I’ve previously written on this blog about the Creative Vado HD solid-state 720p video cameras
This pouch can be used to keep your small camera or phone dry as you flounder about in the ocean, and its windows are very clear.
. I enjoy knocking mine about (both above and below the waterline) and I tend to recommend them to people who just want to capture moments with family, or to those looking for a simple video camera to give to a future filmmaker, or to folk who want a camera cheap enough to risk destroying in unsafe conditions
, or to anyone who simply wants a convenient tiny video camera. The reason I particularly like the Creative Vado series as opposed to the now-defunct Flip cameras and other competitors is that the Vados feature the widest-angle lenses in this class of camera. I thought these were a good deal when their price fell to $129 a couple of years ago. Today I noticed refurbs are available for 1/3 that price. Perhaps they’re being cleared away due to the fact that some popular smartphones record video of equivalent quality, and are eating away the market? Regardless the reason for the discount, I think these cameras are fun, useful, and a great value.
Don’t let the sizes of these images fool you, the Vado fits in that pouch with room to spare, I kept both my 1st gen Vado HD and the remote for my Canon HV20 in the pouch simultaneously while snorkeling in Hawaii.
The Creative Vado HD 8GB
(refurbished, first generation), is currently
listed at $40, and the third generation Vado HD
(refurbished, available in several candy colors) are on sale for $50.
Both of these are solid-state video cameras that charge and transfer video to computer over a concealed USB connector and record pretty nice (for the price) 720p HD video at 30 frames per second. The older Vado records to mpeg-2 codec and includes 8Gb of storage space (~2 hours of record time), and the 3rd generation records to mpeg-4 and includes 4Gb of space (also ~2 hours, possibly at the same or better visual quality than the older model due to the more efficient mp4 codec). I haven’t yet used a 3rd gen Vado HD, but it appears to include an improvement that was at the top of my wishlist for the earlier Vado HDs: improved dynamic range and some manual exposure control. These cameras clip highlights, it’d be nice to be able to minimize that issue and knock the exposure down a peg.
Also available at a discount right now, and possibly of interest to anyone with a small camera or phone, is the Creative Labs Vado HD Underwater Pouch. This item has for some reason dropped in price to $10. I believe it is a rebranded Aquapac Mini Waterproof Camera Case, an item which normally sells for about $30 (under both the Aquapac and Creative brand names).
This pouch is basically a fancy polyurethane bag, with a strong seal and very clear vinyl windows on front and back. It can hold small cameras easily, and I’ll probably be using mine next month to keep my iPhone dry while kayaking.
For an example of the 2nd generation Vado HD and this pouch in action together, check out this a Green Sea Turtle video I shot in Hawaii. I also recently loaned out my Vado and pouch to The Perennial Plate, and they used it to shoot some underwater footage of an urchin diver for their web series.