on October 22, 2010
I wanted something small and waterproof for kayaking and canoeing...and of course geocaching.. I have a kodak zx1, a flip mino, but I wanted something smaller than those....I thought about this camera for a while/watched sample videos on youtube,finally broke down and bought this at a "best" store for $89 without a card. This camera is simple to use! turns on very quickley,and starts recording quickley.I like the 1.8" screen....big enough to see what your recording/but small enough not to use too much power...I fully charged the battery/took 2 hours of video, and I still had battery to spare! battery life is great!...this is a simple video camera/ captures video very well!small enough to put in your pocket/battery still charged after a week of frequent use!Sound quality is very good/however the only "downside" for me is......no image stablization/not a big deal/ but is slighty noticed when quick movement happens...small,waterproof,long battery life,good quality video,good quality sound, simple and easy to use.I like it/and now at the time of my review/it is $20 less than what I paid AND you get a micro card included!great deal..if you go to youtube and type ......snow2112dog..... you will see my kodak mini video test...it shows indoors.outside at night and outside during the day...and the 3x zoom at the end of the airplane....all in under 1 minute.
on July 9, 2011
[updated info at the bottom]
the cost is well worth it:
my first time using this camera was on a vacation trip to cancun with my wife. we paid for the snorkeling tour. we got our own speedboat, but had to wear a life jacket to snorkel. the only redeeming factor of a life vest is that the [kodak] mini slides and stays snugly at my chest, facing down. what i saw, the camera captured. so with forty minutes of swimming over a part of the reef, i kept the camcorder on and recorded everything and am going over the footage currently and over the next few days. making a short documentary for family via facebook, splicing still frame photos with windows' "snipping tool"..
what i love about this camera:
it's small, easy to hold.
durable: i would not hesitate cliff jumping with this around my neck. i took it boogie boarding for an hour.. the unit is small and tough
-it takes a micro sd card (the unit is small) and also plugs via usb
-waterproof. i took it snorkeling and kept it under water for the better part of an hour
-for being such a compact unit, it's fairly easy to use
-ergonomic button placement: pad in the middle with directionals and a preview button to the left and power to the right
-records video (even in lesser grades if youre worried about space) and also takes still shots
-the software is somewhat crude looking but very easy to navigate
what i wish i could love more about this camera:
the still shots are somewhat grainy. granted, there was a lot of overcast when i took many photos with this camcorder, but the pictures were definitely vga quality. but it didnt take blurry pictures. just a little grainy and low color. not at all vibrant. but better than milk carton photos. like newspaper photos.
the video is what you would hope for, considering the cost. if i were to choose again, before the trip, i wouldve spent a hundred more and gotten one that shoots in hd. as it is, this little unit is pretty awesome. the video is shaky, it doesnt have image stabilization like i am used to with my memory camcorder, but i can take it under water in the grip of my fingers and shoot what i see and it comes out just fine, and for forty dollars i get to bring those memories home and that is awesome !!
the battery lasts a few hours, easily. the instructions reads 85 minutes, but it hasnt died on me yet. just, dont worry about the battery. have the unit charged [via usb, as the battery is internal and doesnt come out] before you head out for the day and you'll be fine.
ive used a class4 card and a class10 card. save the money, there is no difference. the unit doesnt read at a high speed so its function is not manipulated by your card choice. i havent used a class1 card, but i wouldnt hesitate if i had one lying around other than the vain fact that i prefer [to use] class2 or higher. i recommend a class2 card for this device. patriot, kingston, pny, sandisc, and transcend are the ones i personally have never had problems with. i do like them equally. so many bad (knockoff) cards are floating around that i cannot recommend enough ordering from amazon [certainly over eBay], from amazon directly, not an outside vendor, the card size and speed you prefer. but for this cheap/small unit, a four gig card will likely be enough for most owners:
a 4gb card will provide more than 51,000 still shots. its "camera" function. haha, that's fifty-one thousand pictures. or more than two hours of video footage at highest setting. (dont use the lowers camcorder settings as they degrade horribly.)
honestly: as stated, if i were to do it again, i would go HD for a hundred dollars more. but this unit works just fine. awesome for the price and i get to keep with me many great memories for forty bucks, and that really is along the priceless side of the things you own.
p.s., the audio is quite good, surprisingly. horrible for preview ON the device itself, as it is waterproof so the unit speakers are muffled; but using widows media player offers voice and sound fairly nicely. you will hear wind, unlike some of the more expensive cameras out there with noise reduction, but for the price for video and photo purposes around water or in rain, this unit is worth the price. especially at the price of not ruining your two hundred dollar camera or five hundred dollar smartphone :) i'll take somewhat grainy pictures and limited quality video over a dead phone or washed out camera any day at the beach !!
p.s.s., this unit does not charge from the wall, it strictly charges via usb.
i can charge the unit with my wife's iphone adapter. the adapter plugs into the wall, the zm1 plugs into that.
my unit froze up today. green and yellow snow and completely unresponsive. so i hit the little black reset button and it works perfectly fine again. (i dont know if that will reset the date and time as i dont ever care about plugging the date and time in my devices.)
on November 30, 2010
I have two of these - on in this version and one in the HD version. The pros and cons are the same for both.
Easy to use
Takes good video
Not great for still pictures
Not great in low light
The camera works great right out of the box. Bought it initially for a trip to hawaii. Was able to read through the instructions and start recording right away. As noted in the manual - sound playback on the device is poor - because the device is waterproof - no good speakers outside. Once imported to PC - sound was really good.
Still pictures were grainy - unless I really concentrated on holding the camera steady. Again, since it is waterproof - there is no place for even a mini tripod.
Overall - fair price for what it is - a fun little video cam to keep around for those spur of the moments. Great for kids and grandparents who don't want to invest in something more expensive. Smaller and lighter than a Flip.
The software uploaded to my pc just fine. But again - read the directions (at least once) as most of the complaints I have seen about this camera are due to people who just won't read through the instructions.
I have been on the look out for a great, small easy to carry around GOOD QUALITY video camera and this one just doesn't fit the bill. It IS small and it does carry well and I DO like that it's waterproof, but other than that, the video and camera quality are not that great. My phone takes just about the same quality.
BUT if you are looking for small, easy to carry, grab and go video to capture those random moments, especially poolside, then this camera would be fine (IF you're OK with just a so so quality) I also own the Flip Camera both the original and HD, which takes fairly good video but not great sound and it was not waterproof for those summer months where we live by the pool.
When I DO find that perfect, compact, waterproof, quality video camera, I will be sure to post. Until then, still searching.
on March 15, 2011
I got this camera for my sister to take to Disney World with the kids. It went EVERYWHERE with them! Water parks, flume rides, restaurants, shows...It was really convenient to have in your front pocket! The picture quality was much better than I expected. Viewed on a 42" HD tv the picture was fantastic. Highly recommend !
on December 10, 2010
Obviously before you purchase this you should realize it's not going to take videos that look like Quentin Tarantino directed it. It takes quick, awesome videos, it's water proof and can take a couple of bumps. I bought it so I can chase my nieces and nephews around and not use up my cell phone battery from using the camcorder on it. The battery lasts for a while, I've used it all week and haven't had to charge it. It shots decently enough at night time. You're able to use it in dim light. The videos are clear in better light.
Overall, I'm really happy with it. I would suggest it to everyone. I even bought one for my sister and my aunt bought the same one for my uncle.
on May 21, 2011
I bought this for our 9-year-old son to use underwater. Nice little camcorder. Of course, it's not perfect but for its price this camcorder is better than what I expected. We like it because it is:
1)Compact - the size of a credit card
2)light weight - can go into a shirt pocket
3)Easy to use - just a few buttons
4)No external batteries required - rechargeable battery life is good
5)Waterproof - tested
6)Robust - we dropped it a few times on a tiled floor and it's still going strong
7)Comes with a 2G microSD card
8)Very affordable - $50 for a waterproof camcorder with a 2G card, I consider it a very good deal
All right, this camcorder is not without flaws:
1)The closure (flap) is not easy to handle, especially for a 9-year-old. You have to gently push the flap side-way before snapping it down. I have been handling that part of operation so our son won't end up breaking the plastic flap
2)The USB connector is a bit awkward to use. When you open the flap it extends out and it make inserting the USB connector a challenge. When I connect this camcorder to one of the computer ports, I cannot use the port that's next to it. The extended flap takes up quite a bit of space.
3)The microSD card is insert next to the hidden USB connector. Unless you have long finger nails like mine or you have little fingers, pushing the card out can be frustrating for some.
4)Still picture quality is not good; equivalent to old cellphone camera's. I guess this is why they list this as a "camcorder" instead of a "camera"
5)Playback sound is very soft; you can't really hear it during camcorder playback. When I first played back my first clip I thought I got a bad one. Once I loaded the clip to my computer the sound was great. I assume they keep the speaker opening small for waterproof purpose.
Having said all that, I still think this camcorder is worth every penny. I wouldn't give this camcorder less stars because it didn't function better than its value. I paid $50 for a camcorder then I should expect it to deliver what a $50 camcorder can offer. In fact, I bought this camcorder for it's waterproof and light weight/compact features. It delivers exactly what I am looking for. Since there are some minor flaws with this camcorder, I rate it 4 stars instead of 5.
on August 5, 2011
If you want a really cheap video camera for your child to play with, then this may just be the perfect fit. If you want something that takes halfway decent pictures and video, look elsewhere. I bought this for a camping/floating trip. It was waterproof, which was awesome, and easy to carry on our raft and keep track of. It took pictures instantly, without any delay at all. I was able to take videos and tons of pictures and still have plenty of battery life left. I was so excited to upload the pictures and check them out when we got back. As soon as I did, I realized why there was so little use of the battery. The quality of the pictures are terrible. If you only want to use them to upload to facebook or youtube, and only care if people can tell who is in the picture and what's going on, but never want to frame anything or print anything out, then you might be able to find yourself satisfied with this camera. For the price and ease of use, it might be just your thing. I, however, could not get past the terrible quality. I returned the camera as soon as we got back from our trip.