£59.99 for a digital video camera? Looking as sleek as an iPod? Sounds almost too good to be true. So when I was asked to review this little white wonder of modern technology, I couldn’t say no. If only I had!
The camera arrived safely in its little box, looked as fab as on the picture and was pretty much ‘plug and play’. Instructions are held to a minimum, as there are not many instructions needed.
It runs on batteries, which is not the greenest solution to power, but makes it incredibly easy. The zoom is digital rather than optical and therefore reduces picture quality considerably. Plus, the clicking sound of using the zoom buttons drowned out everything that I tried to capture on film. But then, there is only so much you can expect from a £59.99 digital video camera.
The BIG downside of the camera only unfolded when I tried to download the files to my computer. ‘Unknown file format’ said my Mac. I tried for a while and was getting annoyed. Upset. Angry. Ready to give up. Have I told you I was crap at doing reviews? I know why my answer always was ‘No’ to reviews. Just before I wanted to send the thing back, Big M jumped in and sorted it out. Here’s what he said:
The camera produces video files in an “.avi” format which will not play on a Mac´s standard player Quicktime (not an uncommon problem with video cameras and Macs).
Installing the free DivX Player made playing the movies possible though.
Downloading photos works nice and easy.
There does seem to be a compatibility issue with deleting files on the camera though, so for a Mac user the whole thing turns into a bit of a palaver. In the manual it actually states that Windows (and therefore a probably ugly and unyielding PC) is a requirement; sadly the manufacturer has forgotten to state that fact one the box.
In summary it is a fun little video camera and amazing that the technology has become that cheap. The camera will do the trick for you if you really cannot afford anything else or want a camera to take along when total loss is a possibility (concerts, sky diving or maybe a crazy children’s party). If you are on Mac I would suggest that the Wiki digital video camera is not for you. You might also want to check if your mobile phone records videos – newer phones do so and Met Mum’s Sony Ericsson W995 has the Wiki beaten hands down on video quality. Even though getting the files onto the Mac from the phone is not super easy either…
Thank you, Big M, you are my saviour.
The camera is available from iwoot.com, a great gadget site that lets you collect and redeem ipoints for your purchases.
In case you are the owner of a PC and fancy this camera: leave a comment below by Saturday, 21 November 2009, 2pm. I will use a Random Integer Generator to draw the winner of this fabulous give away.