If you like the idea of a mini video camera and aren't taken by the Kodak or Flip designs, you might think the £79 Advent ADV-PVC1 (PC World's own inhouse model) is a good alternative. Unfortunately, you'd be mistaken.

The Advent ADV-PVC1 is cheaper than those models but has no internal memory, so you need to factor in the cost of a Secure Digital memory card in order to use it. And where some of the other models here are all the better for their simplicity, the Advent is simply lacking in features.

We've no argument with the fact that the Advent ADV-PVC1 camcorder is fairly pedestrian in its design - it's a smart, flat silver and black oblong with a 2in LCD on its front and a rubberised back to protect it from damage.

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The Advent ADV-PVC1's powered by a lithium-ion battery, which we preferred to the AA pairings found in some of the other models, while the casing also conceals a very slim USB connector with 2.5in lead so you can connect the device to a PC to download your captured footage.

The Advent ADV-PVC1's Controls are also limited: a Mode button cycles between video-recording, taking photos and showing the clips you've taken. The Set/Delete option beneath it lets you choose Lighting on or off, whether to format your SD memory card, PAL or NTSC TV playback and 50 or 60Hz ‘light freq'.

The screen is a relatively good size but has a limited resolution. However, this doesn't much matter as the photos that can be taken on Advent ADV-PVC1 are also low-resolution. The photos we took were less than 100K in size and had so serious flaws - we've got far better results taking stills on a low-cost webcam.

Video recording is not quite as dreadful: we captured some footie action courtesy of our local Sunday league team and were pleasantly surprised by how well the audio had been picked up. We could easily hear everything the coach was calling out.

However, the Advent ADV-PVC1 also picked up plenty of our own localised noise, including our frustrated attempts to make the up and down arrows act as a zoom so we could get a bit closer to the action. Unfortunately, there's no zoom option, so you can only shoot from afar.

Advent ADV-PVC1: Specs

  • Pocket Video Cam
  • Large 2.4in Screen
  • 1920x1080
  • Onboard software
  • for easy uploading 2GB SD Card Included
  • built-in USB arm
  • share your videos online
  • 1 touch recording
  • 73x64x129
  • 380g
  • Pocket Video Cam
  • Large 2.4in Screen
  • 1920x1080
  • Onboard software
  • for easy uploading 2GB SD Card Included
  • built-in USB arm
  • share your videos online
  • 1 touch recording
  • 73x64x129
  • 380g

OUR VERDICT

While we’re all for simplicity, especially in a product aimed at the newcomer to shooting digital video, the paucity of options here is obtuse. With no internal memory or bundled SD card, far from looking like a good deal, at £80 the Advent ADV-PC1 looks like one to avoid.

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