05 Oct 2009

Vado HD: Pocket high-definition video camera


Last month, my Sony HC-90 Handycam stopped working. The failure was quite simple, the objective’s cover didn’t fully open. I tried to repair it myself but it was impossible. I contacted Sony Service Support but they asked me 60 €. Too much for such a simple problem.

I decided to check what the market could offer me. I remembered to have read some great reviews about the Flip Ultra camera, which opened  a new segment called ultaportable video cameras. I started reading reviews and comparisons charts with other ultraportable cameras.

Turns out that the Flip can’t be bought in Spain, so I lean towards the Creative Vado HD. It compares very good with the MinoHD.

For just 200 € shipped (much less if you can buy it from Amazon!) you get a video camera that fits in your pocket (just like a mobile phone), that can do HD (1280x720) and that has no moving parts. It has 8 GB of memory which is enough for 2 hours of high definition video. It also includes an HDMI cable.

Video quality is great even indoors with low light. Of course it cannot be compared with other bigger HD cameras, but it’s ok to shot home videos.

The camera has been designed with one goal in mind: simplicity. You turn on the camera (by the way is ready to shoot video in 1 second) and press the red button to start recording. Press it again to stop it. Each time you press the red button a new file is created.

The you can view the videos on the built-in small screen and delete those you don’t want. You can directly plug the camera to your TV (via HDMI), or connect it to any USB port in your computer and transfer the files.

It also includes some software to manage the videos and uploading them to YouTube and other services but I have not tried it yet. Honestly I don’t care about that software..

I’m very happy with the camera. The best advantage I see over traditional cameras is that you can bring it with you all the times and therefore you shoot a lot more videos. Ask my son ;)