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on 24 June 2016
Ideal
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on 14 November 2008
The addage "you get what you pay for" applies to everything in life but just occasionally there is an exception. This little camera is a gem if you buy it in the knowledge that it is the cheapest dv out there! Picture quality is no worse than my older Panasonic which in its day would have cost several times more than this one. There are lots of advanced features missing or not easy to use. A backlight control springs to mind. It's there but buried under a few levels of menus. Most cameras have a separate button as when you need it, you need it instantly. However everything is there to shoot great holiday videos.Yes it's made of plastic but so are many other cameras nowadays. This camera is tiny and that's a great big plus in my view as it's obviously aimed at the holiday and family buyer. It's light and fits in the palm of your hand. On holiday it slips into the corner of your hand baggage. Fact of life - sorry Mac fans - PC's outnumber Macs probably by 1Million to 1! A reviewer on here states it won't work with a Mac. With my PC and both Windows Moviemaker - included in Vista or my preferred Serif Moviemaker it works exactly as intended with the computer controlling the tape via the program and my videos downloading perfectly for editing in either program. Picture quality with any non HD camcorder is at best OK. We are all now using larger screens both on our home TVs and attached to computers. I use a 22" computer monitor and the difference in quality between a dv video and a still shot taken on my trusty 5 megapixel digi camera is plain to see. Show a standard dv video on a 32" or larger tv and you may well be dissapointed. That does not just apply to this camera either. If you want a simple point and shoot camcorder to record a holiday and the kids growing up without carrying round heavy equipment and want to keep well in with the bank manager, then try this camera.
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on 27 October 2011
When I recieved this as a Christmas present from my family in 2008, I was left speechless. It worked good, appeared easy to use, looked fresh and in good size. However unfortunately, looks are deceiving.

My main intention with this Mini DV camcorder was to attempt to make standard quality short films, and to later share them on the Internet. When all so sudden I found out there was no USB socket on the camcorder, instead leaving me with a firewire socket, which apparently according to camcorder experties can only be plugged into an Apple Mac computer (I only had a Windows XP computer). My reaction to this is infact, Appaling. This was never mentioned in the instruction guide that I required such equipment. I have read the instruction booklet back to front at least 20 times, in order to desperately attempt to get my short films online. Later on as months went by, I decided to ring Samsung on my behalf, and explained to them the problem I was experiencing, and they were absolutely speechless, they seemed to have completely no idea what I was talking about, they seemed to have forgotten about their own previous Mini DV camcorder model, they then put me through to a Samsung equipment specialist, telling me to my horror, there are no types of USB/firewire leads available to buy for this model. The Samsung staff, with a questioning tone in their voice, talking to me as if I was completely looney, as if the model never even existed. How embarresing. Inexcusable service.

To this very day I have completely given up, on properly attaching the camcorder to a PC with a USB lead.

To sum up this review, I must admit, I had a few good times filming with this camcorder, although those moments were ruined, knowing the feeling I can never properly get my short films online, really made me fury with rage. Which is the reason I had to give the VP-D381 Mini-DV camcorder one star (Which I don't like doing).
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on 7 January 2010
I was looking for a video camera to capture my little boy growing up. I was worried about going digital because I felt that I might loose the files if my computer broke etc. I wanted some form of storage that I could see and keep in a safe place. So I opted to go for a miniDV camcorder instead of a digital one.

This is a 'value for money' camcorder. if you want more features and better quality then you will need to pay for it. But if your looking for something to treat badly, thats easy to use and cheap then this would be a good choice.

I think it has been given an unfairly low rating. (mainly because of the Mac users).
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on 16 March 2009
The item came extremly quickly which was great as i wanted it for my holiday to Rome.

The item was in good condition and really easy to use!

Recommend it to all!
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on 1 December 2009
For buyers going to buy this camcorder, have a read at this first.

This camcorder is a very mixed bag in terms of performance and ease of accessability.

The camcorder is light enough, certainly much lighter than some older MiniDV camcorders I've had experience with. The camcorder itself offers a simple point-and-shoot solution with great results, but if you doing anything more sophisisticated than that, be wary. This camcorder will disappoint.

The audio quality is great on a consumer-level MiniDV camcorder. Obviously its not perfect... and it would be a bit rich to call it excellent but it's great nontheless (as with all consumer-level MiniDV camcorders)

The picture quality is also great on a consumer-level camcorder. Certainly not crisp and Hi-Def, but otherwise very good for the price it's at.

Just a quickie to those comments: Incorrect settings or even in automatic when filming in locations where it is a little more advanced than the simple outdoor exploration, will produce very poor results. I fell into this trap, it produced a very grainy, blurry, washed out image when filming, when a little tweaking pre-hand could have amended these problems.

I think the irratable thing is the fact that everything is in sub-menus. Which is particularly annoying, as with a Sony Handycam I previously used altering settings only took a few pushes of a button, for example I could have refocused the image with a few simply clicks, but this requires - rather annoyingly hunting through menus to find the correct selection.

Transfer is excellent with Firewire, as with all camcorders.

The supplied leads are a little on the short side. Although still practical. All in all? A disappointing camera for the price, settings poorly laid out buried in menus. Alothough it does extremely well what it is good at: Point-and-shoot.

Good luck now!
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on 10 June 2009
It does the simple act: film. It's small size enables myself to handle it effectivly without much shaking with its size or weight which is extremely light. The screen is wide and clear enough but for the other more advanced stuff it lacks. However the price, size, weight and durability is fantastic and a must buy for simple filming.
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on 24 January 2013
The product was fine and as described, Instructions are not brilliant but this is more of a product issue than the sellers. used to transfer some old tapes on to Computer based Software.
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on 5 February 2009
When the product was opened it was found to be equipped for european use only. Therefore without having an adaptor it was not possible to charge it or use it over Christmas which was the sole purpose of buying it as a present. Our 1st Christmas with our new grandaughter went unrecorded by not having this item in a usable state. I have complained to Pixmania who supplied the product on behalf of Amazon but they have ignored my email complaints. I believe this is not appropriate for an organisation like Amazon.
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on 29 June 2008
Not really a review.
Be aware if you want to edit footage on a computer, it doesn't come a firewire cable or software CD. I tried to phone Samsung for help and they promised four times to phone me back with a solution, but they never did.
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