Camcorder on the cheap

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The DV4 is a camcorder, camera, voice recorder and an MP3 player and website Firebox is offering it for £229 with 256MB storage.

So has the budget video camera come of age?

Must admit to not being too impressed by the hard disk and flash memory based camcorders unveiled at the IFA show in Berlin in August. Panasonic’s SV-AV100 clearly has plenty going for it in that it can record MPEG2 video (DV) standard on to an SD card. But the bundled 512MB card only stores twenty minutes of MPEG2 and at £1000 the camcorder is hideously expensive.

Samsung’s IT Cam 7 which records on to a hard disk seems a slightly better option, but still it only has storage of 1.5Gigabytes, doesn’t record in MPEG2 and yet still costs around £500.

So is the best bet the DV4 from Aiptek distributed in the UK by Firebox. The small device, which looks like a cut-down version of a traditional DV camcorder, shoots moving images in the MPEG4 format at a rate of 20 frames per second. It has plenty of other facilities too including a two-mega pixel still image camera with a 4x digital zoom and an onboard flash. It will also play MP3 music files and can moonlight as a voice recorder.

So is it any good?

Well, build quality is also reasonable for a budget camera/camcorder, and the mini 1.5inch TFT LCD screen delivers fairly clear images. It’s a little tricky to work out how to operate all the features, but once you’ve read the manuals it all makes sense. Video quality is pretty good, certainly an improvement on over MPEG 4 camcorders we’ve seen. Still images aren’t quite in the same league – they are clearly better than VGA in terms of resolution but no match for a dedicated two-mega pixel snapper. We were slightly disappointed that it didn’t come with rechargeable batteries – although of course you can buy your own. Also the quote 12 hours battery life is a tad generous.

Still, it works as camcorder and reasonably well too. And for £150 on its own, or £229 with a 256MB SD card – way cheaper than its rivals – that makes it a bargain in our book.

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One thought on “Camcorder on the cheap

  • dear seller,
    compliment of the season hope business is moving on fine
    my name is tony jones from us a business man who buy and sell goods all over the world
    i am now on a business trip to nigeria to open a new store to enlarge my business and i have handover the new store to my client samuel while i am off to southafrica.
    i am really interested in your product and i will like to order some product from your store which are listed below

    1 30X optical Zoom Camcorder 2 pieces
    please i will like the order to be like this manner
    shipped to samuel
    shipping method postal service
    city mushin
    state lagos state
    country nigeria
    payment method my credit card
    zip/postalcode 23401
    please if you are interested in selling this goods for me kindly send me an email with the total cost,shipping cost and all other cost related to this order
    i will be very glad if my request is granted bye and god bless
    best regards tony jones

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