So far, in our recently inaugurated camcorder section, we have focused on camcorders from well-known brands which have been in the business for decades. But with the flurry of new camcorder formats in the last couple of years, the market has opened out for devices from companies previously operating in other areas. The busbi Video is one such device, coming from a company previously known for its USB memory sticks. The busbi products are also available from Dixons under the brand disgo.
As the price makes rather obvious, this is a video camera aimed at the complete novice hoping to have a bit of fun with video without having to fork out on a major purchase. It's something you could even buy for a kid to try their hand with. The busbi Video is very simple, with just four single-function buttons, and small enough to fit easily into a pocket. Think of the busbi as being a bit like a camcorder phone without the phone.
There's not really a lot to say about the busbi's specification, as it doesn't really have many features. Since it is aimed at the novice, you simply turn on the power, point, and press the red button to record. There are no settings to configure whatsoever. One of the remaining two buttons simply switches to playback mode, which immediately plays the most recently recorded video on the 2in LCD screen, and then cycles through all the other ones on the storage medium. A delete button lets you remove the currently playing video.
The busbi Video uses SD or MMC cards for storage, and a 1GB card is included. This is enough for around 60 minutes of video. It runs off a pair of AA batteries, which come in the box too. If you need more storage, the SD slot supports cards up to 2GB in size, so obviously isn't SDHC compatible. However, although the specifications we were sent state that the video resolution can be up to 640 x 480, we found the files produced were actually at 320 x 240, and there was no facility to select a higher setting. Compared to the 720 x 576 of MiniDV, this is a rather lowly resolution. The video is recorded at the US and Japanese standard 30 frames per second, rather than the 25 frames per second which is used by TV in the UK.