3D pictures are in JPG+MPO format. You will need playback and display equipment capable of showing these file formats.

CLICK HERE to download sample Video & Photos



The LCJ-HJ Camera Case for the Sony HX100V & HX200v

Just a quick video demonstrating a camera case for my Sony HX100V. I was expecting to have the Sony HDR-GW55VE by now...but every time I look at Amazon the release date for this camera has moved further into the future. I was intending to take the pocket sized GW55VE on holiday this year, but since it's not arrived, I bought a case for my Studio camera, the HX100V, instead so I can take that on my travels. I wanted the smallest case possible, and this one comes with the added benefit of a hand strap which makes the HX100V feel more like a camcorder. I think this will be a good enough compromise for my trip.  I still prefer to travel with something a bit more pocket sized, but at £38, this one is definitely a little friendlier on the pocket than the £500+ I was intending to spend on the new camera. 

I bought mine from Amazon.

By the way, if anyone was wondering why there is velcro on my lens cap and the bottom of the camera....well I'm sure you can figure it out.


Cheap Dual Camera Car DVR with GPS

Chinavasion got in touch with me recently. I hadn't spoken to them for a long while so it was a bit of a surprise when they suggested that I might want to look at a car camera for them. I've done quite a few car camera reviews recently, so wasn't entirely enthusiastic about the idea until I had a good look at the camera on their website. This camera did seem to offer a lot of features for a low price and I hadn't tested a dual-camera car DVR before, so I asked them to send one over and here is my review of it. Just to confirm, I didn't pay for this camera (other than the usual Import Duties).


Slightly off topic - Answers to common questions about car cameras.

There are a few questions that I get asked virtually every day via email about car cameras. To save me typing the same answers out countless times a month, I'd like to try and address them here.

I often get asked to comfirm which is the best car DVR that I've tried, or which one I would recommend. I really cannot answer this one easily because all the cameras that I have tried have some issues which mean that I can't hand on heart recommend any of them wholeheartedly. I like to test things out and let the viewer make their own mind up as to whether the item is suitable for them. I've really only tested a very small fraction of the car cameras on the market it's highly unlikely that I've stumbled across the best or worst models out there. 

Another type of question I get asked regards inappropriate uses of these cameras. One example is when someone  asked which car camera was the best one to use for shooting a road trip travelogue. Well a car camera is not the right camera for this purpose unless you just want a jerky fisheye view of the last 45 mins of your two week trip. For this purpose I'd suggest getting a video camera and a decent windscreen mount, or at the least an action camera. Always try and get the right camera for the job, no one camera does everything. 

The most common and baffling question I get asked regards using a car camera as a security camera. The usual scenario is that the person asking for advice is a victim of car vandalism and they want to catch the offender in the act. The reason I say that this is baffling, is because when I think about it, everything seems wrong with this idea. Ok, so if you live in an area where some idiots like to vandalise cars, wouldn't leaving a camera in a car make it more of a target? A car camera also points out of a car, therefore it's pointing away-from rather than towards the scene of the crime.  Someone could steal all your tyres and scratch a key down both sides of a car and still not be caught on the camera pointing out of the windscreen. Finally crimes like this invariably happen at night, a camera in a car at night would need to have night-vision and a power source connected that could last overnight...not a normal feature of a car camera. If it used motion activation it would most likely not pick up on a person walking past your car in the dark. So the only thing I can suggest for someone in this unfortunate situation is perhaps installing CCTV on a house but the answer does not lie with a car camera.

And finally I'd just like to say that with any reviews I do, I cannot comment on the long-term reliablilty of a gadget. I'll leave that for others to do in the comments, and I appreciate the feedback. I only get to test a gadget out for a short time and then have to move on to the next. The V1000GS is a good example of a camera that worked fine for me, but other people had big issues with subsequently. So again, I'm not endorsing any of these items, just saying what I see. So please choose carefully and do as much research as you can before spending your hard earned money.


The Korg Kaossilator 2 - Fun product, dull video

I realised half way through making this video that it wasn't turning out how I wanted. Demonstrating all the features of a musical gadget as complicated as the Kaossilator meant that there would be way too many shots of my hands just tapping away at the same plastic black and yellow box.

I like to try and vary the shots in my videos whenever possible, and the sections where I demonstrate the functions, buttons or on-screen-menus of a device always ends up being the dullest segments of my videos. In the past i've tried speeding these segments up, using freeze frames, or putting them PIP, all in an attempt to make them more visually interesting. 

Unfortunately all the features of the Kaossilator would need to be demonstrated in the same visually dull manner, so I decided to it was better for me to cut the video short. By doing this I hope that the video doesn't overstay its welcome, but as a result, I've also left out a number of the device's features. These include sampling, loading loops, altering pitch etc….but I think what is left in the video should give enough of an idea as to whether the Korg Kaossilator would be of interest to the viewer. 

I think it's a really fun musical gadget, but unfortunately it doesn't hold much enough visual interest to warrant a complete video demonstration. It's a bit like someone talking about a guitar for 20 mins……I'd much rather just hear them play it. 

Update 16/05/12 - Contrary to what I said in the video, it is possible to load and save loops quickly by holding function and pressing the I or II keys. Also the Function menus can be scrolled through by holding Function and using the scroll bar thing. There are a couple of other useful key shortcuts as well. The price was £130 and I bought mine from Dawsons (who's service I'd definitely recommend). 


The Smart ForTwo vs The Toyota IQ (an owners perspective)

A bit of a departure this one. I regularly review gadgets that work inside a car.....but up until now I've never reviewed a car itself. People from outside the UK often comment, that to them, I sound like James I thought, why not follow in the footsteps of my sound-alike and attempt to review my new car. After all, a car is probably the most expensive gadget that most of us will ever buy.

Now I must point out that this is not a traditional car review, I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable about cars to do a detailed critique of things like performance and handling, instead I've just concentrated primarily on comparing the general design and practicality of my new car against my old car. One reason for doing this is because both of these cars are targeted towards the same customer, which is very apparent from their names (Smart, IQ... get it?). There should therefore, I assume, be a significant number of people interested in seeing a comparison video of these two ‘City Cars’, from someone who has owned both.

The two cars being compared are a 2009 Smart For Two Coupe Passion 998cc and a 2012 Toyota IQ3 1.33 with the optional CVT (Auto) Gear-box

This was a complicated video for me to put together because I had to trade in one car to get the other. I therefore didn’t have the luxury of doing a side by side comparison between the two vehicles. Instead I shot all the footage for one car and then a couple of weeks later attempted to replicate those shots with the new car.

This video isn’t intended to be a basic, ‘which one is best’ type video because that’s really not for me to decide, I’m just pointing out some of the features of each car. The Smart has a significant disadvantage in a direct head to head comparison due to the fact it was three years older and worth approximately a third of the purchase price of my new IQ. The Smart has had a couple of minor revisions to trim and body panels since the model shown in the video, but the overall basic design and mechanics remain unchanged since 2009.

I still have a lot of fondness for the Smart and like its exterior dimensions, plastic body panels and overall concept. It is more quirky and interesting than the IQ and in some ways it’s more practical. However when it comes to choosing a city car that incorporates all the latest technology, the IQ is currently the best car for my needs.

Now, my requirements when it comes to cars are very unlikely to be the same as someone else, so I wouldn’t dream about telling other people what car they should buy. It really is none of my business. So therefore I really hope that any comments on this video doesn’t degenerate into a slanging match, with people saying things like “this car is ****” and “you should have bought a ”. Unfortunately cars videos, much like Apple product reviews, have an unfortunate habit of bringing out the comment if you see anything like this, please ignore them and they'll go away.


iPad Macbook Air Style Keyboard Case  

This was a big disappointment, I thought I was buying a fun gadget, but it tuned out I was really just buying a poor quality and overpriced iPad 2 keyboard case.

I've no doubt that some people will see this video and still want to buy one of these, but don't say that I didn't try to warn you.

I bought this from's a link to the product on their site. 



The £50 Roku LT

£50 is an interesting price-point for an electronic device. There are a lot of things I will take a punt on at £50 that I would never consider if they cost £75 or more. In my opinion the Roku LT is definitely worth £50.

It's obvious that streaming media is going to play a massive part in the future of home entertainment. It's still early days, but home cable and fibre are already capable of offering a significant proportion of houses with the necessary broadband speeds that can support HD streaming video.

We're still at the nascent stage of Internet video networks, and it reminds me of the early days of satellite TV. I got my first satellite dish in the late 1980s and back then it was a wild-west of wildly variable quality programming provided by channels that were often available for viewing outside their intended audience areas. It took a few years, but inevitably the big companies took over, locked the content down and ramped up the costs.

Internet TV is still in it's wild-west period, there is a lot of junk out there with a few diamonds hidden amongst it. You might end up watching adverts for products you can't even buy in your country and the video quality varies wildly.

For people that don't share my memories of the early days of satellite TV, there is another analogy that might better explain how I feel about the Roku..... I'd imagine that most people will, as a child, have listened to a radio under the bed sheets late at night, sometimes tuning it to foreign stations, It really felt like you were listening to something secret or special. That was a memory that came flooding back today when I was watching KeyTV, a channel that as far as I can tell is intended to promote Key West's restaurants and activities to vacationers. The Roku is in a way like a Shortwave radio for Internet video.

Now if you wanted to keep it simple you could always just use the Roku for its BBC iplayer function, its good enough to buy it just for that one channel/app but then you'd be missing out on a whole world of video.

If you want a box that works well today and gives you a window into the future of home entertainment you should pick up a Roku. I can think of many worse things to spend £50 on, and I've got a loft full of stuff to prove it.

Here's the review

By the way, the USB to Type M Barrel 5V DC power cable that I mentioned in the video is still in the post, but I'll let you know if my plan to power the Roku using the TV USB socket it a success when it arrives. An update will appear here.

Update 4 May 2012..... Well my USB Cable to Type M Barrel 5V DC power lead turned up in the post and.....disappointingly it doesn't fit into the socket on the back of the Roku. The outer barrel is the right size, it's just the centre pin on the Roku is too thick to fit in the hole in the middle, so that experiment is over. As a number of people have pointed out, it's very likely that the Roku would have needed to draw more power than the USB would supply anyway, but it would have been nice to actually verify this....ho hum.


'1080p' Mini LCD Camera

This camera was very nearly great....but ended up merely being just OK.

When I bought my camera from an ebayer I paid £46, however I note that Dealextreme are now selling it for £35, so at that price it might still be worth a look, depending on your requirements.


I've included the link to Dealextreme below, they call it the F188, others call it the SC260B, and I'm sure you'll see it going by other names too.

Available from.....


If anyone wants a seller link adding to this post, please email me....but I won't include eBay auctions due to the speed with which they expire.

By the way, if you want to buy an 808#16 Camera, you can only get them through ebay. Here is a link to Eletoponline365 who make and sell these cameras through their ebay store.


Two SmartCams for your car

At last here is my review of the Smartcam car cameras. 

If you are in the UK and you want a cheap dashcam then either of these cameras are definitely worth your consideration. The prices include post and packaging...but more importantly don't include the unwelcome and often unexpected extras, like Import Duty, VAT and 'handling fees' that you can sometimes incur when buying items direct from China.   

Link to Smart Electronics Ebay Store here.

Video Review below.

NOTE---- Youtube has had a seriously detrimental effect on the video quality from the HD cam - I've therefore uploaded clips for you to download and play on your machine. Here's the Smartcam - and here's the Smartcam 2


A Cheap (& nasty) Car camera.

Judging by the comments I get there are lot of people who are reluctant to import products from Chinese ebay retailers. I understand a certain level of apprehension, but on the whole I've had very few problems, and often if you are willing to import you will get the best deal. Unfortunately my complacency is the reason that I ended up getting caught out this time. I was looking for the cheapest option - had a number of auctions open in different windows and ended up choosing poorly.

I've put the video together anyway to as a reminder to be cautious and avoid rogue devices that masquerade as better ones.

There will be a new video along as soon as possible (hopefully in about 10 days) where I'll be reviewing two alternatives to this camera with a very similar form-factor. These cameras are being sold in the UK at prices that are equivalent to the HK ebayers, but with the added reassurance that there will be no unexpected import duty or taxes to pay. They are also much, much better.


A Spy Camera Alarm Clock

The stand-out features of this alarm clock spy camera are its 12 hour recording capability and motion activation. One unusual feature that I didn't highlight in the video is that it's the only continuously-illuminated LED alarm clock that I've come across that runs from battery rather than mains power. I don't know how long the batteries are able to power the clock for, because while the camera power dies after approx 12 hours, the clock keeps running, and it still is, a number of days after I finished my testing. 

Many thanks to for supplying this clock/camera. In addition to this clock, they also sell a wide range of spy devices and gadgets from their Australian online store.