Creative Vado HD Impressions

I recieved my Creative Vado HD mini video camera in the mail yesterday and was immediately impressed by how small it was. When we were at Best Buy on Tuesday I played around with the Flip Mino (I dont think it was the HD version) and it seemed bigger than what I thought it was going to be and I didn’t like the slick feel of it. I was hoping the Vado would be a little smaller and it is. In comparison it’s about a 1/2″ shorter than my iPhone and like a 1/4″ thinner (width), it is a tiny bit thicker as far as depth is concerned, but that’s not an issue. It’s also extremely light and much lighter than the iPhone. Ok so I am impressed with the overall size and feel of the Vado, but what about the performance.

I will admit I haven’t done all the testing I want to do yet, but I wanted to write this piece to get it up for the weekend. I will do some more testing this weekend, particularly comparing the video of my Canon HV30 to the Vado HD in terms of quality. Granted I know the HV30 is going to be much better, I’m still curious to see what results. With what testing I have done (video of my apartment and my office) I am impressed with the Vado in well lit situations. It handles low light and backlight a little weird and darkens out the subject the foreground. It’s not a deal killer for me as I can add a light if I really need to light a room, but it would be nice to have some sort of night vision feature or just better handling in low light. The video in good lighting is incredible. I haven’t had any experience with the Flip or other competitors in this market, but I am very happy with the quality of video that this camera produces.

I would highly recommend this camera for anyone looking for a quick way to shoot video on the go. It fits easily into a pocket and turns on in a matter of seconds. Before I purchased this I was considering just buying a new point and shoot still camera that has video functions, but I ended up going with this one due to the price, video quality compared to a point and shoot, and the HD ability. I also chose the Vado HD of the Flip MinoHD for a couple reasons. One, the removable battery. The Flip MinoHD doesn’t have a removable battery so if it ever goes bad you have to send it in to get it replaced. Granted I’m sure you can buy batteries online and rip the thing open yourself, but I’d rather not mess with it. Two, 8gb storage. The Flip MinoHD only has 4gb of space which allows for 1 hour of HD recording, with the VadoHD I can get 2 hrs of HD recording without having to delete anything. And with both of these models lacking any sort of removable media to use as an expansion, I figured more built in space would be better. The addition of a wide angle lens is also nice for close up shots, granted it’s a small wide angle lens so it probably won’t make too much of a different. And the last thing that swayed me towards the Vado HD instead of the Flip Mino HD is the HDMI out. I can hook up the camera to my HDTV and display the video in all it’s 720p glory where as the Mino HD only comes with composite out cables (I dont even know if it will work with component out) so you can’t view the videos in 720p on the TV.

Overall I am very happy with my purchase and I think the girlfriend will get some great video when she’s out of the country in a few months.