Coby today unveiled three new camcorders in its budget Snapp line, pricing them between $30 and $80, well below the rival Flip and bloggie. However, with lower prices come lower specs; only the $80 Coby CAM5001 offers HD capability, and only then at 1280×720. While this rivals the Flip, it’s below the bloggie’s 1920×1080 resolution.
The SD Snapps
Both the CAM3001 and CAM4505 shoot standard definition AVI footage (640×480 at 30fps) and sport 4x digital zoom, a USB 2.0 and AV port, and a SD/SDHC slot (up to 8GB, not included). The less expensive CAM3001 has a 1.44-inch LCD, and a 1.3 megapixel CMOS sensor. It’s powered by two AA batteries.
The other standard-definition Snapp, the CAM4505, has a 2.0-inch LCD display, 3.0 megapixel CMOS sensor, 32MB of internal flash. It’s powered by an internal lithium battery.
The high-definition Snapp CAM5001 has the same 4x digital zoom, USB2.0, and AV ports as the other models, but also includes an HDMI out and HDMI cable. Users can monitor footage through a 2.0-inch LCD monitor, storing it all on the 128MB of internal flash memory or an optional SD/SDHC card (up to 16GB, not included). Like the CAM4505, the CAM5001 also has an internal lithium battery.
Looking at the specs, the HD Snapp will probably not be replacing the Flip, bloggie, or any other device covered in the DCR pocket HD camcorder round-up, despite the low price. The Snapp lacks image stabilization, optical zoom (now found on the Samsung U20) or features to distinguish it from the pack (for example, the bloggie’s 360-degree panorama lens). In addition, the ArcSoft Media Impression software that ships with the devices is not Mac compatible.
Pricing and Availability
All three Snapps are available for preorder on Amazon.com. The CAM3001 and CAM4505 will cost $30 and $50, respectively. The CAM5001 will be $80 at launch. No word on when they will ship.