Tonight was an interesting night. I purchased a MoviePix MP5A4 Digital Video Camera, something that was not my first choice in a digital video camera, but we all do things we regret later.
Setting out to buy a digital video camera that would allow me to take some quick digital video, have decent quality and that wouldn’t break the bank when buying it. My first thoughts on which digital video camera was Flip Video, perhaps the Flip Ultra or the Ultra-HD, both available for under $200. At the local Wal-Mart I visited, the only option available was the Flip Ultra for $126, which was reasonable considering the MSRP is $149 for this digital video camera.
The reviews of the Flip Ultra were decent, and the video quality that I had seen was more than adequate for my uses. The salesperson passed one out and then in passing mentioned another digital video camera that was available. It offered HD video at 720p, a better zoom, rechargeable lithium ion battery, case, bigger LCD screen and expandable memory. The features that attracted me were the availability of HD recording, rechargeable lithium ion battery and expandable memory – I already owned several SD cards.
The name of the camera was MoviePix MP5A4 by Mercury (http://www.mercury-ce.com). Offering 8 mega pixel recording and many features that seemed “too good to be true”, I was a little hesitant about buying it. From what I could tell just by looking at the camera, it seemed about the same quality as the Flip Ultra, but it was difficult telling without actually having it in hand. It cost $1.00 more than the Flip Ultra, and what risk was there to buying? Wal-Mart offered a nice 14 day return policy on the digital video camera.
On impulse, I changed my mind, thinking that maybe, just maybe that it was possible to get a great deal at Wal-mart (I did have my doubts).
Coming home, I pulled the thing out of the packaging, and immediately I realized it was a mistake in buying this. The camera itself was light-weight, offered all the features promised, but its craftsmanship left so much to be desired.
The controls of the MoviePix MP5A4 digital video camera are of very poor quality construction. The zoom lever appears as if it would break without effort, and the macro/normal button takes about 3 – 4 attempts to move. The record, play, rewind and fast forward buttons are “ok” but not the best quality. Overall I would rate the controls of the MoviePix MP5A4 camera a 4/10.
The operation of the MoviePix MP5A4 digital video camera was nowhere near the quality promised. Video taken in HD mode with the MoviePix MP5A4 digital video camera was no better than what I had taken with my other digital cameras. Still pictures taken in still camera mode was nowhere near the quality of pictures taken with my 6 megapixel digital camera.
My next frustration was with trying to get the pictures and video downloaded to my laptop. It’s been 2 hours and I have yet to get it to work. Even trying to read the SD card directly was of no use. The video and pictures were nowhere to be found on the SD card. I gave up! That’s why there’s no video or pictures from the MoviePix MP5A4 digital video camera on this blog post.
Playback mode to my HDTV worked ok. My Sony Bravia HDTV did detect the signal coming from the video camer as 720p. It was an easy hookup as the MoviePix MP5A4 digital video camera came with component video cables.
Maybe in all my geekdom I couldn’t figure out how to use the MoviePix MP5A4 digital video camera. I’m not 100% sure what went wrong but I do know for certain I will be returning the MoviePix MP5A4 digital video camera to Wal-mart in the morning.
My overall rating of the MoviePix MP5A4 digital video camera is about a 2/10. I was very disappointed and would not recommend anyone purchase the MoviePix MP5A4 digital video camera.