Exclusive Vado HD (3rd Gen) Review ~ Creative Labs Zen MP3 Players Sound Blaster Card
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Exclusive Vado HD (3rd Gen) Review




Creative has finally establish a niche in the pocket video cam arena. This is the 3rd generation of its Vado HD pocket video cam offering high definition 720p footage in low light. Creative has priced its Vado HD lower than their competitors and with its excellent ease of use, which make it a better buy.

Quick Look


Feature

Description

Weight:

93g (with battery)

Dimension (H x W x D):

3.9" x
2.2" x 0.6" (98.8 mm x 57.6 mm x 15.8 mm)

Memory size:

4GB1

Sensor:

HD CMOS (1280 x 720)

Video resolution:

HD (1280 x 720p),
VGA (640 x 480)

Low light performance:

Extremely high
sensitivity at 3.3V/lux-sec

LCD:

50.8 mm (2")
diagonal, 16 million colors

Screen resolution (pixels):

640 x 240

Zoom:

2x Digital Zoom

Recording capacity:

Up to: 1 hour (HD+
quality), 2 hours (HD quality), 4 hours (VGA quality)

Digital video file format:

*.mp4 (H.264, AAC)

Video frame rate:

30 frames per second

Speaker and microphone:

Built-in

Software:

Pre-loaded Vado
Central 3.0

TV out:

RCA, HDMI (HDMI
cable included) 4

Exposure Adjustment:

Auto or Manual

Picture Resolution:

HD still picture at
1280 x 720

Digital Picture File Format:

*.JPEG

Wide-angle lens:

Yes

Multiple connectivity earphone jack:

Yes (for external
microphone, AV cable and earphones)

Tripod mount:

Yes

Power saver:

Yes

Delete all, Play all:

Yes

Set Date/Time:

Yes

Set frequency:

Yes (50Hz or 60Hz)

PC connection:

Built-in flexi USB
connector

Battery life:

2 hours2 3

Online sharing:

YouTube™,
Photobucket™, Box.net, Facebook, KinKast

Accessories
The Vado HD comes with the basics: USB extension cable (although there's a built-in flexi USB connector hidden just underneath) and a HDMI cable to connect it to your HD LCD TV. No install disk as the software is pre-loaded in the Vado itself. You just need to find the setup file and run it.

Creative also has released some official accessories including a Waterproof Pouch, Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery, Power charger which can charge your Vado HD in less than 2 hours, Tripod, Travel Pouch and AV cable (to output your content onto your widescreen TV). These are quite basic so they should cover your needs.

Design / Build Quality
Like the ZENs, which has a good reputation as a very sturdy mp3 player which is hard to crack. My Vado HD survived the snatching from my young nephews and nieces and it is still working, as good as new. Although it is made of plastic, Creative has done a good job making it look a little bit more durable than just a plastic toy. And some of the exterior part are made to look like its made of metal.

Screen
The screen, a 2-inch 50.8 mm diagonal with 16 million colors LCD is certainly clear and colourful enough to do justice to video and photo content, being just about big enough to enjoy feature-length clips on the move.
Overall, it is great looking with rich and accurate colors.

User Interface
Its simple and straight forward. Superb ease of use. I did not even read the manual and can start playing with it straight away. Even a five year old can start shooting videos in minutes.

Controls
It boasts touch-sensitive buttons and only has 1 buttons for recording, right at the center of the Vado. You just use your fingers to select the options you want by just touching on the screen. It’s pretty easy to use and you will get the hang of it in no thing. However, sometimes, we may acidentally touch the other button such as the 'pause' button but its ok once you get the hang of it.

Transferring Media
The Vado HD is an mass storage device which works conveniently just like a USB thumbdrive. Anyone can just drag and drop their media in and out of the Vado HD.

The package comes with the new Vado Central 3.0 software, stored in the camera's memory. There is also a Mac version. Apart from basic video-editing smarts, Vado Central now lets you upload to YouTube™, Photobucket™, Box.net, Facebook, KinKast as well. I tried to upload my mp4 videos directly from my Vado to YouTube and it was easy just select the video you want and click on the 'upload' button!

TV/Audio output
The Vado HD supports RCA, PAL, NTSC, HDMI (HDMI cable included). You can show off your photos and video and play them directly from your vado HD onto your large screen HD ready LCD TV. There's also a multiple connectivity earphone jack where you can connect it to a external microphone for better audio recording quality, AV cable to output to PAL TV and earphones to listen in your videos without disturbing others.

Photo/Video Viewer
Nothing has changed from the previous Vado HD on the photo and video viewing side. You can easily browse your photos and videos on it.

Battery Life
A decent battery life allows for around 1 hour (HD+ quality), 2 hours (HD quality), 4 hours (VGA quality). The battery life depends on the type of video quality you select. The better the video quality the shorter the battery life. The battery life seems quite reasonable to me as I don't usually need to use it for long period of time.

Video Quality
Video quality is fine in bright locations and surprising good in low light area too. Take a look at all the sample shots below and compare the Vado HD still photos against those taken from a 7.2 mega pixal camera with flash. Vado HD can take those photos in low light condition and the result is good.

We also provided some sample videos captured by the Vado HD and a normal video camera under the same condition. You can play those 2 videos at the same time and do a comparison. See and hear the difference!

Video Captured by Vado HD:


Video Captured by normal video cam:


Speaker
If you noticed, the built-in speaker is just in front of the vado. As expected, the audio playback quality is excellent, it does sound very good and clear when you preview your videos. Surprisingly, a lot of the background audio are captured.

Conclusion
Superb ease of use, competitively lower price and excellent audio makes it a good buy. Especially appealing to video bloggers who would want to carry a Vado HD with them and do not want to miss out a chance to capture their life with this high definition HD pocket video cam :)

Photos taken using a normal 7.2mega pixel camera:

Photos taken using Vado HD:

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

besides poor grammar there are lot of mistakes in this review. more over some product pros are not mentioned

Anonymous said...

it is ZEN (all caps) not Zen

Anonymous said...

its pre-loaded not pre-installed

there is no extra USB cable included(just the flip out one)

USB extension cable and HDMI cable (included in certain regions only)

want me to say more?

Jimmyboy88 said...

i am open, pls tell me more, i will try to improve and thanks for your time :)

Anonymous said...

if vado supports only PAL, what will americans and japanese do? oh yeah! now you got it NTSC.;)

comes with still photo capture mode
comes with manual exposure adjustments
comes with motion detection mode

Jimmyboy88 said...

in our part of the world, we use PAL :)

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