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New Mustek pocket camcorders shoot video, fight Megatron

Mustek announced two new digital camcorders that use SD cards and fold around to look rather funky.

Mustek DV700TZ

Budget staple Mustek just announced two new jack-of-all-trades digital camcorders. The Mustek DV700TZ and DV530TV are a pair of pocket-sized, budget-priced camcorders that record video to SD cards. The blocky, robotic-looking DV700TZ can capture both wide screen VGA (720x480) video at 30 frames per second or 7-megapixel still images. The curvier, scaled-down DV530TZ has a 5-megapixel sensor and can capture only standard VGA (640 480) video at 30 frames per second. Both gadgets sport 3X optical zooms, swiveling LCD screens, and can function as a camcorder, a digital camera, a voice recorder, a Webcam, and an MP3 player.

Unfortunately, catchall devices such as these tend to not function nearly as well as a dedicated camcorder/camera/MP3 player/toaster. You can shoot photos on the DV700TZ and DV530TZ, but they probably won't look as good as photos taken on a Canon PowerShot SD800 IS. You can listen to music on either camcorder, but it won't be as easy to use or hold nearly as many songs as an iPod. Most of these extra features tend to feel tacked-on and seldom see serious use. On the bright side, both cameras are much less expensive than similar compact SD card camcorders, such as the Panasonic SDR-S150. The DV700TZ and DV530TZ retail for approximately $300 and $230 respectively, a faction of the S150's $700 to 900 price tag.