First Look: Creative Labs Vado HD 3rd Gen
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First Look: Creative Labs Vado HD 3rd Gen

3:29 /

Though the Creative Vado HD 3rd Gen doesn't do quite enough to distinguish itself from the competition, it does offer some nice improvements over earlier Vado HD models that keep it relevant in the pocket camcorder space.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hi. I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com, and I'm here with the Creative Vado 3rd Gen. As it name implies, this is the third version of the Vado pocket camcorder, and it has some nice improvements in it. There's a larger LCD screen on the back. There's a two-inch LCD screen in back. This model comes with four gigabytes of internal memory, no slot for adding more memory, and there's that proverbial flip-out USB connector, like the Flip video cameras that this competes against. This is an HD model. That means it does 720P video. You can also step it down to the low resolution 640 by 480 video. That allows you to store more video on that four gigabytes of internal memory. To be more precise, you can store two hours of HD video on the internal memory, and this also has about two hours of battery life. This has a removable, rechargeable battery. And with some of these camcorders, the battery is sealed in. this one, however, you could get an extra battery to extend your battery life. Around back, there are only a handful of buttons. There's one main recording button that you press, but there's also some capacitive touch buttons. And we found the capacitive touch buttons to be very response, so we were pleased with that. Around the side, you'll find that there's an HDMI connector that allows you to connect this to an HDTV to view your videos. However, there is no cable that comes with this, but we wish Creative had included the cable. We also wish it included a carrying case because this does have a shiny finish that is a little bit prone to scratches. You will probably want to protect this. Another extra feature that this has is that the headphone jack on the top actually doubles as an external mic jack, so you could -- to improve the sound recording capabilities, you could buy an external mic. It is somewhat basic in its feature set, but you do have the ability to set it to automatically start when it -- to detect motion, so if something goes by the frontal lens, it'll automatically turn on. On top of that, there is 2X digital zoom, no optical zoom. Like all these pocket camcorders, there is no optical zoom. Another thing we look at is the software that's onboard with these guys. There's desktop software for both the Mac and PC, but it really is pretty limited. It really just features one-touch uploading to some of the video file sharing sites like YouTube, but nothing in the way of editing. This does take both stills and moving images, and as far as the video quality goes, it's certainly pretty good. We didn't think it quite measured up to the Kodak or the Flip Video models. It does take fairly sharp video for a pocket camcorder this size. We were a little bit more critical about its low-light performance. It's not quite as sharp, and it's a little bit noisier than the Flip Video camera. We also thought its colors weren't quite as vibrant, and its ability to adjust its exposure quickly wasn't quite up to the same standard as the Flip Video. All in all, however, we did like this pocket camcorder. We just didn't feel that it quite distinguished itself enough to some of its competitors and especially in its price class. It lists for $179.00, and we'd like to see that price drop a little bit. I'm David Carnoy, and that's the Creative Vado HD 3rd Gen. ^M00:03:27 [ Music ]

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