I never owned a camcorder. When I considered how infrequently I'd have any use for one, I just couldn't justify the price. Yes, I am a product of generations of Yankee thrift.
I did buy a Flip Ultra Video a few months back because it was only $150.00 and I thought I would use it enough to justify that.. but as it turned out, I really didn't.
Earlier this week I was given a Vado Pocket Video Cam and although I expected this to sit unused on my shelf with the Flip Video, I've actually been carrying this with me and using it.
The Vado is significantly smaller than the Flip. It's 3.9" x 2.2" x 0.6" vs. Flip's 4.17" x 2.16" x 1.25" (Flip does have a newer 'Mino" model that's similar in size to this but is priced at $179.99 vs. the Vado's $99.00 list price). That shrinking makes the difference between carrying something in your pocket but being constantly aware of it and carrying something and forgetting you have it. That's why I almost always have this with me now and why I have used it more often.
One major difference from the Flip Ultra is the Vado's battery. The Flip uses AA's, this has an internal (replaceable) unit that recharges from its USB port. That has advantages and disadvantages: it's great not to have to use the AA's, but if you are far from a computer this could be a problem.
Both units can record 60 minutes of high quality or 120 minutes of standard quality video.
The Flip unit came with a cloth carrying bag, this did not. Obviously not a big deal, but still a little annoying to have to find something to protect the lense and viewport from scratches.
Sound pickup isn't very good.. if you are talking, that's fine, but anyone else you are recording would need to be shouting. I find the on-off switch a little stiff, but that also prevents you from turning it off accidentally. If you leave it unattended a few minutes, it will power down by itself.
I'm also a bit unsure about the USB connector. The Flip unit is solid, this is on a flexible cord. On the one hand that makes it easier to make connections when other stuff is in the way, but I'm afraid it may wear out and break..
I've used this quite a few times over the past week just taking short clips here and there.. it's nice to have something so small and easy to use. My camera can take movies, but that's much larger and clumsier - this is quick and simple.
Tony Lawrence 2008-07-04 Rating:
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