Until recently, making your own movies involved going to film school, growing a beard and learning how to swear through a megaphone. More to the point it involved growing Arnie-type arms because you needed to cart around a whacking-great camera with which to film your magnum opus.
So thank heavens for digital technology. Camcorders are getting smaller all the time and, unless you're into wearing Knight Rider-era Hasselhoff-style jeans, most of 'em fit comfortably in your pocket. Better still, converging technology means that these nifty little gizmos do everything but make the tea.
So without further ado, allow us to introduce the superbly put-together Vivitar DVR-310 Minicam. This chic little video camera boasts more features than the local multiplex and its diminutive price tag is as unbelievable as the dialogue in Pearl Harbour. But in a good way.
Speaking of movies, the ergonomically-inviting Vivitar DVR-310 Minicam records quality moving pictures (640x480 or 320x240 resolution) with sound to its 16MB built-in memory (upgradeable to 512 via SD card). Better still, a 1.5" rotating LCD screen allows you to view the action from practically any angle.
Our latest homemade masterpiece, 'Bloke Plays with Gadget at Desk', was shot using this incredible little gizmo and, although it's unlikely to win the Palme d'Or, it's a stunningly high quality piece of moviemaking thanks to the 310's hi-tech spec.
As well as videos the USB-friendly DVR is also a nifty 3.1 megapixel digital stills camera with auto flash sensor and self-timer. And if you think that's impressive, wait for this: you can also listen to your MP3s on the DVR. Yes indeed, this pocket-sized miracle of modern technology really is a digital do-it-all because you can download your music and listen to it via the included earphones or built-in speaker. Did we mention that the Vivitar DVR-310 Minicam is a voice recorder too? Well it is, so there! Phew!
All in all we can think of no better device in this price bracket that delivers on so many fronts, so brilliantly. In fact, we reckon the Vivitar DVR-310 Minicam is the best thing to hit the world of movie-making since popcorn.
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