Christine and I visited the Grand Opening of the Barton Creek Apple Store today, and while there, we spotted a Fischer FVD-C1 CameraCorder. The CameraCorder is an amazing little piece of engineering and swayed me with it’s tiny form-factor and great specs.
The machine is small (very small). It’s less than 3 inches front to back, 4.3 inches tall and 1.3 inches wide. It weighs about 6 ounces (about a third of a pound)
The specs from the sales website look like this:
- DVD-Like quality video resolution (VGA:640 x 480; Full-motion 30 frames per second)
- True 3.2 Megapixel digital still images
- 3.2-Megapixel CCD
- CD-Quality stereo sound (AAC Audio)
- Up to 30 minutes of DVD-Like quality recording or 80 minutes of VHS-quality recording (with supplied 512 MB memory card)
- Up to 491 pictures in high 3.2 megapixel resolution (2048 x 1536) mode or up to 3931 pictures in normal 0.3 megapixel resolution (640 x 480) mode (with supplied 512 MB memory card)
- 5.8 X Optical zoom lens; 10 X Digital zoom
- Lithium-ion battery and AC operation
- Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD, with 110,000 pixels of resolution
The specs and manual say that the battery should last an hour under normal video shooting conditions, and the 512MB SD card that came with the CameraCorder should shoot anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes of video, depending on the quality setting being used (actually, it says it can shoot a lot more than that, but I don’t anticipate shooting at the worst quality setting available ever). It also supports USB 2.0 transfer of data, so it shouldn’t be too slow to use (I was afraid it might be USB 1.1 or slower at the store). So, I’ll play with the CameraCorder this weekend and see what I really think about it.
The Apple Store will take a return for a 10% restocking fee, so even if I only use the thing for a week and take it back, I figure it’s a great price to test it out for a full week.
If I like it alot, I’ll turn to Amazon.com to buy a bunch of 512MB SD Cards for ?$75 each, and I’ll start looking for an extra battery for backup use.
Here’s what’s funny about the whole purchasing process. While at the Apple Store, I was able to go to Fisher’s website, Apple’s website, Amazon.com (and any other shopping site I wanted to) to research the product and the price at different retailers for the CameraCorder and the SD cards that it uses. I found the CameraCorder at Amazon.com for $40 less than Apple was selling it (and $140 less than Fisher was selling it directly). The 512MB SD Cards for $75 at Amazon, while the Apple Store was selling 256MB SD Cards for $99, so I waited on buying that at the Apple Store, while buying the CameraCorder for a slight premium, because it’s easier to return something to Apple than it is to Amazon.
It’s interesting to me that Apple allowed me to price-shop and compare other retailers while at their store, knowing that I’d still choose to buy things there if the benefits of doing so were worth it to me. Granted they lost a SD card sale, but they didn’t even have the 512MB card I wanted, so they’d already lost that sale.
Anyways, the new CameraCorder is charging now, and we’ll test it out this weekend to see how we like it.