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Users who want an affordable camcorder that shoots in Full HD should consider Kogan’s video camcorder. Sure it has limited functions, but what do you expect for something that is worth less than $500?


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The unit is mostly made out of plastic: its buttons and switches look like they are going to fall off, and it doesn’t look like it can withstand bumps and drops. It is however, lightweight, with Kogan including a pouch for added protection.

Users can find the battery cover latch, shutter button, and a zoom/volume button on top of the unit, while the lens cover latch, flash switch, microphone, and LCD screen are found on the left side. On the right side are the hand strap and battery cover, which is rubberised and ribbed for added grip.

The unit’s rear hosts the mode dial (Camera, Camcorder, and Setup), a record/stop button, a five-way multifunction button, and a small compartment with various outputs (TV, HD, and USB out). The Power, Playback, Light, Display, and Menu buttons are awkwardly placed on the left side of the unit (can be seen after opening the LCD display), but can easily be pressed while cradled on your right hand.

 


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Besides the camcorder, you will also get a pouch, a Component video cable, a USB cable, an AV cable, a battery charger, a power cord, a Li-ion battery NP-120, an 8GB SDHC card, and an application software disc containing Presto VideoWorks, Presto Mr. Photo, and Quicktime.

The unit utilises a 5-megapixel CMOS sensor and comes with features such as ‘high speed motion detection, optical image stabiliser, sharp focusing on demand, voice recorder, RGB and video output, face detection and red eye reduction, and full 1080p recording.’

While the interface is intuitive, the features are limited: there are only five main white balance modes, four recording modes (QVGA, WVGA, 720p, 1080p), two different shooting modes (Black and White, Sepia), a Night mode, and a Stabiliser mode (works on 720p mode only) present.

Users can also take photos by switching to the camcorder’s camera mode. It can take a maximum of 8-megapixels, although its picture quality is not as sharp compared to other camcorders we have seen.

 


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The red-eye reduction and face detection function assisted us when taking shots, which is good for casual users.

Recording in 1080p mode, we found the camcorder’s output to be good. Various outdoor shots looked vibrant, with well-lit indoor shots looking sharp and detailed. Unfortunately, when it comes to dark shots and focusing on fast moving objects, the unit was unable to give us the quality we want. The unit records video in MOV format, which is good for casual users but not for more serious videographers.

In terms of sharing movies, the unit can be hooked up to any TV or HD TV via AV cable or Component. HDMI is not present, though it is understandable given its cheap price tag.

The Kogan Camcorder may not be as good as other camcorders out in the market in terms of construction, features, and battery life, but at $399, you get what you pay for. Overall, this camcorder may be the perfect option for casual users who want to shoot videos in HD.

See page over for product specifications and final rating.

 

Kogan Full HD Camcorder Specifications

Image Sensor:
1/2.5″ 5.0 MP CMOS Sensor (max. 8MP by interpolation)
1920×1080 Video Recording

Lens: Auto-Focus, Wide: F/3.2, f=6.26mm Tele : F/6.8, f=30.75mm
Focus Range: Normal : 45cm ~ infinity Marco : 5cm ~ 45cm

LCD monitor: 3-inch TFT LCD (960 x 240 pixel)

Zoom:
Movie / Camera : 5X Optical Zoom + 4X Digital Zoom, Still Image Playback : Digital Zoom Max. 8X Shutter Type Electronic 1 – 1/2000 sec

Storage Media: SDHC 8GB Card Included, Build-in 32MB Flash Memory for system storage; SDHC expandable to 64GB Image

Resolution: 3M, 5M, 8M(Firmware Interpolation)

Movie Resolution: H.264 (MOV) Resolution : HD1080P (1920 x 1080 pixels@30fps), HD720P (1280 x 720 pixels@60 fps), D1, CIF

White Balance: Auto / Sunny / Cloudy / Tungsten / Fluorescent
EV Compensation: -2.0EV~+2.0EV
Self-Timer: Off / 5sec. / 10sec.

File Format: JPEG(DPOF,EXIF) / MOV
Colour Effects: Colour / B&W / Sepia

Interface:
USB2.0 High Speed
TV/AV Out
RGB/Component Out

Video Output: NTSC / PAL / Component Video Output
Dimensions: 129 x 70 x 57mm
Weight: 297g (without battery)

Kogan Full HD 1080p Camcorder |$399 |  | www.kogan.com.au

For: Price tag; 1080p shooting mode; Comes with 8GB SDHC card
Against: Cheap plastic build; Performance not that great; Problems with focus and lighting
Conclusion: A cheap HD camcorder for casual videographers

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