Aiptek A-HD

Does anybody have this product? A $100 HD camcorder sounds too good to be true, so I’m wondering if anyone can tell me anything about this camcorder. Thank you.

Don’t expect results that are any better than a good Standard Definition camcorder from one of the major brands (such as Canon or Sony). In fact, many of the SD camcorders (which cost more than double what you have seen the Aiptek for) actually produce better image quality than most of the cheap HD camcorders. Furthermore, the cheapies have cut corners on their features: They generally have no optical zoom (only digital zoom, which enlarges the pixels and then crops the image), no adjustable focusing (most are fixed focus), they record in only 1280x720p @ 30 fps (which is not compliant with the Blu-Ray standard; Blu-Ray supports 720p only at 24 fps, 25 fps or 60 fps, but not 30 fps) in a very highly compressed .MOV format which isn’t really supported in most video editing apps (well, some video editing apps support the import of .MOV videos but then automatically transcode them to another format as they’re imported whether you want it or not) and often requires Apple’s QuickTime just for such .MOV movies to even play. And because of their shortcomings (which also include noisy imaging sensors and primitive image processors), those cheap HD camcorders generally have very poor low-light performance.

In other words, with HD, you get what you pay for. The minimum amount of money that I would spend on an HD camcorder with at least decent results is $500 (if you’re going to make HD videos to keep).

With that said, the cheap HD camcorders are perfectly fine if you’re just making HD videos for uploading to video sharing sites such as YouTube. Those sites will always re-compress those videos anyway.

Thanks for the in-depth response, I think I’m gonna take the plunge and purchase it. I’m tight on cash, After Effects recognizes .mov files and they sell a 1080p version too, for about $30 more. I don’t see myself using the zoom feature at all, really, as my filming style is more close-up. Thanks for the help, RJL65.

Audio should be terrible…