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Creative Labs Vado HD 720p Pocket Video Camcorder with 8 GB Video Storage and 2x Digital Zoom (Black) OLD MODEL
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- High definition 720P pocket video camcorder with 8 GB of video storage capacity
- Fits easily in your pocket purse or the palm of your hand
- One touch recording with a spacious 2 inch display
- Record up to two hours of HD video footage or up to four hours of video at VGA resolution
- Connect your Vado HD to any HDTV with included HDMI cable
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Catch the perfect snowboarding stunt, your baby's first steps or your kid's graduation, share it online and save it for a lifetime with Creative's Vado HD Pocket Video Cam. The thin, lightweight Vado HD is small enough to fit easily in a pocket, purse or the palm of your hand, and it captures video in 720P high-definition quality with just the touch of a button. Sharing videos online is simple with built-in software that helps you post videos to YouTube, Photobucket or Box.net. The Vado HD is the only pocket video cam to feature true HDMI connectivity and an included HDMI cable for a superior viewing experience on an HDTV. Take the Vado HD Pocket Video Cam with you everywhere you go and never miss a moment. Product specs include 720p high-definition video, wide-angle glass lens, 2x digital zoom, 8GB of video storage capacity, up to two hours of recording and playback per charge, up to eight hours of recording time at 640x480 at 30 frames per second, HDMI and RCA connections for TV, HDMI cable included, A/V cable sold separately, removable and rechargeable lithium battery, Vado Central software for simple video editing and sharing. System requirements include Windows Xp Service Pack 2 or Vista, Intel Pentium III or higher, 512MB of memory, USB port, 500MB free hard disk space, and 16MB of Video Memory or above. Product ships with silicon skin, HDMI cable, and USB cable.
From the Manufacturer
From the Manufacturer Catch the perfect snowboarding stunt, your baby's first steps or your kid's graduation, share it online and save it for a lifetime with Creative's Vado HD Pocket Video Cam. The thin, lightweight Vado HD is small enough to fit easily in a pocket, purse or the palm of your hand, and it captures video in 720P high-definition quality with just the touch of a button. Sharing videos online is simple with built-in software that helps you post videos to YouTube, Photobucket or Box.net. The Vado HD is the only pocket video cam to feature true HDMI connectivity and an included HDMI cable for a superior viewing experience on an HDTV. Take the Vado HD Pocket Video Cam with you everywhere you go and never miss a moment. Product specs include 720p high-definition video, wide-angle glass lens, 2x digital zoom, 8GB of video storage capacity, up to two hours of recording and playback per charge, up to eight hours of recording time at 640x480 at 30 frames per second, HDMI and RCA connections for TV, HDMI cable included, A/V cable sold separately, removable and rechargeable lithium battery, Vado Central software for simple video editing and sharing. System requirements include Windows Xp Service Pack 2 or Vista, Intel Pentium III or higher, 512MB of memory, USB port, 500MB free hard disk space, and 16MB of Video Memory or above. Product ships with soft pouch, HDMI cable, and USB cable.
Capture life in HD
See it, shoot it, share it - capture life’s unforgettable moments in high-definition clarity and share them online with Creative’s Vado HD Pocket Video Cam. The thin, lightweight Vado HD is small enough to fit in a pocket, purse or the palm of your hand, and easily captures video in 720p high-definition quality with just the touch of a button. The Vado HD is the only pocket video cam to feature high quality HDMI connectivity and an included HDMI cable that provides true 720p output to an HDTV.
Record all your fun moments at an HD video resolution of up to 1280 x 720p. With the wide-angle glass lens, you can also capture wider scenes and more action in your videos. This precision-engineered glass lens produces sharper and clearer images, giving you professional-looking videos. Vado HD also has 2x digital zoom and works great in dim environments.
Simply start and stop recording with the touch of a button. Record up to 2 hours of stunning HD quality video or up to 4 hours of video at VGA resolution. The large 8 GB internal memory and four recording modes give you the freedom to choose the video quality that’s best for you.
Edit movies and snap photos
Make and edit your own short movies, or capture snapshots in still and burst mode with the built-in Vado Central software.
Playback video on your HDTV
Connect your Vado HD to any HDTV with the included HDMI cable and enjoy your videos in full 720p HD quality.
Connect and share in an instant
Simply plug in Vado HD’s flexible USB tab and post your videos directly onto popular web sites such as YouTube, Photobucket or Box.net with the built-in Vado Central software. You can even save your great quality video clips to your computer for a lifetime of memories.
The latest H.264 video compression technology provides unprecedented video quality at ultra-efficient file sizes for the best possible viewing experience. Record up to 4 times more videos, compared to MPEG-4 encoded ones.
Set up the perfect shot, review clips onscreen or show them off to friends. Keep the videos you like; delete the ones you don't.
Rechargeable for hours of fun
Enjoy 2 hours of recording and playback with the Lithium-ion battery; simply recharge via USB. Need more time? The battery is even removable so you can change out for a fresh one.
Accessorize your Vado HD
Pick up an optional accessory for your Vado HD! Choose from a Waterproof Pouch, Mesh Pouch, Spare Rechargeable Battery and a Battery Charger and get the most out of your Vado HD.
- Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows XP (Service Pack 2)
- Intel Pentium III 1 GHz, AMD Athlon, or equivalent with MMX support
- 512MB RAM
- USB 2.0 or 1.1
- 500MB free hard-disk space
- Video Memory: 16MB RAM & above
- Other Requirements: Microsoft DirectX 9.0 or higher
- Vado HD Pocket Video Cam
- HDMI Cable
- USB Extension Cable
- Silicon Skin
- Rechargeable Battery
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The biggest shortcoming that the Creative Vado has is shared by most other compact video recorders. The included software is extremely slow when you have to actually use it to convert or combine videos. But you can definitely use this device for home movies, video blogs, YouTube or just about anything else. Just be prepared to use a different video software.
Before I got the Creative Vado, I had already spent a good amount of time with the Flip MinoHD Camcorder. I was happy with that device, but had heard plenty of hype that the Vado HD was going to be "better." I was naturally skeptical but the Vado HD has won me over. This device features a new improved lens that makes even standard definition videos look extremely good. The improved recording capacity is enough to capture a complete concert. And despite what the device specs say about having a 2 hour battery life, I have gotten more than 3 and 1/2 hours of continuous recording out of a single battery charge. Even better is that the stand-by charge lasts for more than a week. That means that you don't have to worry about recharging it every night if you want to have it by the ready. It will hold the charge so that when you need it, it's ready to go.
+ Greatly improved lens produces much better quality video than the original Creative Vado; video quality is very good even when set to standard definition
+ Internal storage capacity of 8GB can capture 2 hours of HD+ video or 4 hours of standard definition (SD) video - Twice the HD recording time of the MinoHD, which gives you 1 hour
+ Li-ion battery holds a great charge while off and lasts longer than listed 2 hour battery life while recording
+ Rechargeable battery is easily swapped and replaced, while the MinoHD's internal battery requires factory replacement or warrantee-voiding hacks
+ Easy to use controls are simple to learn, and easy to teach to others
+ Microphone sensitivity produces good quality audio
+ Records high quality HD video in 720p (1280 x 720) displayed in 16:9 widescreen
+ 2 inch LCD versus the 1.5 inch LCD of the MinoHD makes it easier to see what you are shooting
+ Compact and light-weight so it's easy to transport in your purse or pocket
+ Flexible USB 2.0 connector, along with an extender, makes it easy to download videos to any computer or get a quick charge
+ Body seems to have improved durability versus the original Vado as well
+ Good light sensors are great for recording in low-light or changing light environments (think concerts)
+ Includes support for a decent set of formats, with standard H.264 AVI video
+ MP4 video compression allows you to keep files small and copy them faster
+ Software drivers install automatically; works with Mac OS X, Linux, Windows XP, Vista 32 bit and Vista 64 bit with no problems
+ Includes a decent set of accessories (HDMI cable, silicone case), a very nice change from most similar products
+ HDMI cable lets you play videos directly to your HDTV
+ Silicone cover provides a good comfortable rubberized grip
+ Good "low-battery" indicator gives you plenty of time to finish recording before the unit powers down
- Included muvee software is SLOW if you have to edit, combine or render videos using the built-in software only (For example, when you are at a family get-together and you want to leave the video before you go home)
- Included software will also limit you to combining 3 clips and try to "up-sell" you to the pro version
- List price pits this unit against digital cameras that capture photos and video
- Lack of an SD memory card expansion slot limits total recording capacity
- Lack of optical zoom due to fixed lens with 2X digital zoom (internal zoom lenses are possible and some cameras like the Nikon S52 have them; Still the digital zoom works well enough that it might fool some people into thinking it's an optical zoom)
- Plastic threaded tripod connector not as durable as the metal threaded connector on the MinoHD
- The tab for the USB dongle on the bottom does make it harder to stand on its own (it's not always possible to carry a mini tri-pod)
- The power button on the side is the only button that isn't intuitive when training others how to use the device (barely sticks out and hard to see with the silicone case on)
- There doesn't seem to be a way to turn off the LCD while recording to increase battery life (if somebody has figured out how, please post a comment)
~ Reasonably priced spare batteries that can be charged as a backup for extended recording on the go
~ Optional wall charger allows you to plug the USB cable into an outlet
~ Optional AV cable allows you to hook up the unit to non-HD TVs and receivers
~ Good collection of third-party cases, lanyards, and tri-pods available
While it's easy to copy videos from the device to your computer, as you can tell I really don't like the included software. While I have plenty of video editing software on some of my computers, I don't have it on all of them. Furthermore, sometimes when you are capturing a family video you want to quickly edit it to leave it with your family. I am too busy to be sure that I will remember to edit and send a video that I recorded a week after the fact. I tried to quickly edit 30 minutes of video to leave for a relative and doing everything took hours. By the end I wished I had brought my own laptop with me.
So if you have to do editing on the go, just try to record as few files as possible and then copy them to the machine rather than doing tons of editing with the software. Remember this software limits you to combining 3 clips. Any more than that and they try to sell you the "premium" version.
I was able to edit basic videos using Corel Ulead VideoStudio 11.5 Plus, though I have also used Pinnacle Studio Moviebox Ultimate and Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Pro Pack in the past. I primarily have been recording standard definition with this camera, but once I got the right software codecs loaded Ulead had no trouble with the HD Videos either. They now have Corel VideoStudio Pro X2 which is a newer version of the software which replaces Ulead. I had less luck with Microsoft Movie Maker, which worked but seemed equally as slow with large movies or multiple clips. Apple iMovie seems to handle everything you throw at it if you're a Mac user.
Video editing software is a very personal choice. I tried as best I could to come up with a recommendation, but I think the best strategy is to test out the free trials for the various options and choose the one that seems most intuitive for you. The short end of the story is that you should be prepared to use some other video-editing software because what is included here is really only useful for copying videos out of the device to your computer.
I really like this device. If I had gotten this before the MinoHD, I might not have upgraded to that model. You could do a lot worse than the Vado HD. The minor limitations this device faces are pretty standard for portable video recorders. The improved lens really makes a huge difference, and it's hard not to notice it: it literally sticks out from the profile of the player case. This unit is highly recommended. Just plan on downloading a bunch of trial video editing software so that you can pick one that works best for you.
When compared to other cameras in its class, I have to say the Creative Vado HD wins hands down. Not only are the colors brighter and stronger, but the picture is crisper. In other words, when they say HD, they really mean HD! The only problem I find with the video is, when I am shooting in very bright environments, such as a sunny day at the beach, I find that the cameras white balance to be a bit off. In other words, the camera will wash out the sand and make it look all white.
However, when it comes to shooting indoors, this camera beats many other cameras hands down! One of the biggest problems with cameras is, their inability to shoot indoors, with low light sources. My old camera suffered heavily with this, and as such, made indoor footage nearly impossible! I am happy to say that the Creative Vado HD does a fairly good job of recording in low light conditions.
I was shooting footage of my two cats once, and the only light I had was light coming in the room from the window, the camera performed good enough for me. Best of all, the footage was not grainy, as can be found by many others cameras, which record in low light conditions.
SOUND QUALITY: While this camera is very good in many ways, it unfortunately falls short, on its sound quality. Not only does it only record sound in mono, but it also records it very softly. So, say if I am standing 20-feet away from the camera and I am talking, you won't be able to hear me, unless I crank the volume up via an editor. However, because I bought this camera for its HD capabilities, I am not going to stress over its sound issues, cause I didn't buy this camera to record lions in the African jungle.
This camera has a tripod mount at the bottom of it, which I prefer. I like to do most of my vids using a tripod, that way all my vids are steady. Using the camera without a tripod, will cause you to have shaky video, especially if you are panning too quickly. Though the camera also has a AV output, it does not come with a AV cable. So if you are one of those folks like me, who are still stuck with a old CRT TV, your going to need to purchase an AV cable, at your local Radio Shack or online.
The Lithium-Ion battery takes a full 7-hours to charge, however it comes to you already charged. You can charge the battery just by connecting it to an available USB port on your computer.
The Creative Vado HD cameras are not capable of taking pictures, as they are designed to be mainly video cameras. However, the built in software allows you to extract up to 60-snapshots, out of your video. Or you can choose to extract 30 pictures, or just one picture instead.
CONCLUSION: Granted a pocket cam will never be as good as a expensive HD SLR camcorder. However, in my opinion, it is very good quality for a pocket cam, especially considering it beats many other pocket cams in its class! Though the sound could be improved, I am not bothered by that. What I am really bothered by, is the super basic software. It would be nice if they could load Adobe Premiere Elements onto it. This is a very nice camera and I highly recommend it, 4 out of 5 stars.
SPECIAL NOTE: The creative Vado HD camera is not compatible with MAC computers as it is. However, if you download a program called "Perian," you will be able to play and watch Creative Vado HD movies on your MAC. Currently, the only known work around for uploading movies from your Creative Vado HD, on a MAC, is to do it manually, as the software can not be used due to incompatibility.
Has an included video editor software built inside which I have not used yet. I use my Corel VideoStudio Pro X3 video editor HOWEVER for some reason that particular video editor will not take the Vado generated AVI videos. I have to convert them to WMV files using a freeware (FREEMAKE VIDEO CONVERTER) with no noticible image quality loss.
If you need a HD Camcorder for on the fly spur of the moment use - grab it. Takes great indoor shots with lamp light or available sunlight filtering into the house. Gotta love that aspect of this model.