The Apitek IS-DV camera is cute, because it looks like a mini camcorder, complete with a flip out screen. It’s very light, and made out of plastic, which doesn’t say much for it’s quality; it almost feels like a toy when in use. It is indeed a digital camera, although it does have video capabilities, but 3 minutes of video doesn’t go very far. Actually, this camera does a lot, including voice recording and storing mp3’s. However, it can only hold about 27 pictures at a time, so the best idea is to use it only for pictures and perhaps a few very short videos. And even though the design of the camera is cute, I’d rather have one that is shaped like a regular camera than one that tries to mock the look of a camcorder, simply because it’s an easy target by security at concerts and similar events that don’t allow videos to be taken.
There’s one major problem with this camera, and if I had fully understood what to look for in a camera at the time I would not have bought this one. To put it simply, there is a delay between the time when you hit the button and when the picture is actually captured. The delay is about two or three seconds, which sounds short but it can make all the difference when trying to get the right shot. The monitor actually freezes the picture you wanted to take, but then changes to the picture you actually took. On many occasions a clear shot at a concert changed to an image with someone’s hand obscuring the view. Even if you get used to this as the owner of the camera, it’s a problem when you ask others to take pictures of you because they don’t know about the delay, and may attempt to move the camera after they thought the picture had been taking, only to result in a blurry image.
I was pretty surprised by the quality of the images output by this camera. The pictures are 5 mega pixels, meaning you end up with pictures that around 1000 pixels in height; almost enough to fill the screen on a 15 inch monitor. The quality is about average, but it really depends on the lighting, how close you are and whether you use the flash or not. For example, I took pictures at an autograph signing from about 20 feet away from the stage, good lighting, but the photos still came out sort of grainy. Once I scaled them down to decent web size the quality improved.
One thing that really annoys me about the camera is how it charges. I have friends who own digital camera’s, and they simply plug them in to their computer to recharge the battery, or plug them into the wall. The Apitek digital camera requires that the user recharge the battery, meaning you have to lug around a separate charger for it, instead of a basic USB chord. Sure, it’s not the end of the world, but a simplified method would be less cumbersome. Worst of all, the battery only stays charged for a couple hours.
I purchased the Apitek digital camera for about $130 at Target about six months ago. If this camera were less than half that price I would say it’s a good deal because it does it’s job, at very least. But $130 seems to be the average price for a digital camera at the moment, and after comparing mine to the ones friends and relatives own, the Apitek is over priced and simply doesn’t cut it. So unless you happen to find one of these on clearance or at a swap meet, I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, do a bit of research online and find a digital camera that does exactly what you need it to do.