The words 'Perfect HD' are splashed across the side of the Genius G-shot HD520, but it's pretty obvious from its £90 asking price that it's not a camcorder aimed at serious video enthusiasts. Nevertheless, this budget shooter is capable of capturing high-definition video at a 720p resolution, so the question is: does it deliver enough cheap thrills to be the ideal partner for YouTube fans?
The HD520 has a pistol-grip design similar to that of Sanyo's Xacti VPC-CG10 and camcorders. But its silver case feels a good deal flimsier than the case on either of those models. It doesn't fill you with confidence that the HD520 will stand up to much long-term abuse. The main controls are a small, less-than-sturdy joystick on the main stem, used to cycle through the easy-to-navigate menus, and a group of four buttons on the rear of the camcorder, used to capture still shots, access the main menu, change the mode and call up the settings menu.
As with pretty much all pistol-grip shooters, the screen flips out from the case and can be rotated around its axis, so you can spin it right round to see yourself when you want to shoot self-portraits. The 64mm (2.5-inch) screen is relatively large and bright, so it works well even outdoors.
The camcorder only has a measly 32MB of built-in memory, so, if you want to take more than a couple of stills shots or a few seconds of video, you need to pop an SD memory card into the slot on the bottom.