Creative Labs Vado HD 720p Pocket Video Camcorder with 8 GB Video Storage and 2x Digital Zoom (Black)
List Price: $229.99

Our Price: $163.95

You Save: $66.04 (29%)

 


Product Description

Catch the perfect snowboarding stunt, your babys first steps or your kids graduation, share it online and save it for a lifetime with Creatives Vado HD Pocket Video Cam. The thin, lightweight Vado HD is small enough to fit easily in a pocket, purse or the palm of your hand, and it captures video in 720p high-definition quality with just the touch of a button. Sharing videos online is simple with built-in software that helps you post videos to YouTube, Photobucket or Box.net. The Vado HD is the only pocket video cam to feature true HDMI connectivity and an included HDMI cable for a superior viewing experience on an HDTV . Take the Vado HD Pocket Video Cam with you everywhere you go and never miss a moment.

Features:
  • High definition 720P pocket video camcorder with 8 GB of video storage capacity
  • Fits easily in your pocket purse or the palm of your hand
  • One touch recording with a spacious 2 inch display
  • Record up to two hours of HD video footage or up to four hours of video at VGA resolution
  • Connect your Vado HD to any HDTV with included HDMI cable

Customer Reviews:

  • Not for Macs
    [ASIN:B001LK8P14 Creative Labs Vado HD 720p Pocket Video Camcorder with 8 GB Video Storage and 2x Digital Zoom (Black)]

    Maybe by now everyone shopping for pocket camcorders knows that Vado and Macs aren't on speaking terms. I had been warned, but I ordered mine just as Apple pulled the free download of iMovie 6, so I couldn't ride the time machine back to that version.

    Still, I registered my Vado HD with Creative and wrote them an email explaining my plight: Their CONTACT US protocol is not very friendly, but their failure to ever reply to my email is not friendly at all. But this isn't Facebook. This is business.

    Had they replied, I hope they would have told me to ship it back. They didn't, but I shipped it back anyway and bought a Flip MinoHD.

    Things I will miss on the Vado HD:
    1. the removeable, rechargeable battery and the recharger accessory, so you never have to carry around the carcass of a dead camcorder.
    2. the two hours of recording time.
    3. the longer battery life.
    4. the USB plug on the short, flexible stem.
    5. the included HDMI cord for direct-to-HDTV display.

    The Flip Mino HD is very simple and worked well under battle conditions: video recording my grandson in a four-game basketball tournament in Cincinnati. And the quality of the picture is excellent, even in dim lighting. I did run out of battery power by the end of each one-hour game. No recourse. No post-game interviews. No Dick Vitale impression.

    Other reviewers have lamented the absence of a microphone jack. It would be so great for voice-over commentary while recording in high-noise situations, e.g., six simultaneous basketball games under one roof.

    Finally, the communication between Flip and MacBookPro via Flip's software and iMovie 7.1.4 is easy and immediate, though I haven't edited the video much yet....more info
  • Good for YouTube. Simple to use, small, 720p, nice black finish, but why the USB stick on the bottom?!
    Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3CGKNJJ28NT84 Unless you want to wait an eternity (roughly 8 hours) for it fully charge, you'll want to just stick to the Fast Charge mode by pressing the "Play" button when it's charging (USB symbol) and the icon will change to a lightning bolt.

    By holding PLAY and DELETE (TRASH) button together when shooting, you can access the menu. (don't know why they couldn't just add a small menu button)

    Very basic menu: Set Time/Date, Video Quality [HD+, HD, VGA (640x480)], Instant Record, Anti-Flicker (50 or 60 Hz), TV System (NTSC or PAL), and Language.

    * 8 GB of storage (roughly 2 hours of HD footage)
    * 2x DIGITAL zoom, but digital zoom is not recommended.
    * F/2.3 - f = 3.60mm
    * mini-HDMI to HDMI cable included

    I don't know who designed to have the rubber (for the USB) stick out on the bottom, but that was a horrible choice and I absolutely hate that the most. You won't be able to use it on most tripods or if you just want to lean it against something, or let alone, even try to make it stand on itself.

    I wish it had an exposure lock because if an object or person that you want to shoot is standing in front of a monitor, they'll most likely turn dark.

    I usually don't care for bundled software, but I have to say the included software in the player is pretty nice. Clean interface and makes it easy to navigate/edit/cut videos.

    Considering the camera size, it's pretty amazing it can capture at 1280x720. It's good for viewing on a laptop screen size, but if you full screen on anything larger than that, you will notice the webcam-like quality. If you're very picky with quality and used to seeing only 1080p videos, then you'll definitely be disappointed, but you have to keep in mind the size of this camera and its purpose.

    I've uploaded some test videos, but keep in mind that Amazon compresses it and I had to downsize it to a lower resolution (which I'm sure is obvious to most people); at least you can still get a general idea. It's probably best to search for videos on vimeo, though.

    Pros:
    - Nice clean black finish
    - Obviously the size. (easily fits in pocket with other things)
    - Shoots at 1280x720 (enough for HQ YouTube videos)
    - Wide lens
    - 8 GB memory
    - Removable battery
    - Fast ON mode for shooting right away (however, it eats up battery quicker)
    - Silicon case
    - Software included in camera (clean interface)

    Cons:
    - Having the rubber (for USB) stick out on the bottom (also seems like it would snap easily)
    - No way to turn off the start-up/shutdown sound! It gets annoying.
    - Files won't play on PS3.
    - Poor Macro focus
    - Does not come with A/V cable (sold separately)

    I'm sure in the future, they'll have these at 1080p and removable memory (SD cards). For now, these cameras are great to have on-the-go and 720p (or if you prefer 640x480, you can switch to VGA mode) is perfect for sharing on YouTube. I gave this a 4 star but being strict, it's probably more like 3 1/2 stars. Definitely far from a 5-star product.

    Update: I have recently tested a Sanyo HD 720p camera (TH-1 - actually a "full size" camera) and I am now even more impressed with this pocket size Creative Vado - it is so much sharper and performs way better in low light despite its size and limited controls; it's no comparison at all to that camera in terms of sharpness. Sometimes my eyes can't even tell the difference from Vado's 720 quality to a Sanyo 1080 video. It's just too bad these cameras don't have a simple auto exposure/focus lock. The wide lens is definitely a plus. I do not regret my purchase. ...more info
  • A basic device
    The device does not have a stabilizer control so the picture quality degrades significantly when the camcorder is moving. You have to have a very steady hands to make the video watchable. Also, moving objects tend to be disfigured. The quality under low light is horrible. I don't previously own a device at this price and spec level so I don't have something to compare against.

    If you have a tripod, I do recommend to use it. Also, shooting under day light is preferable....more info
  • good for daily use
    I like the camera and video quality but battery is a real trouble in a trip, with a full battery, it works less than two hours but needs more than five hours to be charged. Moreover, you need a computer....It requires USB for charging...if you are willing to pay more on battery package, it may serve well else it is better for daily usage...more info
  • Amazon deceptive promo
    Have no idea how this product works. Amazon sent me a $100 off promo for this product, but cannot use promo code for some reason. Looked thru the terms of the promo on Amazon help & did not get an answer to why when emailed Amazon. I have a $100 gift card on my account so i guess i am not allowed to use $100 gift card with promo? I have no idea. Makes no sense since someone had to spend $100 in the first place to give me a gift card. Go figure!!!...more info
  • Awesome quality, easy to use
    We got this a few days back, and now it is hard to put it down. It is very light weight, simple to operate, and everything you need to share your creations is at your fingertips. The quality of the video is amazing, and the camera and the simplicity could easily trick one into thinking that this is a toy. It is not!

    More zoom levels and image stabilization would be nice additions, but could make it pricey. For the price and ease of use, we just love it. We now carry it with us everywhere, and have already recorded a few events of our kids activities that we would have missed otherwise.

    Summary: It has fixed memory, but creates unlimited memories....more info
  • GOOD PICTURE
    SMALL POCKET CAMERA. GREAT PICTURE WHILE WATCHING ON TV. MY COMPUTER WOULD NOT RECOGNIZE THE CAMERA. TRIED ABOUT SIX TASKS RECOMMENDED BY THE MFG AND STILL HAD THE PROBLEM. I RETURNED THE CAMERA......more info
  • Great Video Recorder
    Easy to use with lots of disk space. Included a nice case. I really like the video recorder....more info
  • Best "flip" camera
    Great buy at a great price. Video quality is great, really is HD! Perfect gift for teens/students. Mine love it!!!...more info
  • Better than Flip
    I sent my Flip back and got the Vado HD. It is so much better.Wider angle lens, much more recording time and batteries are replaceable and rechargeable so you can carry a spare. ...more info
  • Creative Labs Vado HD720P
    This little product is just too cool. You can debate back and forth all day about having to carry a cellphone AND a decent digital camera AND a video recorder, BUT this can store much more digital video that a typical cell and it's extremely intuitive to use. The protective rubber skin is great. We use this to shoot recordings of dance routines we're learning so I have it with me all the time. In 4 weeks I haven't even had to recharge it and have about 20 recordings built up. Great for quick reviews and I can build a library on my home computer....more info
  • Un-Vado-ble
    This is an amazing product. It's handy and easy to oporate. It has a feature that other HD Cam doesn't have. The HDMI plug is great especially to HD TV. Just plug and watch. I highly recommend this product!...more info
  • Vado HD
    Video Quality: Excellent colors for 720p
    Easy to use: Absolutely
    Wide Angle lens: One of the Best
    Zoom: forget it, no Zoom. Dont use it because the video quality suffers
    Under water video: fantastic with the available pouch for $25, sound is great too in that pouch
    Must have: Yes !!!
    Windows/Mac: works on both !
    Reliability: minor hick-ups.just shut it down or remove the battery.Over long-term...I dont trust the USB fold-out plug wire, but it has not failed yet....more info
  • Better than expected!!
    I love this camera its portable clear and easy to understand. I took it to Guatemala and took lots of clips of my trip. Since it is small and hand held the clips comes out shaky. Other than that it was better than I expected....more info
  • Great Idea, Poor Execution
    This is embarrassing. I bought one of these for a friend. She was crazy about the design, and thanked me profusely.

    It should have dawned on me that I never heard from her again, but I guess I'm an idiot.

    That said, I bought another one for myself recently, in order to have something handy to record video of our daughter's high school graduation.

    NOTE: DO NOT BUY THIS FOR MAKING VIDEOS OF ANYTHING IMPORTANT!!!

    I was pleased at the portability/pocketability of the device, and recorded several of her performances with her high school choir on its last evening of performing.

    We reviewed each video immediately afterwards, and all was okay.

    One particular piece was more than 30 minutes, and my wife and I were excited to have that captured on video............... until we got home....

    That particular 30 minute piece mysteriously vanished after the device froze up. Repeated attempts to turn it off failed.

    Finally, I removed the battery, which was hotter than a blacktop street on a summer day.

    So, I gave one of these to a friend who probably doesn't have the courage to tell me that it's garbage, and my wife and I have damaged recordings of our daughter's final evening of performing with her high school choir.

    I am way past disappointed.

    The chance to capture a few priceless moments of our daughter's final night with her high school classmates is damaged goods.

    How does anyone comment favorably upon that?

    Yes, I will try to ask the manufacturer to retrieve the lost minutes.

    In the meantime, don't touch this device. I'll repost if the company does the right thing....more info
  • overall surprised - better than my DV camera
    So I bought this little camera when it was on special for 129.99, for the price:performance it is actually great 5 out of 5 stars but I had to take off one star for a few annoying issues.
    Lets start with why I got this and the good points, I am comparing this to the Panasonic DV camera it is replacing. I didnt want to spend $600 on a full upgrade to a Canon HF100 which I still think is a little overpriced. This camera is smaller than a pack of cards, nice rubberized exterior, great build quality, small but good quality LCD display. Bonus was the included silicon skin, built in 8gb flash, and mini HDMI cable. I upgraded the firmware to the newest version from creative labs web site.
    The video is an improvement over my DV camera for sure overall, in terms of definition and raw image quality. I was worried about low light shooting but in fact my concerns we undue, the quality was fine, again, better than the DV camera.
    I was actually surprised how good the overall video was when played directly from the unit via HDMI to a plasma TV.
    Now the downsides - sound is poor, mono, non directional, picks up person talking holding the camera way louder than the subject 6 ft in front of the camera.
    The other major issue I had is the lack of any stabilization, on my DV camera I had 12x optical zoom and IS, zoom I can do without but without the IS you have to get used to holding the camera very still, which can be done but you have to put a little more thought in when holding the camera.
    Finally one other issue for me was the non standard AVI container file which is not playable on a variety of 3rd party units such as the Playstation 3 which is a biggie for me since I stream media all the time over my home network. My DV camera MPG/MP4 files play fine. Also, I have pinnicle 10 which doesn't play/edit this file without upgrading. I don't understand why MP4 wasn't used - universal and easy to edit.
    Overall though for 129.99 great buy with the above negative points when compared to a single CCD DV camera. Would probably not get for $200 though. I suspect flash camera HD price points will be coming down over the next year or so.
    I hope this review is useful :)...more info
  • Surprisingly great for the money
    I expected this little camera to be good, but it surpassed my expectations. It's small and very easy to use, and the quality of both sound and picture is very good. I chose the more expensive model for the better sound quality and the extra hour of recording time, which were worth the extra money. It's also very easy to make single photos from the video. I have several friends that have already ordered one after seeing the quality of the videos I've made. The only negative -- and this is only a small criticism -- is the off-on switch is a little difficult to press with the protective skin over the camera. ...more info
  • Vado HD Camcorcder
    Great little unit. Amazing resolution, playing back HD videos directly from the camcorder to a 70-inch HD TV. Battery life is good. The only drawback is the 2X zoom - would be nicer if it was 3x - 4x or so. But that helps with hiding camera shake. Extremely easy to use. Can be tricky getting videos uploaded back to the camera for HD playback. Highly recommended....more info
  • Great camera, intuitive to use
    I bought this camera for Youtube videos to help with branding. The first camera I received didn't turn on at all. Amazon cheerfully replaced it and the 2nd camera works great. It is so tiny! It is about the size of my cell phone, but takes very clear video with good sound. I've used it inside only and it gave good quality picture with just indoor light. I have a brand new laptop and the Windows Movie Maker software that came with it works okay to edit the video, but the HD seems a little intense for it. It plays choppily and has locked up several times. The software that came with the camera uploaded automatically but won't edit without paying for an upgrade. It was enough to load the video onto my hard drive where I could work with it in Moviemaker. [...]...more info
  • Microphone Sensitiviy Too Low - Useless
    The microphone sensitivity is way too low. Even with system volume maxed out, audio is barely adequate (and at that level with noticeable background noise). My little Canon Powershot (a still camera) has a fantastic microphone. I'm not sure why Creative guys couldn't do a better job here.

    I am extremely disappointed. I am returning the product.

    ...more info
  • Very simple, very limited
    I bought this camera when Amazon had a promotion on it. At that price, it is a neat toy. I would not buy this at full price, however, it is just too limited.

    I will be comparing this against the other two devices I use for video: An Aiptek Action HD and a Canon S2 IS.

    First, let me say the Creative seems to be very well-built. Unlike the Aiptek, it seems like someone thought out the design of the device first. The build quality is good.

    PROS:
    *LENS: Despite a useless 2x digital zoom, the lens is pretty good. The wide-angle lens gives far greater field of view than the Aiptek. You can easily record indoors without backing up a good distance. Further, the lens is focus-free which means that while it doesn't hunt for focus like the Aiptek (which is a killer), it often leaves things with a kind of soft focus. The more light, the more in focus everything will be. However, it does perform quite well in lower light, though the footage will be grainy.

    *AUDIO: Though the sound is mono, it is far, far clearer than the Aiptek (which has terrible sound). It is good at recording conversations and ambient sound. Not bad if you need to snap something quick.

    *PROCESSING: The camera, despite having a CMOS sensor recording at 30fps, does not suffer the same "rolling shutter" problems of other cameras. The can be easily demonstrated by holding a CMOS HD cam in your hand and swishing it back and forth. Upon review, straight lines will appear to bend. Though the camera does suffer this to a degree, it is not nearly as bad as others. To get this level of reduced rolling shutter with the Aiptek, you have to record at 60fps.

    Second, the camera's data rate is roughly twice the Aiptek Action HD's, which means less compression and better looking video. Though 8.5mbps (Vado HD at HD+) is far from a true HDV cam (18+mbps), the footage still looks better than the Aiptek. The 8GB is enough space for 2 hours of footage.

    CONS:
    *No 60fps: While this may not seem like an important issue, capturing footage at 60fps opens up whole new worlds. You can have true slow-motion video (by reducing 60fps footage to 30fps). You can better capture sporting events, animals, and children playing.

    *USB: The USB cord on the bottom makes me worry it will break. It is attached to the camera by a mostly inflexible rubber wire. Over time, this will wear down. I would have preferred a simple mini-USB port on the bottom of the camera, especially because of:

    *The Tripod Socket: While it is nice to have a tripod socket, the design of the USB cable makes it nearly impossible to use (another review mentions this). The flap on the USB cable means that you really can't attach the Vado HD to a tripod. It may work okay with a gorillapod or something.

    OVERALL: The greatness of this camera is also its undoing. It is simple. You press a button, it turns on, you press record. Boom! You have video. After a while, however, you may wish there were more settings, like white balance, frame rate, shutter speed, etc. It you just want to capture everyday things, it is fine. But soon, the limitations become apparent and you'll wish for a firmware update that'll open the Vado HD up.

    SUGGESTION: Neither the Aiptek nor the Vado HD are ideal products. The Aiptek can record 60fps but the video is worse than the Vado (and the audio MUCH worse). The Vado HD is simple to use but very limited. It may be nice for vacations (assuming you don't need to zoom).

    My suggestion is to do neither of these cameras. Instead, go with something like the Canon S2IS (or the newer variations). Although it records in the far older MJPEG format, the image quality is fantastic. A combination of a motion-stabilized lens, stereo sound, and great optics means that even at 640x480, the footage looks better than either the Aiptek or Vado HD. Although MJPEG takes up a lot of space, it also creates individual jpeg frames so you can do frame-accurate editing.

    If you just want a simple, portable camera, however, the Vado is probably the way to go....more info
  • Defective Camera explains the low price
    Initially I liked this camera. It performs well in low-light, takes nice video, feels solid, has a nice wide field of view, and has plenty of space. Inexplicably, it does not take stills, but I felt that I could work around that (which in retrospect I regret, but that is not a major point).

    Then, I found that it started switching off randomly and refusing to start. It let me down at events that I was planning on using it for (Neither my Xacti or Ruvi ever let me down). I applied the latest firmware fix hoping that would fix the issue, after noting that others had had the same experience. It worked for a day and then started to fail again.

    Now I presume that I will need to go through a tedious warranty process that is hardly worth my time. Clearly the reason for the $100 discount that I was offered was that the camera had flaws, but had been rushed to market and reduced in order to gain market share. Unfortunately, reviewers tend to accept claims at face value rather than thoroughly testing a camera, and whatever the issue is probably affects 10% of the run.

    My lowest mark for Creative and their QA team. I will never purchase anything from them again.

    ...more info
  • Creative Labs did it again!!!!
    I am very fond of the high products that come from Creative Labs, and once again, is quiet pleased with this product. It's a mini video camera, one in which you can take pictures or select pictures from the video itself. One of the features I like is that it has a USB, that folds in, attached to the camera. It comes with a cover so there is no pressure to purchase one separate, and when it says it is in Hi-def, it really is in Hi-def, very clean and crisp. You won't be dissapointed in this product though you might find the screen a tad bit small.
    All in all, great product!!! enough said......more info
  • works great for easy hd
    This camera is great for it's low cost. Easy to use and I carry it everywhere. How many times have you wished you had a video camera to capture something? This camera makes it possible. I keep it in the cinch sack and it seems sturdy as i toss it around pretty good. it goes to work with me every day, kayaking, walks....all over the place. The digital zoom is almost useless though, so the regular 1X is about your only option. Makes youtube publication EASY and QUICK!! The footage is also great in editing programs although you need to convert for a mac though :( as it won't work with .avi format without a codec and final cut won't use .avi at all....more info
  • Capture life in a click
    This product was pretty much everything that I could hope for. It has portability and the quality that the video comes out is excellent. I love this thing! I always have it in my pocket now. I've had this device since 2/11/2009 and it hasn't once disappoint me. The rubber cover does attract a lot of lint in my pockets, but I don't mind since it was free and it helps protect the device. The video editor that came with the vado isn't much, but it's reliable and hasn't crashed on me like most video editors. (Windows Movie Maker) I do sometimes wish that the menu was a little different, I'm not sure what I am selecting most of the time. You won't find yourself in the menu very often though, so that's not a big concern. The battery life is fairly good, plus you're able to replace the battery. (Unlike the Flip camcorder) It also came with a hdmi cable, which is definitely worth one more gold star in my book. The sound quality is pretty good, you're able to capture most sounds made. It can sound a bit distorted if you yell right next to the mic, but that's understandable. I got a pretty good deal on the vado as well, it was on sale for 130. This was a steal, couldn't be happier....more info
  • First HD minicamcord
    This is my first HD camcord. when the box came it didnt look very impressive but once you actually take it out it is really nice. its very handy and easy to use. i only paid 130 and it was worth every penny...more info
  • I love my Vado!
    I purchased the Creative Labs HD 720p Vado for a trip that I was taking. The first Vado did not work. Amazon sent another one with overnight delivery even before I sent the first defective one back. I had it in time for my trip the following day, and it worked beautifully! It is lightweight and small enough to fit in your pocket or purse. I love the wide angle lens because you can fit more in at a closer range. The picture quality and audio was very good for such a compact convenient device.

    It is important to note that you charge the Vado through a USB port. I always bring a netbook (MSI Wind)with me so I can video chat and keep up with everything. The Vado fits perfectly with the idea of compact portability.

    ...more info
  • WINNER FOR CREATIVE LABS VADO HD
    Wow! All I can say is that if every Camera, and Video Cam I have Purchsed worked as simply as this, Life would be as beautiful as the Video's it produces...
    I ordered mine Direct from Creative Labs. I saved about $40 on the Insurance which is always wise to purchase. And free shipping with 30 day return if not satisfied.

    I inserted the battery and it already had a pretty good charge for out of the Box. I went ahead and Fully Charged it.

    Once charged (which was not long at all) I headed out. I started from the Parking Garage of my Condo. Very poorly lite, and dark. I was amazed at the clear picture on my screen as I started out toward the securiey gate system. I wanted to see the light changes from dark to light. Once again very pleased with what I was looking at. I was providing a voice description during this Intro Run. I was just holding the camera in my hand facing the front windsheild as I drove. I went over RR Tracks and Rough Road. I had Bright Sun Behind me setting in the West and Dark Rain Clouds in the East direction that I was heading.
    I made about a Large 3 mile Circle comming back directly into the bright sun light just above the Horizon.
    When I got Home I plugged it into my Computer, and all of this great software began to down load from the cameras automatically.
    The results were exactly as I had hoped from this Pocket Cam... Great looking definition,Quality, and detail (even better than my more expensive Sony Camcorder). The sound was very good quality from my Computer speakers, not hallow or tinnie...very full sound.
    Keep in mind to everyone who is thinking of purchasing this kind of Cam ask yourself why? and what you want to achieve?
    I wanted total Simplicity, Good Quality, in a very small Package. I was not only impressed, but convinced that this VadoHD will be with me everywhere I go. My other Cams, and Camera's will be sitting on the shelf for quite awhile. Give it a try, I think you will be surprised as well....more info
  • MAC Maybe
    Upon first attemps, I have been unable to get the visual to show on my MAC. I would like the camera to have better zoom capabilities. Overall I love the storage, size, and the videos that it makes. It is great for class projects and field trips....more info
  • For $130 it was a fun buy
    Got this when it was $130, don't think I would spend $230 on it.

    It takes decent video, good frame-rate, HD is obviously its biggest strength for the $$. Color contrast and light sensitivity are the two largest problems this has. In low light this barely works, also prone to over-exposure on bright days. Video is rather grainy which is also related to above.

    Audio is alright, but position of microphone could be better....more info
  • Amazing
    an absolutely amazing recorder. The picture quality is beyond great, and the thing couldn't be easier to use. What an excellent deal!...more info
  • Forget the Zi6 and the Flip, THIS is the ONE to buy!
    The Creative Vado HD is hands-down the best option among the current breed of three pocket-sized 720p camcorders. Sony's entry into the market segment will surely shake things up next month. Meanwhile, the Vado HD's field of view (wide angle lens) reigns supreme and makes its competitors inferior despite their other advantages.

    I'm an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer with a serious set of HD gear as my main equipment at home. I was looking for a back-up camera for use in cop ride-alongs and for home use to capture my toddler when my 3-chip Sony HDV camcorder was left behind because of size/weight/etc.

    The Flip Mino HD started the whole craze and I can see its small size/price was attractive. After quite a bit of web research, including the excellent side-by-side video comparison of the Flip Mino HD and Kdoak Zi6 on YouTube, I concluded the Zi6 was superior in picture quality and features for its price point ($150).

    The Zi6 is awesome. The macro feature has a fixed focal length of 2" and can take detailed close-up photos better than any camcorder of any price/size. The 60-frame mode also captures fantastic slo-mo shots at twice the frame rate of other camcorders.

    However the Kodak designers clearly made a compromise on the lens. They decided since it has no optical zoom, they would "cheat" by keeping the field of view a little tighter (zoomed in) than one would expect. The result is disappointing during real-world shooting. In a car or at an intimate gathering when you're just a couple feet from your subject, the Flip and the Zi6 can't frame a head-and-shoulders shot. They get just the face with the subject's hair and chin cut off by the frame. This simply isn't practical for the vast majority of shooting situations I could envision at work and at play.

    So I ordered the Vado HD from Amazon for comparison before taking the Zi6 back to the store for a refund.

    The Creative Vado HD has a wide field of view with a comparable image quality found on the Zi6. The lens is superior, though the codec and compression seem just a bit lower quality than the Zi6. At low light, the Vado is darker but does not suffer from the slow-shutter-speed blur that the Zi6 imparts to achieve lower-light sensitivity. The picture is stunning for a camera this size and the HDMI output to TV is a big plus.

    The Vado HD is considerably smaller than the Zi6. It comes with the 8GB of storage already built in for two hours recording time at highest quality. The Zi6 requires the purchase of additional SD or SDHC storage which is both an asset and a liability. The Vado can shoot for two hours and then you have to upload to a computer whereas the Zi6 can keep shooting until you run out of SD cards (think vacation).

    I use a Mac and found the .avi files of the Vado HD just as easy to use as the .mov files of the Zi6 when editing in Final Cut Pro or viewing in Quicktime, so long as you download the free Perian plug-in. In both cases, rendering is required to import the video into a timeline.

    The Vado HD can be recharged using the USB connection (lithium ion removable battery) while the Zi6 uses rechargeable AA batteries and an external charger. The biggest advantage of the Zi6 is that you can use standard AA alkaline batteries in a pinch.

    But let's get back to why the Vado HD wins hands down: the wide angle lens. It not only captures MORE of the scene in a single frame, it is STEADIER. A fact of videography is that the more you're zoomed-in, the more shake is amplified in the image. Conversely, the wider the shot, the less shake appears in the image. While neither camera has an image stabilizing system, the wide angle lens makes the Vado HD appear much smoother.

    The microphone on the Zi6 does seems superior to the Vado. That and the 60 frame slo-mo mode, along with the macro feature, could be the difference depending on your chosen application. I'd actually like to have both cameras in my tool kit if the budget allowed.

    But the Vado HD is the clear winner for me. Add the $29.00 underwater housing good to 5m (16 feet), and you've got a great system for shooting in the rain/pool/snorkeling/exterior car mounts, etc.

    Oh, you'll see a lot of reviews saying this camera is shaky -- you've got to have a steady hand. It's light and the viewfinder is "screen only," meaning there's no camcorder-style eyepiece viewfinder. In my experience shooting video in Iraq, relying on a screen on any camcorder can be deceiving. As your hand moves, the screen and the background make the shot look more stable than when you're looking through a viewfinder. And that extra anchor point against an eyepiece makes the camera more solid. Finally, this is a VERY SMALL and VERY LIGHT camera. Practice shot composition and holding things steady (not walking for example, slower pans and tilts) and you'll be very happy. Add a Gorilla Pod for portable stability!

    So instead of spending $150 on the Zi6 and $50 on SD cards, buy the Vado HD for the same $200 and get a better camcorder....more info
  • excellent for what it is
    See videos of this and the other small camcorders like this on utube and vimeo and you will see this is in same league as the best of the best in this class camcorder (pocket camcorder).
    I like the wide angle view compared to the others.
    I like 8 gigs internal.
    I like replaceable rechargeable battery, costs about 14 dollars on amazon. I didn't buy it yet because 2 hours battery life goes with the 2 hours High Def setting. But I might buy it anyway just for peace of mind if I need an extra 2 hours.
    It comes with hdmi cable.
    I had no problems with being able to listen to what was going on.
    I have mp3 small recorder and if I record a person if they are 10 to 15 feet away it will be very soft. Same with this video camcorder. If they are 2 to 4 feet in front of unit it is very clear. And I use software to boost volume for finished product. Simple....more info
  • excellent video
    Was certainly easy enough to upload and the pic quality is very good.This'll be the new latest thing....more info
  • Use it a lot!
    I was concerned that this camera didn't have an optical zoom or stabilization. My workarounds are to think of it as a still camera with a live view screen & audio. I record several very short segments almost every day as a sort of video diary. I make a "click" to show when the camera is still enough to do a screen capture for a still image. And I move the camera very close to the subject (subject is out of focus but still quite viewable even at a few inches) to give direction, then pull back to get it in good focus.

    The rubber protector is ugly but does the job.

    Super easy to use, turn on from side switch, press on, the off. I'm using it a lot more than I expected because it is always at hand.

    If left connected to the USB cable the battery gets SUPER hot, so be sure to unplug when the full light comes on....more info