What’s the Best Video Recorder to Buy?

I received this email from Kieran “Zer0″ Hill the other day, and thought it was worth sharing with the rest of the community – since I seem to be asked this question every day…

We have never spoken before, so I hope that you don’t have a problem with assisting me. The general impression that I got from your youtube video on the comparison between the Flip Mino HD, Kodak Vi6, and Creative Vado HD, left me thinking that you would not mind being asked for assistance on the matter. You seem to be a very knowledgable person on the majority of genres, which you do reviews the products of, so I feel that it would be very appropriate for me to as you my question that I have on this matter.

Moving on, my name is Kieran Hill (online gamer tag [EVGA]A.Zer0pWnZ) and I recently qualified for the grand finals of the Command and Conquer: Red alert 3 Ladder Season Finals in Cologne, Germany. On this trip, I will be an exclusive member to the alfa testing team on the next game, and will therefore be partaking in the CnC4 community summit. My point – I want to buy an HD video camera to document the entire trip, and to use footage on the show, which I am the lead producer of, Red3TV (the main RA3 web show on the internet, and a product of gamereplays.org.) I will be using the camera mostly indoors; in lowly-lit rooms, with a large amount of monitors present. I will need to have good audio quality for my video, so that any developer interviews, which I conduct, will be flawless, and good enough quality to be included in the August episode of Red3tv, (which is displayed in a 720p HD flash player.)

After the LAN tournament, I will be using which ever camera I purchase, in order to record the news coverage segment of the show, ( which we greenscreen.) My question, is in your opinion, which HD video camera should I buy? I am only 17, and therefore naturally want to spend as least possible on the product; however, I am not saying that price is an issue, rather that it is important that I am not spending an extra $300 for a few extra features, which I will not need.

The main things, which I am looking for in the camera that I purchase will be: (in order from most important to least)

  • Video quality in low-lighting areas
  • Audio quality
  • Compact design (I will be bringing this wherever I go during the grand finals and community summit)
  • Accessories functions available (I have a very expensive USB M-Audio microphone, which I wouldn’t mind connecting, along with an optical wide lense, which I could attach if needed.)

I would really appreciate it if you can give me any feedback possible on this matter. I also saw your Kodak Zx1 unveiling, so if you would like to expand on your thoughs about that, then please do.

Honestly? My choice is still the Creative Vado HD. It’s not perfect (sound is a bit tinny, no external audio solution, etc.), but it certainly leads its class in terms of overall quality. I have high hopes for the next iteration of the Vado, and have given the Creative team direct feedback on what they need to improve upon. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but my opinion stands: the Vado HD rules. And remember, I purchased the Vado HD with my own money.