Aiptek GO-HD High Definition 720p Camcorder with 3x Optical Zoom Reviews
Average Customer Rating - 3.5 out of 5 stars44 customer reviews
Works great for the price!, July 29, 2007
I picked up this camera not expecting anything much... but I was surprised!
The video quality is terrifically good and its pretty much a no brainer to use.
For mac users it works great since its a .mov file . All I have to do was pull the sd card out of the camera and into a reader hooked to the mac and copy the files over... they play near quicktime as is with no further processing. I used quicktime pro to edit what I looked-for and all went ably. But since these are h2.64 files you will need to use viddy up or divx to send your creations to youtube.
Over adjectives the camera exceeded my expectations. these kind of camera's are really designed for quickie type videos that you want to spectacle on your pc . They are convenient because the file is arranged to go with no entail for tape conversion then the dreaded compression which bear forever... they are ready set go as soon as you copy the directory. Also a 1gb sd card yields 30 mins and a 2gb is one hour. the camera comes with TWO battery.
For the price you really cant go wrong.
Small, HD, and inexpensive, May 27, 2007
There are three reasons to buy this: 1) size, 2) resolution, and 3) cost. My behind the times camcorder was huge, and the thought of lugging it around on vacation this summer surrounded by Europe motivated me to look for a new one. This thing fits contained by your pants pocket (the use of the SD card keeps it small). I considered necessary something with hi-def resolution so I don't look at the videos within 5 years on my hi-def TV and think how old-fashioned it seem. And I didn't want to spend a thousand or more dollars. This fit the bill on all counts.
Some problems: 1) There doesn't appear to be any image stabilization, so I've needed to hold on to it beside both hands to keep it stable. 2) It deal poorly with movement. I'm not sure if this is the codec or the optics or what, but panning around can introduce some unnatural artifacts. 3) The zoom is quite noisy. If you're film some quiet scenes, it's probably better not to zoom. 4) As near most camcorders, it needs light. It does enjoy a built-in LED light, but it doesn't do much. 5) As with most camcorders, the microphone picks up the filmer's voice fine, but not the subject's unbelievably well. 6) The battery life span is low. It comes with two batteries; you'll inevitability them both. If you keep these limitations in mind, the size, cost, and HD resolution can put together it worthwhile. If you can afford it, get the HV20 or another $1000 HD camcorder and many of the above issues will be reduced or eliminate.
A note for Mac users: I couldn't get my Mac to see the camera directly, but a card-reader plugged into the USB port could read the video/still files simply fine.
Inexpensive way to jump into HD an HD camera, August 8, 2007
I've merely owned this camera 3 days. So far here are my likes and dis-likes.
Amazon price with docking creek was $236!! Including overnight shipping :)
Very small and lightweight
HD video quality - HELLO!
SD card expansion up to 8 GIG
Good peak quality
2 batteries included (also see dis-likes)
Comes near belt loop case
Aiptek support seems to be poor, but the Internet groups make up for it
Metal tripod threads on bottom
VERY quick on and past its sell-by date times - under 3 seconds to be shooting show
Controls on camera are placed nicely but take some getting used to
Decent strobe flash and LED's DO assist with video in mistiness
Nightshot is very good - again, turn it on contained by a dark room
LOVE the fact I can show then stick the SD card into my computer for immediate playback!
Dispite what others influence, it's built pretty rugged.
Though there is no "lens cover" it's actually a peice of chalice mounted level on the nose covering the "actual" lens. So it's sorta resembling a "see-through" cover.
Battery doesn't last long - 30 minutes (got to carry spare near you)
Can't charge spare battery outside of camera
Takes 2.5 HOURS to charge battery!
No lens cover
Battery / SD door comes up to comfortable
Battery isn't "snug" in the case
When zoom in the image and video get darker to VERY dark depending on zoom height you attained - zoom is also kinda slow
Flappy door thing for usb port and HD video - they usually break off
No guide focus - focus seems slower than other cameras but still works
Power button is poorly placed, under the video peak (dah). You got to lift the peak up to turn it on, but by lifting the screen up you DO turn it on - so really it's just a "power off" button..
Overall I'm pleased next to the camera. I'm replacing a Sony DV camera I've had for 7 years. My goal be to find something I could afford, that takes both digital video and photo right to a memory card, has as well-mannered of quality, and stands up to the test of time.
Minus the "time" factor since it's only been 2 days - I have an idea that I attained my goal.
I like the camera and plan to use it on my up-coming Disney trip next to the family!
Best Value for HD, June 2, 2007
I am fairly festive with performance so far. The zoom motor is loud. My want list would be for a microphone in. Low lighting isn't too bleak for video, but not good for stills (there is a good flash strobe though).
Docking station [called "Instant Theater" ] is for the most constituent a box padding [really is an alarm clock or whatever, I don't return with it]. This "dock" doesn't really integrate well with this camera as it is designed for the lower ending Aipek cams with mp3 function (this doesn't have that). It be hope that you could charge the battery or cam and it doesn't. You can only charge one mobile at a time (there are 2 batteries in the box, closing 30 minutes each) with either USB or DC adapter.
I ordered an 8GB SDHC card and it hasn't arrived even so so using a 512 MB card for now. The manual doesn't address the SDHC (at lowest the printed one), but I believe the web site at Aiptek does.
You save abundantly of $$ over the Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2, but the Sanyo does offer HDMI and 10X zoom. Most HD video files are so large that it is complicated to computer-edit. I've found these files small enough with the H.264 codec that it isn't too doomed to failure. One can use NERO to do this [DVD burner suite]. The low light video is simply fantastic at this price point. The cons are mainly nouns [mono only], lack of fine controls [maybe a plus], fantastic sills at 5 megapixels, no videotape, and small pocket size. THIS ISN'T A CHEAPIE TOY, it is well-built.
Two battery came with mine ~ but remember merely 30 minutes with each battery-operated for video. You can charge through USB or AC adapter.
Amazing Picture, June 24, 2007
I normall use a Sony HDV camera, but I have to say that this little camera have amazing picture quality in its HD mode, especially if the camera is on a tripod. Very biddable in low light too, Sound talent is also decent as long as you don't exceed a certain nouns pressure level.
Keep in mind this is a progressive 720, 30 frames per second copy (not 60), so one can't pan so fast, and that the .264 compression is dutiful, but it is high compression so there are some artifacts when shooting grass, leaves, and marine. Yes, the lens is noisy, the camera plastic construction is "loose" and does not have a Canon quality, and the battery life could be longer, but the camera (and a tiny tripod) can fit within a shirt pocket and records an hour of HD on a 2Gb SD stick. Amazing. I can't wait till the cease of the dominance of the DV tape by the Japanese manufacturers next to their overpriced tape decks. This camera may not be flawless, but it sure points to where shooting will go within a year or two.
Make sure you check out the other options, May 18, 2008
I admit that I am a geek and I'm proud of it. I love to explore topical technologies and see how different designers approach the same problem.
I enjoy had a little medium production company for a few years which has allowed me to experiment with profoundly of different equipment. High-end video cameras are great, but I also love the cheap little cameras sold by companies like Aiptek and Mustek. My interest in these cameras is base on their tiny size and tiny price. Unfortunately, the video quality has typically also be "tiny."
With that said, for little money you can buy a camera that serves both as a still camera and a video camera good enough to convey videos of little Timmy's piano recital to grandma or to bear some casual still shots. Several years ago I wrote a long review on the Aiptek IS-DV camcorder for E-pinions. Although the IS-DV was a seriously flawed piece of equipment it offered "good enough" performance, a very attractive price and a nice software bundle. Based on the above I thought it would be a great little camcorder for the above planned uses, especially for those on a tight budget.
So it was with great expectation I purchased the Aiptek "Go-HD" camcorder. This camera be bigger than the IS-DV but offered 750p resolution, a 5 MP camera, low light mode, auto focus (instead of fixed focus) and an optical zoom. I was intensely excited to try it out.
My overall impression has (unfortunately) be so-so.
1. Cost...The price of the Go-HD is dropping, I bought it when it had just come out and it be significantly more expensive than previous Aiptek products. It is significantly less expensive than a true HD camcorder. With that said you can now bring back a regular DV type camcorder for just a little more than this one.
2. Picture level...Certainly an improvement over older Aiptek cameras but (IMHO) of inferior quality a regular DV camcorder. This surprised me as the specs of the camera suggests that the picture quality should be better..
3. No image stabilization...I didn't focus that this would be a big deal as I know how to hold a camera. Yet, it turned out to be a big deal as the camera is so small it is strong to steady and the video can look pretty shaky unless you are real careful.
4. Quality of still pictures...They are pretty polite, so what is my beef?? They are not as good as an inexpensive point and shoot which you can now obtain for around $100. Low cost point and shoots now offer profoundly of modes (like sports, night shot, etc) which this camera does not. I often found that I have to tweak pictures in a photo editor, something that I don't have to do next to pictures from other cheap cameras.
5. Poor battery life
6. Rare codec...The Aiptek network page says that the camera's video is in the .mov format. What is contained by the small print is that the camera uses a particular codec called the H.264 codec and it doesn't give the impression of being that many video editing programs support this particular combination. This is a huge problem if you want to bowdlerize your footage. I did buy Arc Soft's Total Media Extreme software from Aiptek and that software does work with this camera but is it extremely basic surrounded by its functioning. To get a useable file (one that I could edit) I have to combine all of the video clips and render them to more common report format. This was a very slow process (set it up and run to bed) which degraded the final video. Only then could I use a video editor like Vegas Video or Movie Maker. Apparently in attendance is some sort of a work around to use ULead's Video Studio but even that program doesn't support the H.264 codec packaged in .mov. This is a big treaty as many folks would buy this camera for things like emailing a video to family circle. When you do this you want to trim the video down so that you send the smallest possible wallet. If it was possible to easily gag video from the Go-HD I would rate it higher.
7. Noise...Using the optical zoom results in a especially loud motor noise the in final video. Even when the zoom isn't used the audio trait isn't very good and you obtain a mechanical noise when you play put a bet on the video. This is very strange as the machine collection to flash memory and there are no moving parts.
8. Size...The camera is very small, but bigger than the IS-DV which be so light you would forget that it was on your belt. Other camcorders hold been shrinking and now the difference between them is smaller number than it was a couple of years ago.
In many ways this camera is a incalculable improvement from the IS-DV that I liked surrounded by the past. However, the cost of this device is higher and the playing area has narrowed considerably. You can buy a decent DV or DVD camcorder for in recent times a little more cash. On weekly DV resolution should be a lot worse than the Go-HD's 720p, but in practice DV looks better (IMHO). Further, you can slickly edit DV videos next to many inexpensive or free programs.
Conversely, you can buy an inexpensive point and shoot camera that will take great still pictures. Most of these cameras will also shoot fully clad (not great) video, perfect for email or web use.
There is also a amazingly inexpensive, tiny video camera called "The Flip." This camera takes massively nice video and has built-in flash memory and editing software all for a vastly inexpensive price.
Will I continue to play around with this tiny camera?? Sure! However, I find that I once in a blue moon use it in "real life." Nowadays when I obligation a mini video of a recital I use a "Flip" video camera and for more serious video adventures, like a leave, I go with my standard video camera. What roughly speaking stills?? My $100 Nikon from Walmart seems to do a great job. I wouldn't right to be heard "don't buy the Go-HD," but I would say "check out all of your option." You may find a camera that better suits your needs.
I can't decide if I want to keep hold of it or not - Updated: I'm Returning It, June 7, 2007
I've owned this for about a week and am taking it on a trip to do a more complete analysis. I'll post back after that. I currently have mixed feelings on this camcorder. It does give somebody a lift good video and is priced right. There are a few negatives to be aware of though which (I guess) are to be expected on such an inexpensive component:
1. The battery life (for me) is sucking. I will clutch it on my trip for a better test and if the batteries can't journal more than 10 or 15 minutes each it'll go spinal column. If I can get the 30 minutes that it is documented to have, I'll be chirpy. Note: I do realize that 30 minutes is probably "up time" for the unit whether it is recording or not. The battery are only 1000Mah and have a loose grain inside the camera too. Will a more robust non-oem battery be coming out?
2. The buttons (to me) were ackwardly positioned cause a "shake" on the camera... and I guess I didn't realize how much my other camcorder's image stabilization must help me. Really requirements 2 hands to hold without a shake and I can adjust but really, I have an idea that that the design, grip, and button placement could be a ton better.
3. The thing completely froze up on me once and I had to reboot it by removing the mobile. I read online there is a firmware update but haven't pursued that yet. And I don't know what the firmware in actuality fixes.
4. The sound quality is not consistant. Many times I speak as I'm taking the video and mostly it sounded approaching a towel was over the microphone. The quality of those further away from the camcorder be only marginally better. Almost like the gain is turned up to far or something? I don't know and will exam further.
5. No lense cover? Come on Aiptek. That's just cheap and plain dumb. And if I find the lens starts getting micro-scratches over the next week or two it'll progress back for certain. It does hold a descent carrying case included though. However, the safty loop that you wrap around your wrist so you don't drop the camera STICKS to the velcro on the carrying case whenever you help yourself to it out or put it away. This loop will end up being frayed or looking abused shortly because you hold to "umph" to rip it off the velcro. This makes me wonder how much solid world testing went on beforehand this cam hit the street.
Besides these negatives the fact that I can throw it on my belt and take it on my trip without feeling encumbured make me want to use it more before making an ultimate ruling as to keep or return. It will really come down to battery go (maybe it will improve as I use the batteries a few more times) and nouns quality.
Oh, and it does work with BOTH the A-DATA and Patriot 8G SDHC card that I hold.
So I'm giving it 3* for now. Doesn't mean I'll keep hold of it or bring it back... just trying to make a contribution a fair review. I'll update my rating (if possible) and the review after a real road exam shortly.
UPDATE: 3 WEEKS LATER, AFTER ROAD TEST
Well I really wanted this little wonder to work. And it did for the first day of my trip. Then it of late quit working. The only thing I can numeral is that the roads I was on (Tijuana) were totally bumpy. It was in the protective overnight case 100% of the time when not in use but the plastic shell housing must be tell-tale of the low build quality on the inside. It only just plain stopped working. The screen backlight would come on, but the camera would not initialize. Conclusion: THIS ITEM IS NOT VERY RUGGED AT ALL. It does not hold up to any real use and for sure not the tumbling that my old Canon digital camera (s410) always holds up to. It is a insensible clunker now and it is going back to where on earth I purchased... fortunately... with a good return policy. Moral of the story is buy this lone from a site that has a descent return policy.
I'm not upset. It was great simply throwing the broken cam in the bottom of my laptop bag where on earth it took virtually no room at all. That is the point of a "go anywhere" sized camcorder. I was likely to trade some features for price... but not ruggedness. After all. It is the size itself that makes it something you want to bring anywhere. I'm going to hold past its sell-by date and wait for a similar product that is rugged. It is just a matter of time. It is too bad Apitek didn't built something near more stamina but someone will and I'll be there to buy it when it is out. After all, excluding the zoom there are no moving parts in this piece to wear or break. So it must just be bad build power.
Amazon won't let me change my star rating but if I could, I'd rate it down to 2 stars: more than one star because of price, features, and innovation but no more than that because... economically... it has to KEEP working in the TRUE world.
In short, unless you are willing to treat this thing beside kid gloves (and I pretty much thought I did) I'd avoid it. The cheap price is tempting, and only spend as much as you can afford to lose because if you read other reviews, you'll also read in the region of the cheap plastic on the outside among other quality issues. I'm here to tell you that what is cheap where on earth you can see it, is evidently even cheaper where you can't.
I may have gotten a newer model aiptek hd 720p 8mp, November 16, 2007
Correction, I certainly have an Aiptek A-HD. Mine does have a zoom, but I believe it is a 2x digital--which would explain the difference contained by price from this unit that has a 3x optical.
The local store have this on sale from $150 to $120, so I decided to look it up on Amazon for reviews on my mobile device right past I went into the store to buy. These reviews seems to be the best description for my element, so I decide to get it to try for an upcoming trip.
I own already seen several difference in my component. If anyone is interested on the feature differences to this one, the following are the obvious ones.
(note, the Aiptek A-hd have 2x digital zoom, and not 3x optical zoom--there is a big difference.)
The plastic and light construction gives is more of a "toy" touch than a real electronic equipment.
My unit seem to have a very inexpensive / concluding minute lense cap thrown in. It looks close to a simple bottle cap with for a while tie string--but, it seems to work, and it is definately better than nothing.
On my first charge, I plugged it contained by overnight, and after reading some other reviewers, I was hoping to get 20 minutes of tape time. I simply left it on and pointed it my living room right before I go to sleep. To my surpise, the next morning, the 2gig SD memory card was full next to about 1:05 hrs of video, and the battery still seem to have all 3/3 bar. (I doubt it was really 3/3; however, it was competent to record for more than 20 minutes on a single charge). (The manuals list 90 minutes of recording time per charge).
My unit have an option for 8Megs for still pictures, and the 720p picture was much better than my ancient regular camcorder.
I'm hoping to clutch this snowboarding with me, and for the inexpensive cost (relative to the regular price of $150.) I feel slightly smaller quantity worried about damaging it.
I own seen pictures out of my friends Sony HD camcorder which is amazing (at 1080i/p), and I believe provides better pictures than this unit; however, I find it more difficult to convey around such expensive electronics up in ski areas.
For the cost and the quality, it have a good fit with my commonplace outdoor gear.
The little engine that almost could, June 6, 2007
I had this guy for 3 days before it go kaput, in those three days I shot nearly 3 hours of video, in multiple lighting conditions. So I think I got a pretty polite taste of its capabilities.
First the Pros:
1. PRICE!! HD 720P for beneath $300...its a steal! Lose it or break it, you won't be crying (as hard) like you would over your $1200 HDR-CX7.
2. Size, its tiny, it literally does fit in your pocket, lacking you looking like you have a Camcorder shoved surrounded by your pocket. No excuse not to have it with you adjectives the time.
3. Video is decent, especially outside in the sun
4. Shoots H.264 (Pro and a Con, as you will see then on)
5. Very fast power up and shooting time, no more waiting for a shot or between shots.
6. Looks sweet when playing back directly from the camera on my HD SRXD TV
Now the Cons:
1. Auto focus is awful, its loud and its no exceptionally accurate, I wish they at least give you a manual focus ring to compensate
2. Optics are small, low light shooting is desperate (what can you expect from such a little inexpensive camera though)
3. Its build quality leaves a bit to be desired, you can see where they saved the money
4. 2 sets of cable to output HD Video, The camera has 2 miniplugs for AV output, one hidden underneath a tab (the HD) and one above it, not hidden. If you want to output to an SD TV the Yellow/Red/White work just fine, if you want to output to an HD (which I would assume is why you bought the camera contained by the first place) you need to open the tab, connect the composite cable Red/blue/green, then connect the analogue SD cables and steal the Red and white audio nouns from them, leaving the yellow to dangle.
Don't bring back me started on the Audio Only "docking station"
5. Not many manual settings, or overrides, the controls are extremely very basic
6. The Audio cassette is not so good, I think the problem is cheap mikes
Playback and editing (Be watchful what you wish for)
I have an outmoded computer, a P4 2.4 with 1 Gig ram, and Nvidia 7600 AGP video card. Playing the HD output files from this camcorder I be not able to get over 10 FPS, from the 30 FPS within the file (this is not a knock on the camera) The issue is the codec's complexity combined with my computer's matured age made for a very frustrating playback (it almost made me buy a mac)
Editing was tough for my poor mechanism, to convert 6 minutes of HD into a FLV files of 640x320 took 3 hours! Again not the camcorder fault, but if you think you will be whipping bad Discovery channel HD type documentaries with this babe-in-arms make sure you have the rig to toy with the task
The idea at the back this camcorder is great, the price is even better they could have executed a little bit better, I be willing to forgive a lot of the short coming because of the price and the brightness of it, and I probably would have kept it, had it not started tally the sound of film projector ticking to adjectives my movies on the last day.
Remember a poor ability video, is better than no video.
Bargain HD camcorder!!, July 10, 2007
Impressed with the pictures & videos it took contained by HD all for only $250. Also have a histogram meter! Nightshot mode was acceptable & the zoom crash wasn't as bad as others made it out to be. It may not have adjectives the features of more expensive models, but for the price I'm happy!
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