Is This The Best Action Camera?

We have seen many action cameras out there, but I think I have just found one that has excellent quality, and it is well priced. I have delayed this week's post to make sure that I have got my facts right.

What I am referring to is the Polaroid Cube+. Due to its low price tag, many have overlooked it. However, we need to rethink our thoughts. These days small sensor cameras have improved quite a lot and for what they have managed to pack into the Polaroid Cube+ is mind blowing. Let's have a look at what this camera can do below and how it handles flares.

Sunflower plant Photo Demonstrating How The Polaroid Cube  deals With flares

The Polaroid Cube+ does quite well in the still imaging and video departments. Like most wide-angle lens cameras, there would be barrel distortion. With this said, the Polaroid Cube+ is a strong contender, in particular against the GoPro HERO Session. I do not want to overload this article with too many pictures. So I will list links to some of the photos I have taken using the Polaroid Cube+ below - for those who are interested in checking them out. I have also created a video that covers the other features the Polaroid Cube+ has to offer. I would recommend you to check it out if you are looking for an Action Camera.

Flowers Bed Tree Man Sidewalk Tree Bark Flowers and Trees Water Hose Baker Square Brick Wall to Show Barrel distortion

To make it clear, I do not have any affiliation with Polaroid, neither am I paid by Polaroid, I do not endorse them, and I am not sponsored in any way. I just use my own hard earned money on the camera, taxes, and shipping. So let me know your thoughts in the comments and if there are areas in this article that I can improve.

Should I Go Mirrorless?

I’m back finally. It has taken forever to get my laptop repaired. Glad that the episode has been over, so I should be blogging as normal again. Thanks for your patience. This photo was taken about 2 months back, featuring the façade of the surrounding buildings in Manchester’s Albert Square.

Building Facade Opposite Manchester Albert Square

While waiting for my laptop to be repaired, I managed to reflect on my blog and equipment. It’s been 4 years since I got my Canon SX20 IS and now I want to upgrade it. I’ve read a lot about Mirrorless cameras: especially Micro Four Thirds format. These reports got me very excited about these types of cameras. However, I’ve also came across articles that suggest the Mirrorless market may not last. These reports only provide small pockets of the bigger picture about the camera market. Therefore, I would like to hear your views and experience on Mirrorless cameras.

Mixing Rain and Electric

When we talk about Manchester, 2 things normally pop up: Football and rain... However, when it rains, everything starts to glitter.

Exchange Quay in the rain

Not only do the glass windows from the buildings reflects the surrounding, now even pools of water on the ground reflects the surrounding. Worth noting is, if you are an electric vehicle owner, there are 2 charging bays at Exchange Quay (Postcode M5 3EB). This place is near to Old Trafford stadium, as you can see the roof of the stadium in the far end of the above photo.

Exchange Quays electric car's charging bays

According to GMEV you can pay either by phone or using the GMEV access card.

Exchange Quays electric car's charging payment system

For more sky watching, enjoy the beautiful skies from all over the world at Sky Watch Friday logo

For more beautiful reflections, please visit

Weekend Reflections badge

Runtastic Pro Tested

Most of you must have read the incident about my SD card in my previous post. So I have decided to review another running application on my iPhone. Similarly to my other reviews, I will review the Runtastic Pro application over a 3Km run. The Runtastic application comes in 2 versions: a Runtastic Pro version and a Runtastic version. Basically the Runtastic Pro version cost GBP£2.99 in the UK, while the Runtastic version is free from the App Store. Worth noting that these apps are available in iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry, but this review is done for the iOS version using an iPhone 4. Below is the screenshot of the map of my run from the Runtastic website.

Running map from the Runtastic Website.

The app will take a few try to learn how to operate it. But once, you get a hang of it; it is actually quite easy to operate. I will rate the App 3.5 / 5 stars. This is because I felt the App is very commercialised. With the fee of GBP£2.99 I still need to pay for viewing my route online, otherwise it is a 30 days trail: Which is what I got. This was free in Map My Run app, which I previously reviewed. The elevation tracker is again incorrect like most apps. I guess this is because the apps uses the data provided by Google, which do not take into account of bridges (at least in and around Salford Quays).

The thing I like about this App is, your pace is actually shown on the map using colours. If you look close enough on the map, you will notice that the start and end points of the route I’ve taken are mapped in green and red dots respectively, while the route is mainly in yellow. Green symbolised excellent pace, then follow by yellow, orange and red. You will also notice that the phase before I reach Lowry Outlet Shopping Mall is in darker shade of yellow. This shows that I am running at a slower pace, basically because I have to climb up the bridge to cross the Quays. Not shown here is the elevation map. On all the Apps I have reviewed, this portion will normal be a trough. This is true if there wasn’t a water body there, but for my case it should rises because I was running on the bridge.

As I said, I think this is because these Apps uses data provided by Google and I guess the “experts” at Google have not came out with solutions to overcome this issue. An interesting issue for Google to investigate: Areas with bridges: should the elevation data be at the level of the bridge, water level or bed of the water body? Or even different levels of bridges that intersect? Maybe a separate data structure to encapsulate the different dimensions will be required? Or some form of measurement to overcome the ever changing landscape of cities and towns?

Choosing Budget and Portable Audio Recording Setup for Your Travel Videos

I am out looking for budget audio recording setup for my home and holiday trips video production. In this post, I will discuss the options available during my hunt.

Have you ever recorded your traveling videos that you can’t really hear what the person is saying? If you have, and you want cheap and simple solutions, and you do not want to carry so many equipment around; Why not join me in my hunt for video-audio solutions?

After researching around, I found that the best options lies in external microphones/recorders. These options mainly fall into 2 categories, external microphones or audio recorders. Most of these recommendations surround film or YouTube type of productions. However, capturing travel video is not quite the same.

No to Boom pole setup

When traveling, I prefer to travel light: this means as little equipment as possible. Secondly, unlike film or YouTube like productions, often, you only have one shot at the scene. If you mess it up, that’s it! Thirdly, you do not have much space around you to work with, and often, in unfavourable conditions. Fourthly, I don’t want to be discrete. Therefore, in my setup, I am intending to use the camera’s on-board microphone together with some portable audio recording device. That way, I can use the portable audio recording device to record the subject’s voice clearly, while my camera’s on-board microphone can capture the sounds from the surrounding atmosphere. Then, I will have the audio choices during post-processing.

In the near future, I will post another article with the available equipment in the market for my setup. I intend compare the equipment there.

I would like to hear your views on my video-audio setup. If you are already using this setup, please let me know your experience. Also, if you noticed that I have missed out any challenges that you faced when shooting your travel videos, please post them below and we can discuss about them too.

Next article