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Creative 3rd Generation Vado HD Pocket Video Camera (Black)
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Average Customer Review:
( 104 customer reviews )
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178 of 193 found the following review helpful:
Why ?!?Feb 02, 2010
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1WX6JC0JKF2YE Vado is my favorite brand when it comes to pocket size "HD" camcorders, even at 720p and 30 fps the 2nd generation was one of my favorite for its crisp frames, very wide lens, and color contrast. I was very glad to hear that the 3rd generation came out (due to some issues with the low sound quality, over-saturated colors, over-exposure of sky and other little nuances with the 2nd generation). Then i saw this... (!)
The 3rd gen. Vado HD has half the memory (4GB) and as such can only record 1 hour of HD+ footage (as opposed to 2 hrs with the 2nd gen). And it still comes with no external memory slot. The nice matte, scratch resistant and fingerprint free finish is now gone. And the buttons that were previously neatly located and easy to press and navigate are now a touch-sensitive surface that you can easily brush (thus press) and not ever realize it. Still the camera does not have optical zoom (understandable for its size), still no image stabilization (still ok since at that price range, most digital-IS does nothing and optics take space) but still no 60fps or 1080p settings much un-like most of its competition. In addition, the memory is now cut in half and there is no way to add more!
The addition of motion detection is a 'fun' feature, but i don't see when mainstream users would take advantage of that.
Personally i would -much- rather see a timelapse feature (like the Samsung pocket cameras have), which is great for sky-scapes.
Alternatively, the ability to double as a web camera (like the Sony Webbie) would also be good and perhaps useful.
The 3rd gen also takes pictures, which (even at 1280x720) is a minor plus due to their low quality and the fact that you can always take frames out of video files and use them as pictures - that's what the Vado's software does anyway.
The manual light-adjusting setting works pretty fine, but i always have to be careful not to touch the buttons and activate them by accident.
Color-wise, the 3rg gen seems closer to reality, without over-saturating reds/greens that much. As a result the video looks more natural but also not as lively or vivid as the 2nd gen. I guess that is a matter of personal preference.
When it comes to sound, the 3rd gen seems slightly louder, but it also comes with an external mic input for more demanding users or situations. I think that's a great addition over the previous model.
Finally, when it comes to the crispness of each frame of the film, some was unfortunately lost. This is sad, because the previous Vado still has the sharpest video-frames i have seen coming out of any pocket size camera i have ever used (which includes Sony, Kodak, Samsung, and Aiptek). I have a lot of side-by-side footage comparing the Sony, Samsung, and both versions of the Vado HD, it is all on YouTube, if you are interested, let me know.
--- Video comparison: This model (3rd gen) on the left, Previous model (2nd gen) on the right. For the same video with much better detail and clarity, watch the original on yougube at: [...]
So, overall, we had a pretty great 2nd gen. Vado HD.. and instead of adding a much needed memory card slot, and perhaps adding a color option (i.e. vivid vs. normal) to give the user a change to choose whether high color saturation is desired or not, or maybe add a 60fps or 1080p setting.. we got a 4GB / 1 hour / glossy / colorful camera that can detect motion!!
My suggestions to Creative: Drop the internal memory all together (if some is needed for usb connection/drivers/codec/etc, just use that much), ADD a micro-SD memory card reader, add manual controls for saturation/contrast/light, keep the external mic and HDMI out, keep the replaceable battery, and do not downgrade the currently high data-rate of more than 4Mbps @ HD and more than 8Mbps @ HD+ (which is great to be able to record at these high bit rates - and imo larger files with quality are better than small useless ones, we can always compress later)
70 of 77 found the following review helpful:
My First Pocket Video Camcorder - and It's an Excellent One!Feb 23, 2010
By Lawrence H. Bulk
"Lawrence H. Bulk"
Offered to me for free by Amazon Vine, this is the first such product I have ever owned. Years ago, I took many home movies on film with 8mm silent, Super-8 silent, and Super-8 sound being the types I used, and then later I went to a JVC GR-SZ9 Super VHS camcorder. However, several years ago, I lost interest in video tape and I stopped taking home movies.
Fast forward to now: we have a granddaughter of whom we'd like to have some videos; I had been investigating various camcorders but had not yet made a decision.
Amazon Vine, with this Creative Labs Vado HD 3rd Generation Pocket Video Camcorder, 120 Minutes (Black) - NEWEST MODEL, made it for me.
I received the unit yesterday and, per the instructions, I charged the battery. Now the instruction say to insert the battery into the camcorder and attach the camcorder to a USB port on your computer. I wanted to see if there was an alternate method of charging the battery - and there is! You need only attach the camcorder (with the battery inserted) to a Creative Labs Battery Charger for Vado and Vado HD Camcorders or similar and plug the adapter into a wall socket. This is quite advantageous.
Amazon offers a spare battery [Creative Labs Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery for Vado HD Camcorder] and external chargers, one for the home and one for the car [Creative Labs Vado HD 720p Pocket Video Camcorder 6 Feet USB Extention Cable, Car Charger, Travel Charger], thereby offering the option of having two batteries - using one while keeping the other one charged. That will be quite a convenience and you'll never run out of power. Amazon also offers several carrying cases for this unit (one is even waterproof), including this Creative Labs Vado VF0570APS Pocket Video Camera Mesh Pouch (Silver), the one I bought. The prices for these accessories, as well as several other useful accessories offered by Amazon, are quite reasonable.
I want to emphasize the fact that the battery is easily removable and replaceable. This is a rare thing in this age of built-in non-replaceable (except by the factory at a very high price) batteries and, for me, is a distinct advantage.
I was a bit worried that the camcorder might not work with my computer; it is configured to work with either Windows (XP SP2, Vista, or 7) as well as Mac - but I use the Ubuntu Linux operating system on my computer.
I need not have worried. The camcorder works perfectly in conjunction with my computer and it will obviously work well with yours, regardless of your operating system. And transferring a video or picture file from the unit to your computer is a snap!
Thus far I have had only enough time to try the cam minimally. I have tried all three video settings - HD+ and HD (both are configured to produce MP4 files with AAC+ sound and the video in both is 1280 x 720) and VGA, which also produces MP4/AAC+ files with the video is formatted at 640 x 480 (ideal for e-mailing and for posting to YouTube, etc.). I did send via e-mail a VGA video [33 seconds, 8.9 MB] to my son (who lives across the country in California) and he said the video was fine - though there was some "snow" in the picture (I had sent him a video of our latest snowstorm! ... ;-) ... just to bring back to him some "fond memories" - he always hated shoveling snow!).
The picture quality in all three settings is excellent. (My son was actually quite amazed at the quality of the video I had sent him - and remember that this was taken at VGA, the lowest quality setting.) I believe that any purchaser will be surprised and VERY pleased with the results this camcorder supplies. I am!
Sound recording, being somewhat more problematic, is good if care is taken; an external microphone, which this unit can accommodate, would greatly improve the sound quality but at a price, of course - both the cost of the microphone as well as the cost in portability and ease of use.
I think that, for most people, the built-in microphone will suffice.
It is very easy to convert MP4 files to the Audio_TS and Video_TS files used on DVDs and I plan to make DVDs from the videos I take with this camcorder.
I also tried taking a still picture. It turned out quite nicely though not as good as that which can be obtained with a dedicated digital camera.
Nonetheless, taking into consideration its size (tiny), weight (next-to-nothing), ease of use (REALLY easy!), and the relative high quality of the videos and pictures it produces, this camcorder is a definite winner.
Frankly, as I'm sure you are aware and as I indicated, it is not going to replace an elaborate dedicated video camcorder or a dedicated digital camera (especially a DSLR or Micro Four-Thirds model) for certain applications but, with its portability and ease of use and the fact that you can take it everywhere you go, this unit will be available to you when you might not be carrying one of those more elaborate cameras. Plus it "boots up" VERY fast (and can be set to turn on even faster, if you wish) so you will never miss a shot. The videos and pictures it produces are far better than anything that I have seen produced by a cell-phone. It even features a standard tripod mount!
Is there anything I would like to see changed? Yes - I wish Creative would introduce a model which had NO internal memory and used an SD or similar card. The user of such a product would essentially have "unlimited" room to take video (imagine using a 32 GB card!) and would not have to transfer files to a computer or external hard drive (and delete them from an internal memory) nearly as often.
But that is really a minor point. Given this camcorder's wonderful attributes (including its obvious superb construction quality - which includes its lens and LCD screen), I can give it NO LESS than five stars - as well as my highest recommendation possible.
Update: April 12, 2010
Last night, using my ASUS Eee PC 1000 10-Inch Netbook (1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor, 1 GB RAM, 40 GB Solid State Drive, 20 GB Eee Storage, Linux, 6 Cell Battery) Fine Ebony (no longer available) in conjunction with my Western Digital WD Elements 320 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive WDBAAR3200ABK-NESN (Black) (on which I store my videos), I projected a three-minute video of our granddaughter (taken in a supermarket) onto a 110" (diagonal) screen, using my PT-AE4000U LCD XGA 16:9 1600 Lumens HDmi Svid 16.1LBS Hdtv Projector. (On Friday I had received a VGA cable which allowed me to connect my computer to the projector.) I ran the sound from the computer into my Yamaha RX-Z9 - AV receiver - 7.1 channel. The projected picture was absolutely clear and sharp with almost perfect exposure (the first 5 or 10 seconds were too 'red,' as I described in a comment, but the color quickly settled down) and the sound was excellent.
I took the video using the middle video setting (720p). I had converted the MP4 file the camcorder produces to an AVI file but this would make no difference to the quality of the projected image. (One of these days I suppose I should try the higher 720p HD setting.)
Both my wife and I were really astounded - that is the only word I can use - at the quality of the image and sound we were seeing on our screen.
We both HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this product. I'm quite certain that anyone who buys one will be REALLY pleased.
Update: July 14, 2010
Having owned this Creative Labs Vado HD Pocket Video Camcorder 3rd Generation,120 Minutes (Black) - NEWEST MODEL and the Kodak PlaySport (Zx3) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera (Black) NEWEST MODEL and using them side-by-side, overall I now prefer this Creative one. It is just as easy to use as the Kodak, its images, at 720p, appear to be as good as Kodak's 1080p images, at least on our 110" screen, and the Creative's battery lasts much longer. Even though the Kodak can hold, with a 16GB SD card, much more video than the Creative, its battery runs out before you can take even a fraction of what the card can hold.
Neither camcorder is perfect and I could be happy with either. I think most people would feel the same. But, having had and extensively using both, overall I prefer the Creative.
As always, it's your call. Thank you for reading this and I hope it has been of some help to you.
Update: August 26, 2010
We just returned home from a four and one-half week vacation in which we drove across the country and back, taking two different routes. We had with us both this camcorder as well as our Kodak PlaySport (Zx3) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera (Black) NEWEST MODEL.
I had charged both of my batteries - I had bought a spare - and, during that time, I needed only to swap batteries once (and did not charge them until we got home). We took about four hours of video (transferring them to a netbook computer every day).
Frankly, we never used the Kodak at all; I am very disappointed with its battery life. This Creative one, on the other hand, offers excellent battery life and, if it's not quite as convenient to use as the Kodak nor can it hold as much video as can the 16 GiB card I have in the Kodak, the battery life is really the most important factor for me, at least on an extended trip.
The videos that both camcorders produce is amazing - but this one also takes fantastic - and I mean FANTASTIC! - video in very low-light settings, something the Kodak is unable to do nearly as well. (This Creative Labs Vado has a very fast f2.0 lens.)
Though the Kodak model has much to recommend it (especially for use at the shore or in inclement weather), I find that I personally favor this Creative model and I recommend it to all. Thank you again for reading this.
Update: November 13, 2010
A reader of this review asked, in a Comment, whether this camcorder has a wrist strap or a means for attaching one. It DOES have a place to attach a wrist strap though Creative certainly doesn't make it obvious or supply, in the documentation, any indication of this ability. Nor does Creative make or sell an appropriate wrist strap. An owner will have to take the unit to a craft store and see if a suitable one can be had there. I discovered this information while I was browsing Creative's web site.
Update: July 9, 2011
Though I own two other pocket video camcorders, this one remains my "go-to" camcorder. It is easy to use, reliable, offers superb battery life, and it takes good videos! I couldn't ask for much more.
75 of 85 found the following review helpful:
Flip Off!Feb 01, 2010
By K. Dawson
I am not one to typically write a review of a product (this is my first)... but the Vado made me do it! After having spent time with the Flip HD cam, i was ready to give up on the mini/micro HD market, because the quality (sound and video) was so poor. I assumed that would be the case for all similar products. But a friend convinced me to give the Vado a shot, and I was immediately impressed. I love the fact that it takes both static pictures and video. This is a great fix for all of the woes of packing bulky equipment and accessories to memorialize trips and vacations. Now you only have to have room in your pocket. And the quality is outstanding! I am definitely a fan, and am going to look into other products that Creative Labs develops... because we should all experience this type of happiness with all of our electronics.
16 of 16 found the following review helpful:
Creative Labs Vado HD 3rd Gen vs. Flip MinoHD 2nd GenMay 23, 2010
By Cute Chihuahua
I own both a 3rd generation Creative Labs Vado HD and 2nd generation Flip MinoHD so this is my review and comparison of the two side by side.
*Size / Weight Comparison*
The Flip and the Vado are almost identical in size. The only difference is that the flip is about a quarter inch longer and the Vado is about a quarter inch wider. Both camcorders seem to weigh just about the same. The screen size of both camcorders is exactly 2 inches, which is measured diagonally.
Neither the Flip or the Vado come with a charging cable that allow you to charge them by plugging them into any outlet however you can charge them by plugging them into any USB port whether it by on your PC, PS3 or even your TV if it has USB ports on it.
Neither the Flip or the Vado come with the HDMI connector that is needed to play video on your TV. You will need to purchase the connector separately but both the Flip and the Vado have HDMI output on them so you can plug the HDMI connector right into them and plug in the other end to your TV for quick and easy viewing.
The Flip comes with a carry pouch that that will keep it nice and clean and might keep it from getting scratched but it will not protect it from damage due to falling or moisture. The Vado doesn't come with a case at all.
*Recording Time / Battery Life*
Both have recording time of 120 minutes. The Flip has a built-in internal battery that can't be changed. This could be a bad thing if the battery goes bad the whole camcorder is no good. The Vado has a removable battery that can be replaced if needed. The Vado seems to hold a charge much better than the Flip as well. I noticed that both were fully charged and stored for about 1 week and the Vado still has a full charge but the Flip has about 2/3 charge left.
Both offer high resolution 720p and the picture quality is impressive. Both lack any compensation to adjust for hand movement. There is only a slight difference in the picture quality between the Flip and the Vado. The Flip seems to have a slightly brighter and more brilliant picture.
Both have the option to be mounted to a tripod
I love both the Vado and the Flip and it would be difficult to pick a favorite. The performance of both is very similar, they have mostly the same options and they are usually about the same price. I like the physical appearance of the Flip better than the Vado. I like the video software better that comes with the Vado than the Flip. My only problem with the Flip is that you can't replace the battery if it goes bad.
I would feel very comfortable recommending either the Vado or the Flip to anyone at this point. If my opinion changes in the future then I will update my review.
13 of 13 found the following review helpful:
A downgrade from earlier versions.Mar 16, 2010
By Craig Smith
I owned the first generation of this camera, so when the lcd broke on the other one after an accident, I was pretty confident that I would love this one as well. Not so.
The worst problem is the addition of the touch sensitive controls. It's very easy to accidentally push any of the buttons. I'd read about this in reviews before I got the camera, but it ended up being way worse of a problem than I expected. The only actual button on the back of the camera is the record button, and it must be way too easy to press as well, because in the short time that I owned it I recorded well over 3 hours of footage from my pocket. This even after I turned it off and disabled the quick record option. Call me old fashioned, but I think you should be able to put a "pocket camera" in your pocket. Also, I never had this problem with the first generation. Let me also say that I was really disappointed that they cut the amount memory in half from the first generation of this camera, and still without adding the option for a micro-sd slot to add anymore memory. Lastly, it may be a bit superficial, but they changed the wonderful mat finish of the first generation to a glossy finish on this one, and it's covered in fingerprints after only a couple minutes use. Plus, the new design on the front of the camera is just plain ugly.
On the plus side, the video quality is pretty good for the price range and given that it's a pocket camera. It definitely captured the colors well and in stunning resolution (though I would love to see them add options for 60fps and better image stabilization). The sound quality is about what you would expect (not so bad), but I love the addition of a microphone jack (for using an external mic instead of the built-in) and I wish I could've tried this out! Also, they added the option to choose your exposure level with this generation, which made me very happy, because the first generation definitely needed it, and so this camera works much better in lower light. Not great, mind you, but better. The added option to to take pictures instead of video was also a nice surprise, and the pictures came out pretty well as long as you could hold the camera relatively still and choose the correct exposure amount.
Overall, I was very unhappy with this camera. Mine ended up having some sort of issue, so luckily I was able to send it back and get a full refund; I would not have been happy had I been stuck with this one. I was happy with the video quality, and some of the new options were a step in the right direction, but creative definitely took a number of missteps with this camera that make it almost unusable. The biggest drawbacks of this camera were definitely the addition of touch sensitive buttons and the cameras tendency to record while in your pocket. Creative has definitely fallen behind the pocket camera market, and I do hope they step it up and come out with a camera that can compete a little better. At this point, I'm probably going to be getting the Kodak Zi8 instead.
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