|Aiptek Action HD GVS 1080P High Definition Camcorder with 5x Optical Zoom (Silver)
|List Price: $249.99
Our Price: $179.95
You Save: $70.04 (28%)
1080P high definition digital camcorderSuperior gyroscopic stabilizationDigital still camera5x optical zoom with auto focusSwivel-reversible large 3" TFT color LCD display0.4 inch macro modeNight shotExternal microphone outletConvenient power chargingHDTV component outputRemovable hard disk and SD/MMC card reader
- 1080P High Definition Camcorder with 3-inch color LCD
- 30 Frames per second at 1080P and 60 frames per second at 720P with advanced H.264 technology
- 5 MP Images with macro lens for high-quality close ups
- 5x Optical zoom with auto focus and 4x digital zoom
- Features Superior Gyroscopic Stabilization for unmatch stability while recording video
- Not so good. :(
This camera has a blue tinted lense which makes everything come out with a blue tint in the recordings.
It has a mic input, but it's rubbish. You hear a high pitch shrill in both the external mic, and internal mic modes.
It's iris settings are useless at certain resolutions.
They took away the ability to use external audio. Doesen't really matter since the other cameras have it, but you have to run an external video into them as well to get it to work. (poorly, I might add.)
This camera lacks even the ext a/v. A trade of to get the ext mic, I suppose.
The SD card slot is difficult to get the card in, and out of. There's a cover plate for the jacks that's hard to open.
At least this camera doeen't do that swimmy zoomy thing all their other cameras do whenever your talent moves their hand in front of their face, or something goes by the camera.
I was really let down by this camera.
I wish these manufacturers would get the message that we need cameras that provide true external audio input, xlr mic inputs, and we need to be able to do that without having to run ext video as well to get it to work. We need to be able to use the camera's onboard video with external a/v so we don't have to use the crummy built in mic, which by the way is so hissy it's pethetic....more info
- A weekend with the HD GVS
I received this camcorder from Amazon on Friday and spent the weekend playing around with it. Here are my initial impressions of this product. My unit was loaded with firmware revision 2302, so newer firmware may correct some of the problems I'll mention. When I can get ahold of newer firmware (I believe 2503 is the latest stable version) I'll update the review.
This camera is pretty small, about the size of a Walkman (if you're old enough to remember what those were...). I have normal sized hands and I felt it was a little on the small size but tolerable. If you have big hands you might want something bigger. The door to access the USB and AV connectors can be a pain to get open is annoying once you finally do get it open. The SD card slot can be difficult to deal with as well if you don't have tiny fingers since it's recessed pretty far into the unit. Also, the mini tripod that comes with the unit is useless since it toppled over frequently when I tried to use it. Longer legs would have helped it be more stable. It's a "freebie" though so I won't count it against the camera.
When I first received the camera, I plugged it into the charger and immediately turned it on and was annoyed to see a flickering white pixel in the center of the LCD screen. I was afraid I had gotten one of the bad units many people here have complained about. I decided to go ahead and let it charge for a few hours and then try out the camcorder to see if I wanted stick with the same model and get a replacement or get a refund. After let it charge completely, the dead pixel disappeared completely. I don't see any signs of it on the LCD or in the recorded videos.
The camera doesn't do great in low light but in outdoor situations, the video quality is great. I took some videos of my dogs playing outside and you can make out fine details like the individual hairs flying off my husky when she shakes around. The image stabilization could be better though as the videos are still fairly shaky even with it turned on. It does help though as the videos with it on were definitely better than with it turned off.
The camera mode is useless. All of the pictures I took ended up blurry. You need a tripod to get this to work ok. I didn't buy this thing to use it as a camera so it's not a big deal to me but if you were hoping for something that could pull double duty, try something else.
Annoyances - First of all, many of the features don't work in 1080P mode, most importantly the image stabilization. If you get video editing software that do stabilization in software it may be worth shooting in 1080P and use 720P as the output format but otherwise, aside from on a tripod I don't see using 1080P very often because of this. The other major one I've encountered is that you plug the camcorder into your camcorder and turn it on (basically putting it into SD card reader mode), it never wants to turn off again. I have to pop open the battery cover and flip the battery out and back in the power it off. Not a huge deal since using a separate SD card reader is more convenient anyway but it still a bit annoying.
All in all, for $180 dollars, I think this is a good deal. It does have its problems but I think it'll be a great camera for beginners or for occasional use....more info
- OK video "But terrible Audio"
Well the video quality is good for a $200 HD camcorder, but the audio is terrible, , it's nice and quiet when no sounds are present , "But" when any sound are being, voice, music etc, there is a very loud and annoying white noise that is also recorded..... Yes, even with the external audio or internal"...more info
- Good for light use only
For normal casual short clip use outdoors it works fine, video quality is good in bright light. Battery lasts slightly under 90 minutes continuous use.
The lens is very narrow angle- you have to stand a long way from your subject to get everything in the video. Controls feel a little loose under the fingers, the zoom toggle is imprecise. You don't want to rely on the camera for anything since it is hard to hold steady and slow to take shots.
The microphone is mounted inside the lcd panel, and it works but if you wanted to record music for example, the sound distorts very early. Conversations, real world noises are fine.
Low light performance is poor. The picture is grainy and grey. What do you expect from a $180 device though? Its good for what it is, but won't be anywhere near as good as the more expensive HD cameras.
I returned this product because it broke on the 2nd use- the zoom stopped working, the camera no longer powered off without removing the battery entirely, and the lens made a clicking noise constantly.
Since i actually need something for low light shooting, i opted to buy a canon HF11 instead. But if you are on a tight budget or have never had a camcorder before, this might do the trick. I cannot personally recommend it however due to the poor reliability.- i'd recommend going for a more traditional palm-corder style canon/panasonic/sony (the brands i've owned before now)....more info
- Better Than Flip Mino and Kodak Zi6
I've tried the Flip Mino, Kodak Zi6, and the Sony Webbie MHS-PM1 in the past two months. Let me tell you that the Aiptek GVS beats them all! The Aiptek has an actual flash for taking pictures (unlike any of the aforementioned), optical zoom, removable Li-Ion battery, and support for SD cards.
I cannot remember the last time I've been this satisfied and excited about a product (not even my Apple iPhone can overshadow this Aiptek GVS). Fairly confident that you also will feel the same after buying one.
Oh also, the kit comes with a tripod, lens-cover, and carrying case (along with the HD and AV cables, of course)....more info
- Takes Fuji NP60 battery, NOT Casio NP60!
I have only played with this one night, but thus far it seems like a great deal for the price. Generates H.264 video & AAC audio in MOV containers. I need to find a good editor (avidemux, maybe?). Video quality is quite decent at 720p, and it can store a lot of video on a 16G SD card.
Low light capabilities are better than I thought, but not perfect even in Night Shot mode.
Optical zoom is great, digital is bad (but you knew that already). I wish I had a slightly wider angle lens range for indoor use.
AF is slow in low indoor light, but does seem to work. I haven't tried any outdoor video yet.
Top buttons are hard to press when in use without covering up the LED, I find myself using two hands with this a lot.
Overall, it serves my needs for a cheap, small video cam.
Main reason I'm writing this review is to warn people that not all NP60 format batteries are the same. This one takes Fuji NP60 format, not Casio NP60 format (like I ordered :( ). So at present I have no spare. But at least I ordered a backup Fuji NP60 charger which works great with the stock battery. Going to try to find another NP60 locally.
- Great HD flash memory camcorder for the price!
Looked at everything from Sanyo Xati, Pure Digital Flip HD, Kodak Zx1, Sony Webbie and Creative Vado. What I have found is for a few extra inches in girth and in most cases less cost the Aiptek Action HD GVS offers more. Optical zoom and stabilization is needed and most of the other don't have it. Also, the Aiptek HD GVS offers 720p@60fps. Yes, it is nearly all plastic, does not do well in the dark and does not play your HD video direct to your TV correctly (hues off). However, if you need something for home video and is portable, this is the way to go. Think of it this way, why pay $500 or more for a great small and portable HD flash camcorder that can fall out of your hands easily due to size or get handled by your kids incorrectly. Spending only $200 makes any damage or replacement a little easier....more info
- Great Camera For The Price!
I have to say, I'm incredibly stunned at the performance of this little camera. I film and edit for a hobby and was looking for a real deal camera to step up my game, but my budget was small. I had it in my head that I wanted a Canon GL2 MiniDv, until I did some research and found out that first off, minidv tapes are slowly on the out (replaced by Flash Memory), and that its picture quality was not as high as some of the newer cameras which shoot in full HD 1080i (don't get me wrong, I would be grateful to have a GL2, it's just too expensive) I started to search for comparable cameras only to find out I would have to drop $3000-$4000.. Which some day in the future I may, but for now, I was looking for cheap & effective solution. I researched about 20 different affordable HD cameras only to find that each one would have a key element missing that I would need, That being expandable memory or tape (Flip MinoHD), external mic line input (almost all), full 1080i hd (Kodak g7), and something very important for MY needs...easy to travel with!
I travel all over the world and like to film and edit my adventures. I wasn't thinking about the fact that if I bought a GL2 I would be carrying a 1' x 8" camera all over the place and would have to carry additional tapes as well.
After weeks of research I found this little guy and I don't regret a thing! It uses flash memory, it has an 1/8" external mic input, a large flip display, and best of all, it fit right in my pocket while I trek'd all over Asia! Upon my return I dumped all the footage down to Final Cut to find that the footage looked stunning!
Now, It isn't a miracle camera for $200, it has flaws, but for $200? come on!
Here are the flaws:
-it tries to focus alot, causing some blurry moments
-shooting with "night shot" produces a very pixelated image
-the battery is not the greatest
Here's how I fixed that:
-I bought a small SIMA LED light (worked great)
-after a few days I learned how to counter the focus issues
-i bought a back-up battery and loved life!
Even if you are experienced with film making, and have really nice cameras, this little guy will be your best buddy for on the go and travel shooting. And with the "open source" timeline in FCP 6...the sky's your limit with mix and match video types.
I hope this helps anyone who is having trouble like I did.
- Pretty Good Cam
First of all I am a novice. Though I obviously watch a lot of video, this is my FIRST camcorder.
This camcorder records fairly decent video. It's not fantastic, but it's still pretty good. I have no real complaints about the video. See for yourself by checking for Talis29 on Youtube to see my videos, or by checking the Vimeo website for several test videos recorded with this camcorder. There are many such test videos available.
The auto focus feature tends to be a little too sensitive, but you can turn it off.
The audio is pretty bad. I recorded a live performance at my university, and when the guy hits his high notes the audio becomes so distorted that it hurts my ears. This happens with all loud sound. Luckily this camcorder accepts external microphones, so I will definitely be looking into an external solution.
The software that comes with the GVS is pretty much useless. Plan on using something else. Windows XP and Windows Vista Ultimate users can easily use Windows Movie Maker.
The battery's true life span is about 45 minutes. You may want to pick up a second battery (ASIN B001R29V0A) for good measure.
I see this camcorder as being intended for travel, casual recording at the park, or quick and simple home movies and similar settings. Personally I use it for these purposes as well as for recording video around campus. This camcorder is not intended for amateur movie makers or similar video enthusiasts....more info
- Couldn't be more pleased
Wow... Has Aiptek come a long way! From crummy little "pen" cameras to video cameras like this. While still quite the budget brand, this camera does not fail to impress.
Video quality is very good. The camera does well in most normal lighting situations. Expect a fair amount of noise indoors, but rarely does this camera yield an unusable video. Plus the night-shot mode gives quite a nice boost in exposure. Just expect a drop to around 25FPS.
The stabilizer...wow, I must say I'm rather impressed with this. Most camera's around this price range have completely useless stabilizers. While this one isn't the greatest, I will admit it's actually useful! Quality isn't dropped much at all, if any and it does compensate for minor shakes.
Still pictures are pretty fair. As with most CMOS cameras, it's nearly impossible to get a decent still image without a flash. The built-in flash does its job, but does tend cast a blue tint and over expose. However, with a little positioning and zooming, pictures can look pretty nice from this little guy.
The lens is pretty impressive for such a cheap camera. F3.5-3.7 through the zoom is better than some point and shoot cameras have to offer (at least at the far end of the zoom) However, the leans apparently has no control over the aperture, thus some photos tend to be over-exposed. But for what it is, I really can't complain. Oh, and for those who want to use filters, I'm afraid your out of luck. There are no threads around the barrel... Also, with regards to the zoom, there's only one speed to zoom. No smooth zooms, I'm afraid.
Focus speed is actually quite fast. I'd say it's compatible to most any low-end camcorder. It does tend to hunt from time to time, but typically finds and holds focus pretty well. Plus the AF-lock is yet another welcome feature
The microphone compared to previous Aiptek cameras is in a league of it's own. While it's still prone to becoming muffled by too much audio, it's miles ahead of any other camera I've used in this price range. Endcoding quality is much nicer than other cameras too (48kHz, 128bit) Now, I don't believe the mic is stereo but it is encoded as such. I have yet to test the external mic jack, so I'm unsure if it allows for stereo.
Ergonomics could use some work. Holding the camera without placing a finger over the flash takes some effort with my large hands. Plus the layout is a tad weird. Using the 5-way stick takes a little situating of my hands as well. But, to just press record then aim the camera is easy enough.
Battery life... Well, it's a lithium battery. Use it for a while, charge it while not in use. I've yet to actually run the battery down so I can't give any exact numbers. However, I did let it record for about 30 minutes in 1080p, using it off and on for the rest of the day and the indicator never got below half. The battery is a standard NP20, exactly like my Jazz HDV-178. The camera uses a special USB-style charger (it wouldn't charge other USB devices I had around) but the camera will charge off a computer.
A few miscellaneous quirks...
- The remote is a joke (as with other Aiptek's)
- It's very difficult to remove the SD card
- The included case places pressure on the 5-way stick (may break over time?)
- No video/night lights
As for the people with the "dreaded white dot" mine seems to have this problem too. However, it seems to be more occasional than anything. Typically shutting the camera off or simply going to playback then back to camera makes this dot disappear....more info
- Not bad for the price
I purchased this camcorder for a trip to the Bahamas and just wanted something low end. It did not disappoint. The pictures it takes are not bad for a 5 mp. The video does need a lot of light indoors but does well outdoors. Need to have a steady hand on 1080 mode. I have been happy with it. One problem......it does not go to my imovie for some reason but I download mplayer and it allowed me to see the video....more info
- Aiptek HD GVS is hot stuff.
This camcorder works perfectly for me. The 60fps is very good. However, if your hands are pretty steady the 30fps isn't bad either. Quick note, the image stabilization only applies to 720p 60fps and wvga 60fps. Low lighting isn't half bad. There is a night mode option that does help a bit but to be honest, I didn't purchase this cam to do low light situations. Still images are really nice once you get the hang of taking them. The 1080p resolution is at 1440x1080. This is actually at 1.33 which is full frame, but the pixels aren't square. If you have K-Lite Codec Pack, you should have something called XVid MP4 which can export this as a widescreen avi file. You'll have to play around with the settings on it to get it just right though. Didn't have any trouble doing this with AVS Video Editor 4. The other video resolutions shouldn't give you any trouble. And mind you, it has nothing to do with the camcorder itself. Codecs aren't truly specifically designed for 1080p so you have to work around it. Format for vids is .mov The software I got with it was ArcSoft. If nothing else, take advantage of the Digital Theatre that comes with that package. It's awesome for viewing the .MOV files as well as any dvd you own. Plus it lets you take still pictures from whatever video is playing. Make no mistake, the HD on this baby is nice. I would suggest testing it out on an actual HD screen though before you start bashing it. I was hanging with one of my old buddies and he thought it was garbage until we looked at the vids on the computer. An LCD is never a good indicator of how the full video looks. That's not even an lcd's purpose. It's so you can see what you're shooting in the first place. And he claimed to be so HD savvy! Ha!
I seriously would recommend this camcorder for anyone that plans to do a lot of daytime shooting. I'd even recommend it for Youtube vids although honestly if all you're doing is shooting for Youtube ONLY, you could actually go after a flip that records in hd. Plan to become a videography hobbyist like myself? Go after the Aiptek.
One more thing. This camcorder has an external mic jack. This was the deal maker for me to be honest. I plan to be pretty busy this fall recording marching bands ever saturday and an external mic is a godsend for this price range. It works very very well and that's after numerous tests at different volume ranges. Using the internal mic only? It has nice frequency response and is in stereo. It's located on the lcd flap so no internal motor noise is picked up. Hope this helped you guys....more info
- Aiptek Action HD GVS 1080P
I'm just an amateur video person. I looked at Sanyo (too expensive) and the new Sony flash video cameras before deciding on the Aiptek. The videos so far have been quite good. Don't really care for the Arcsoft Software that came with the camera. It's as bad as Nero. If I had to make the buying decision again, I would still purchase the Aiptek GVS 1080P....more info
- Awesome! Very Happy!
I had been thinking about buying an HD camcorder for a few weeks, in anticipation of my daughter's 1st dance recital. As the event loomed closer, and closer, I determined that buying something online wasn't going to be feasiable insomuch of delivery time, so sent an email to my brother in-law, who works at a camera store. I asked him about HD camcorders and whether they sold them, and whether there was anything worth while to buy under $200. His answer was "HA..nope!" He then explained that there wasn't anything worth while to buy under $600.
After reading that, I went on the web, and found this product. Not only did it have the technical specifications I was looking for 1080p@30fps and 720p@60fps, but it was also under $200. Even better, overnight shipping was only $20!! The reviews had me, the price was right, and it would be delivered ontime.
The product, simply works awesome. I couldn't be happier. Although I am sure there are better products out there, I simply do not need anything more. It records in HD, it is simple to use, it charges quickly, hooks up to my TV with no trouble, and uploads onto YouTube with ease. As a father looking to capture the events in his family's life, this is the best bang-for-buck around.
Anyone intrested in watching the videos I recorded, go to YouTube and search "2009 YMCA Dance Recital" you should get a least 5 videos by NFJ1978; those are the ones I recorded with this camera. Just remember to click on the "HD" button below the viewing screen when you get to YouTube, as they default you to a non-HD version....
- Good bargin
We needed to replace our camcorder and I wanted HD and record to memory (no tapes and no hard drive). For the $208 we paid (amazon.com now shows $199 and their free shipping), this is a decent unit. My wife wants it for general family stuff with the ability to show here family easily. I like to record my kids hockey. With my old camcorder I had to put the camera on play back and capture via Firewire. The Aiptek is an SD chip and all I need to do is plug it in to my computer and the provided software makes it easy to burn a DVD ready. I haven't messed with the software much. Although it does not seem too sophisticated, it is easy use and you get a DVD that you can pop in your player. I did notice that when I used my "cheap" SD card, the video had a brief hiccup every 5 seconds or so. I bought a larger chip that was rated at a higher speed and the problem went away. I think the camera will simply throw away some frames if the SD card cannot keep up and you get that hiccup.
The other thing I like about this is it very light and pretty compact. It is almost as small a our compact digital camera. The Aiptek can take stills, but haven't tried that yet. who knows, this might replace our compact digital camera!
Another plus is the raw video on the card is in .MOV format. This makes it easy to watch on a PC or use other viewers and programs to make DVD's if you want to by some more sophisticated video editing software.
A friend brought over a Sony HD camera and I estimate it cost $800 to $1000. The Sony took great pictures of a kids hockey game. For $200 this Aiptek is not a sharp, but pretty close.
Because technology changes so fast and prices drop so fast, I figure the Aiptek is a good camera for the price, easy to use, and easy to make DVD's. I would recommend this camera.
For the roughly $200 I paid for this, this is a really good bargain.
- Good overall, poor in medium low light
Excellent, light weight camcorder for outdoor use. Not as good as my Canon compact camera for movies or photos in medium and low light conditions. I bought a separate light unit, which ends up making the unit too big.
The HD is fairly good in well lit situations.
This unit is almost portable enough to put in a pocket, but not quite. ...more info
- Good idea, bad quality
I am all for the new type of flash based camcorders as a big market exists.
A great idea for a few basis features that an average person will use 99.9999% of the time.
Where Aiptek loses out is in Quality Control. The form factor is good, although I'm worired over teh longevity of the unit, feels too delicate.
This particular unit I had ordered had a pronounced bluish tint to the video, even in broad daylight. Seemed like i was using a permanent blue filter over the lens.
Bottom line, I would still pay an extra 300-400 just for the quality control and ruggedness of more established name brabds even though I will not use more than 5% of the available feature set.
Hope this helps.