Gongpon Mini Digital Handheld Video Camcorder HDV-G13 Review

Gongpon Mini Digital Handheld Video Camcorder HDV-G13 Review

Buy it at Amazon: Gongpon Mini Digital Handheld Video Camcorder HDV-G13 [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Low-res entry-level quality for novice or beginner, temper your expectations .

With this camcorder, you get the camera, a padded soft carrying case with belt loop on the back, a battery, headphone jack to RCA cable, miniUSB charging cable, power adapter, lens cap, remote control, and an instruction manual. The camera is pretty small and fits in the palm of your hand. It measures 5"L x 2"W and 2" tall and weighs 10.25 oz. The camera comes with a strap, pad and lens cap. The lens has a 24 MP sensor and two infrared LED lights for night vision. The battery and SD card are inserted in the bottom under a latched door. A memory card is not included with the camera, and it has no on-board storage. Note that when the battery is removed, the clock and date settings will reset, and you'll have to re-enter the date and time if you want accurate date/time stamps for your photos and video. There's also a ¼" mounting hole on the bottom of the camera for tripod mounting.

On the back, behind a rubber door are the AV output and microUSB port for charging. The record button is easy to press with your thumb when holding the camera with your right hand. On top you have the zoom control and shutter button for photo mode which are accessing using your index finger. Towards the front is the stereo microphone for audio capture, and there is no option for using an external microphone.

The LCD monitor rotates 270 degrees and locks in at every 90 degrees. The Camera will turn on/off automatically when the LCD is opened or closed. Pressing the menu key will bring up different options for the mode you're in, though some of these settings persist over both modes anyway. When recording during the day, outdoors the image quality of the video is somewhat grainy and lacks detail/deep color saturation giving everything a slightly faded look. There are occasional dropped frames which manifest as a flash of black or white. The quality is on par with old VHS tapes or flip phone generation cell phone cameras. Fast motion tends to be blurry and the zooming increments in hard "jumps" though it locks in at 2 distances: 9x and 18x zoom. From any distance the microphone sounds muffled and quiet, with the clearest sound only when the subject is within a couple feet from the camera. When filming in 1080p the footage is noticeably more choppy than 720p/480p because the frame rate is only 15 frames per second, whereas it's 30fps in the other modes. At 15 fps, the footage looks like stop motion and because there's motion blur when you move the camera, any increase in detail level from the increased resolution is canceled out by frame blending and choppiness.

In dark conditions, you'll need to activate night mode to see anything. The infrared light makes the images appear in black and white but you'll be able to see in the dark up to 6-8 feet away, even in pitch black conditions. Overall, the camera captures video at a fairly low resolution. If you want slightly better image quality, I recommend the next version up, the HDV-G5. This camera would only be suitable as an inexpensive fun camera for kids to toy around with. It's not going to produce super smooth or clear video at any resolution, and it doesn't capture fast scenes well. The night vision is kind of fun though.

Buy it at Amazon: Gongpon Mini Digital Handheld Video Camcorder HDV-G13 [Affiliate Link]

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