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Don't Buy a Vivitar Mini Digital Camera
Vivitar Mini Camera
The Vivitar mini digital camera is a conversation piece, all right - it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand with room to spare, and it's literally a keychain gadget that you can carry around with you anywhere. It's cute, comes in one of four stylish colors, and it is said to perform three functions - digital photos, videos, and a webcam.
Too bad it really falls down on the job on the latter two, and as far as picture quality, it's barely passable. Video length is limited to a few seconds - who really needs to just take a 3-second video, and a photo wouldn't work? Every review I've seen of the Vivitar mini digital camera enumerated multiple issues getting the web cam functionality to work properly, and the few users who found success reported that its use as a webcam was, quite honestly, a joke.
But...But...It's So Cheap!
Ah, yes, that I do grant you. The price of the Vivitar mini camera fluctuates a bit, but it's usually less than $15 on Amazon, and others have reported seeing it in their local pharmacy/drug store for as little as $9.99. And it's pretty small. But here's a hint for you - if you can find a digital camera in your local Walgreens, along with the same other cheap, gimmicky items they've always hoisted off on unsuspecting customers, you probably should pass until you do your research.
But here's my point - for less than twice the price of this camera, you can get a mini digital camera with actual use as a legitimate digital camera that takes decent pictures with little effort. Did you hear that? For about $15 more, you can get a decent compact digital camera, instead of a slightly cheaper one that offers almost no practical functionality (I'm looking at you, keychain digital cameras.)
My 2 Suggestions....Yes, They Are Much Better than the Vivitar Mini Digital Camera
Okay Smarty, What's YOUR Brilliant Idea, Then?
I'm so glad you asked! I've actually got a couple suggestions.
The Aiptek PenCam, for example, is a 3-inch x 1-inch mini camera that takes 1248 x 960 resolution, and they are actual good quality pictures. No, you're not going to find a zoom or flash on this baby (you're not going to find it on any sub-$75 camera), but it nobly performs a simple task well for less than $30.
Or take the Coby CAM3000, which is a bit perplexing at first, because it looks nothing so much as an old-style iPod Nano, but nope, it has camera and camcorder capabilities, and it, too, hovers just under $30. Several reviewers mentioned that the video recording quality isn't on par with a normal video recorder, but it's good enough for YouTube. And if it's good enough for YouTube, it's good enough for me.