So I received the video camera I had ordered a few days ago – if you recall, this was a bargain basement option, to provide the basic ability to video gaming, crafting, and other activities. Â As such, I ordered the cheapest camcorder I could locate on Amazon, while still hoping to meet the various needs, the Seree HDV-515.
- It was cheap – final price on Amazon was only $65, plus a $12 memory card
- Video Quality is acceptable – as long as I keep it on 720p, the video is smooth and clear, at least for my novice eyes. Â Once I render a final video thru Davinci Resolve, the video seems to be very solid.
- It was cheap – the case is plastic, and the materials feel very low quality. Â The touch screen only barely works, requiring multiple presses to register, and there are only a few other external buttons for direct options.
- Full HD is not workable – technically it is rated for 1080p, but only at 15 fps, which is choppy and very difficult to watch for any length of time.
- Audio is nearly non-existent – There are mics on the camera, and they are supposed to function, however the audio level is nothing but static and a very (very) faint sound. Â Of course the camera has no option to mute the sound, so the data file continues to record it (and take up space), even though the audio is unusable. Â And this model of camera doesnt accept either a remote mic or have a jack for a connection.
- Storage is limited by the SDHC card limitation – This restricts the storage to 32 GB. Â It does have a second card slot, for a micro-SD card, and admittedly one feature is that it will swap between cards automatically when one is full. Â However, at 32 GB with 720p, it only holds about 5 hours of video, which is likely to be insufficient for my plans. Â With my micro-SD card of 16 GB, that is pushed up to about 7 1/2 or 8 hours, but I don’t currently have a means to read the data off of the micro-SD card.
- The camera OS is unstable – more than a few times, I have tried to power it up or turn it off, and am greeted by a static filled screen which no longer will respond. Â No lost data, but I can only clear it by removing the battery and killing the power entirely.
- Outdated USB drivers – given that I run Windows 10 on all my computers, it is more than a hassle that the included USB drivers (USB also is the power source and battery charging) are non functional. Â If I plug it into a computer, it charges, but I get a constant connected/disconnected from the computer. Â This also makes it function as a webcam non-functional, though admittedly I had no plans to use that.
- Charging via USB – similarly, since the charging comes thru USB, and I can’t plug it into a computer without annoyance, I have to plug it into the wall. Â Fortunately it came with a USB wall plug – unfortunately the included wall plug was non-functional and wont charge. Â It was a hassle, but at least I have spare plugs thanks to multiple i-devices from Apple. Â Of course the connecting cable is very short, so it has to be rather close to a wall plug (or use an extension cord)
Overall, not a very satisfying experience, but good to help me identify what I do and do not want in the next camera.
For now, I am pushing ahead with this one, and I am going to attempt to film my remodeling of the kitchen this weekend. Â If successful, I will be able to share at least a time lapse of the entire project, which if nothing else will be good for a laugh.