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Creative Vado HD - Creative Vado HD

By James Morris

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Creative has learnt a little from the Vado, and now includes more accessories in the box. Where the original version required you to pay extra for a TV cable, Creative includes one with the Vado HD. This is only for digital output, however, in the shape of HDMI. The camcorder incorporates a Mini HDMI port, and the cable converts this to a full-sized connection. So you can hook the Vado HD straight up to an HDTV and watch the results directly. But if you want an analogue connection, you will still need to pay £10.99 for the accessory.

Creative also bundles a USB extension cable, and a condom-like silicone protective sheath. This looks a bit like the result of a snake shedding its skin, as it matches the external appearance of the device. It's quite hard to put on the Vado HD, and even more difficult to remove, but the snug fit means it doesn't impede functionality once installed. Nevertheless, a little pouch wouldn't have been remiss, as the sheath doesn't stop pocket fluff getting caught on the lens.

The first Vado didn't exactly bowl us over with its image quality, although we weren't expecting it to be a particular revelation considering its price and target audience. A later firmware update did improve things considerably, and the Vado HD is another step in the right direction. In good lighting, the colours are quite faithful. In HD+ mode the detail is better too, although there is some artefacting on diagonals when viewed on an HDTV. We were also pleasantly surprised at performance in lower light, which showed grain but not the extent of discolouration of the previous model.

The main selling feature of this class of camcorder is, of course, the integrated USB port and onboard software. When you first plug the Vado HD into a new computer, the device is detected and a compatible video codec is installed. Then Vado Central loads automatically. Without further ado, you can upload straight to YouTube or Photobucket, and now Box.net has also been added to the options. Uploading HD to YouTube also means that your footage will be presented in its native resolution, since the recording format matches YouTube's recently added 720p option.

Kanu

February 15, 2009, 1:25 am

This is supposed to be a review of an imaging device. However, it was appalling to find that the entire assessment of image quality was so tiny that if you blinked, you would miss it!





What we have here then, is a 4-page regurgitation of the press release and product datasheet, garnished with a cursory 4-line sprint through image quality.





This does not deserve to be called a "review" of a product, let alone a "trusted" one. Seriously.....

James Morris

February 15, 2009, 11:42 pm

Erm, okay... you seem a little angry. But I'm probably going to make you angrier here by telling you that you clearly missed the point about this product. Maybe you blinked a little too long. It's not meant for "seriously" anal types who measure the quality of every pixel produced. It's meant to grow the camcorder market towards those who just couldn't give a monkey's about that. All they need to know is - does this thing shoot decent or rubbish video, and under what conditions? This review tells you precisely that. Since there are no manual settings, you can't tweak it as with higher-end devices, so there is no way of adjusting performance. You point, you shoot. Why go into more detail on this aspect, when it is the other features which are more important in this case? I wouldn't even describe it as an imaging device, because its ability to upload straight to YouTube is equally, if not more significant. You would definitely not buy this instead of any "proper" HD camcorder, if you had the money. But for the target, non-specialist market it does the job intended pretty well. It would be better if it was more like 𧵎, though.

zenmeister

November 20, 2009, 8:11 am

I just went to pixmania.com and bought one of these for £89, together with the correct case for £9. Add in the cheapest P&P option and the whole package came to about £106, which is a heck of a good deal compared with the prices quoted in the review.


Maybe Creative are about to bring out a new model or something, but I'm very happy with my purchase.


The review was very good by the way. A friend has one, which I have tried and it is great. However, a mini-tripod is essential, partly to overcome the problem of the USB cable attachment projecting from the bottom of the case and partly to get decent shake-free images.

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