Gongpon Mini HD Camcorder (HDV-G5) Review

Gongpon Mini HD Camcorder (HDV-G5) Review

Buy it at Amazon: Gongpon Mini HD Camcorder (HDV-G5) [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Works best in well-lit scenes when stabilized /tripod mounted, poor low light and fast-motion capture.

You'll receive the camcorder, a Velcro-cover nylon carrying case with belt loop, a battery, headphone jack to RCA cable, miniHDMi to HDMI cable, lens cap, remote control, miniUSB charging cable, power adapter, and an instruction manual. The camera is pretty small and fits in the palm of your hand. It measures 4.5"L x 2"W x 2.25"H and weighs 10 oz. Macro focus is good for subjects less than 1 foot away; use landscape for farther distances. The focus in the 1-2 foot range is not always crisp. The built-in microphone work well within a couple feet from the sound source, but note that there is no jack to attach an external microphone. The layout for the buttons in ergonomic and allows you to reach all the camera functions with the fingers on your right hand.

On the left hand side is the flip out LCD monitor; the camera turns on automatically when it is opened. The screen is fully articulated and locks in at every 90 degrees and can lay flat with the screen facing out. A fold down panel below the power button hides the miniUSB charging port, AV out port, and the min HDMI out port. There is no external charger for the battery. Plugging the microUSB cable into the camera while the battery is loaded charges the battery.

On the bottom of the camera is a flip open door for the full size SD card slot. This camera has no internal memory but supports up to a 64GB card. When the battery is removed, the clock and date settings will reset; this is pretty annoying if you have a spare battery to you want to swap in for extended recording time. There's a 1/4" mounting hole on the bottom of the camera for tripod mounting. Just under the lens is an LED light for extra lighting at night and although the menu option say "IR LED" this light is not infrared and will not allow you to see "night vision."

For daytime recording, outdoors, in full sunlight, the image quality of the video and photos is clear and detailed. Still frame photos and fixed position video look pretty good, but motion, and especially fast motion, tends to cause the image to show digital artifacts, look choppy, and cause blurriness. With the anti-shake off I couldn't really tell the difference. The zoom on this camera is all digital and broken down into 2 stages for a total of 16x zoom. At fully zoomed in the image quality was greatly reduced, grainy, and soft. The microphone from the camera picked up my voice on camera fine as long as I was within a couple feet. The macro footage was actually a lot better and clearer than I thought it would be.

When filming indoors, there will be quite a bit of graininess/noise in the video. In pitch black and very dark conditions, you won't be able to see anything. Turning on the LED light only helps if your subject is within a foot of the lens in total darkness.

Overall, the camera captures video and images at high resolution. It's not going to produce super smooth video, and it doesn't do a great job capturing fast moving action sequences. It performs best in well-lit, preferably outdoor, conditions and from a static or stabilized mount like a tripod or gimbal.

Buy it at Amazon: Gongpon Mini HD Camcorder (HDV-G5) [Affiliate Link]

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