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This was a camcorder I bought as I needed to hastily make a video presentation. I put the batteries in placed in the SD card (which is not provided by the way) and filmed what I needed to had a look back at the footage on the camcorder and PC. I could not describe to you the immense wave of disappointment that overcame me when I re-watched the footage. The image quality is terrible even when being used to someone in a brightly lit room the footage was dark and grainy not just through the viewfinder but also through the PC monitor. It looked as though the video was hastily filmed by someone who had taken me hostage.
I can't believe someone at Vivitar had the temerity to use the letters HD in to describe the image quality. I assure you this is not HD this device can barely shoot in colour
Build quality is not great either the actual device itself is made of a thin cheap plastic, the viewfinder which is attached via a hinge like mechanism felt like it was going to snap off every time I tried to open it, the material of the hand attachment on the side of the camcorder was starting to fray which made the material pull apart easily
There are two modes available to use video and photo and the photo mode suffers from the same problems as the video, the image just comes out dark and grainy another flaw, this device doesn't run on a built in battery which recharges via USB or AC adaptor. It needs 3x AAA batteries, you would be lucky to get about eighty minutes of consisting filming before needing to replace them. Which means although you didn't spend much on the camera this other cost can soon catch up not to mention you will need to supply your own SD card as there isn't one supplied so you could be looking to add another £8 to £12 on top of this camcorder
Are there any positives, well the menu navigation was pretty simple but other than that not much else. Well there are three different colours available if you are in the market for barely functional camcorder then you have the choice between blue, pink or black.
I returned this product back to Argos and got my money back and to be honest that still wasn't enough for me. This is just cheap, nasty. If you need to make a quick video then you are better off using the built in webcam of a laptop or stumping up the extra cash and buying a product like a Flip HD Camcorder.
Maybe I expected to much from a camcorder that cost £24.99. But I expected to at least be passable
Bought for £24.99 in Argos
In an attempt to get my son off his computer game I bribed him into a trip to Toys R Us to buy what he wanted with a budget of £25. This Vivitar camcorder was the result (I discovered at a later date that he wants to video his computer game play aaaargh!)
When we first stumbled across this in the shop I was very impressed. It's a nice looking mini camcorder which came in blue or pink, with a padded black safety handle and a pull out screen at the side to view what is being filmed. I was also impressed with the price- at £25 I was pleasantly surprised to discover it's actually real as I was half expecting it to be a toy camcorder!
Admittedly, the screen is tiny, 1.8inch, but this is pretty much expected considering the camcorder itself is only small. The buttons used to operate the device are simple and straight-forward enough for my 7 year old to work out on his own.
The quality of the picture is unfortunately rather poor, but then again for the price I wasn't expecting crystal clear clarity. It does what my son wants it to do and is simple to use. It has a timer function which is great if anyone wants to film themelves, a zoom feature and the option to switch between still camera shots and recordings.
The camcorder also comes with leads to attach to the TV which means any videos can be watched on the bigger screen, it's always nice to have this option in the future as well as it's so nice to look back on. Also supplied was a computer disc with downloadable software in which to store previously made videos. Again, for the price paid I was impressed.
A big downfall of this camcorder I have found is the way it devours batteries. The camera uses 3 AAA batteries which last only for about an hour of constant use. What makes this worse is the fact that I can only get it to work by using Duracell Extra Strength batteries. These can't be bought at a pound shop unfortunately, so what was a cheap camcorder suddenly becomes very expensive considering the price of batteries that would need to be constantly bought if this was used a lot. Luckily my son only uses it now and again - if he didn't he would have to! The 'cheap' batterie I normally use for everything else simply don't work in the camcorder, they are obviously not powerful enough to work it even when brand new.
The other extra expense which I didn't realise I needed was an SD card for storage/memory. This added another £10 on to the bill, and to be hinest I would probably rather pay an extra £10 for the whole thing and have the convenience of having it included in the package.
All in all this is great for the kids at a great price, just be aware of al the little necessary extra expenses.
I had been after a cheap and simple camera for quiet sometime, something that could just put me on until I had the money for something a little more expensive and fancy. After much research and debating I finally decided on the Vivitar 508 HD camcorder. I purchased it from Amazon costing me £25.00 with free super saver delivery. It took only a few days to arrive, but of course I could have paid extra for the camera to be delivered quicker.
There are a variety of different colours to choose from including black and red. I went for the girlie pink version.
On opening up the packaging I was immediately struck by how cheap it looked, but for the price I had paid for it I wasn't too surprised by this. I spent around half and hour playing around with it and figured out how it all worked relatively easily. (I rarely read the instructions straight off for products like this, rather refer to them later if I need too) So it is fair to say that this is extremely easy to set up and use.
The camera is small and fits in the palm of the hand easily and comfortably. There is a adjustable hand strap on the back to keep the camera firmly in place. The LCD screen flips out from the side, and measures 1.8", again on the small side.
In total there are five modes, video, photo, audio, playback and set-up. All of which are easy to navigate. I was especially impressed by the fact that sound was avaliable during playback as there is a built in microphone and speaker. Althought this is ment to be a HD camera, i found the quality rather poor. There is a light which can be switched on whilst using in dark places, but I found this to be fairly useless. As with many digital camcorders there is some built in memory, in this case 8mb. However, it takes SD cards so plenty of memory can be added if needed. Picture files are in jpg, whilst video is avi and audio wav. A USB cable is included along with a image managing software c.d, so files can easily be downloaded onto a pc. Also supplied in the box is an av cable so all your masterpieces can be viewed on your tv. The camera runs on 3 AAA batteries which are not included and even good quality batteries do not last very long.
I was extremely happy with this camera for a few weeks, but then things started to go seriously wrong. First, all the writing on the LCD screen went backwards, which I thought was rather bizaar but I put it down to the cheapness of the camera. Next to go was the picture quality, becoming very grainy and dark. The camera became very temperamental refusing to come on or just randomly turning itself off. Then a week later it wouldn't turn on at all. At this point I had only been using it for around a month. I dug out the warranty information and emailed the company explaining the problems I had been experiencing. An email was sent back asking me to check the batteries were correctly inserted and fully charged. I replied assuring them I knew the basic concept of how batteries worked and that I was positive that this was not the problem. I was then advised to package up the camera include proof of purchase and return it, which I did. Two weeks later a brand new camera appeared on my doorstep and I was happy once more. Surely this had been a one off, maybe the last camera just had a defect. A few weeks later I began experiencing the same problems and since then the camera has just died. I considered sending it back again, but it had cost me £5.00 to return the camera last time which had not been refunded, so I thought it be best to cut my losses and buy the more expensive one I had my eye on.
Did I expect brillant things from a camera that cost £25? No, but I did expect it to last for more than a month. When the camera was working I actually really liked it and I thought the customer service I received was good, hence the two stars. To be honest though I think this is extremely generous for a camera that only lasted for such a small amount of time.