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Customer Review

717 of 735 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review by Video Professional, February 18, 2012
This review is from: Vivitar High Definition Digital Video Camcorder - Styles and Colors May Vary (DVR508HD) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
Here is what you need to know before buying this item (sorry about the length of this review, but some things listed here may help you with ANY camera purchase). Before purchasing this camera I read all the reviews. As you can see they range from awful to excellent. Most of the poor ratings have to do with expectations. Points to consider with this camera: 1. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE A HIGH-QUALITY CAMERA! The camera has a fixed-focus (that means not auto). Think disposable photo camera. 2. ALL HANDHELD VIDEO CAMERAS ARE VERY EASY TO BREAK. The screens, in particular, are very easy to snap off and this camera is no exception. In fact, this camera is even easier to break than most, because its sole purpose for construction was cost-reduction to make a cheap camcorder available no matter what the quality. 3. THE TERM "HD" DOESN'T MEAN HIGH-QUALITY PICTURE!!! This is something most people don't seem to know. The resolution of a camera is not the sole factor that determines the quality of a picture. The lens construction (plastic vs. glass, precision-made vs. poorly made, etc.) and the chip size (no matter (the bigger the chip, the more picture data it is picking up for each frame) are two other HUGE factors determining picture quality. Think of your cameras when the lens is dirty, they don't take the best pictures. Well, if the lens is not the best, the picture will not be the best. FINAL REVIEW: I bought this camera for my daughter, who is 5. I didn't want her using my cameras worth thousands of dollars, and they are all too large for her to use anyways. For $50 this was an excellent purchase. She is very gentle on equipment (I don't know if I would have bought it if she was a highly energetic boy), so I don't have to worry about it being broken. It yields fairly decent video quality for the price. Quite a few people mentioned it did not work well in low-light, but that goes for most cameras. Cameras that people think work well in low-light are typically boosting the video signal artificially to get that picture, but you can do that in post-production after you have shot the video. I found that at night with our house's normal lighting, the picture was still fairly decent. I would NEVER use this as my main camera to document family gatherings and such, but for my daughter to get experience shooting and editing video without me having to worry about her breaking something that was really expensive, this is great!!!
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Tracked by 9 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 8, 2012 1:25:39 PM PDT
This is one of the most intelligent and helpful reviews I've seen--we're also looking for a camera for young kids, specifically to replace another cheapie that finally broke after months of joyful abuse. Thanks for posting.

Posted on Sep 25, 2012 10:17:06 PM PDT
Thanks for this, exactly what I am looking for, something my 7 year old can be "in charge off" too keep her hands off mine LOL Plus she is thinking she wants to explore video diaries. :) Thanks!

Posted on Oct 2, 2012 12:45:11 PM PDT
Missy O. says:
After reading your review, I have decided to purchase two of the camcorders (I figure, based on your review, for the sale price of $29.99 + free ship., it's a steal!)...one for my 11 yr. old nephew's b-day and the other for my 11 yr. old son for Christmas. I'm hoping, however, that you (or anyone else who has purchased this model for a child) may be able to give me some insight as to whether or not this is a smart move, seeing as how my boys seem to be a few years older than your daughter, as well as the other children mentioned by others who commented on your review. Now my son is annoyingly overprotective of his things, and my nephew (though not nearly as caring with his stuff) has asked for nothing else for his b-day but a video camera, so I don't thing I have to worry about the fragility of this product so much; however, because they are older, they realize 100% that these are not toys and having something like this makes them feel a bit more grown-up...so I think picture/sound quality is a bit more important to them, than say a 5 or 7 or 8 yr. old, but probably not as important as those aspects are to us as adults. ALL THAT said, is the quality of this camera at least good enough to be able to post recordings on social networks or YouTube and have decent enough sound/picture that 11 yr. old boys will enjoy and want to continue to use? (lol...I apologize for what probably seems like a RIDICULOUSLY and unnecessarily long comment for such a simple question...I just want to make sure I get them something they love and won't be disappointed in.) THANKS!

Posted on Dec 27, 2012 2:01:25 PM PST
I purchased this for a one time event and it worked when I opened and tried it out for 5 min. When the time came to use it, it would not work. I tried all options to get it going. Now sorry i picked this for a one time event I can't do over. I should have read this review before buying.
[[ASIN:B003JJEFBY Vivitar D
VR508 High Definition Digital Video Camcorder with 1.8" LCD Screen with 4x Digital Zoom (Red)]]

Posted on Dec 28, 2012 7:05:10 PM PST
Izzi Cleva says:
I bought this camera and I'm glad I read this review before I used it for the first time. I've never had a camcorder and I wanted to start out cheap since I have no idea what I'm doing yet. I was excited to use it but as I read this review I thought, these are good points/ for what I'm paying I can't expect the best quality. Now if I could just get it to turn on.....

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 4:25:56 PM PST
Kendall says:
This is all very well if you get a real model number and not a fake Chinese knock-off. I just received my Vivitar 508NHD in the mail. My son is 10 years old and he was so excited to get this. He has had an old 720p camera for over a year now which is finally breaking. The one that came is not a real Vivitar camera. It is a plastic lightweight piece of junk. Quality comparable to an old cell phone before the day of smart phones. I know there are various suppliers so be careful who is doing the selling. The one I purchase came from Joshua Markell. I can't believe I did not notice the details on this seller.

Posted on Dec 14, 2013 8:31:15 AM PST
angel says:
Is there a issue with sound on this product?

Posted on May 30, 2014 7:40:11 PM PDT
matt says:
this is a great paragraph of information i hope to buy soon for videos

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 12:08:18 PM PST
PsySCHopper says:
Thank you for posting your review. Instead of going through my ritual of reading several reviews at the top and bottom to determine the quality/worth of this camcorder, I was able to learn everything I needed to know from reading only ONE!! :-)
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