Search This Site

 

 

You can help fund Techmoan with a donation on Patreon

Click to visit Patreon.com/Techmoan  

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE for COMPANIES

 Techmoan never approaches companies asking for sample products to review.

 


Articles by Category

    

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
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%! 

            

 
Friday
Sep032010

efun DV100 Mini Camera Review

Another test of a mini camera. This one gets a number of important things right, but ultimately it is the picture quality (bleached out and grainy) that let it down.

However, considering that it only cost me approximately £16 delivered from an Ebay seller in China ....shenzhenruixing. (link correct at time of posting) some might find it easy to forgive these shortcomings.

I'll keep on hunting for the perfect mini camera - another new model was delivered today, review to follow when time allows.


Saturday
Aug142010

Hanging my favourite movie on the wall (in style).

Would you like to hang a favourite film poster on your wall but you don't, because you are concerned that the room will look like a student dorm room. Perhaps this idea might be more suitable....

Thursday
Aug122010

Mini DV D005 Review

I've put together another video review of a mini "spy" camera. There seems to be a real interest in these videos - so I've started to buy new cameras on a regular basis just for review purposes. I try to break even by spending any money I make from adsense clicks (the adverts that pop up over my youtube videos) on new items to review.

I don't think I'll ever get rich from this scheme - but it enables me to buy a few more gadgets than I normally would (even if I don't really need them). I've already got another mini video camera on its way from HK - so in a few weeks I should be able to post another review.

Anyway, here it is.....

Saturday
Jul242010

The Dockintosh

I've occupied my spare time over the last few weeks putting this thing together.



It's an old Macintosh repurposed as an iPad dock.

I'm pretty happy with the finished article, and my rotary tool skills are significantly more advanced now, than when I started. I'm by no means a hobbyist, so this is the most complicated thing I've constructed. If I was a better craftsman, it would no doubt have looked a lot neater. One thing I might change If I were to do it all over again, would be to simplify it by using a sync cable rather than a dock.

I made the first 'advertisement' section of the video in a tongue-in-cheek manner (I don't really suggest keeping it in the kitchen or by the bed), its just a bit of fun.
Enjoy.

Monday
Jul122010

Dummy iPad

I received a dummy iPad in the post from HK today.



Its a perfect 1:1 non working copy. The only real differences (other than the complete lack of action) are the fact that the body and the screen are plastic rather than aluminium and glass - which make it just a tad lighter than the real one. Even the buttons (the volume and home) click the same as an original.

You may be wondering why I've bought a dummy iPad when I have already have a real one.....well it makes more sense than you might first think.

I'm in the process of constructing an iPad holder/docking station device (all will be revealed when I'm finished) and I needed a template to drill/carve/cut around. I didn't want to risk the chance of damaging my £699 64GB 3G original so I picked up this replica from Ebay. If I scratch the screen of this one with a screwdriver, it won't be such a big deal.

If you want a fake iPad - just do a search for "Dummy iPad" on Ebay - expect to pay about £30 including delivery. You may find that it is a cheap(ish) way to see if an iPad would fit into your life - and then you can always have some 'fun' with it ....give it to someone as a present just to watch their reaction or perhaps do a switcharoo on a friends iPad and then reverse your car over it, drop it in a pond etc etc....

Sunday
Jun272010

Jobo PhotoGPS2 Review - First review of Jobo's 2010 Hotshoe GPS Geotagger



Ever since iPhoto added location based functionality I've wanted a camera that could take advantage of it. I'm not an SLR user - being very much just a holiday snapshots type of chap. That being said, I still want my snapshots to be as sharp as possible.

It seemed to take an age for the manufactures of compact cameras to integrate GPS into their devices - the first model that I knew about was the rather poor Nikon P6000. Another couple of models slowly limped to market - all of them getting equally poor reviews (the GPS didn't really work and killed the battery in the process).  So I gave up waiting and got my (non-GPS) Panasonic LX3 - the best compact available within my budget (and at the time, the best within any budget).

I still longed after a GPS equipped camera though (as always if you can't get something it makes it even more desirable). I've tried a keychain GPS geotagging dongle in the past and it just wasn't up for the job. Either I could set it to save its co-ordinates on a short interval ( so it's battery would only last a couple of hours) or lengthen the interval and make the data inaccurate and useless. The software was useless too and didn't work on my Mac.

I had my eye on the Jobo Photo GPS hotshoe device before - but it's SLR scale bulk and price put me off. So I was very pleased to see Jobo re-launching their hot-shoe GPS logger as a new smaller and cheaper device. The new model for 201o is called the PhotoGPS2 and it looks like it will be just the ticket. I pre-ordered one from Germany and I now present you with the first video review of the 2010 Jobo PhotoGPS2.

Thursday
May272010

UK iPad has arrived!

My iPad arrived at work at approx 12:15 on 27th May 2010 (a day early).

No queuing for me, it's here. What a week, first the Pandora, then this.

Only got iPhone camera with me, so apologies for the picture quality.

Thursday
May272010

My Open Pandora Handheld arrived - Was it worth the wait?



30th September 2008 was an expensive day for me. The iPhone 3G (which had been available on contract since July in the UK) was released as a  Pay As you go phone for £399 for the 16gb model. I bought this in the morning before work and then spent the rest of the day refreshing my internet connection waiting for the Open Pandora pre-orders to start. As soon as they did, I put in my order - another £207 gone.

I had been eagerly awaiting the Open Pandora console since it was announced a number of months earlier. At that time the main interest for me was a cheap web-capable mini netbook with good retro game capabilities. I also planned to use it as a video player to attach to a Pico projector for viewing films when  travelling. The anticipated ship date was November 2008 - so this was to be my Christmas 2008 gift to myself.

It was a surprisingly different computer landscape back then - notebooks were the big thing -  the 900 Asus eeepc had just come out. The iPhone app store had only just launched and although it showed early promise - no one knew what a game changer it was to become.

The Open Pandora got delayed due to countless problems with suppliers etc - and the ship date slipped and slipped. On a number of occasions I contemplated cancelling my order - but the fear of losing my place in the queue for something so unique (and due any month) made me wait it out.

As the months moved on my iPhone became more and more essential as each app made incremental improvements to its functionality. The idea of using the Pandora with a USB 3G dongle to view the internet began to seem old fashioned especially when the iPhone did it so well. Websites started to have iPhone friendly versions or apps like Wikipedia or Ebay put the online content inside a smart wrapper.

Playing my xvids became a lot easier on the iphone due to the appearance of simple video conversion programs. But I didn't need to convert downloaded TV shows to entertain myself any more as my daily train commute started to consist of watching video podcasts. These have exploded in abundance, subject matter diversity and quality over the last couple of years. In addition the iPhone made me drop my old habit of playing DS games. The iPhone games got better and better whilst simultaneously getting cheaper and the DS got put in a drawer.

So all the main reasons for me buying a Pandora got stripped away, one by one. The retro-games, the internet, the video.

So why did I hold on and wait it out, I don't really know why.  I still like the idea of a PC (of sorts) in my pocket. In a couple of days I'm visiting a family member to sort out their wifi router settings and the Pandora will be totally adequate to do this job (no need to take the laptop).  When I next go on holiday, I will use it to backup my video camera's memory cards to an external hard drive. I'm sure many more unexpected uses will crop up too - but there is one experience that has made me understand why products like this must succeed…..

When it first arrived, I turned it on and it started to boot, it seemed to be taking too long,  so I restarted it. I found out later that this was the wrong thing to do - the first few units needed to have an initial 10 minute boot to install the o/s - I'd interrupted this feature and I'd now messed up my install and it wouldn't boot up at all. I posted my problem to the openpandora forums  late in the evening- within a few minutes a couple of people suggested that I needed to reflash the firmware. Where could I get this firmware? I replied - then I got an answer from one of the creators of the Open Pandora - 'EvilDragon'- he explained how to do the flash (a simple procedure for the 'unbrickable' Pandora) and advised they were uploading the firmware. Sure enough in a few minutes 'Notaz' (another of Pandora's founding fathers) uploaded the firmware to the thread and a few minutes after that I had a fully functioning device.

So that's why the Pandora needs to be a success. The people who made it really do care about it. They may have had some setbacks along the way but there is a big community of people who wanted an open standard games machine and they have finally got their wish. It's very easy to be critical of things - but sometimes you come across people who really need and deserve your support.

Now I can't  programme code or design games (I'm very much the end-user in this relationship). However I 've tried to support this project in my own small way, firstly by waiting in the queue, rather than dropping out, and secondly by making a video to spread the word. So here is the worlds first HD youtube video of the Open Pandora (probably).  It's rather rushed - but I just wanted to get something out there asap, enjoy.

Sunday
May162010

"HD" Spy Pen Video Review

I've put together another video review for a spy camera  - the big difference this time is that the camera records in HD (1280x960 30 fps). I imagine that this will be the same camera unit that is fitted inside the HD Spy watch - so the review might help if you are interested in that device too.

I'm pretty happy with the way the review turned out - the pen itself, well that's another story, but you'll need to watch the video for a full explanation. Let's just say that not all HD is really HD.

Thursday
Apr292010

The JJC ALC-3 Lens Cap (Version 2) - Update



For those who are following the saga of the hunt for an auto lens cap for the LX3.....

Today I received the Version 2 JJC ALC-3 Lens Cap from an Ebay seller in HK.

JJC produced the version 2 lens cap in response to users comments about their original LX3 auto lens cap vignetting at maximum zoom (the doors were visible in the corner of the picture). To combat this, JJC added raised plastic ridges inside their spring loaded doors in an attempt to keep the doors wider apart to prevent them from encroaching on the lens.

The packaging for the version 1 and 2 lens caps are identical - the only difference I noticed is a variation in the font on the label that states "Panasonic DMC-LX-3". The v2 lens is supplied with a single small thin piece of 3m sticky back rubber (there are no instructions in the pack to explain what this is for). The springs on the doors seem a bit stronger that the v1 - which was another common complaint .

Anyway - the big question, do the v2 lens cap improvements prevent vignetting?   Answer....No. Even though the v2 modification does keep the spring loaded doors further apart,  the vignetting is still very evident when a photo is taken of a white wall.

My suggestion is still to do the 5 min modification I demonstrated in my video. I've already done this to my v2 cap and it works perfectly.

Saturday
Apr242010

Lenovo N5901 Media Centre Keyboard Remote Review

This is the keyboard that has finally made me abandon my hunt for the perfect Media Centre remote (for the time being). It's not a perfect device - but it's good enough, however there is still plenty of room for improvement. I bought it from USB.BRANDO.COM - they ship worldwide from HK for only $3!  So the total cost (given exchange rates at the time of writing) is £43. It arrived on my desk at work the day after the volcanic dust cloud shut down any further UK airfreight  - so I was very fortunate to get it when I did.

Lenovo have an unexpected hit on their hands with this device- it's been listed in their catalogue since December 2009 , but no one really noticed it in the accessories section and Lenovo didn't advertise it either. It was only when a couple of tech blogs spotted it that the device became a hot commodity among HTPC users.

After many false starts, the Media Centre or Home Theatre PC has arrived.  Boxee and XBMC together with streaming video services paired with cheap low power PCs equipped with TV friendly HDMI sockets, wireless N and packing sufficient power to play back HD video, have led to an explosion in the numbers of PCs attached to TVs. The one missing link has been a suitable remote to control these devices from an armchair where a traditional keyboard and mouse just don't belong. A media centre remote needs to have a keyboard for internet browsing, a analog pointing device for application selection (mouse, trackpad etc) and be small enough to hold in one hand.

The Logitech Dinovo Mini was the first such device on the block and seemed ideal - but was plagued by reliability issues and is still prohibitively expensive. The Lenovo N5901 (previously know by its part number of 57Y6336) is the first serious rival to the Logitech (at half the price) - watch the video to see how it fares.