MGCool Explorer 1S Review

The Explorer 1S is your standard run-of-the-mill Novatek action cam without many improvements done to the default firmware. The video quality is decent in most situations but the gyro doesn’t seem to work. The cam has the potential to live up to other cameras that are a bit more expensive but that would require firmware updates on MGCool’s part (which I don’t currently expect).

Links to buy:

MGCool 1S:
USA: http://dreki.tech/1s-amazon
International: http://dreki.tech/1s-gearbest

SooCoo C30:
USA: http://dreki.tech/c30-amazon
International: http://dreki.tech/c30-gearbest

ThiEYE T5e (real 4K):
USA: http://dreki.tech/t5e-amazon
International: http://dreki.tech/t5e-gearbest


The 78¢ MP3 Player

I saw this on AliExpress as I was buying a mic adapter. And, well, yeah. It does actually turn on. But I can’t really get it to recharge unless it’s plugged into a computer. If anyone who knows circuit boards better than me can take a look at the circuit board pic (starting at 9:10) and has some feedback I’d appreciate a comment!

I’m trying a different approach to doing video audio, and it is working alright so far.

Looks like the price has gone up to $1.02.

At that price you can get one with a better clip if you look around.

Shop MP3 Players on AliExpress.

Support me next time you shop on Amazon USA or Amazon Canada.


What Van Scam Projector – Ikon IK900 Unboxing and Review

What do you actually get when you buy a projector out a random van in the parking lot of a Canadian Tire? Well, watch the video to find out!

What is the white van scam? Well, people in the back of a van drive up and say “we have a high quality product that we have got to get rid of. The list price is $$$$$! You can have it for only $$!” People get tricked into buying cheap no name products that (usually) work but don’t work all that well. Usually for the price you paid you can get a better quality product at a retail store.

This kind of projector is pretty garbage. I found it amusing how the deeper we got into the box, the lower the resolution the projector advertised. Some of the features were surprising though. It has Android built in with 1GB of storage, 386MB of Ram and an 854×480 resolution. The brightness is advertised as 7200 lumens but I believe it is closer to 1,000.

Want a projector? I use an Epson HC2040, but they have a decent cheap 720p one that I have seen for as low as $299 on sale (refurb):

Epson 720p: http://dreki.tech/740hd-amz
Epson 1080p: http://dreki.tech/hc2040-amz

Canada: http://dreki.tech/hc2040-ca


Like a Mini Mavic (sort of) – Visuo/Tianqu XS809W Drone Unboxing!

Partnered with Gearbest for this one. Seems like a decent cheap toy drone and I like that it’s foldable. Kinda looks like a cheap little manually flown Mavic. Doesn’t have all the fancy sensors or camera but it’s 1/20th the cost so that’s to be expected. Full review will be coming soon!

Link to buy: Click Here.

 


ThiEYE T5e Review


Summary: Despite a few little issues with the stabilization and a slight size difference with other action cams, the T5e is an excellent value, from a pure image quality perspective.


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KaiDeng K70C Sky Warrior Quadcopter Review

This is more of an informal, user experience based review rather than a technical review, as this is the first quadcopter I’ve ever used. The good news is that for the most part it flies fairly well, but there is a large learning curve for someone who has never flown before. Despite crashing the quadcopter hard a few times it still flies fine, but now the camera mount is broken beyond repair (and it is difficult to find replacement parts). Overall this has been a fun experiment, and I look forward to flying more of these in the future.


Lightdow LD-4K First Look and Initial Impressions

This is yet another fake 4K camera based on the Novatek NT96660 processor and a Sony sensor. It does 1440p @ 30 FPS or a weird almost unusable 2880×2160 @ 24 FPS. Despite my critical comments in the video this cam does have some good things about it: I noted that this camera has a wider dynamic range than a few other Sony/NT96660 cams I’ve tested before meaning that bright and dark areas retain details better instead of getting too dark or too bright, but in many cases the video is almost hazy/greyish and colourless especially in direct light. Also the gyro and 60fps modes don’t exactly work. I’m going to play around with some firmware and see if I can find something better and/or hack together something workable then get back to you with a full review.

But is it worth $30? Yes, because at this price it is practically disposable. It’s remarkable that this hardware can be priced so low from a domestic seller. But at its regular price of $50, my advice is to spend a little bit more on something better such as the SooCoo C30.

LD-4K on Amazon.com
SooCoo C30 on Amazon.com


BBen MN9 Intel PC Stick Review

Specifications (as reviewed): Intel X5-Z8350 / 64 GB Rom / 4 GB Ram

Hey, Dreki here and today I’m reviewing the Bben MN9 stick pc. I’ve seen these things floating around on Amazon and Ali Express for a while now and always wondered whether or not they were any good. Well, it really depends what you want to use it for. I just wanted something that could play Netflix in 1080p, browse the web and occasionally run Photoshop when I needed to edit a single image, and for that it works great, but it’s worth noting right away that the processor in this thing is not capable of doing much heavy multitasking or running programs that take up a lot of processor power, especially games.

Design and Packaging

The package this stick comes in is rather flimsy, and I’m surprised it survived international shipping. The box only includes 3 components: the computer itself, a power cable and an HDMI extension lead. Looking at the stick itself, there’s the HDMI out port, the power port on one side and the micro SD and USB ports on the other. The top has the power button and the bottom has grilles for heat dissipation. The case is covered in some soft touch rubber that scratches rather easily. Nothing about this screams quality but it’s not terrible either.

Performance and Setup

Setting it up was super easy – plug it in to HDMI and power, plug in the receiver for my wireless keyboard mouse combo and then turn it on. Startup is quick, faster than my projector can turn on, so I hardly even noticed it. The stick immediately found my Wi-Fi network, I connected my Bluetooth stereo, and then I started installing apps. For day to day operations everything is just a little bit on the slow side especially when it comes to multitasking, but it’s not unbearable. I’m coming from a midrange gaming PC where everything is fast and snappy but if you’re used to fairly low end computers from the last few years things like browsing the web, installing programs and loading documents will not be much different. Where I noticed the slowness the most was on content rich pages: for example the thumbnails on Netflix took their sweet time. I wouldn’t expect this computer to be able to handle 4K video, but it did fine for 4K playback when the file was on the computer itself but I can’t say the same about 4K streaming. Sites like Youtube, Facebook and Twitter all run fine too. Even Photoshop CS5 ran alright for quick photo editing. For the most part the computer is alright – I’d call it fine but not fast. If you run any benchmarks though the results are really, really low.

Gaming

Now, the one thing that this computer doesn’t do at all is gaming. And I mean like, at all. I installed steam just to humour myself but uh. Yeah. Yeah… It wasn’t worth the storage space it took up. Basic flash games in browser run fine most of the time and so does solitaire but anything more than that and the stick just bogs down. I even tried to emulate Playstation 1, which even cheap Andriod boxes can usually do, and while it worked it did skip frames and jitter a little too much for my tastes. If you want to play games, this is not the device to buy.

Other Notes

The one biggest concern I have with this computer is about the heat it makes. One of the reasons I bought this stick over the others on the market is it advertised having a built in fan, but that’s only half true. The fan is kind of like a case fan more than an actual processor heat sink, meaning it does suck some hot air out of the case but it doesn’t do much more than that. The computer idled at 65 Celsius and I was able to push it to 85 when running benchmarks and difficult tasks. This processor is able to handle up to 90. I never got it to shut off due to thermal overload, but I do suspect that if I had it in the sun on my desk it wouldn’t do so well. After running it for a few hours watching TV, the case is noticeably warm, but not uncomfortably hot. Because the heat dissipation is fairly poor, the device is quick to throttle itself down under stress, which I think has the biggest effect on performance. For example the Playstation games ran fine for the first minute or two, but once the temperature started going up due to processor stress, the game started skipping.

Conclusion

Once the novelty of having a full windows pc in a stick wears off, you’re left with an overall slow but serviceable pc. It’s more or less what I’d expect from hardware at this price point so I can’t exactly fault it. The thing does run Netflix and Youtube at 1080p fine after all, and that’s primarily what I bought it for. In my case I didn’t want to have my giant gaming PC with its noisy fans running whenever I just wanted to stream some TV so I decided to buy something cheap to smarten up my dumb projector. I couldn’t stand the Android TV boxes so this was the next best thing. It’s otherwise hard to think of a specific case where I’d recommend a PC in this form factor over something like a tablet or a full size desktop because it’s stuck somewhere in the middle ground where it doesn’t really do either fantastically. It’s not so slow that I find myself annoyed with it, but there is a noticeable speed difference between this and something a little bit higher end.


Viofo A119S Review

The Viofo A119S is a low profile dash camera based on the A119 form factor however there are two main differences: the camera uses an updated lens with a narrorwer field of view, and it contains a Sony imaging sensor that is capable of a max resolution of 1080p at 60 FPS.
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Meike MK320 Review

The Meike MK-320 is a compact hot-shoe flash featuring TTL functions and tilt/spin capability. It runs off of two AA batteries. This flash is also known as the Neewer NW320.

When I first mounted the flash on my camera I thought it was broken because the TTL function was not exposing correctly, however I realized that the camera didn’t initially recognize the flash so I had to pull it off and put it back on. Once I did that the camera recognized it fine. When you first put it on at any shoot though, you’ll need to pay attention to make sure the camera is properly recognizing it as it seems 1 in 6 times the camera didn’t see that a flash was mounted so the flash was just firing at an incorrect brightness.

Comparing this flash to the built in one on my D750, they’re about the same power, but where the benefit of this is in its diffusion and ability to bounce the flash off of the ceiling or walls. Because the flash face is larger, the light is smoother, and there’s less harsh reflections on skin. Included in the case is an additional diffuser that helps even more. I’m also fond of the LEDs that it includes for video mode, however, they don’t really illuminate all that much to be useful beyond a few feet. Exposure with TTL is good, perhaps a little bit on the bright side at times. Manual mode is easy to adjust functions and slave mode works fine.

Build quality seems reasonable at this pricepoint. All the buttons have a nice click to them and the plastic feels solid. With the 2 AA batteries inserted (you’ll need to provide your own), the flash has a decent weight to it. Not as much as a big flash mind you, but this is the type of device for someone who wants something more compact, so that’s a win.

This flash is small, so it is not a master of heat dissipation while repeating flash. Don’t fire too many in succession otherwise it will pause to cool down.

Overall it would make a better addition to a micro 4/3rds camera or a point and shoot than a standard full size DSLR. I wouldn’t personally use it in professional situations, but for the type of person who wants something to mess around with it’s cheap, compact and works decently once the camera recognizes it. My honest recommendation though: if you want to spend less and don’t mind a full size flash grab the Neewer VK750 II. It has more power, better TTL accuracy and a built-in zoom function (USA Link | Canada Link).