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Old Mar 13, 2008, 3:41 AM   #1
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Hi, I don't currently own any digital camcorder, I wasn't really in the market for one but I saw the Aiptek iCam 2.4" at Best Buy, on sale for $89 plus I have a $25 giftcard from Christmas, so it would only cost me $64. So I started looking for some online reviews. I can't find much references to this model, maybe it goes by another name?

Anyways, the only reason I'm considering one is because I can get one so cheap ($64). I realize this is not a top-of-the-line unit, but then I'm really not in the market for something that costs a few hundred dollars.

My family is going on a Caribbean cruise in April, and I thought this might be a fun device to take along. I have NO experience at all with these new hybrid cams. But from what I read about other models, some generally have issues with low light situations, so I'm guessing it's not something that would replace my current 8mm camcorder. This model also only has 4x digital zoom (no optical), which may or may not be a problem. That's why I'm turning to you knowledgable people for your opinions.

Bottom line, is the Aiptek iCam 2.4 worth buying? I don't expect a professional camera, but I don't want a 'toy' either. I've looked hard for some online video samples, and all I can find are YouTube videos which of course are very low resolution. I would LOVE to see at least one 640x480 or 720x480 video clip in it's original resolution. Now, how bad is the low light capture? How bad is the digital zoom? How about the audio quality? Does the still camera mode take good pictures?

Thanks again for any info you can give me.

DaveNetMan
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 4:35 AM   #2
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Dave .Welcome. letAdric0222 answer he owns one or the IS-DV2. they are the same less a swival.

I own one and rather let him reply video samples are in the sample, pinned post I do not have any on hand and maybe he does thank you
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 8:25 AM   #3
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DaveNetMan, here is an extensive review I did on the IS-DV2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUVNbMDKE8o

However.. the cameras aren't the same. The one at Bestbuy has a swivel screen, I believe a larger screen too. It also claims 720x480 video resolution, which the IS-DV2 does not support and a higher still-photo resolution.

I've never seen any raw footage from the i-Cam, but I've seen some on youtube and it looks pretty much the same quality as mine.

I will warn you about some things before you buy it, just to set your expectations correctly. Aiptek tends to fudge a bit on their advertising of features.
  • Whatever megapixel resolution it offers, take that number and divide by 2. That will be the resolution you can typically expect the camera to actually deliver. [/*]
  • The Frame rate is advertised as 30 fps. But it will likely only deliver about 18 fps most of the time, but the videos will show up as 30 fps when looking at the file information, but they have repeated frames.[/*]
  • Camera needs lots of light. Typically you will not get anything indoors, unless the house is unusual like mine and has tons of bright light. It will do decently well in an office environment since there is usually more light.[/*]
  • The zoom is useless. When in video mode, the camera starts off with a 640x480 image, and zooms into this via software.(rather than using the entire resolution of the imager)So, when in 2X zoom, you are getting an effective resolution of 320x240 blown up to 640x480. This is fine if you are planning to upload the video to youtube, since it will be chopped down to 320x240 anyway. But if you are watching the videos in full resolution on your computer, the zoom is usless. Of course, zoomnig in 4X gives you effective 160x120 pixels. It is pathetic.
[/*]
Other than these issues.. The camera is pretty fun to use and can deliver some impressive photos and videos under the right circumstances. Spending $64 is a decent amount to spend on a camera like this, but I look at it more along the lines that you are spending $89 on it because that gift card could be used for something else. Personally, I think it is a bit much. You can find it cheaper on ebay. You can get one brand-new still in the box on ebay for $60 and keep your gift card. Or buy a used one for half that.
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 8:33 PM   #4
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adric22, thanks for the quick reply. I was on the fence about buying one, and you've confirmed some issues I wondered about, so I'll probably pass for now. The next step up (price-wise) is the A-HD, which I would only consider if it addressed all the issues that the iCam has, but from what I read, it sounds like it has the same issues. Since I don't currently have an HDTV, I wouldn't currently gain anything by the higher resolution, I think the only thing I'd really gain is having the better battery, which to me isn't enough to warrent the price jump. Plus, still no optical zoom, which I think I really need.

Thanks again for your feedback!
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 8:42 AM   #5
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I have one.

It's a toy.

I consider it a portable Web cam.

Low audio sampling rate makes audio recordings very "muffled."

Low light is actually better than I expected.

Frame rate compromised.

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Old Mar 14, 2008, 11:23 AM   #6
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DaveNetMan wrote:
Quote:
up (price-wise) is the A-HD, which I would only consider if it addressed all the issues that the iCam has, but from what I read, it sounds like it has the same issues. Since
I wouldn't say the A-HD has ALL of the same issues. From what I can tell, the framerate on the A-HD is a true 30 fps.

I'm not sure about the zoom. I've never seen it mentioned. A 2X or 3X digital zoom can actually work quite well when it is implimented correctly so that it uses the entire imager's resolution. I do not know if the A-HD works this way or not.

I think the low-light performance is better on the A-HD than theiCam... so all isn't lost here. You still may want to consider it.
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