Xenta Tiny DV Camcorder

Reviewing kit for the home office – Xenta Tiny DV Camcorder

This gadget is so small our reviewer didn’t spot it at first in the box with something else! So if you’re planning some industrial espionage, it could be the kit for you!

Here’s what she found when she tested the Xenta Tiny DV Camcorder:

Xenta Tiny DV CamcorderWhat is it?
The Xenta Tiny DV Camcorder is a teeny-tiny digital device to carry around easily or use as a webcam.On the box it states this is ‘Mini DV World’s smallest Digital Video Recorder’ – and believe me, it is small.

Design ****
Small, very light, plastic body with rubber buttons for control and LEDs to show what’s going on. No viewscreen though, can be a problem as I found out when I thought I’d taken a lovely short video across the bay only to realise I’d taken a lovely short video of the sky. I guess with practice you’d get used to positioning the camera at the right angle.

What I did like were all the accessories that came with it. This meant I could clip it easily to my jacket, stand it on a flat surface, attach it to my car dashboard if I wanted. There was even a lanyard so you could keep it handy without it being packed away in a pocket or bag.

Easy to set up and use? ***
The Xenta Tiny DV Camcorder doesn’t come with the mini SD card supplied so you do have to go and purchase one yourself. Note it only takes up to 8GB cards. Inserting the SD card (and getting it back out) seemed a bit tricky, but again it could have been me as my daughter managed just fine.

Once it’s charged just go and shoot something. The controls are a little tricky, as you’re relying on the LED lights to tell you what’s going on (no viewscreen with icons). So occasionally I wasn’t sure whether I’d recorded or not. However, this was just from going out to test it one afternoon, so again, with practice it should get easier.

Setting up the correct time and date on the device is not straightforward, and I can see some non-techie users being a tad confused. There’s a DVD that comes with the device which you have to transfer something from onto the SD card in order for the timestamp on your videos to show the right information. Mine were shot in 2008 because I didn’t bother doing this before I took the camera out!

As stated above, not having a viewscreen is frustrating as you have to hope that you’re pointing in the right direction. I also found that, and perhaps this was just my laptop, I couldn’t transfer or watch the video straight from the device when connected via usb. I had to remove the mini SD card and insert that into my laptop.

Quality? ****
The Xenta Tiny DV Camcorder feels unsubstantial because it is so small and light, however, it has all the qualifications for being a videocamera. The accessories are great. It shoots at 30fps with 720 x 480 resolution so not quite Hi-Def but good enough. It has a built-in webcam function too.

Worth the investment? ***
It depends what your requirements are. If you want an unobtrusive videocamera to take fun vids or use as a webcam then the Xenta Tiny DV Camcorder isn’t bad – as long as you’re OK with the limitations. I felt a little self-conscious using it as it looked so small I felt I was an under-cover detective or government spy 🙂 It’s certainly less obvious than using your smartphone camera.

Overall score *** 3.5

Best for
A webcam that you can easily carry around with you or a fun little videocamera to throw in your pocket for those times your smartphone runs out of space or battery.

Buy your own Xenta Tiny DV Camcorder.

With thanks to ebuyer.com for supplying a sample Xenta Tiny DV Camcorder for our reviewer to try.

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