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on April 29, 2008
I own an expensive Sony HD camera that takes great video and decent sound. But I hardly ever used it. After taking trips to Hong Kong and Costa Rica wit the Sony, and coming back with almost no footage, because the camera was too bulky and expensive to want to carry around, I decided I needed to look into something better suited for my needs. The Aiptek is something I use all the time. I purchased this camera so I could take quick videos of my son, or anything else I wanted to post to YouTube or Vimeo. I did some research by going to Vimeo and searching for Aiptek A-HD. I found some great clips that showed me exactly what the camera can do in HD.

The Good
Picture quality is very good. It doesn't beat my Sony, but it will beat just about any camera you could have purchased for under $2k 5 years ago.

The camera couldn't be much simpler. Flip Video Ultra Series Camcorder, 60-Minutes (White) is obviously the easiest camera to use, but the Aiptek is not going to stump anyone.

Fast upload. Unlike the long time my Sony took to bring video in from DV, the Aiptek is super fast at transferring those movies onto my machine.

Good use of space. I have a 4 gig card in mine, and it looks like I can get a little over 2 hours at full 720. Cards are so cheap now that I think I should have just got an 8 gig that should cover 4 hours.

Small and light. I take this camera everywhere. I hardly ever shot video with my Sony, but this thing I use all the time.

All cables included. This was a nice surprise for such a cheap camera, especially in a time of 1 game controller in $400 game system. The box included USB to mini USB, power cord, and even cords to hook up to the TV for normal and HD TV. No HDMI.

The Bad
Sound quality. The microphone is not great, and it's set to the rear. It feels like Aiptek set this up so that the person shooting the video could narrate the shot. But the lack of a external mic jack does limit the use of this camera.

No optical zoom. The camera does have a 2X digital zoom, but that's not ideal. The slightly more expensive Aiptek GO-HD High Definition 720p Camcorder with 3x Optical Zoom has 3X optical zoom if yo

Construction. With a low price comes low quality material. When I got my camera in the box, the "camera" button had already fallen off. Not wanting to deal with returning the camera through Amazon, I just superglued the thing back on and it's worked fine since. The camera feels sturdy enough when you hold it, but it does feel a little cheap in the buttons.

No stabilization. Since this is a cheap camera it does not come with any built in stabilization, so your shots can come out a little shaky if you're not steady handed.

As a digital camera the Aiptek works about as well as most inexpensive point and shoot models. The pictures are acceptable, and the built in flash does a good job exposing details.

Like most people will say, this is a great camera for the money. If you're someone who wants to take serious videos and need things like stabilization and external mic jacks, this isn't for you. But if you're someone who would like a good camera to shoot everyday events so you can post them online or save them to disk, this is a camera you should be happy with for a couple of years.

It does fit the need for travel as well. It's small enough to throw in my cargo pant pocket, and cheap enough that if lost or damaged, it wouldn't ruin my vacation.

I do think it's likely that I'll outgrow this camera as I want to do more video. I'm waiting to see the Sony HDR-TG1 4MP High Definition Handycam Camcorder with 10x Optical Super Steady Shot Zoom (4GB Memory Stick Included), which is about 6 times the price, but looks to be amazing. Maybe a Christmas present for myself.

This camera would also be great for teens to start shooting footage beyond their camera phones. I'll likely just hand mine over to my son when I upgrade.

When you transfer files to your computer they come in Quicktime, which works great for me since I'm on a Mac. This is perfect for iMovie.
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on October 26, 2009
I was able to use it right out of the box after charging overnight. All the cables are included.
Only 30 seconds of filming time unless you buy a memory card. 1G gave me 30 minutes of recording time. (I took one out of my digital camera just to see what I would get.) I then ordered a 16G card which I expect to give 8 hours of recording time.
Every time you start/stop the camera it begins a new video file. The file format plays in Apple Quicktime which you can download free on line.
We bought it for our grandson for Christmas and when my daughter saw it she wants one too. And my husband thinks we should have one.
So I will purchase more with a memory cards.
The microphone is on the camera and doesn't pick up well at a distance but mostly everyone plans to do a "commentary" anyway. Simple, inexpensive, easy to use, easy to upload to computer. I haven't looked at them on the HD tv as our plan is to share via the internet. The files are LARGE though. a couple of minutes is 30M or more so have a plan for how you are going to share since emailing them may not be an option.
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on August 27, 2009
Well I ordered it on a Monday along with a 4GB SD to go with it. They were shipped both at separate locations, but I received both by the following Friday. When I chose this camera I was expecting pretty good quality (atleast better than my old camera), but I also expected questionable audio quality. My expectations from this camera was to make short films and other videos for YouTube. The video quality was definetley better than I expected on my HD monitor. Outside shots look fantastic, inside its questionable but still very satisfactory. Audio, as still being not that good was actually a lot better than I had expected it to be though it has a plug for an external mic which I am planning on investing in. It comes with software but it is not needed as if you plug it in and open it you can view the files using disk mode. I haven't had any problems with this camera at all it handy and fits in my pocket. I've already gone skating with it several times and taken footage ect. so I have no complaints.
I would say if you need a camera for any reason but are on a low budget, as far as cheap, small camcorders go I give this a 5 out of 5, but if you have the money to get something better I would suggest going with that.
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on January 27, 2008
It's probably more of a toy or a hobbyist camera, rather than consumer grade camera, and for one major reason - there is no image stabilitzation, so your hand needs to be *really* steady, or you need to use a tripod. Other that that, no complaints. It won't give you razor sharp high definition picture because of the real time compression to the SD card, but it's decent. It has three picture modes: Hi-def, DVD and Web. Most of the time I use DVD quality setting. The picture in this mode is way better than from VCR or even my older digital 8mm Sharp camcorder. It also takes decent photographs, comparable to cheap point-and-shoot cameras. It needs good lightning, but I have successfully filmed inside with not so great lightning conditions and the picture came out better than I expected. Overall, it exceeded my expectations. I like it a lot and I think it has a great value for the price I paid for it (~$150). I give it only three starts because of lack of image stabilization.
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on December 27, 2009
The video quality for <$100 is amazing. If you're expecting it to rival a $500 DV camcorder, you're setting yourself up for disappointment, but if you keep your expectations realistic, I think you'll be pleased.

There are a number of complaints in other reviews about the sound - it's not that bad. I think it really depends on what you're doing with it. I bought it for my son to play with some video editing in iMovie, rather than let him handle my good video camera, and I'm VERY impressed with the quality/price ratio. I've seen the output from other cheap video cameras, digital cameras, web cams that cost nearly this much, and this Aiptek is an order of magnitude better. Build quality is quite acceptable, and it has held up like a champ in the hands of four sub-ten-year old kids. For doing video podcasts on the cheap, or an easy way to get video from camera to computer, this is a great piece of kit. Used with a tripod, you don't have to worry about the lack of stabilization, and output quality was even better.
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on October 19, 2009
I was looking for a great gift for my moms b day and i think i found it. She loved this thing and takes it everywhere. Its like a child to her. She is almost like an amateur film creator. I mean all day shooting vid with this thing and the quality is amazing. The battery life is great and the clarity is definetely up there. Great price great value and well worth the money. I love the compact design and the functionality of this product. It works better than the other ones i have seen on the market especially the Kodak zi-6. I have never heard of the brand until recently but never the less i works great. I would even like to purchase one for myself when i can. I would recommend this to anyone trying to please a love one or a spouse. You will recieve huge browny points with this camera.
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on August 16, 2013
I originally bought it because, at the price, I could use it for non-professional shooting and not be heartbroken if it was met with a catastrophic accident. The quality of the video is so surprisingly good (it shoots in H264) and I use it as a back-up in the event my much more expensive Sony fails in the field.

My only gripe is that battery life isn't all that great..However you can charge the battery in the camera from any 5vdc USB source or the supplied AC unit.
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on May 11, 2009
Aiptek A-HD 720P 8MP CMOS High Definition Camcorder
Aiptek A-HD 720P 8MP CMOS High Definition Camcorder

This is the second model from this manufacture I have bought. I bought the first one before Christmas at a Walgreens for $90 with a $20 mail-in rebate. I found a second battery, from a cell phone supply store, a 110 charger, that is a stand-a-lone, plus one more option; a 12 volt car charger. The battery problem was solved which left me needing to cover the memory questions. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of SD cards and the prices are reasonable for the no-name brands. This all happened preceding a vacation to Cancun. I was ready. All of this set me back less than 150$.

I own a very good Canon mini dv that is comparable to the GL-2 that I love to shoot. This little Aiptek does not replace the superior Canon but I will use it 5:1 because of the bulk. The Aiptek fits in a shirt pocket and the batteries last through 3- 2GB SD cards.

The quality is what you get for a 100$ dollar camera but that's okay if you know this going in. I do a lot of ATV riding and this will record 10 times better that my helmet cam. The end results are similar to a high end camera phone. All cameras capture is light. This one does fine if the lighting is good, not too much or too little light and you will be pleased with results.

I have shot video off my Grizzly 700 with web quality video and then post it on my blog for other like trail riders to view. I liked the camera so much I gave it to my son and bought me a new one.

I use an iMac to edit video for publishing and the Aiptek works smoothly with both Final Cut and iMovie. I sometimes open files right off the camera using QuickTime Pro and edit the simple movie with that software. No problems.

This is a great pocket-sized camera for what it was designed for. The big players wont have to worry about this camera drawing away a lot of revenue. I am not chucking my Canon.
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on October 2, 2015
Great little video camera/camera for the price. I LOVE the quality and that when you close the screen, the unit auto shuts off. When you open, it automatically turns on. Takes good photos and the video quality is good. I had one that bit the dust after one too many drops and sought to find another one.
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on June 1, 2008
I needed a knock-around HD camera. Something that would fit in a briefcase, while taking video clips better than SD (standard definition) quality. So, I thought I'd take a chance and order an unknown-brand (AIPTEK), but had decent reviews here on Amazon.

Much to my surprise and enjoyment this camera provides what I need. Of course, it's not like having a semi-pro, or pro-quality HD camera, but for a little guy that costs less than 150.00 you can't beat it! I took the camera out for a spin yesterday to shot some scenes with wife & doggie on a field trip. The results are:

* Nice, sharp HD quality video at 720. Not 1080, but who cares! The color is quite decent, and the sharpness for a little camera is terrific. While it can't match a 3 CCD HD, or a larger CMOS chip camera shooting at 1080 it does the job in a compact form factor. I do expect to take this camera with me everywhere. There was a comment here about the plastic housing...it's not that bad. I wouldn't lend it to kids, or drop it on concrete, but it's sturdy enough to survive in a briefcase, or purse if it had a small little protective hard case. Note: Purses and soft briefcase tend to be especially dusty - not a great place to stick electronics IMO.

* The audio is decent. I was shooting some scenes in the car with an open window and it surprisingly filtered out most of the road noise and caught the dialog inside! The mic. is placed on top of the camera. This can cause some noise if you move your hands about the camera while shooting. However, as with any camera there is some accommodation given the ergonomics. On saying that I do wish the record on/off button was larger, and the joystick controlled a tad bigger. Folks with ham-sized fist (like me) might have to fumble around a tad more than say someone with dexterous fingers. Low light conditions came out a tad grainy. But then again, you can't expect the little camera to do everything. One of my new CMOS camera is equally as grainy as the AIPTEK in dark-lit conditions. There is a night-mode selection in the camera, but I have yet to try it out.

* Transfer to Macintosh. All I had to do was hook up the USB cable and the Aiptek was recognized as an external hard drive. I simply transferred all the files into my mac and now they're ready to be edited as .mov files. So, it's a breeze to edit in imovie, as well a Final Cut. Very, very simple.

* Longevity - I don't know. I've had this camera now for three days. If it breaks, I'll just get another one!

So all in all, if you are shooting casual video and don't care too much about semi-pro quality video and audio this little guy will probably fill that niche well. It also shoot stills and has a flash. I haven't really evaluated that, but I would tend to use my dedicated digital still camera for that.
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