What Video Camera for Cycle Touring? – Vado HD

Go to any tourist hot spot these days and you will see hundreds of people traipsing the churches cities and beaches viewing what they have come to see through the two inch LCD screen on which ever digital device they have chosen to record their trip. Be it an Ipod, a mobile phone, digital camera, camcorder or all of the above rolled into one, it seems that to travel anywhere these days you must record your adventures with the latest digital equipment. 

Huge advances in technology in the last five years, the most important of these being in digital memory and cheap lens production, mean that before long almost everyone with a mobile phone will be able to shoot, upload and broadcast quality HD footage anywhere in the world.

This of course has its pros and cons. In earlier posts I had admitted to being a fan of pen and paper and the idea of viewing the world through a small screen simply so I can bore family and friends with low quality footage has never really appealed. I very much enjoy photography but feel very uncomfortable wandering around in public with a camcorder and bearing in mind that most video equipment is clunky, fragile and needs chunky chargers (not great for the cycle weight watching tourist) I have always opted to leave the video behind. Until now…

Recently enjoying video footage from other cycle tourists out there such as Rob Lilwal and Dom Gill I decided it was time to move with the times and add some video footage of my trip to the blog. But what camera for a long cycle tour? 

I wanted something light weight, small, inconspicuous, durable, easy to upload from, multi format, easy to charge and with HD capability…Bring on the Creative Vado HD!

The Creative Vado is a tiny, bare-bones camcorder. I can use it to upload clips easily to YouTube or Photobucket, with one click. This pack of cards size device is built for sticking in my pocket or bag and for shooting video on the go (even on a bike), and then easily uploading and editing  my HD footage with the built in software Vado Central. This means I can have footage from my travels up on the blog in minutes from in the most simple of cyber cafes.

The Vado’s 2in screen is a nice size. Contrast is sharp, colours are bright, and the display is vibrant enough for you to see what you’re shooting and to play back videos in bright sunlight. The Vado HD is powered by an internal rechargeable battery pack, rated for up to 6 hours of video recording and inside the camera is 8GB of storage space, which is sufficient for about 2 hours of HD+ recordings.

The only problem I have so far is that the Vado software is not Mac compatible. Being the type of expresso drinking ex advertising purist who owns a Mac this is a problem, for now. I have never seen a Mac in a back street cyber cafe so I should be fine on the road and once I get my hands on a PC some here in the UK a test video will arrive here soon.



This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 at 09:35 and is filed under Equipment, Planning, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. How is this working out for you? I’m considering getting a video camera as well for bike touring. I like the idea of something small and relatively inconspicuous.

  2. so far so good – a little slow on the upload and the built in software is terrible. but for on the road hd clips its great. strong, simple and small. a bit like me :)

  3. Being the type of expresso drinking ex advertising purist who owns a Mac this is a problem, for now.

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