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HP is generally renowned for desktop products and their wide range of printers, so we were pleasantly surprised to see an HD camcorder from HP land in our test centre. The HP t200 digital camcorder is a full HD compact camcorder that can literally fit in the back pocket of your jeans.
[RELATED_ARTICLE]The first thing that strikes you is the sheer compact size of the camcorder. The build is all plastic and there is a piano black glossy finish all around except the top. Thanks to the all-glossy body, it is a finger print magnet. Ergonomically, the camcorder is quite a snug fit, even with them who have small hands. The back portion houses the record button with a camera shutter above it for still photography. Both these buttons have decent feedback, although we felt that the still camera shutter would have been easily accessible and lead to better shots, if it had been placed on the top. The review and record indicators are located above the buttons.
The right hand side has the flip out 3-inch touch sensitive LCD screen. It hides three buttons namely power, play and pause. There are no control buttons around the LCD screen but there is a microphone grill on the rear side of the flip out screen. The SD card slot is located on the base of the camcorder.
The interface on the screen is quiet ordinary looks-wise, but very easy to navigate around. You can master the various options quickly as there are very few manual shooting options. The resolution on the screen was not very good and you can see pixillation at the edges of the icons. The screen comprises the battery indicator on the bottom right hand corner, the resolution on the top right hand corner and review and settings menu options on the bottom left hand corner.
The settings menu is broadly divided into Video, Photo, Effect and Settings. Under Video menu you can set the resolution, activate image stabilization, set motion detect and slow motion modes, set time-lapse mode and finally pre-record settings.
Still Photo mode offers options to set resolutions, ISO and self timers. The Effects menu helps you tweak further by choosing lighting modes, white balance, effects such as Black and White mode, Sepia mode and negative mode. It also has a Face-tracking option, which will keep the face in focus even while the subject is in motion.
The Settings Menu provides miscellaneous options such as selecting TV format, formatting the SD card, setting date, time among other things.
Operating the camcorder is a child's play thanks to the minimalist user interface. Those of you having long fingers like me will find them spilling over the top portion. As mentioned before, the resolution of the 3-inch LCD screen is not great, so you will find pixillation on the icons in the settings menu. The touch screen does not have a haptic feedback but is quite responsive.
Indoor shooting gives decent colours, but try zooming in even a bit and the noise starts to become prominent. While shooting outdoors, we had no issues with noise. On maximum zoom, the hand needs to be rock steady to get a jitter-free video. The microphone on the rear side of the flip-out screen is not very powerful. While shooting indoors, in an AC room, it was difficult to dissect the voice from the hum of the AC.
While shooting we noticed that the camera could not segregate objects which have fine lines and you tend to see a lot of moire patterns. As you zoom into that particular object the moire pattern disappears. This is not desirable as all your videos involving people wearing lined shirts will have a psychedelic motion going on (unless you want to incorporate that, it’s a different issue;)
At Rs. 8,499, this is a very economically priced HD camcorder. But get this if you plan to use it majorly outdoors in daylight, as indoors and low lit conditions do not really get the best out of the t200.
Video Resolution: 1080p @ 30fps, 720p HD @30fps and 60fps, VGA @30fps
Still Image Resolution: 5MP (up to 16MP with interpolation)