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99 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very functional camera
Customer Video Review     Length:: 0:39 Mins
When I bought this camera, I wasn't sure how the infrared would look. I uploaded this video to compare recording without the infrared in a dark room to recording it with the infrared.

The editing program that comes with the camera is required to convert the file to a wmv. Otherwise, use Itunes or QuickTime. Any other program,...
Published 20 months ago by dicerotops

versus
71 of 88 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DEFECTIVE PRODUCT, TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE
I recently purchased this camera from `asavings' (authorized Bell and Howell seller) to record animal behavior at night in a university research lab. I was impressed with the quality of the night vision, HOWEVER, I immediately discovered that the camera would completely lose focus if it was held in the same position (i.e. on a tripod) for as little as five minutes...
Published 22 months ago by unhappy research assistant


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99 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very functional camera, March 13, 2013
By 
dicerotops "LP" (Northern VA, USA) - See all my reviews
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Length:: 0:39 Mins

When I bought this camera, I wasn't sure how the infrared would look. I uploaded this video to compare recording without the infrared in a dark room to recording it with the infrared.

The editing program that comes with the camera is required to convert the file to a wmv. Otherwise, use Itunes or QuickTime. Any other program, including Divx and Windows, will not play audio.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Camera, December 28, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bell and Howell DNV16HDZ-BKFull 1080p HD 16MP Infrared Night Vision Camcorder, 10x Optical Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black) (Electronics)
The night vision on this camera is amazing! the camera is light weight and perfect size to hold in your hand. Only thing is when you zoom in it takes a moment to adjust. But otherwise its awesome! I would say if your considering buying this do it. Oh and also the memory card does hold two but only one regular size card and one micro card.
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71 of 88 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DEFECTIVE PRODUCT, TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE, January 10, 2013
This review is from: Bell and Howell DNV16HDZ-BKFull 1080p HD 16MP Infrared Night Vision Camcorder, 10x Optical Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black) (Electronics)
I recently purchased this camera from `asavings' (authorized Bell and Howell seller) to record animal behavior at night in a university research lab. I was impressed with the quality of the night vision, HOWEVER, I immediately discovered that the camera would completely lose focus if it was held in the same position (i.e. on a tripod) for as little as five minutes. Turning off the autofocus setting did nothing to solve this problem.

Trying to reach any sort of customer support was utterly ridiculous. I was given phone number after phone number that sent me to voicemails and different Bell and Howell sellers saying, "This camera isn't even in our system" and "I've never even heard of that camera before". After FINALLY reaching a CEO of Bell and Howell, I was transferred to a customer service team that told me there was nothing they could do, and to just send it back to the original seller.

The plot thickens when two weeks after the tracking information said the camera had been delivered, I still hadn't received any sort of notification or refund. After multiple attempts to contact customer service at `asavings', I was told that the camera had been received, but someone must have "accidently bypassed the refund". Who is running this animal house?!

Overall, purchasing this camera is definitely NOT worth the risk of receiving a defective product and pulling teeth with an unprofessional company and unqualified customer service team with shady integrity. Avoid `asavings' and Bell and Howell, and buy a camera from a more reputable company with higher quality products.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who ever said this camcorder loses focus was correct!, January 31, 2013
By 
T. Braskey (Galveston, Texas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This camcorder has excellent night vision. This part is true. However all the people who reported that it loses focus upon continuous recording were correct. You see clear recording for periods then a slight lapse in clarity, then it clears for a while and blurs again and again. I tested mine on a tripod and it blurred now and then.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay, June 15, 2013
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We bought this for the night vision aspect. It's okay...Without spending the money on an extra illuminator it doesn't light up an area of more then maybe 6 feet. Also, I wanted to leave it on for overnight and it only comes with a 2 hour battery and bell and howell does not offer any replacement or extra batteries, nor could I find any on amazon. The battery also cannot be removed and set on a charger. It has to be plugged in. So even if I used a back up, I would have no way to charge the original in the meantime.
I also have a Sony Handycam with many extra batteries and was hoping they would be interchangeable, they're not. I think that Sony makes a way better product.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars for what it cost I'm ok, October 8, 2013
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i thought this would be a good with the quick focusing but it takes time to adjust when moving so unless you really leave the camera set in one place the focus will be all over the place.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome camera, June 20, 2013
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This review is from: Bell and Howell DNV16HDZ-BKFull 1080p HD 16MP Infrared Night Vision Camcorder, 10x Optical Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black) (Electronics)
the camera does exatcly what it is supposed to. i read the other reviews about the "focusing" issue, but found that it does not behave unlike every other camera in that way. the night vision is adequate for small rooms, but i added an extra set or ir lights and have a very large view now. i am a paranormal investigator and use this on the job.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing, March 10, 2014
By 
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This review is from: Bell and Howell DNV16HDZ-BKFull 1080p HD 16MP Infrared Night Vision Camcorder, 10x Optical Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black) (Electronics)
Some have written reviews, asking for more information on this little camera. In keeping with that request, here are the good and bad on the little Bell & Howell IR camera.

The camera itself is attractive, comes with a small pouch to put it in, as well as USB and other cables for connectivity to your computer, TV, etc. They supply one battery with the camera, and a charger. The battery has to remain in the camera for charging. The battery is a very compact Lithium Ion, 3.7 volts and hardly weighs anything in your hand.

The camera has a decent swing open viewfinder that when opened will automatically power up the camera, producing a Bell & Howell startup screen. It's a simple touch-screen, and seemed to work just fine, although it absorbs fingerprints quite easily. In the manual, it mentions using a fingernail.

There is a built-in lens cover, actuated by a flip-swtch on the side of the lens. There is NO manual focus knob or thumbscrew anywhere on the camera. On top of the lens is a speaker grill. There are two tiny dots on the front side of the video touchscreen, that when you have it open are supposed to be microphones. An odd placement for them, and I tried to rotate the camera to see if it picked up two channels of audio, but it sounded mono to me. The manual doesn't elaborate, but after testing it sounded quite tinny. No low end, so I don't know how this camera would perform if you were trying to record a musical event. In comparison, the GoPro Hero 3+ produces excellent audio and is half the size of the Bell & Howell camera, although the Hero 3+ doesn't have a zoom lens.

The camera uses either an SD memory card or a miniature card -- either singularly or at the same time. There is a limit of 32GB, and I guess that they mean per card. The card slot(s) is on the bottom of the camera, and has a flip-open cover which worked fine. There is also a standard tripod mounting hole on the bottom of the camera as well as a rear battery release tab. The covers for the cards as well as the access ports were plastic and worked well, and there were no rubbery covers to fall off like some cameras use.

On the inside, once you open the viewfinder, is a port for a mini HDMI cable as well as a USB 2,0 cable. The USB port also is used for charging the battery, as well as downloading your pictures or video to your computer. A red light comes on while the battery is charging, and goes out once it's done. The manufacturer recommends a 4 hr charge on a new battery, first time around.

There are multiple menus on this camera and they are controlled via the touchscreen as well as a four-way button inside. Two more buttons at the top of the side of the camera are simply for power and video vs playback modes. There is also another mode button near the top of the camera close to the zoom control, for selecting video or still photos. The zoom is noted as 10X, and there is digital zoom, which I wouldn't recommend using.

The 1/3 inch CCD chip is 5 mega pixels. Nothing to write home about, but not terrible. (Most cell phones are at least 8MP nowadays). It did have a tendency to flatten whites, like clouds, which lost their detail in my shot. The camera boasts of its infrared capability, but the manual barely mentions it at all, and not much explanation is given on how it works or how to use it. It is not like Sony's former "Night Shot" mode where the images turn green and you can see in the dark. The camera has two LED lights on the front. One of them is white and is useful to add light to your shots. The other is red and illuminates in IR mode, an infrared light that doesn't light up the area like visible light does, so you won't startle animals or people that you'd like to film in the dark. Beyond that, you're on your own. Good luck.

The manual says that either light is optimized for 1 meter from the camera, so that means that both lights are quite wimpy, but I would say that they reach further than the manual says they do, but not a great deal further. So, does that mean the camera can "see" Infrared light all the time, or only when the LED is on? Is IR filtered out in normal mode? Could you see infrared objects emitting light at night without the IR light on? Not much help at all in any description of this as it is ignored in the manual -- surprising since this is one of the camera's selling features and is also printed on the side of the camera!

The pdf manual is very basic in the specifications. For example, there is no indication what mode your video is saved in. It is compatible with Windows or Mac, but the editing software that comes with it is not Mac compatible. The movies play on Mac without a problem. This is probably because the files come up as .mov which is a good thing, compressed in h.264 mode at 1920 X 1080, making it compatible with YouTube video as well. You can select NTSC or PAL. The audio comes up as DVI ADPCM. I don't know what sample rate since none is specified. I had to get info on the video on my computer, just to know what format the camera shot in. It should have been in the specs page, but only the resolution was noted.

There is an AF (auto focus) mode that is pretty much worthless. This is the camera's Achilles heel. At night, say you'd just like to take a simple shot of the moon -- the camera is incapable of doing it. The whole time, the auto focus is searching back and forth, making any night shot of that type impossible. I let it stay on the moon for several minutes, and it could never find the focus. I also tried reducing the exposure setting, and it made no difference. However, with the camera running in IR mode indoors, it did find focus on dimly lit buildings and such. I guess it all depends on the situation, the available contrast, etc., but a simple manually operated focus knob would have made this camera far more useable. If you have a camera equipped with night shooting mode, then one would expect you to be able to shoot the night sky with interesting results. It's not possible for this camera to work that way.

So, we have an HD camcorder here that fails to really excel in any area. It is small, lightweight, and looks good in your hand. It's sound is poor to mediocre at best, and the video doesn't come close to video shot on an iPhone. There are manual audio controls for sound via the touch screen, but no headphone jack to hear what you're shooting. In short, the camera is like so many others in this price range, but doesn't measure up to some of the others that are similarly priced, like the JVC or Sony or Canon camcorders that have enhanced light options, but don't say anything about their IR capabilities, which it seems none of the cameras actually have anymore.

My hopes for the Bell & Howell camera were because I was trying to find a camera with IR, and this one failed to meet my expectations. Without a decent IR mode, there was no reason to buy this camera that can't hold its focus. It's going back.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DV Camcorder, May 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bell and Howell DNV16HDZ-BKFull 1080p HD 16MP Infrared Night Vision Camcorder, 10x Optical Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black) (Electronics)
This camera is awesome. It is so much more compact compared to my well used Sharp VHS video camera that sits on my shoulder. This DV camera does circles around that vintage video camera. Takes stunning still photos, even at night too. I use an external IR as the built-in illuminator is a bit on the weak side. The audio is pretty darn good too, especially using the audio gain control for soft sounds like distant birds, frogs, etc. They come through loud and clear. The time lapse recording is totally AWESOME!! I use the 1 minute recording for that. It also has motion recording and I have used it some for other nocturnal recordings. I have notice it start to record with nothing there. Not sure if that is do to temperature differences or it sees something I am not. Hard telling.

The only issues I have is the lighted logo on the front side of the screen. Causes issues when trying to record nocturnal critters at night. I used a piece of black vinyl electrical tape and that works well. Another issue I have - and I have with "ALL" electronic devices, it locks up every once in awhile. Maybe human error or something else, I don't know. Me and electronics don't always get along.

Overall I'm totally satisfied with this camera as it does what I want - and then some.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work for us., May 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bell and Howell DNV16HDZ-BKFull 1080p HD 16MP Infrared Night Vision Camcorder, 10x Optical Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black) (Electronics)
I am sad to say this camera did not work well for us. I purchased it as a gift for my husband who loves to video tape the indoor rides. We went to Disney in April and tested this camera out. The zoom did not focus well and the picture was very grainy and not even bright in all the right places. We compared previous videos we shot with our regular video camera and the difference was so insignificant we could not justify keeping this camera. While it may work well for others, we did not experience a the quality we anticipated.
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