So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Ricoh Australia Vivitar DVR-390H
- Clunky OS, poor recorded video quality
We wanted so much to like the DVR-390H, but can't help feeling it's a jack of all trades and master of none.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
The DVR-390H is a portable device with a 20GB hard disk and large (3.6") colour LCD that connects to a PC using USB 2.0. It can operate as a still camera, video camera, MP3 and video player, as well as a direct TV/video and voice/audio recorder, digital photo frame plus regular portable hard disk.
It takes three megapixel photos at resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 in JPG format. It uses a detachable, 270 degree fixed-focus swivel lens. There's a 10 second delay timer, built-in flash and red-eye reduction, white balance options and more.
The DVR-390H can make camcorder-style or direct-from-TV video recordings (the latter uses the bundled AV cradle). Videos can be captured at either 320 x 240 (for device playback) or 640 x 480 pixels (for TV output playback) with MPEG-4 compression. Oddly, the file format for this is ASF. For audio, the Vivitar records in uncompressed PCM.
The DVR-390H has an integrated SD card reader, mono speaker and special connection for use with the supplied lapel microphone. Bundled software includes PhotoSuite, WinDVD Creator and muvee autoProducer.
When we tested it, the OS of the device was clunky and navigation isn't as easy as it should be. The navigation joystick felt like it could break off, and the camera attachment was a little flimsy. Video playback was mostly OK, but was prone to occasional skipping, and the display had a limited viewable angle.
Camcorder-style recorded video suffered from intermittent vertical banding and video output didn't seem to take overscan into account, causing some on-screen graphics such as menus to go over the edges.
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