Kogan Technologies Full HD 1080p Video Camera
Cheaper than chips
- $369! $369! $369! $369! $369! (Did we mention it's $369?)
- Terrible optical zoom, below average audio, poor low-light performance
Kogan has made a career out of undercutting big-name vendors with cheap hardware, but the Full HD 1080p Video Camera really takes the biscuit. Despite a cavalcade of flaws, it remains insanely good value for money. A full HD camcorder for under $400? Yes please!
Price$ 369.00 (AUD)
It’s not every day that a high-def camcorder comes along for under $1000 — or even $1500 for that matter. But less than $500? That’s completely unheard of! With a reality-defying RRP of $369, the Kogan Full HD 1080p Video Camera is three times cheaper than the average high-definition camcorder. Sporting a Full HD recording mode and an image resolution of 8 megapixels — plus high-end features like optical image stabilisation and face detection — it is unquestionably the best-value camcorder on the market. Hell, it even comes bundled with a free carry pouch and an 8GB SD memory card.
Kogan is leaving nothing to chance with the Full HD 1080p Video Camera: everything a consumer needs to know is right there in the product name. Being a flash memory–based model, it records HD video to SD/SDHC memory cards, which currently have a maximum capacity of 32GB. With its revolutionary price tag and magic marketing number (i.e. 1080p), it is destined to appear on countless Christmas wish lists. But is it actually any good?
When we first laid eyes on that too-good-to-be-true price tag, alarm bells started ringing in our cynical ears. Surely something so ridiculously cheap would need to cut plenty of corners to break even? While it’s true that the product falls short in several key areas — including sound, low-light performance and optical zoom — it is still better than a sub-$400 HD camcorder has any right to be. For the asking price, it truly is an astonishing product, provided you don’t expect it to compete with market leaders like Canon or Sony.
Despite its bargain-basement price-point, the Kogan comes with some surprisingly good components and features. Foremost is an impressively large 1/2.5in CMOS sensor with a gross pixel count of 5000k (5 megapixels). It also comes with an optical image stabiliser (OIS) — something many of its more expensive rivals lack. This will help to ensure your handheld footage remains smooth and shake-free, though you will need to record at 720p to use this function.
As has become customary for all modern camcorders, the Full HD Video Camera also offers a still image mode, which provides a maximum resolution of 8-megapixels (via interpolation software). While it doesn't match the quality of a dedicated stills camera, it remains more than adequate for occasional happy snaps, with inbuilt face detection and red-eye reduction lending a helping hand.
All up, we were very impressed with the Kogan’s video performance. It records AVCHD video in the H.264 (MOV) format for superior rates of compression. Colours were sharp and vibrant in our outdoor footage, with plenty of fine detail in complex images. We did find the autofocus to be a bit erratic at times, but you won’t be using the Kogan to shoot award-winning video; consequently, a little blurriness here and there shouldn’t pose much of a problem.
As you'd expect from a budget point-and-shoot camcorder, manual functions are quite limited. There's a macro mode and options to adjust the exposure and white balance, but that's basically the lot. Curiously, the LCD displays a histogram while in shooting mode, despite the camera’s budget leanings. This is an interesting touch, though it may confound novice users who are unlikely to know what it represents or means. Thankfully, the graph can be switched off in the menu, along with the annoying beeping noise that accompanies menu selections.
Now let's talk about to the bad stuff. When we tested the Kogan in low lighting, the results were unsurprisingly poor. In addition to the usual influx of noise (which was more prevalent than usual) the camera often struggled to capture anything at all. In dark rooms, our footage was almost completely enveloped in shadows, making it impossible to see what we were recording. To assist nocturnal shooting, Kogan has included both an inbuilt light and a dedicated night mode, but neither work particularly well. By contrast, the Canon HF11 captured crisp, noise-free video in the same environment. Then again, it also costs four times as much.
We were also left unimpressed by the Kogan’s audio capabilities. Instead of a traditional microphone placement (above or beneath the lens), it sports a tiny stereo microphone on the outside of its LCD display, similar to what you’d find on a webcam. This is obviously less proficient at capturing audio, especially in noisy environments. There’s also no external microphone jack, which means you’re stuck with the inbuilt mic. You’ll therefore need to look elsewhere if sound is a big priority.
But these are small quibbles compared to the product’s worst offence, which is its terrible zoom function. In addition to being underpowered (a mere 5x optical) it is also unbearably sluggish. Closing in on a subject seems to take forever, as if the camera is wading through a thick pool of honey. This makes it impossible to capture quick close-ups from afar. (Indeed, we actually got faster results by standing up and walking towards the subject.)
We could probably mention a few other faults (including a garish user interface and short battery life), but to do so would be needlessly critical. If you want to own a high-def camcorder without paying through the nose, the Kogan Full HD 1080p Video Camera is the deal of the century.
The Full HD 1080p Video Camera can only be bought directly from Kogan’s Web site: www.kogan.com.au. We suggest you snap one up before they sell out.
Join the newsletter!
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Toys for Boys
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Bose SoundLink Micro
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Xbox One X
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Keep Watch Day and Night with Uniden’s Two-In-One Camera and Spotlight
- Sony make shooting in HDR easy with new 4K camcorders
- Sony announces Australian availability for new waterproof RX0 action-camera
- Microsoft's Beam becomes Mixer, adds four person split-screen streaming to battle Twitch
- Microsoft's Story Remix uses machine learning and mixed reality to make your movies awesome
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- PC World 2017 Editors' Choice Awards Nomineees Announced
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCContracts OfficerNSW
- FTAutomation DeveloperOther
- TPSCRUM MasterVIC
- FTStorage & Data Protection Team LeadACT
- FTAutomation TesterQLD
- TPC++ DeveloperNSW
- TPProject ManagerQLD
- FTField Service TechnicianOther
- FTMachine Learning LeadOther
- FTProject/Stakeholder Engagement ManagerACT
- FTApplication Support Analyst (.NET, SQL. ORACLE, ITIL)Other
- FTDynamics CRM ArchitectOther
- CCApplication Support Analyst - Level 2QLD
- FTPortfolio Management & Governance ConsultantOther
- FTDigital BAOther
- TPBusiness/Data AnalystQLD
- TPProject Manager - Pre Sales Development ProcessNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Agile - ERPOther
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- CCGenesys Specialist - SME - TelcoVIC
- TPSenior Project Manager - Office 365QLD
- CCOrganisational Change ManagerNSW
- FTService Desk Engineer/IT Help desk Support - Multiple positionsVIC
- CCSQL Server Database AdministratiorNSW
- FTMid-Level Software EngineerOther