So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Millennius Memmoir Gold Full HD Video Camcorder
A budget Full HD camcorder for just $379 with a touch screen and 20-megapixel stills mode
- Good video performance for asking price, user-friendly interface, 20-megapixel stills mode
- Light on manual features, cheap connectivity flaps
For the asking price, the Millennius Memmoir Gold is a very impressive offering that will suit families and videographers on a budget.
Price$ 379.00 (AUD)
The Millennius Memmoir Gold Full HD 1080p Touchscreen Video Camcorder Camera is an ultra-affordable high-def camcorder that records to SD/SDHC memory cards in the H.264 AVI format. It also has a real mouthful of a name (from hereon in, let’s just call it the Millennius Memmoir Gold, mmkay?).
Priced at $379, the Millennius Memmoir Gold is one of the cheapest Full HD camcorders on the market; bested only by the Kogan Full HD 1080p Video Camera (at $239) and the Kogan Full HD 1080p Touchscreen Video Camera ($299). (We haven't included HD pocket cams, which are considerably cheaper but lack the features of a fully fledged camcorder.)
The Millennius Memmoir Gold camcorder comes with plenty of impressive features for the asking price, including an optical image stabiliser, a 3in touch screen and a massive 20-megapixel still image mode (via interpolation software). Other highlights include a 12x optical zoom lens, inbuilt face detection and a smattering of digital effects.
The Millennius Memmoir Gold is a product refresh of the Millennius Memmoir, which debuted late last year. So what has Millennius added to justify that sparkly new moniker? Is it truly a work of gold, or just a gaudy veneer?
First and foremost, Millennius has extended the optical zoom lens to 12x, up from just 5x on the Millennius Memmoir Full HD camcorder. This makes a huge difference to video, particularly during outdoor events where it may be hard to get close to the action.
The Millennius Memmoir Gold is a decent looking camcorder — especially when its price tag is taken into account. Its body is dominated by a fat lens housing a 1/2.3in 10-megapixel CMOS sensor. While not quite as streamlined as some of its costlier competitors (57x70x129mm), it should still fit inside a carry bag with minimal hassle. (Incidentally, a free carry pouch is included in the sales package if you’re short on bag space.)
We were fairly impressed with the Memmoir Gold's overall build quality, although there are a few budget-flavoured quirks to be mindful of, including cheap connectivity flaps and a poor quality handstrap. These are hardly deal-breaking flaws though.
The camera’s barrel-like shape fits comfortably into the hand with all of the major controls within easy reach of the fingers. Our only reservation is the zoom rocker, which was a little small for our liking; that said, it gets the job done.
We thought the Millennius Memmoir Gold’s LCD touch screen did a surprisingly good job. Our fingertip made for an adequate stylus, and we rarely found ourselves pushing the wrong icon by accident. If you’re not a fan of touch screens, have no fear — a directional joystick is also included on the back of the camera, essentially giving you the best of both worlds.
The actual menu is straightforward and easy to navigate, though manual options are predictably limited. We were pleased by the addition of text above each menu icon: the previous Millennius model made do with a confusing array of symbols.
When it came to image quality, the Millennius Memmoir Gold definitely punches about its weight. To test the device, we used it in a variety of lighting conditions and then played the footage back on a Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A plasma TV. We found the results to be roughly comparable to Kogan’s Full HD 1080p Touchscreen Video Camera. Colours were sharp and accurate in our outdoor shots, with grain entering the picture in dimmer environments. While it doesn’t give you quite the same video performance as a top-tier vendor, its output should be more than acceptable for the mum 'n' dad crowd.
Special mention must also go to the Memmoir Gold’s 20-megapixel still image mode. To our knowledge, no other camcorder offers a higher pixel-count in any price range. The 1/2.3in sensor does a good job of rendering images accurately and with plenty of colour. If you’re looking for a camcorder that can take print-worthy photos, you should definitely consider the Memmoir Gold.
On a final note, we were also big fans of the Millennius Memmoir Gold’s instruction manual. We’re used to budget camcorders coming with shoddy, leaflet-sized manuals written in Pidgin English (in fact, plenty of big brand vendors are guilty of this crime too). By contrast, the Millennius manual is glossy, well written and comprehensive. If you’re new to video and camcorder technology, this manual is sure to be a godsend.
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