DXG Luxe high definition video cameraI am really torn about the rating on this unit. I was provided with a review copy of the DXG Luxe high definition video camera. I do a LOT of video work with all the websites I run. I create origami videos, landscape videos, instructional videos, spider videos, and much more. I work with video cameras all day long. I was really hoping that this Luxe - boasting high definition video and a small size - would be PERFECT for my tasks. I found it had great potential but fell short. On a rating scale I would give it 3.5/5.
First the size. They did very well here. It fits perfectly in the hand and is easy to carry around. I did a number of videos hiking down rocky trails and the small size was great. It has a tripod mount so for those situations where I used a tripod, it worked perfectly. I love the swivel LCD screen that makes it easy to see what you're doing from various angles. I found the buttons - once you got used to them - very easy to use.
The key problem with the physical setup is that the lens is ALWAYS OPEN. Every other camera I own has a self closing lens so when you turn the unit off the lens is safe, or at least a lens cap. I kept wanting to throw this into my pocket or purse but I couldn't because the lens would have been destroyed. Yes, it comes with a case which is fairly bulky. I don't know of anyone who puts their camera in and out of a case every time they use it. The camera unit really needs a closing lens to account for this issue.
I was really so pleased with its small size and with its cute design that it absolutely killed me to find that the video quality was just not great. I did tests. More tests. Maybe it was the lighting? Maybe it was the focal length? No matter what I did, the results were fuzzy. If you go to YouTube and look for "lisasheaorigami" you'll be able to see many of the tests. I know that Amazon lets you upload a short video test but that wouldn't have let me clearly show the various situations with the different cameras all side by side. I also did tests of short-focus items (caterpillars, ladybugs) as well as long distance items (landscape shots, motion shots) done both with tripods and freehand. No matter what I did, the focus was constantly an issue.
Their documentation says that their flower mode only works for the EXACT distance of X centimeters. Then there is a giant gap where it will absolutely not be in focus, and then you reach the length it can focus at. I worked hard to take videos in each of these different ranges. No matter what range I was at, or what lighting I tried, the results were fuzzy.
I realize some people don't care. They are happy with fuzzy camera phone photos. They will be happy with fuzzy video photos! As long as it shows them and their friends yelling and dancing, that is what they want. And for those situations, I say this camera is a good option. It's small, fits in the purse, can be easily pulled out at any time. But even for those situations, I have to say the lack of a lens covering is going to be an issue. If you're in a casual-fun situation where you want to take it easy, that lens is going to be torn up quickly. Those people are even more in need of a self-covering lens.
I also want to comment on the battery situation. At first I was *thrilled* that it took four standard AAA batteries. I have many cameras that take special batteries or plug into a wall. Those are a royal pain on trips because when the batteries run low you are out of luck. You MUST recharge before you can take more photos. Here you are all set, just carry extra batteries on you. You can always take more shots instantly without any waiting. This is a very important issue for me.
But that being said, I had this camera die on me REPEATEDLY without any warning at all. I would be working on an origami video and the camera was recording. I glanced up literally every minute or so to make sure the camera was still OK. Then I glanced up and it was OFF. Talk about frustrating! This happened all the time. If it is giving some sort of signal that the battery is running low, it is far too subtle. You should get at least 10 solid minutes of warning before the unit shuts off on you.
I would be thrilled to play with a next version of this unit. It has incredible potential and I am in love with its size. However, in the end, when I take video I take them because I want GOOD video. If these videos keep coming out fuzzy, then I just don't have much incentive to use it. There are plenty of other cameras out there in this class and price range which take sharp videos. I suppose I would recommend this for a casual video camera user who wants something light, doesn't care too much about quality, and who will take good care to always put it back in its large case each time they're done with it so the lens doesn't scratch.
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