Kogan Full HD 1080p Video Camcorder Camera

Kogan's camcorder talks a big talk at a low asking price. Although it doesn't deliver to the same standards as its competitors, it does offer an interesting choice for very entry level videographers.


6.8
CNET Rating
7.5
User Rating

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Design
The outstanding design feature of Kogan's 1080p Camcorder is undoubtedly the lightweight dent it'll leave in your wallet or purse; AU$399 for a full 1080p-capable camera seems like incredibly good value. The moment you pick up the camera, though, you'll work out one area where the Kogan camcorder has saved a few dollars in the design phase. Put simply, it feels like it's made of cheap plastic, and that's because it is. Pieces click, dials slip, hinges creak and the whole camera body feels slick under hand, rather than secure. The one upside to this is that it's very light to hold. The battery compartment on the side hides under a cheap rubberised flap, while an SD card — the only recording format on offer, with an 8GB SDHC card provided in the box — slots in the other side.

One area where it does stand out from the camcorder pack is that's it's totally bereft of manufacturers' logos. While the usual hyperbolic statements regarding resolution, zoom, and, of course, "HD" in big friendly letters are imprinted on the body, there's no big, shiny Kogan logo where you'd normally expect to see, say, a Sony, Canon or Panasonic emblem. If you're the type who doesn't particularly appreciate advertising a company simply because you purchased a product, that might be a big design plus.

Features
Kogan doesn't hide this camcorder's other main selling point under a rock either, proudly stating its 1080p credentials as part of the product name. According to Kogan's website, the camcorder also offers optical image stabilisation, face detection, 5x optical zoom and a variety of shooting modes. So far, so good, but it's only when you delve into the Kogan's menu structure that you realise where, in a features sense, this camcorder skimps. There's are four resolutions on offer (1080p, 720p, WVGA and QVGA) but no details on, nor the ability to alter, the recording bit rate. Shooting modes on offer are sepia, black and white, and standard, and, umm, that's all. The one upside with such a simple and limited menu system is that it's very easy to get to grips with, simply because there aren't many choices on offer.

Image stabilisation is by default switched off when you first unpack the camera, and there's a none too subtle reason why. By default the camera is set to record in 1080p mode, but the manual notes that image stabilisation is only available in 720p and WVGA modes. If you're going to shoot in 1080p, in other words, use a tripod or grow a pair of steady hands.

The Kogan Camcorder features an built-in microphone and front mounted light source, with no capability to use any external peripherals for either purpose. There's no HDMI interface on offer, with the best output being component out. Again, it's not surprising given the asking price, but these are limitations that are well worth bearing in mind.

Performance
The generally low feature set and budget level build quality would naturally be entirely permissible if the shooting quality was up to spec. For the purposes of comparison, we set the Kogan 1080p Camcorder up against a Canon's HF11 1080p camcorder, to give us some visual benchmarks to play with. It is worth bearing in mind that you could buy four Kogan cameras for the single price of the Canon camcorder, and it would be truly surprising if the Kogan kept pace. And indeed it didn't, with a noticeable lag in most aspects, from the onscreen histogram that looks like it fell off the back of a Commodore 64, to the focus which simply can't deal with subjects moving at even a moderate speed.

The Kogan outputs MOV files encoded in H264 with AAC audio. That's acceptable for dumping into most consumer editing packages, although if you're serious about videography you'll find more flexibility in an AVCHD stream. Again, not surprising given the obvious target market for this camera. Quality was quite variable; for outdoor shooting scenes it performed quite well, but as soon as there was a dip in light quality (or, indeed, any rapid lighting changes) it struggled to keep up.

Conclusion
That AU$399 price point dangles over any consideration of the Kogan Camcorder. Not just because of the low impact on your wallet, but also because of what it's reasonable to expect at this price point. Ultimately, what you're getting for your AU$399 strikes us as reasonable value, but with some pretty sharp limitations. In the low end consumer market, that's largely acceptable — you really are getting what you pay for — but those who demand video fidelity and user configurable options will still need to look elsewhere and pay quite a bit more.



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BrianJ2 Facebook
1
Rating
 

"Don't go near it"

BrianJ2 posted a review   

The Good:Not much

The Bad:Can't turn off Auto Focus. Don't ever fill you memory up, or you'll lose THE LOT.

I first thought that this camera was a reasonable purchase.

"Full" HD at a reasonable price. And at that level, it does the job.

BUT...

It has an annoying Auto-Focus mechanism what can't be switched off (i.e. focussed to infinity)... so the darn thing *CONTINUALLY* chases focus - so if you're shooting moving objects, it will keep trying to focus... usually on what it 'thinks' you're trying to capture. And that's usually the biggest/closest thing - the foreground.

So your plane or car etc is basically just a constand blur. If it finally does focus on the subject you're chasing, it will usually only last a second or two when it will re-focus on junk you're not interested. MOST ANNOYING.

And an even BIGGER ***BUT***... don't ever let your memory card fill up on this little gem. You'll lose EVERYTHING.

Happened to me today at the F1 Grand Prix. I shot heaps of stuff I was really looking forward to editing. Being quite a bright day, I didn't see the memory status clearly due to the screen washing out in the strong daylight.

Then.... in the middle of a shot... I could see something wasn't right. Managed to catch a 'Memory Full' message. And that was it. TOTALLY ERASED hours of great clips.

I also have a Kogan LED TV (reasonable) and a Kogan Digital Radio (turns itself off all the time).

Never again will I buy from Kogan.

Never again.

 

MichelleA3 posted a comment   

i paid $39.00 for my vodeo camera i just love it my was new in box.

 

Craig posted a comment   

The Good:Now has HDMI out.

The Bad:Not wide enough. There is no obvious way of fitting a wide-angle adapter.

It's great so far, but FCP does not recognise the files in Log and Transfer. I can import the clips through other means. Dial for set-up/Still/video turns way to easily and can catch you out when shooting in bright conditions as the screen and record lights are difficult to see.
It is great value, I paid $239 and bought a spare battery for $29. I am very happy with but, since I bought it mainly to record my daughters antics and home performances, a wider lens would be much better. Failing that, some way of mounting adapters would be useful

Lewis
10
Rating
 

Lewis posted a review   

The Good:its an awesome camera

The Bad:its too awesome for me

ITS JUST FRIGGIN AWESOME!!

 

wilbur posted a comment   

The Good:no good

The Bad:jerkiness in hd record to computer

camera will record in hd mode and if you like a jerky,jumpy picture when you go to watch it back on pc youll be happy,otherwise stay clear of this one.

 

NVM Member.. posted a comment   

I bought one of these 1080p from Kmart Yesterday for $199. Put my own 4gb card in and away I go. Mov file when downloaded to PC is very Jerky. Plays fine on camera. Tried 720 and 1080 modes. Same result. Using top end PC so no harware problems. Software supplied has the same result. Any Suggestions to my problem would be a help. Have Vegas 8 and many other NLE"s but all do the same Jerky motion with these Mov Files... HELP!!!!

yifu2u
7
Rating
 

yifu2u posted a review   

The Good:Good playback on TV. Easy to use.

The Bad:Feels cheap and light. Digital zoom only. Imprecise Controls.

Bought a Stash V1 HD camera online for $135. Works wonderfully well.

stasik
8
Rating
 

stasik posted a review   

The Good:much cheaper than branded 1080p, good video quality,

The Bad:for good video quality, light is needed (outdoors). in indoors quality degrades, noise when zooming in/out, external battery charger.

bought this camera from china. pretty delighted. all the cons does not affect me:
*zooming noise-i never use zoom, as it decrease video quality+shacking is noticeable.
*lack of menu functions-i dont want spend 30 min configuring my setting. just select video quality 1080p and record. if u need to selest lower fps, or size, or mic volume, etc, etc, why not do it with video editing tools (avidemux, autogk, etc)? just record with besh quality and then edit it later as u like
*no level of audio in play mode-who is using play mode on camcorder anyway? record and then watch on TV/PC.
the only what i wish for, is recording while charging, as interrupting recording and wait for battery is not too convenient.
bottom line: get camera, record in HD, watch later.

mheeler
5
Rating
 

mheeler posted a review   

The Good:Didn't test - but it is cheap !!!

The Bad:Didn't test but if like the KMart one, it will be the lack of configuration (you can't even adjust the volume when you playback a video on the camera) and the cheap feel of the buttons and the lack of design of the menus and UI...

dominator123, it isn't the same camera. The KMart one has no stabilization or 1080p mode. I bought and returned one of those...

dominator123
10
Rating
 

dominator123 posted a review   

The Good:quality is a lot better than some known brands, (samsung Vp mx20) and its very easy to use, just hit the record button and enjoy!, it can withstand severe drops and its not as lose and laggy as cnet reviewers say.

if i was you, i wouldn't hesitate on buying this camera, 10/10!

The Bad:*you cannot charge the battery and use the camera at the same time, as it features an external charger

*zooming creates noise which is audible

*only 5x optical zoom

Its very cheap for the asking price $400, but i got one for $200 AUD from Kmart Exactly the SAME!

i love it EXCELLENT CAMERA FOR THE PRICE! it feels and performs like an expesive camera and Battery life is GREAT!


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User Reviews / Comments  Kogan Full HD 1080p Video Camcorder Camera

  • BrianJ2

    BrianJ2

    Rating1

    "I first thought that this camera was a reasonable purchase.

    "Full" HD at a reasonable price. And at that level, it does the job.

    BUT...

    It has an annoying Aut..."

  • MichelleA3

    MichelleA3

    "i paid $39.00 for my vodeo camera i just love it my was new in box."

  • Craig

    Craig

    "It's great so far, but FCP does not recognise the files in Log and Transfer. I can import the clips through other means. Dial for set-up/Still/video turns way to easily and can catch you out when s..."

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