Monday, December 07, 2009

Cheap-Geek 50 Dollar HD Camcorder

50 dollar camera review.
I've had this camera for about a week now. I picked it up from Woot, around Black Friday.
I had some high hopes for this camera. 50 bucks for a little HD camera!
Over all it's not as bad as it could be. The video quality at first- was garbage.
I shot some test videos, the video displayed on the LCD screen is very good.
The playback video- not so good. Initially, I connected the camera straight to my PC and when I played back the video in media player, I had sound only. No problem. Usually a codec issue and since Windows Media Player doesn't always like h.264 or .mov or other more specific avi files, I updated my media player, my Quicktime 7  player and installed the software that came with the camera. The disk installed the codec and I was able to playback the video. The video when played with Media player was better than the software that came with the player.
Using media player or another player other than the one that came with the camera made a huge difference in my overall satisfaction.
The videos I made, have too much contrast, colors are really over saturated (reds, greens, and blues especially ;)) and the details are lost at any really distance or with quick movement .
Audio pick up is weak, ambient noise levels really affect the audio quality.
The menus are kind of wonky and navigating through them can be difficult.
The lcd rotates which is good, but the screen washes out and viewing angle is poor.
BUT- If you take all the negatives and add the words "50 bucks" to the end of them. It becomes a fairly use able camera with the ability to do HD.
This camera is best suited for goofing around or posting videos to YouTube.
I don't think I got screwed by buying this camera, I will buy a better CanonHD cam later. If I paid 130 however- I would be very disappointed
Here's what it looks like.

Here's the Spec's-
Camera features high definition capability
Digital still camera built in
Features 2.4-inch color LCD display
Fixed Focus lens (f=7.0 ; F3.2) 20cm (Macro mode); 200cm ~ infinite
8X digital zoom
64MB Nand flash memory (33MB usable storage)
Motion detection and video stabilization
Night mode for movie and pictures
Special effects for video and still images
HD: (720p) 1280 x 720 / 30 fps, D1: 720 x 480 / 30 fps, VGA: 640 x 480 / 30 fps,
QVGA: 320 x 240 / 30 fps
Auto, Daylight, Fluorescent, Tungsten lighting balance
± 1EV in 0.3 steps
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye-Reduction options
AVI (video) , JPG(Still), WAV(Voice), MP3 support
HDMI/Mini USB2.0/ TV Out
Analog: Composite Video (NTSC/PAL Selectable)
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
5MP CMOS sensor for still images
I gave the camera to my Daughter. I think she enjoy's it. I did find that the camera is still available, not at $50 dollars. It's on for $81 refurbished.