With its fixed lens and 320 x 240 frames, the busbi wasn’t going to win any prizes for video quality, except for maybe the wooden spoon. The video is very grainy and full of artefacts, and light sensitivity very poor. In anything other than very good illumination, the video is very dim indeed. This is the Catch 22 for cheap camcorders. The price reaches out to a wider audience – but that audience will often want to record video of social events in poorly lit places, which cheap camcorders are almost always really bad at. The busbi Video unfortunately conforms to this stereotype. It’s really not well suited to dimly illuminated indoor shooting.
The busbi Video offers two ways of watching its results. A cable is supplied for connecting composite video and a singe RCA plug for mono audio. Watching the video on a large TV really doesn’t do it any favours, though. You can see just how low the quality is. Alternatively, you can hook the busbi to your PC via USB. It then appears as a removable drive, allowing you to copy the AVI video files onto your hard disk for editing.
We had no trouble loading the busbi’s AVI’s onto any editing software we tried, although ArcSoft VideoImpression 2 is actually bundled. This is a very simple editing app which guides you through the process using six simple stages. You can bring in video files from the busbi Video’s storage, or capture from a DV camcorder, or acquire from a scanner. The editing stage involves trimming in and out points and applying brightness and contrast. A selection of simple wipe transitions can be placed between clips, and very rudimentary titles added over the top. These can be animated, too. But VideoImpression 2 doesn’t let you add filters to your video, although you can record a narration track as you watch the video.