Creative Vado HD (3rd Gen) Review
UK Price (as reviewed): £128.99
US Price (as reviewed): $179.99
In its quest to find a space between your mobile phone and digital camera, Creative has supplied us with its latest incarnation of the Vado HD mini camcorder. It's actually the 3rd generation of the Vado HD, with the previous model
not really faring too well against the Flip Ultra HD
The new Vado HD has identical dimensions to the previous version, being 98.8mm long, 57.6mm wide and 15.8mm deep. Combined with a slight weight saving (93g as opposed to 100g) ensures that the Vado HD goes almost unnoticed in your pocket. Unfortunately, the weight saving also comes with a reduced feature set.
This includes a reduction in storage capacity from 8GB to 4GB which, unsurprisingly, results in a 50 percent reduction in recording capacity. Still, you're able to take up to one hour of video at the maximum quality (called HD+) recording at 720p, with lower video quality settings of HD and VGA (640 x 480) allowing for two and four hours of shooting time respectively.
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One feature the Vado HD does have over its predecessor is that it can take still photos, again at 720p resolution. This is handy, but hardly something that’ll make you whip your wallet out immediately.
Other features remain pretty much the same though, with a handy pull-out USB 2 connector and a tripod mount on the base. On one side is a proprietary HDMI connector which allows you to view videos and photos on your PC monitor or LCD TV using the included HDMI cable. Also included is a USB 2 extension cable - we had no problems connecting the Vado HD straight to our PC though, as it's fairly light. However, the cable is there if you need it and it’s a useful addition. The Vado HD is available in several different colours.
The screen is the same as the previous model too at 2in on the diagonal and sports a very clear 640 x 480 display. It's certainly a usable screen, although modern touch screen phones and compact cameras have much larger screens which show much more detail.
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On the device itself is a copy of Vado Central 3.0 which allows you to quickly load, edit and post your videos and images to websites such as You Tube, Photobucket, Box, KinKast and Facebook. This is pretty easy to use, asking for your username and password and then uploading straight to the website. We should point out for clarity’s sake that the Vado HD doesn’t have WiFi – to use Vado Central 3.0, you need to connect the Vado HD to a web-enabled PC.
You can also email your content from the Vado Central software, although only photos can be adjusted in size. Videos can only be cropped to reduce their file size (rather than encoded differently, for example), but once they’re uploaded you'll just email the URL to people anyway, so it’s not a huge loss.