This CVS digital video camcorder is packaged and sold like a pack of batteries at the check out counter. At $30, it is an amazing buy...if nothing else, just as a toy to entertain the kids on a long road trip!
The package holds one camcorder, assembled, and ready to go right out of the wraps. There were also a few coupons for related CVS digital products (processing and one time use digital camera).
The CVS camcorder is simple to use... all the instructions needed to use it were printed on the outer packaging:Turn on, press "record" to start, press again to stop. You get 20 minutes of record time, the battery will last 100 minutes and is USER REPLACEABLE! That is a great feature. It was one of my main concerns when I first heard about this product.
We were very pleasantly surprised when we actually held the unit. It does not feel like a toy. It has a good solid feel... very much like the iPod in size and a bit lighter in weight. The balance is heavier toward the bottom of the unit which made it very comfortable to hold.
The CVS digital camcorder's button layout was well thought out, all were easily reached with the thumb for one handed operation. There was a nicely curved lip on the right side of the case to allow the user (right handed user) to grip the body.
The power button is on the left side. Pressing the button toggles On/Off the unit. The LCD was surprisingly bright and richly colored.
It took about 6 seconds for the unit to go from OFF to "Ready to Shoot". That is pretty fast, not fast enough for those unexpected shots, but good enough for most situations.
Once the unit is powered on, the display lets you know how many minutes of video are left. From that point on...it is just "point and shoot"!
You cannot download the video directly to your computer. You need to bring the camcorder back to CVS and they will put your video on a DVD. The DVD will be viewable both on you computer or in most DVD players connected to a TV.
We think CVS and PureDigital did an amazing job with this product. There was NOTHING we didn't like in this "First Look" review. The quality, feel, usability, documentation, and price point were all right on the mark! We can't think of another product that had all those check marks right out of the gate. Of course, we have not seen the results of the digital camcorder yet... but that's another review :-)
We can't wait to actually try this unit out! Come back in a week and we'll let you know how everything turned out.
In the future, we'll take one of these things apart to show you what's inside. We are sure the hacks will be coming fast and furious in the next several weeks/months. We'll try to keep a list of ones that we think will be fun for our RainyDayMagazine Readers!
Update: Check out the videos from the First Use Review here.