Soft Digits’ 50-In-1 Accessory Kit for GoPros & Action Cameras

It seems everyone and their brother has some sort of body cam, action cam, or GoPro. And while I finally broke down and got one too, you quickly find out that you need accessories to make the most of your action camera experience. Soft Digits wants to make that happen with their affordably-priced 50-in-one accessory kit.

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There’s a lot to like about this kit, and it has enough goodies to fit, mount or wear your action camera just about anywhere. The high-gloss plastic mounts are a little on the rigid side and I have some concerns about durability with repeated snapping in and out of the mounts, but as I’m not doing any “extreme” sporting with my camera, I’m not too worried. The elastic on a few of the body and wrist mounts have started having issues with retaining their elasticity, but that might be because their meant for smaller bodies that Hubby’s. The 50 pieces are really closer to 30 as well, because the 3M adhesive strips and other adhesive bits amount to nearly 20 of the total pieces. The lens cap/cover doesn’t fit my brand of camera housing (mine isn’t a GoPro), and a couple of the pieces don’t fit together as well as they probably should. In the end, my $30 action camera isn’t going to be a huge loss should any of the accessories in this kit fail, but I would be a little wary about a 3, 4, or 500 dollar camera being lost or damaged because one of the bits in this kit failed.

The way I see it, for my cheapie action camera, these are dynamite. A bunch of mounts to see what works for me and what doesn’t, and a zip-up carry case that hold most of it safely (seriously, don’t try to fit it all back in with your camera, because it won’t zip closed). And all at a price that doesn’t break my bank. But if you do major adventuring or extreme sports with your camera, and invested a good chunk of change into it, you might want to get higher-quality accessories, because these are fine for the occasional casual user like me, but the serious enthusiast will be disappointed in the quality.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Soft Digits. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Smarson WIFI HD Digital Action Sports Camera

You know a product is a hit when there are countless imitators and knock-offs of your innovation. Sometimes, it’s a product slapped together to cash in on a craze and it’s junk. Sometimes, it’s about making a quality product that comes in at a fraction of the price to open the market to buyers who’d never have thought about, say, an HD action camera before. Smarson isn’t the former, it’s definitely the latter.

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We got a cheap-o HD action cam this summer to play around in the pool with the dog and record the memories. Sadly, though “Bresser” claimed full HD, the picture quality was poor, with washed out color and grainy video. And that was where Smarson’s camera shined. The picture was crystal-clear in outdoor light and there was no judder with quick “action” scenes (As much action as a 12 year-old dog can muster!). And there was a host of accessories included to make mounting your camera on nearly any surface possible. At 12 mp, and full 1080p (1920 x 1080) recording (30fps), you get all the clarity of high definition recording, or you can downgrade your image to 720p and go up to 60fps for great slo-mo. you get mutiple shooting modes, (treble shot function, time lapse, continuous shooting, self-timer, and driving mode), a 170 degree wide angle lens, and a similar user interface to the industry leader, the GoPro series of cameras. And, at this price point, you also get WiFi capabilities via Smarson’s iSmartDV App (for iOS and Android 4.4 and up), which is a real bonus to me, even if the range for the wifi is pretty limited (around 10-15 feet, line of sight). It’s small but rugged, and the build seems solid, unlike the other bargain brand action cam I tried that felt flimsy and the battery cover would constantly fall off. The included lucite case is dust and dirt proof and water-resistant up to 30 meters. My pool is only 9 feet deep, so I can safely say from experience it’s solid up to 9 feet! The included 3.7v 900mAh battery is rated for as much as 90 minutes of continuous recording, Thought I’ve gotten up to three hours of off-and-on recording in one afternoon with juice left after. But never worry, the camera will run off the included micro-USB cable and wall adapter, so you’re never without juice. I also had good success with up to a 32gb micro-SD card, and on that card you could record and store a few hours of full HD videos.

And while there is plenty of bang for your buck here, a couple of things are not particularly great. At the $50 price point, you get a lot of value, and a cheap 4gb micro SD card should really be included like most action cams do at this price point, so you can go right out of the box. And while almost every GoPro accessory should work perfect with this awesome Smarson HD Action Cam, the battery is non-standard and getting a replacement or spare might prove troublesome. Also, the 1.5″ TFT LCD at the rear is soooo tiny, with the screen to bezel ratio being almost 50-50. But, again, the value here is undeniable and the quality for the price is top-notch. I feel the positives far outweigh the negatives enough that this Smarson camera earns a full 5 stars from me.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Samrson. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

BlazeVideo Wireless WiFi 720P IP/Cloud Camera


Normally, I do long, detailed reviews. I’m in the midst of a small personal issue, so this and other reviews for the immediate future will be brief.

This is a well-made camera. The image sensor is good and the images it produces are sharp and crisp. There is minimal lag in response times for the pan/tilt/zoom features. The app is functional and intuitive, and even if it tends to log you out from time to time. The app will also hang with prolonged viewing and display a static image. This will require a close and restart of the app. One other slight annoyance, that I have not had the time to look if I can correct, is the inversion of the PTZ controls. Up is down, left is right, etc. Counter-intuitive and very annoying. The night vision is very good, and the IR lights give better zero-light illumination than my Amcrest 720p PTZ IP camera, but this comes at a cost, because glare through a window is considerably increased, to the point of obscuring the image if it’s shining straight at the window or door. This is much more than my previously used Amcrest camera.

This is a much better built camera that others I have tested, and I would say the fit and finish surpasses the Amcrest and Foscam cameras I’ve used in the past. The antennae on the back for the wireless is a bit old-fashioned, as most of the wireless IP cameras in this price range have an integrated antennae, but it does increase the wireless range so it’s wash. The signal still drops intermittently though. You can (and I have, successfully on my Lorex IP system) connect this camera to an existing IP security camera setup via CAT5 or CAT6 cables. So if you have an open channel on your home security camera setup, this will plug and play. There is a cloud feature as well as microSD card slot for onboard storage. I feel the price is too high even if the camera is quality, for a 720p camera. if you knock $25-$30 off this, you have a solid contender here with good features and a great build.

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Blaze Video. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Aosee Wireless IP Pan/Tilt 720p Camera

I’ve been wanting to try one of these cameras for forever, being as our dog suffer from severe anxiety and has night terrors. So an IP camera seemed to be right up our alley, and there are so many offered we figured it was only a matter of time until we got to try one. I’ve now come to rue the day it was offered.

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This “camera” (the use of quotes is because I could never get it to work, so I only have Aosee’s word it’s actually a camera) never once did anything it was supposed to do. I followed the (albeit very poorly written) instructions to the letter; Nothing. Just a voice repeating over and over to start the setup. Very annoying. The “app” I downloaded for the camera was buggy, had the pan and tilt controls cut off, it crashed, and the “setup” was painfully counter-intuitive and not user friendly. The camera could not or would not connect to our network. I got “network timeout” messages immediately, even when manually configuring the settings I got directly from my ISP. I contacted Aosee to notify them I might have gotten a defective unit. Their “solution” was to have do the setup again, which of course failed. They stopped responding at all via Tomoson (the company that we connected through) and when Hubby tried getting support via Amazon, first they wanted us “take a video” showing us doing their setup instructions, then to send it back to them at our cost!!! They refused to send a replacement for the defective camera, or even a label to return it, and insisted on going back and forth repeatedly (always around 2-3AM PST) about us trying again and again and again to do the setup. The service and support was just plain awful.

The product felt poorly made, and was defective. The support was almost non-existent and the service was jaw-droppingly awful. I’ve set up cameras like this before. Wired and wireless, from Foscam, Amcrest, Swann, Lorex and Phillips. I have never, ever had such a terrible experience with both product and support from any of those like I did with Aosee. I can’t stress enough that if you want a good product with decent support that you completely stay away from Aosee.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Aosee. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ohuhu’s Canvas DSLR Shoulder Organizer Bag

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It’s kind of nice to have all your camera stuff in one place, especially when you’ve upgraded to a DSLR system and all the various sundry lenses, filters, shrouds, flashes and other stuff that come with it. And unless you buy one of those bundles that costs an extra $150, you usually don’t even get a bag to store the camera in, let alone the accessories. Thankfully, Ohuhu rides to the rescue with their nifty Canvas DSLR Shoulder Bag & Organizer.

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What I liked best about this bag is it looks and feels very much like a simple duffle bag, and doesn’t scream “Steal me!!” like a branded, fancy camera bag might. It’s soft and pliable, but with the semi-rigid non-marring foam inserts, and adjustable foam dividers (with velcro attachment edges), you can safely store, carry, and customize your bag to fit your camera and accessory needs, and have space for plenty of other goodies like your phone, a water bottle, maybe a small point & shoot, whatever! With zippered, and snapped compartments all around, there’s ample storage solutions for everything you could possibly need or want to carry with your camera. The convenient shoulder strap makes carrying it a breeze, but there were times I missed a simple handle on the top to carry also, but that’s a minor personal quibble, and after a couple of uses, I didn’t miss it at all. And the buckles are adjustable to fit any amount of camera, accessories, and almost any configuration and still snap closed securely. But it doesn’t end there, because if you remove the shock-proof foam inserts, this bag can be your carry-all duffle for just about anything. The water-resistant canvas also means if you happen to hit inclement weather, you won’t be freaking out about your expensive electronic gadgets getting soaked and ruined!

The one negative for this product is the price. For the same money or less, you can find shoulder bags (even Nikon and Canon ones!) on Amazon and elsewhere. But in my experience, Ohuhu makes a quality product, and I can safely say I’ve never had a major issue or failure with anything they’ve made. I feel perfectly safe entrusting my DSLR camera and accessories to this bag, and I think after trying it out, you will too!

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ohuhu.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Fusion 4K High-Speed 4K HDMI Cable Review

Ever since the introduction of high-definition television sets, there has been a glut of misinformation and confusion in the marketplace, most often fostered, if not outright encouraged, by the very people purporting to help you make heads or tails of all of it. One of the biggest upsells that people got stuck with was HDMI cables. A certain marketplace “monster” made a killing selling grossly overpriced HDMI (and a plethora of other) cables to the unwitting consumer, and retailers were only too happy to play along, because there was an unbelievable amount of markup and profit to be made. The same goes for “calibrating” your new TV, but that’s a post for another day. Today we get to go over Fusion4K’s high-speed HDMI cable.

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To start, most of us do not have a 4K TV.  4K is considered “Ultra High Definition”, which is a horizontal resolution on the order of 4,000 pixels. Far in excess of what the current high definition standard is, and far beyond the capabilities of most affordable consumer electronics. There is also precious little 4K content out there either, so rushing out and getting the “bleeding edge” of technology is not advised. Likewise, we’re pushing past the boundaries of what the human eye can even distinguish as far as resolution. I say all that to tell you that while this cable is capable of transmitting 4K resolution, 3D, x.v.Color, sYCC601, Adobe RGB, and has all the bells and whistles of gold-plated connectors, heavy duty braided shielding, and what feels like heavy gauge (the don’t state the wire gauge on the package or the Amazon listing) 100% copper cores, there’s absolutely no reason to spend 5 times the money of a Monoprice or Amazon Basics cable. It’s a digital cable. It conforms to the HDMI 2.0 standard, so it works, or it doesn’t. Everything else is smoke and mirrors. What’s worse is the warranty. Monoprice, for example, will warranty their cables for life. And I know this because they’ve replaced, at no cost, a cable that failed me. It was 8 years old, covered in shmutz and they didn’t care. 3 days later, brand new cable. Fusion 4K warranties theirs for just 1 year.

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The picture from Fusion4K’s cable was identical to the Monoprice cable I have installed normally. It was also identical to the cheap no-name cable that was  included years ago in some package or another that we keep around as a spare. So between the $35 3ft Fusion4K cable, the $5 6ft. Monoprice cable, and the free 6ft. no-name cable, there was not a single visual or aural difference, no performance issues, no connection issues, no signal issues. I can not see a single reason to pay such an absurd markup for a cable that performs exactly the same as every other cable I’ve tested. The plusses are that it transmits ethernet signal for your connected smart TV, it’s HDMI 2.0 compliant, it feels like a heavy-gauge cable, and has similar braided shielding as those that are rated for in-wall installation, though it doesn’t specifically state that it is safe for an in-wall installation. But it’s major negative is the price. So yes, it works, but I don’t see why you’d need to pay nearly $40 for a 3ft. cable (and let’s be honest, most of us need a 6ft or longer cable, which bumps the price up to $49.99) when the cheap basic ones perform exactly the same, spec for spec. The choice is yours.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Fusion4K.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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