Creative Vado HD

Creative follows the YouTube crowd and turns up the resolution on its portable camcorder

The pocket YouTube device was big news in 2008. Epitomised by the Flip Video, its point-and-shoot simplicity was much beloved of footballers, their wives, and anybody else not wishing to tax any brain cells when capturing video.

Now that YouTube has gone HD, however, web-oriented camcorders have to follow suit, and latest to turn up the resolution is Creative.

The Vado HD offers 720p shooting, yet still packs it into a similar form factor to a mobile phone.

Subtle upgrade

The only signs that the Vado HD is different to its predecessor are the rubberised black exterior and protruding lens.

The device works in exactly the same way, with very few controls. In fact, during normal usage there are simply the Record and + or – digital zoom buttons to worry about. There are no manual settings to configure at all.

You can choose between three different shooting modes. There are two HD options, offering 8Mbps and 4Mbps data rates. The original VGA mode is still available, operating at 2Mbps.

The quantity of on-board memory has been increased to 8GB, so that even at the top HD+ setting you can record two hours of footage.

Compression artefacts are much more obvious at the lower setting. But HD+ produces pretty decent footage. Colours are surprisingly accurate and there is an obvious increase in detail from the HD resolution.

Indoor filming

Best of all, low light performance is sufficiently good to make capturing indoor family events a realistic proposition.

The Vado HD also now incorporates a mini-HDMI port. Creative even includes a cable in the box for hooking this up to the full-sized HDMI on a HDTV.

Another area which has seen some improvement is the built-in software. As with other devices in this category, the Vado HD has a built-in USB plug, so you can hook it straight up to a computer without any extra cabling.


The software now lets you upload to as well as YouTube and Photobucket, and adds rudimentary facilities for automatic editing according to preset styles.

As with Creative’s original product, the Vado HD is no alternative to a big-brand camcorder. But it shoots decent footage for YouTube, even the new HD service.

At £200, it’s pricey when you can get Kodak’s similarly-featured Zi6 for less than £120, but it does beat it for image quality.


37in LCD TV
37in 1366 x 768 LCD screen
22000:1 contrast ratio
450 cd/m2 brightness
100Hz mode
Analogue TV tuner, DVB-T tuner


Video ports: Composite out, HDMI out
Data ports: Mini USB
Speakers: 6
Dimensions: 5.4 x 2.3 x 10 cm (WDH)
Weight: 100g
Features: 2x digital zoom / 1280 x 720 progressive recording / 30fps / Mini-HDMI out / Line out via AV port


Olympus E-420

If you want a DSLR that’s actually fun to use and damn good value too, the E-420 might be right up your alley.

Learn more

Panasonic HDC-HS300

If you can look beyond the price you'll see the best consumer HD cam on the market right now

Learn more