Shoot & Share HD Camcorders (Cisco Flip, Kodak Zi/Zx, Creative Vado, Sanyo XACTI) – A Comparative Review

Flip Camcorders were the dominant players in the Shoot and Share Camcorder market. As mentioned in our comparative review of Flip Camcorders and Flash Camcorders in general, Flip had a tight grip in the Shoot & Share Camcorder segment with an array of products sporting a combination of distinct features (Hand Grip, Integrated LCD, Flip-out USB & Charging) and design compromises (fixed-focus lens, internal flash). In course, a number of competitive products have mushroomed essentially duplicating a majority of the distinctive features of Flip. Cisco announced in April 2011 that they are killing of the Flip product-line just two years after acquiring the company for $590M.

Shoot & Share HD Flash Camcorders have several advantages:
  1. Flash Media based camcorders are more rugged and are not sensitive to shake,
  2. Comfortably fits in your pocket,
  3. HD Videos have good picture quality although the ideal use is video sharing on the Internet.
  4. Integrated video editing software.
Overall, Shoot & Share HD Flash Camcorders are an excellent choice for most consumers.
Below is a look at Shoot & Share HD Camcorder manufacturers and their offerings:



Manufacturer
ThumbnailModelsComments
Aiptek




Aiptek HD-1 720P - $99, A-HD+ 1080P - $114, A-HD Pro 1080P - $144, Action HD GVS 1080P - $157.54, etc.Aiptek has a good selection of HD Camcorders at different price points. The mid-range Aiptek A-HD+ 1080P is a great value at $114.54.
Apple




iPod Nano (5th Generation) - $124.54 Apple’s first foray into the S&S Camcorder space is this music player that can also capture videos. The video resolution is 640x480 (SD) and doesn’t compare well with HD (720p or better) that the competition offer.
Cisco (Pure Digital)




Flip MinoHD 120, Flip UltraHD 120, and several other models with low resolution (SD) or capacity. A unique SlideHD product was also released which turned out to be a flop.Flip Video was the proven leader in the space before Cisco discontinued the product-line on 4/2011.
Coby




Coby CAM3000, CAM4000, and the CAM5000 HD Versions.Lower priced (starts at $28.45), but reviews are mixed.
Creative Technology




Several models under the Creative VADO branding.Solid products with a dedicated following that have been with them ever since they pioneered the mp3 player that Apple eventually hijacked.
DXG




Both Shoot & Share and higher end models.Low-priced (starts at $49), but reviews are mixed for the shoot & share models.
Insignia




NS-DCC5HB09 model with mp3 & voice recording and NS-DCC5SSR09Lower priced (starts at $39), but reviews are mixed.
IsonicIsonic Snapbox DV series modelsGood feature set, but has quality problems.
JVCJVC Picsio ModelsWaterproof (10ft) design, 3" touchscreen, and Wi-Fi Connectivity..
Kodak




Kodak Zi & Zx PlaySport HD series modelsThe Kodak Zi6 was a popular model and the new Zi8 model is a worthy replacement. The Zx PlaySport models are rugged versions.
PanasonicPanasonic TA11080p HD resolution, USB charging needs a PC. Original Panasonic replacement/2nd battery will set you back half the price of the camera. Build quality is not comparable to the Flip.
RCASeveral models under the Small Wonder and “Traveller” Small Wonder lines.Good feature set, very competitively priced, but has quality and software problems on earlier models. The RCA EZ201 at less than $60 is an exception.
SamsungSamsung HMX-E10 and others.270 degree swivel lens, sub-par zooming, and no AC charging adapter. Nevertheless good value at $75.
Sanyo




Sanyo VPC-CG20, Xacti VPC-EC2, VPC-ZH1R, and other higher end models.The XACTI VPC-EC2 is slightly bulkier but has a distinct design with 5x optical zoom and priced competitively at around $165. The new XACTI VPC-ZH1R is a great value as Camcorder/Camera combo.
Sony




Sony Webbie MHS-PM1 and the older Webbie MHS-CM1 models.The new model has a unique swivel lens, 5x digital zoom along with competitive pricing at around $140. Uses memory stick pro duo card as opposed to SDHC cards.
SVP




Several SVP-T and SVP-HDT models.The HDT500 model sports 20x zoom (4x digital), 1080p, and low pricing ($179) but the reviews are very mixed.
Zoom




ZOOM Q3Hi-Fi audio recorder is the key feature that distinguishes it from the competition. Priced at $200.





For a best value comparison, we chose four models that offer the best features at a price point below $200 and ideally closer to $150. Below is our comparison spreadsheet:




ProductCisco Flip Video UltraHD (3rd Gen)Kodak Zi8Creative Labs VADO HD 720p (3rd Gen)Sanyo VPC CG-20
Thumbnail



















List Price$199.99$199.99$199.99$199.99
Best Price$134.99$109.95$99.95$139
Date of Release09/201007/200912/200902/2010
Storage Media8GB Internal Flash Memory – 120 minutesSHDC Memory Card (up to 32GB) – Not Included. 9 MB/sec speed or Class 6 cards required for HD recording.4 GB Internal Flash Memory: 2 hours – HD.SHXC Memory Card (more than 64GB) – Not Included. 9 MB/sec speed or Class 6 cards required for HD recording. Internal ~40MB.
Video Recording FormatMPEG-4 AVC/H.264MPEG-4 AVC/H.264AVI, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264MPEG4-AVC / H.264
Lens & FocusF/2.4 Fixed FocusF/2.8F/2.8 Wide Angle F/3.5-3.7
Optical ZoomNoneNoneNone5 x
Digital Zoom2 x - smooth4 x - smooth2 x - smooth12 x – smooth
Image StabilizerYesElectronicNoneIntelligent Electronic
Resolution1280 x 720 (HD 720p 16:9 progressive), 60fpsHD 1080p 16:9 progressiveHD+ 720p 1080i, HD 720pHD 1080p, 60fps
Sensor1/4.5” HD CMOS Sensor1/2.5” HD CMOS Sensor – 5 MP ResolutionHD CMOS Sensor1/2.3” HD CMOS Sensor, 10 MP Photos
Battery TypeUSB Rechargeable AAA battery pack (Included). Also supports standard 3 AAA.KLIC-7004 Li-Ion Removable Rechargeable Battery (70 minutes)Lithium-Ion Removeable Rechargeable Battery (2 hours)DB-L80 Removable Rechargeable Lithium-Ion (70 minutes)
Size & Weight2.2 x 1.2 x 4.2 inches, 5.6 ounces4.4 x 2.4 x 0.9 inches, 3.9 ounces3.9 x 2.2 x 0.6 inches, 3.3 ounces.7 x 5 x 3 inches ; 6.4 ounces
Screen Size2.0”2.5” 2.0”2.7”
OthersHDMI Output, FlipShare software preloaded, Namesake flip-out USB.HDMI Output (Cable Included), Arcsoft MediaImpression Software preloaded, flip-out USB.HDMI Output (Cable Included), Vado Central Software Preloaded, flip-out USB, 12 subject face chaser technology, Still Photo Flash, Flip-Out LCD w. 285 degree rotation, Proprietary USB/AV port (cable included).



Summary and Recommendation:

The Flip Video Ultra HD (3rd Gen, 120 minutes) is a good frugal choice – everything required to commence shooting HD videos is included in the box. Maintaining new AAA batteries as a backup is a frugal choice that compares well with investing in a much more expensive Li-Ion battery pack. 120-minute recording, image stabilization, and resolution (1080p, 60fps) makes this a great upgrade, if you have owned 1st or 2nd generation Flip's previously.

Kodak Zi8, sporting a flexible SDHC interface in place of Internal Flash memory is a worthy competitor for the flip. The Zi8 has a feature-set that compares well with the Flip Video Ultra HD –4x digital zoom and 2.5” LCD screen exceed the Flip Ultra HD specification. The Flip is priced around $135 while the Kodak Zi8 is about $25 lower. The cost of the Zi8 would almost certainly trend upwards to $150 as consumers have to invest in an SD card (not included) and most would prefer to have a Lithium Ion battery backup around. Based on reviews, the build quality of both the products are pretty good, making the the purchase decision essentially boil down to whether to get the extra feature-set for about $15 more. For a more rugged choice, go with the newer Kodak Zx3 Playsport HD for around $115.


The Sanyo VPC-CG20 is no less with an outstanding feature set – with 5x optical zoom, Image Stabilization, and an integrated camera with flash. The pricing has come down to $140. Sanyo VPC-CG20 is a wonderful option for people on the look-out for a single camcorder plus camera gadget. Investing in an SD card and a backup Lithium Ion battery pack will push the price past $180, but even so, the feature set and the dual purpose make this is a good choice.


Older models of the Creative Labs VADO HD (3rd gen - 120 minutes) used to be the favorite for frugal shoppers. With this newest model, the feature set has lagged behind the competition. The pricing at $99.99 makes this a reasonable deal. As with the Kodak Zi8, an HDMI output cable is included.

    Related Posts:

    1. Best Values in Shoot & Share HD Camcorders - A Comparative Review.
    2. Best Values in Flip Camcorders - Comparative Review.
    3. Best Values in Flash Camcorders - Comparative Review.


    Last Updated: 07/2016.


    1 comment :

    Sarah-Miss Virtual Reality said...

    I did 2 interviews with celebrities back in July and used a Flip camcorder to film them. I love Flip, but the battery life sucks. Though they do make it really easy to film with.

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