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Creative Labs Vado HD 720p

2 Ratings: 5.0
A video camcorder by Creative Labs

The thin, lightweight Vado HD is small enough to fit easily in a pocket, purse or the palm of your hand, and it captures video in 720P high-definition quality with just the touch of a button. Sharing videos online is simple with built-in software that … see full wiki

1 review about Creative Labs Vado HD 720p

Flip HD VS Vado HD...and The Winner Is...

  • Jun 13, 2009
  • by
Over the past few months, I've been busy test driving two camcorders; the Creative Lab Vado HD camcorder and the Pure Digital Flip Mino HD. Both are powerful, inexpensive tools for bloggers, journalists or anyone interested in stepping into HD video recording - especially parents.

Released in 2008 by Pure Digital, the Flip Mino is the world smallest HD video recorder. The camera can record 720p high definition video for approximately one hour. It comes with 4 gigs of onboard memory. The image sensor is CMOS, with a frame rate of 30 fps. The camera has automatic white balance, automatic exposure control and dynamic exposure compensation and fixed focus lens.( To my photography friends you can equate that to a prime lens - more of less) A NTSC cable is included, and has joined the other NTSC cables I have collected over the years. There is also a port for an HDMI connection, but no cable is provided. The camera also comes with a velvety pouch for storage. The online Flip store allows for custom designs of its HD models. For a great example, check out Lord Matt's design.

The Vado HD marketed by Creative Labs provides 720p high definition video for two hours. The software allows the user to select a standard definition video setting as well. There are 8 gigs of memory onboard the camcorder, along with software to do basic video editing. A CMOS sensor shooting video at 30 fps. A wide angle lens and 2x digital zoom come standard. Like the Flip, I consider it to be a fixed lens as well. It comes with an HDMI cable and plastic protective cover, along with the unrestrained adulation of Chris Pirillo

Does this sound geek to you? This can seem a bit daunting if this tech is unfamiliar to you.

Let's briefly review some definitions:

HD or high definition simply means you can see more detail in your video compared with SD or standard definition video. This quality is measured in the number of pixels. The textbook definition of high definition video would have a pixel count of 1080 x 1444. Standard Definition pixels are typically 720 x 480. In essence, the more pixels you have to work with, the more detail is captured in your video. The Mino and Vado shoot at 720p which converted to pixels would be 1280 x 720. Not quite textbook High Definition, but it is real close.

CMOS stands for Complimentary Metal Oxide Sensor. This is where the light let in from your lens is converted into an electrical signal. A rather important component to your camera, it is where the rubber meets the road so to speak.

NTSC cable connects your video camera to you television in order for you to play the video direct from your camera to your TV. I've got a growing collection of these cables.

HDMI stand for High Definiton Multimedia Interface. On a single cable, it supports any type of TV or PC video format. This provided the best quality of video to your home entertainment system.

The Mino and Vado have an impressive 4 second power up time. 4 seconds can make the difference between capturing the scene or watching it pass by while your camcorder is reading its hard drive.

Memory storage is on board and so is the video editing software. With the flick of a USB connector you can download your videos, and the editing software is automatically installed. The software allows you to perform basic editing on your video - you can trim the video, add titles, losing credits and music if you so chose . Directly from the software you can upload your video to YouTube, AOL, MySpace, Photobucket and box.

Both have sleek controls and combined with automatic everything leads to near perfect idiot proofing of the camera. I mean that in a good way. This is a grab and go camcorder that you don't need to waste time fussing with numerous settings. This is a HD camcorder that you can put in your pocket, Hobo or your black hole of a tote bag and head out to a Tea Party or Birthday party.

It is not all sweetness and light with these camcorders. One hour battery life of the Flip Mino HD can throw a monkey wrench into your coverage of an event. In fact, I ran the battery down on the Flip smack in the middle of an interview. Not cool at all. The software is simple and basic, yet I've been unsuccessful at adding titles to my Flip videos. Every attempt to do so has crashed the program. To date, I've been unsuccessful in troubleshooting this annoying problem. The LCD is substantially larger with the Vado in comparison to Flip.

Both camcorders do NOT have lens covers. After pulling the camcorders out of my purse or LowePro slingback, I find the need to frequently clean off smudges before shooting video.

Both are roughly the same size and weight, both have a flippy USB connectors and tripod connections. If you want good video - get to know your inner tripod. This is important since both camcorders do not have image stabilization on board. Sudden movements produce nausea inducing video on both cameras.

For more advanced users, you can bypass the editing software and use your preferred video editing software with raw Flip videos. The Vado requires that you create a movie in .wmv format before using in another video editing system. This has been my experience using Sony Vegas 8 to edit video.

For such small camcorders, they really pack a great video punch! I've included video samples in this post to illustrate the quality of video produced by Flip Mino HD and Creative Vado HD.


Screen capture:


Screen Capture:

Side by side video comparison of the two camcorders - The Vado clip was shot in VGA and the Flip video was shot in 720p.

I will tell you it is tough to place one camera above the other as both have similar good points and manageable annoyances. If pushed, I'd place the Vado HD over the Flip Mino HD - just barely. It comes down to the more vibrant colors recorded on video and the software package - the Vado video editing software is slightly more robust than Flip Mino. Both pack a lot of tech into a small and inexpensive package, you would not go wrong with one or the other.

You can purchase a Flip Mino HD HERE
You can purchase a Creative Vado HD HERE

I've no conflict of interest to disclose. I've not received financial or material compensation from Creative Labs or Pure Digital in exchange for this review.
Flip VS Vado

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October 19, 2009
Texas Rob, You pose a good question about the Vado. I only work with PC (Profusely Corded) computers. I will tell you that Vista has me looking seriously at the MacBook Pro. But aside from that, there has been a software upgrade with Vado to make it more Mac friendly. The one annoyance I have with the Vado is the inability to string together more than three clips. It seems you need to purchase an 'upgrade' to the software in order to be able to link more than 3 clips together. It is a rather sneaky business ploy that I've written to them about. The software is far more robust than the Flip - this could be a good thing or a bad thing depending upon how much time you want to commit to video editing. Once you decide to create a movie, the software adds an automatic generic title and ending to the video clip - you have to remember to edit out the generic title for one more suited to your video. You can skip all of this by simply uploading the clip directly to YouTube or other video sharing sites, but if you want to tweak the video you have to deal with these titles. However, I do like the 'themes' that can be overlapped on to your video, it does add touch of professionalism to your creation. I do own and use both the Flip and Vado - both have their uses and I'm quite happy with both..okay maybe a little more with the Vado. Does this help?
October 19, 2009
I have heard that the Vado is not compatible with Macs, I own a Flip and use it constantly and it's great with my Mac but have been thinking about a Vado, what problems or difficulties am I looking at if I do buy a Vado?
August 25, 2009
Great review. I have both of these and the Vado is far superior, IMO. My biggest issue with the Flip is that when I'm filming my son (which is 99% of the time), I have to stand a mile away to get him fully in the frame. In fact, when filming in doors, the Flip became almost useless b/c I'd try to film my son doing something (dancing, jumping, rolling around, etc.) and I'd only get his upper body and miss what was so funny or precious about the moment. The VADO cures most of that.
July 14, 2009
WOWZERS...this is a very complete and detailed review/comparison. I like it. I especially like your attention to the non-techies out there. Heck, if get someone looking at me crazy eye'd when I start talkin HD, I'm sending 'em to your review! :D
June 22, 2009
i have been using the Flip for a couple of months now...and can't live without it...no mother should. i have been able to capture so many of my kid's "moments" with the (super light weight and soooooooooo easy to use) device in my purse at all times. i can't tell you which is better because i have only purchased the Flip. But i love love love it!!! It's so fun to put your videos to music and then email to the grandparents/friends, etc... and you can get the HD for $199. at Costco...at least you could a couple of months ago...worth every single penny...and then some!!!
August 25, 2009
Tara, you've got to give the VADO a shot. You can see my comment above. Very similar functionality, size, etc., but you can get so much more out of the scenes with the VADO. And its cheaper (I think).
June 17, 2009
Tania, what are the advantages of using one of these pocket camcorders over the video capabilities of a digital camera (e.g. Canon SD780)? Are these camcorders intended for those who don't have a digital camera with video capabilities or do they really justify the additional purchase?
June 18, 2009
That is a good question, Peccatorimpius. An immediate benefit of the pocket camcorder over a digicam is the amount of video you can capture. With 720p resolution with a 2 GB card you will get about 10 mins worth of video, on a 8 GB card roughly 43 mins. That would be without using the camera to take stills. The Vado will give you 2 hours of recording on the HD plus setting. I consider the SD780 as a backup to my Vado, the camera is primarily a tool for photographs and in a pinch - video.

The Vado or the Flip are a inexpensive way to add an HD camcorder to your collection, especially if you are a novice at taking video. It has been my experience using a Nikon CoolPix P2 for stills and video that I was constantly juggling to make sure I had enough room on the SD card for both activities. Trust me you are going to take more video than you intended - it is a basic rule of life, I believe.  Having a separate or second source for video can make life easier!  I hope this answers your questions :)
June 18, 2009
That is very helpful, thanks Tania!
June 18, 2009
i had that same exact question. thanks for the great answer.  and based 0n your review i just ordered 4 of the Vados for father's day presents.  I hope the get here on time!!!
June 18, 2009
I also really have found the video quality to be FAR superior to what we take off of our nikon or cannon still cameras - which were pretty great to begin with, but nonetheless the Vado blows them away in that regard. And it's SO small, that it's negligible to carry as one extra device, IMO. I was actually seamlessly double-fisted for most of our recent Hawaiian vacation ; )
June 14, 2009
We just purchased 2 Vados, and subsequently three more as gifts! I LOVE this camera, and have been meaning to review it for a month now... but your review pretty much blows away what I'll be posting : ) Mine's being drafted from the non-at-all-techie mom-trying-to-capture-two-year-old perspective. We've even used ours underwater w/ a waterproof bag purchased separately! Absolutely amazing innovation.
June 16, 2009
Thanks for your comment. It is a great way to get your feet wet in HD video technology without breaking the bank to do so. I am still stunned by the quality of video produced from this camcorder. Let me know when you post your review!
June 13, 2009
So, I guess you're Yubert's Tania?! ;-) Comprehensive & excellent review. I was considering the Flip & then came across some reviews for the Vado. But, ultimately didn't buy either. I'm set on Lumix TZ7 instead (http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-camera...asonic-Lumix-DMC-TZ7/p1) which has not only wide angle, 12x zoom, great still camera functions but also HD video recording. Packed with a Leica lens, focal length 25-300mm, 1280 x 720 pixel HD video recording with stereo sound and full optical zoom capability & priced at US$400, it has the best of both worlds! For the more serious photography, I'm actually also considering the Lumix GH1 (http://www.engadget.com/2009/05/04/panasonic...-footage-gets-examined/), if you have test driven this one, kindly write a review on it!!! :-)
June 13, 2009
So, where are those pix, Yubert? I thought you were driving across the entire America the last 2 months or so! I presumed with the new camera as well? How's life in California?
June 13, 2009
I told you the Vado was a better pick - just slightly!
What's your opinion on Creative Labs Vado HD 720p?
2 Ratings: +5.0
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Creative Labs Vado HD 720p Pocket Video Camcorder with 8 GB Video Storage and 2x Digital Zoom (Black)
Model: VF0580
Brand: Creative Labs

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