Creative Vado HD

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Pocket camcorders are getting quite popular with the trend first started by the Flip Mino. Major companies soon followed suit and now these little devices are beginning to redefine and simplify the way we shoot and share videos.

The Creative Vado HD (3rd generation) is not new to the world of pocket camcorders. It is quite similar to Creative's previous Vado HD – considered as the 2nd generation camcorder. The first notable difference you will find is that the 3rd generation Vado HD has gone through a significant makeover. However, this latest version of Vado HD still features a 2-inch screen which is kind of small but good enough to view the videos recorded.

The Vado HD measures in at 2.2 x 3.9 x 0.6 inches, which basically makes it around the same size as their previous model. Nevertheless it feels so damn compact that at first sight one might simply mistake it to be a media player rather than a camcorder – which is not the case with other competing pocket camcorders. Also, it weighs just around 93 g and since the Vado HD is nicely rounded off on all four sides it easily slips into your pocket without any hassle. However, since the Vado HD has a complete glossy body it is highly prone to scratches. So pocketing it with a bunch of keys is obviously not a good idea. It might be small and compact but when it comes to appearances there is nothing fancy about the Vado HD.

Unlike the previous model the 3rd generation Vado HD consists mostly of a touch interface – these include the forward, rewind, +/- and play/pause. The only buttons that are present on this device is the record, erase, power and a basic button that allows you to toggle between the video and camera mode. So other than the record button that’s placed towards the front the other three are neatly tucked away towards the side making them easily accessible when viewing videos or pictures.
Navigation is where the guys at Creative need to put a in little more thought. For instance pressing play plays the last recorded video rather than giving the user a thumbnail view of the videos taken. Also the feature for viewing your videos or pictures by date or month is non-existent so you are forced to scroll through every video/picture till you actually get what you are looking for. Other than that I would say that the Creative Vado HD isn’t quite well labeled.

In other words, who would know that the power button doubles up as a lock switch when pressed once? Well, it had me floundering to unlock the Vado for a good 15 minutes. Then again, to be able to access the basic settings the video/picture button will need to be kept pressed. It’s only here that you are allowed to switch between the three video modes – HD+, HD and VGA. Do note that both the HD+ and HD modes record at a maximum of 720p. An additional feature thrown in is the motion detection, which basically allows the Vado to start recording the moment it detects movement.

The Creative Vado HD is limited to 4 GB of internal memory which allows 1 hour of recording in HD+ quality, 2 hours in HD quality and 4 hours in VGA quality. The camcorder comes fit with a built-in USB connector that eliminates the need to carry a separate USB cord. Nevertheless the design is not as user friendly as the one seen on the Kodak Zi8 or even the Flip HD.

The multi-functional jack placed above the camcorder allows you to either connect a headphone for private listening or a microphone to enhance the overall audio recording. That apart the Vado HD also features an HDMI out that allows you to connect and view your video clips on a compatible High Definition TV.

Video recorded on the Vado HD is good and performs rather well under low light conditions. Though there are parts in the video that appear somewhat blotchy it can be overlooked since what you get is a decent viewable video under low lit conditions. The same thing cannot be said about videos captured during the day. One cannot rate them as bad but the quality doesn't quite justify the cost of the camcorder. Pictures taken by the Vado HD are surprisingly decent.

The camcorder comes bundled with Vado Central 3.0. The software basically allows you to view, edit and upload your videos/pictures to sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Photobucket, KinKast and Box. Here you can choose to cut a section of your videos or take snapshots of the video being played. The photoeditor on the other hand allows you to adjust the overall brightness, contrast, gamma and even crop pictures to your liking.

With the Creative Vado HD priced at Rs. 14,999 it actually feels a little difficult to recommend since you can easily go in for the Kodak Zi8 that features recording at 1080p and also saves you a couple of thousand bucks.

Published Date: Feb 10, 2010 05:09 pm | Updated Date: Feb 10, 2010 05:09 pm