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$151.98 list($199.99)
1. Gateway DVS20 MPEG4 Pocket Multi-Cam

1. Gateway DVS20 MPEG4 Pocket Multi-Cam
list price: $199.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000UL3EM
Catlog: Photography
Manufacturer: Gateway
Sales Rank: 2713
Average Customer Review: 2.56 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

Not a full-fledged camcorder, and yet very much more than a toy, the Gateway DVS20 MPEG4 Pocket Multi-Cam is one of a new generation of "convergence" devices that take both still images and tapeless digital video. In a head-to-head contest with a full-featured tapeless camcorder--something from Panasonic D-Snap's line, for example--it may not come out all that well, but at this price range a more fair comparison would be with an entry-level digital still camera. Seen in this light, the DVS20 does very well indeed. In fact, I now find myself favoring my Gateway over my everyday digital camera, a low end Olympus.

The DVS20's compact body
The first advantage it has over almost every still camera in its price range is the swiveling LCD that lets you take photos from awkward angles--you can shoot holding the camera over your head for example, by angling the LCD down, or capture stylish, cinematic low angles. And the shutter action is above average, with very little of the dreaded shutter delay effect of many digital cameras (you know, when you press the button and the picture gets taken sometime the following week).

So what about video? The DVS20 does okay, though it would be better to think of video as a bonus function rather than its main purpose. It performs middling to poor in low-light conditions, but in daylight it takes pretty clear, if somewhat herky-jerky footage. A memory card is a must if you want to do any significant amount of taping--the size of the internal memory is actually pretty generous at 64 MB, but this will hold a maximum of 18 minutes of video, and that's at the lowest resolution (a very grainy 320 x 240). It's worth noting that the mic performs much better I expected. I was able to tape a public event, getting very clear audio for both the PA and the ambient crowd noise.

One real downside is the rate at which this thing eats through batteries--one day of sporadic use was all that a pair of alkalines lasted me. Do not proceed without rechargeables! And while we're talking downsides, I should also mention that the flash tends to wash out facial features at distances under ten feet. Overall, though, you'd be hard put to find a better value in this price range. --David Stoesz

Pros

  • Above-average performance for its price range
  • Swivel-view LCD
  • A/V and USB outputs
  • SD card slot
  • Very compact body--comparable to a pack of cigarettes.
Cons
  • Devours batteries like sweet, sweet candy
  • Only so-so low light performance
  • The flash tends to wash out details
... Read more

Features

  • Digital camcorder and camera in one
  • Tapeless MPEG-4 video format
  • Capture up to 18 minutes of video or 700 still pictures to the 64MB internal memory
  • SD slot for expanded memory
  • About the size of a bar of soap

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Mini Video Camera
This camera is just great. The quality of the videos and pics aren't perfect like you would see from an 1000 dollar camera but I love them because I just want a camera that I can have fun with and not get real serious about it. First of all it's inexpensive so if it breaks, it isn't the end of the world and since it's so small you can take it anywhere. It includes software that you can use to edit and create your own movie masterpiece. It's zoom is a little weak but having a great zoom is too high above the price range of this product. Its battery life is about one hour but if you get the accessory pack it will turn into 90 minutes if you use the batterys included in it. The vidoes do include sound since the camera has a microphone. Another great quality it has is the fact that it can record up to 18 minutes and 700 pictures with its 64 MB internal memory. I would recommend this to someone who doesnt want the top of the line camera (if you do than spend more money) but wnats something that will be easy and fun to use. Really, anyone who wants to make movies should buy this. That's what my intention was and I love it.

1-0 out of 5 stars You Get What You Pay For
I purchased a DV-S20 last week. Well, I have to agree with what the people who give this product one and two stars have to say. I really cannot add much more to what's been said about it, but I can confirm that it performs poorly in pretty much all aspects of operations. The one thing that I truly did not care for, is that the camera insists on taking pictures at 1/30 of a second, no matter how much light is available. I adjusted the ISO by bumping it up to 400, but to no avail. In some cases, the shutter operated at 1/6 of a second! With shutter speeds that slow, it's no wonder that most of the pictures were fuzzy. Once in a great while, I was able to get a good, clear picture. But that was only achieved by holding the camera perfectly still with two hands and leaning up against something solid. Unfortunarely, this method isn't very practical in the real world. I used up the batteries very quickly because I spent so much time deleting a lot of bad pics. The video I took of my normally graceful gray tabby made her look as if she was in an earthquake. It was very jerky.

3-0 out of 5 stars Better Than Nothing
I got this for Hannukah from my parents, and although it's not exactly a real camcorder it really is better than nothing. The Digital Camera on here all out sucks basically, but once in a while you can nail a decent digital picture. As for the camcorder it's ok, you can't exactly make a real movie, (unless you buy more memory, which is almost the price of the camera/camcorder itself), but even so ive enjoyed making short documentarys and sending them to my friends. Anothjerb great thing is the size, I mean you can take it anywhere, you never know what you could get on tape. Anyway overall, this is a decent item.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Wow factor
This is a great little gadget for capturing spontaneous stuff. It is so small I take it everywhere and it's not obnoxious when you start shooting. You know how people freeze up or start "acting" whenever the camcorder starts recording. The DVS20 is less intimidating so you end up getting unbelievable bits.
Don't be confused, it is not a camcorder, but then it's a fraction of the price too.

5-0 out of 5 stars DVS20
Great for Moblogs.
I want to make it clear that this is NOT a precision high tech video camera. The DV-S20 is a TOY that you can take anywhere and have fun with. That being said, on with the review...

I am a television video producer; I edit video for a living. I am always updating my "goings on" via my moblog and the DV-S20 Multi-Cam continues to be perfect for taking video of an event and quickly uploading the video onto the web. The small camera's appealing design (about the size of a deck of cards, only a little thicker) attracts attention whenever I use it. Even my peers in the "television world" take note. I carry it around with me everywhere I go because it is so small and at such a low price I am not afraid that something may happen to it.

The camera can be held and controlled with one hand. The A/V out is great for watching the photos and videos on TV or recording to VCR, if that is your type of thing. I would suggest getting an SD media card for heavy use. The stock 64mb memory has plenty of room for photos, but video will quickly eat up that space. Having separated "video record" and "photo" buttons makes it nice to take a mix of video and photos on the fly. Sound quality is about par with the average consumer camcorder.

I want to make it clear, the Multi-Cam is a toy. If you are looking to replace even the lowest end camcorder, you will be VERY unhappy with this product. Don't use it to document "Babies first steps" or "Julie's Second Wedding". The DV-S20 Multi-Cam is not made for these events... the price should clue you into that!

The DV-S20 Multi-Cam is made for Bloggers, Young people just getting interested in video production, and the "Gadget Freak" that loves to show off. I love my Multi-Cam, I use it everyday. It fits my mobile technology life and I recommend it.

PRO: Cheap price for a well made product, small package, attracts attention, fast and easy uploading to the computer, easy memory upgrade. Very easy to learn and operate. Quality consumer software included.

CONS: Lackluster video quality if used for TV viewing, .asf files do not agree with some computers and editing programs. No zoom in photo mode, 2.5x digital zoom in video mode. ... Read more


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