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Old Nov 21, 2006, 4:50 PM   #1
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I'm new to this. Please excuse if I misuse terms; however, this information may be useful to you. I focused on these new models (pun intended):

Aiptek Zoom DV - 3x Optical Zoom w/ Auto Focus ($199) and Mustek DV 5600 Digital Video Camcorder ($199 without the dock). Both provide similar features and some accessories bundled at this time, have 30 frames/sec, MPEG-4, multifunctionality, zoom, audio (WAV & MP3), & improved low light performance with stabilization.

Part of my evaluation compared customer support & service from each company, their ability to answer technical questions, locate information and communicate procedures.

Mustek does not post their phone online, however, it comes with their product. I called 2 times, since my first call was disappointing, to give them a fair chance. Both calls were routed to India, which is not a problem in itself. However, it appeared that the technical support guys were not knowledgeable with the product line, did not have direct experience with the product, the 2nd person hung up on me andthey were both unable to locate information related to basic features. I think English was a 2nd language, and the first person had difficulty understanding my questions (maybe it was my Chicago north side accent?). I think it was lack of training. In general, India is the technology center of the world now. Front line customer service training / experience has not caught up with demand in this case.


Aiptek customer service is still in the USA and the call answered promptly. The contact/support information is posted on the website. Their policy is to give the customer as much time as they need for questions and "how to" instructions at no charge. I like this feature. The person I spoke to was pretty knowledgeable.

Functionally, the main advantage of the Aiptek Zoom DV is that it has optical as well as digital capabilities. The optical works up to 3x (& without zooming) without accessing digital features. Color is better with optical and provides smoother tracking (panning) and still pics.

At low light and with high zoom, tracking is less smooth; but I think that would apply to any of the models (still 1/2 the price of better digital camcorders plus multifunction options).

Comparing Aiptek's MPVR, the new Aiptek Zoom DV should be optically better. Lacking the direct connection to TV/VRD is not a problem for computer users with card readers including SD/MMC. The MPVR was designed for noncomputer users as a stand-alone.

The downside of getting a product new on the market is that the software usually needs tweeking. Although not posted on their website, Aiptek firmware software upgrades are available by request via download. Saving on tothe MMC card and pressing a few button combinations on the camera loads the upgrade. No upgrades are currently available.

So I guess I decided on Aiptek. I anticipate that my consumer support needs will be better met there, and that the new model will have improved on the MPVR's shortcomings.It willbe used forall the available functions.

Aiptek accepts warrantee from only authorized dealers. To check if your EBAY seller (or other discount seller) obtained it from an authorized distributor, contact Aiptek with their name and the name of their source. Saving a few dollars may not be worth it.

I saw some places online offer extended warrantees in addition to the manufacturer's 1 year on new products.

As a side note, http://www.microcenter.comcarries generic1 gig memory (sd/mcc & flash sticks) as low as $15.99.

If you have further information on this product, I'd like to know before I buy it. Thanks.

Thanks to FishyComics for the posted article and emails.

Happy Thanksgiving,



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Old Nov 22, 2006, 6:58 AM   #2
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Good luck with the purchase.
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