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Review: Vivitar 786HD Camera

When being active, there are those times we want to record it, either for our own edification or to share with the world. While all of our phones have cameras built in, they are not always the best solution at the time. It’s times like these that it is better to have a small action camera, like the Vivitar 786HD camera.

The Vivitar 786HD camera is a small device that can record fill 1080p hd video as well as 12.1 megapixel photos. It easily fit in the palm of my hand for using in situations where I was standing still and recording something (like First Order troopers parading in Disney World) and also has a mount on the bottom to attach it to a tripod.

The 786HD also comes with a waterproof casing that allows for underwater recording as well as general protection for the camera. For those times when you’re being active but your hands aren’t free, it includes a bike mount, helmet mount, and a remote control. It pretty much has everything you need except for the microSD card to store the video and pictures on.

The Vivitar 786HD takes very high quality video, but is very prone to shaking with movement. The first test I took it on was for a quick run, but since I didn’t have a body harness, I held it in my hand and the resulting video was very motion sickness inducing. The videos I took with better mounting or where I was less mobile had much better results.

In well lit areas and in sunlight, the videos look fantastic, but the camera has some issues with lowlight. When taking video of fireworks, it is hard to discern the individual fireworks as they launch, but clear up as they spread and dwindle out. Taking the 786HD on Test Track at EPCOT made for some interesting video. It had trouble seeing the darkened indoor areas, but picked up the neon lighting really well. Once we hit the outdoor track, the video looks great and really gives a good sense of what it’s like to ride on the track and hear everyone in the car scream as we speed around at 65 mph.

For still pictures, the Vivitar 786HD is also very high quality. A picture taken in the early evening at Grand Central Station shows all the details of the inside of the New York City landmark, but the lights in the station look a little blown out compared to the darkened station. One taken at the Charging Bull down in the Financial District show what it is like when the tourists come down to visit it in the morning.

The Vivitar 786HD is a good low cost action camera for getting those on the go shots that you wouldn’t with a cellphone camera. It was the perfect size to tote around Walt Disney World or to keep in my pocket to attach to a bike when I go for a ride. I look forward to taking it on more adventures and doing the one test I wasn’t able to during my review time – fly it up in a drone and capture high flying aerial views.

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