So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Kogan Full HD 1080p Deluxe Touchscreen Video Camcorder Camera
A budget Full HD camcorder with a 20-megapixel still image mode
- Good HD video for asking price, free 8GB SD memory card, improved optical zoom
- A bit too similar to its cheaper predecessor, confusing and ugly menu
The Kogan Full HD 1080p Deluxe Touchscreen Video Camcorder Camera is an impressive all-rounder. It is capable of taking great looking photos and videos -- especially for the asking price. Highly recommended.
Price$ 339.00 (AUD)
The Kogan Full HD 1080p Deluxe Touchscreen Video Camcorder Camera is an affordable high-definition camcorder that records video to SD/SDHC memory cards. Just like Kogan's previous camcorders, it punches well above its weight when it comes to price vs. performance.
At $339, the Kogan Full HD 1080p Deluxe Touchscreen Video Camcorder Camera costs around $60 more than the regular, non-deluxe version. For the added premium, you get a more powerful optical zoom (12x instead of 5x), a redesigned lens (36-428mm vs. 38-190mm) and enhanced interpolation software. This boosts the total pixel count to an impressive 20 megapixels — double what the previous version offered. The camcorder has also undergone a subtle redesign, with an improved control dial and connectivity flaps. As a finishing touch, it comes with gaudy gold lettering to really ram home its 'deluxe' status.
Whether the above changes are worth sixty smackeroos is somewhat debatable. Nonetheless, it remains one of the best-value HD camcorders on the market. Indeed, most of its competitors are at least three times more expensive (even budget models like the Sanyo Xacti HD1010 typically retail for around $1000). Its only real competitors are the Millennius Memmoir Gold Full HD camcorder and inferior 'pocket cams' such as the JVC GC-FM1. Consequently, we're willing to overlook the $60 mark-up.
With dimensions of 129x72x67mm, the Kogan Full HD 1080p Deluxe Touchscreen Video Camcorder Camera is slightly larger than its predecessor. That said, it remains reasonably compact and attractive. We were especially impressed by the fat lens dominating the front of the device — in addition to taking good video, this helps to give Kogan's camera a high-end feel that the majority of budget models lack. For the asking price, it is a well-constructed product.
As its name suggests, the Kogan Full HD 1080p Deluxe Touchscreen Video Camcorder Camera employs a touchscreen interface for menu selections. A directional joystick is also included for camcorder traditionalists (and people with unsightly sausage fingers). We experienced no issues with the touchscreen during testing, although we found the menu icons to be a bit garish. Camcorder beginners will initially find the array of symbols confusing.
To test the Kogan Full HD 1080p Deluxe Touchscreen Video Camcorder Camera's video performance, we shot footage in a variety of lighting conditions and then played it back on a Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A plasma TV . While we were unable to do a side-by-side comparison, the results seemed on par with the Kogan Full HD 1080p Touchscreen Video Camera. We certainly didn't notice any aberrations.
Like its predecessor, the Kogan Full HD 1080p Deluxe Touchscreen Video Camcorder Camera produced impressive-looking video in the sunshine, with plenty of fine detail and accurate colours. Picture quality took a nose dive in dim environments — but that's to be expected from a $339 camcorder. Its output will remain perfectly serviceable for holiday videos and family home movies. In other words, the majority of users will be more than satisfied.
The stills image mode is equally impressive. The native 10-megapixel mode took sharp photos that are suitable for printing, while the included flash allows you to use it in the dark (provided your subject is close to the camera).
All in all, the Kogan Full HD 1080p Deluxe Touchscreen Video Camcorder Camera is a great performer for the asking price. The addition of a 12x optical zoom lens and 20-megapixel stills mode are sure to be appreciated by casual users. The camera also comes bundled with a carry case and an 8GB SD memory card, bolstering its value further.
The Kogan Full HD 1080p Deluxe Touchscreen Video Camcorder Camera is only available direct from Kogan. Visit www.kogan.com.au for more information.
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