Aiptek 720P HD Camcorder Review
I've been wanting to get better at capturing videos for skiing this season and I am digging my Aiptek HD camcorder. It is the low model of the Aiptek camera ($130) family but I figured if I get really good I can always upgrade to the 1080. Camera Cosmetics Usually I'm not excited about taking my glove off while skiing to take a picture or record. Great thing about this camera is you don't have to. I use my Black Diamond Guide gloves (electronic dexterity is low) when I ski and all I have to do is flip open the viewfinder and press the front record button. By opening the viewfinder the camera automatically turns on. The joystick button on the rear of the camera is secure and easy to push forward for zooming in and out. If your going to view a video you'll have to take off your gloves to press the buttons on the viewfinder screen. The overall build of the camera doesn't worry me while I'm skiing. It's very small and after a couple wrecks on the snow I haven't seen any issues of performance. I don't smoke but the size of the camera is like a tall pack of cigarettes. Aiptek Quality Aiptek and other brands definitely have higher definition then the 720 but for what I'm doing (capturing priceless moments of my kids) it does what I need. I'm a little bugged by the cords it came with, for some reason I can't get video to playback on my TV so I'll have to hit google and start the research. Video You really have to keep your hand steady with this thing. You can tell by the youtube of us sledding on Hammerheads it's not stellar but than again it was taken at night sliding down a hill. It does give you a good idea of what this thing can and can't do. Still Shots The 8mp camera is very sensitive so keeping the camera still is key. When you press the button give it about 5 seconds (no joke) for the camera to actually take the picture. I suggest using the flash, my pictures on this camera come out a lot better when I do. I really bought this for the video recording but a still shot is always nice to have. Mic check...mic check The microphone picks up a lot of noise which can be good and bad. Bad in the since when I'm skiing behind my wife to pick up sweet action shots you can hear every little sound of the wind. Not a big deal if you dub out the sound and throw in some tunes. The sensitivity is nice for picking up the voices of people in the shot, I suggest having them stand less then 8 feet in front of the camera. Another feature I like for the kids is the voice recorder. I've used it a couple times when my daughter says funny stuff like, "Holla! Shot calla'" at night in the car. Not a major feature I use but a cool add-on that Aiptek included. I would keep your mouth 12-18 inches away from the camera so your voice doesn't over power recording. Storage The camera takes an SD card which now a days are going up to 32 GB. The SD card is my favorite memory card so that really sold me on this model. The mere 6mb of internal storage gets slaughtered after about 5 min. of filming so pretend as if you have none. Check out the Aiptek 720 and the 1080 for your filming enjoyment.