Creative Vado Hands On Review

The videos I’ve recorded lately, have come out of a Creative Vado Pocket Video Camera. I considered getting the Creative Labs Vado HD but at USD$229, I thought I would give it a pass. After all, I only purchased the Creative Vado for a mere USD$65.85 (list price: $99.99). OK, I picked up a pink version, saving me $14.10 from the silver model, but who cares?

Its a nifty little toy. It is all enclosed in what feels like a rubberised coloured sleeve, and the buttons are very easy to use. It almost feels waterproof. There is no optical zoom, and the digital zoom seems to be kind of useless, and the LCD screen size sure seems a tad larger than the Flip cam’s.

The whole camera feels cheap, and very light. It takes a rechargeable battery, and it recharges over the USB port (so no AA batteries here — if its flat, it has to charge via USB). There seems to be enough to record 60 minutes of video on my unit, which is more than enough. I have no idea how long the battery lasts, but I would presume I’ll get a cycle or two.

The USB port is at the bottom, and there’s this little rubbery bit for you to pull it out (the Kodak and the Flip cameras tend to have a button of some sort). Unfortunately, the rubbery bit does get a little squashed when you’re mounting it on a monopod. Creative Vado

Audio quality seems to be tolerable. Even from a distance of about 3 metres, I can grab the audio just fine. Projector screens at that distance of course, don’t seem to render much detail (then again, it was a projection of a spreadsheet… so not the best example).

All in all, its pretty tiny, but surprisingly feels pretty rugged, and it can definitely easily fit into my pocket. Compared to the Flip’s even, this camera seems to be the smallest and thinnest available. It is also the only camera in its class, that doesn’t come with a carrying pouch of sorts (in comparison to the Kodak or Flip offerings).

Playback on the Mac, with Perian installed, seemed to show me that with VLC, I would see the video but not hear the audio. However, if I chose to open the clip in Quicktime, I could hear audio and see the video. Wonder what codec pack I’m missing (for ADPCM), then? For the geeks, file(1) spits out: RIFF (little-endian) data, AVI, 640 x 480, 30.00 fps, video: XviD, audio: ADPCM (mono, 14000 Hz).

Some sample video:

Will I recommend it? Sure. It seems to fit the bill of a tiny video camera that gets the job done at the price point its available at. Will I get it even if its silver, or at the MSRP? Probably yes ;-)


  1. ShaolinTiger says:

    Looks quite similar to handphone video recording quality, any advantage of using this over a phone?

    • byte says:

      Its definitely better than my E71. Its probably comparable with the N95/N96, but that I don’t own, so I can’t compare it well enough.