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The great Indian gadget purchase : Part I; the search for a camera/handycam for good video recording.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

/ by Srikanth Eswaran

After one year of procrastinating on writing about my Canon Rebel Xti DSLR, and the steam off this topic, I got yet another gadget to blog on - my new possession - the Kodak Easyshare 1093 IS digital still camera. With one hell of a difference from other cameras : High definition video recording. But before that let me summarize how I really landed up the purchase and what my requirements and pointers towards buying this camera was!

The need: My son is about a year old, and he is upto so many new things in his life that I wanted recorded on media for later viewing for life's best memories!

The most popular: Sony DCR-DVD 610 dvd handycam. I went with my wife to see this handycam at Sony World, Koramangala. I also had the intention to buy it then and there since nothing else was even close to the sony reputation for such handycams. However the price was 17,990/- with one free handycam bag! Wow, thanks for small mercies Sony!

After seeing the handycam, I started to get less and less attracted to it for its bulk, its rather mediocre features of standard definition video capture (640x480) and the burden of carrying around lots and lots of media to record on. I just began to think of giving myself a little room to explore more choices. So returned home without the purchase.

The revised need:A digital still camera, which would help me in recording good quality video, and at the same time would use the all-famous SD card and be easily portable, small and usable for the purpose. I also set myself a budget of as-less-as-possible spending to get this new camera. This also meant obviously that I would not get any swivel LCD's and hi-fi stuff. But I decided to live with it as long as I could record good quality video in a snap!

Just to let you know I already have an Olympus C770UZ even before my Canon, with which I have taken over 6000 images before I decided to start using it lesser and lesser, the main reasons being slow boot up time and rather lacklusture performance with respect to taking photos. The photos themselves though were really good and even surpassed my Canon at times! :)

So the only good places I knew to scout for my new camera in Bengaluru, Koramangala was the Next Showroom, E-Zone (who according to me never give any reasonable discounts and only fool people all the time), GK Vale (the worlds costliest photo expert) and Croma - the rather new and jazzy electronics store which is part of Infiniti Retail and have associated themselves with the TATA brand name. Since I have had good experiences with Croma even before, I dashed straight to the Croma Store in Star Bazaar the very next weekend after the Sony disaster. What followed is something of a pleasant surprise. Continue reading more in Part II.

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