The Busbi Video is a digital camcorder without pretensions. It costs a very modest £34.95 (from Firebox and other gadget sites) and has no internal memory.

Nor does it have rechargeable batteries - instead, you need to insert a pair of AA batteries. This keeps the initial cost down and ensures that the Busbi is the sort of lightweight, inexpensive gadget that you'd have no qualms about sticking in your pocket to carry anywhere, pulling out to shoot a few seconds of video when an opportune moment arises.

The Busbi Video is ideal for taking to the beach, a party or a day out with the kids at a theme park, in other words.

As you may expect from a budget video recorder, the Busbi Video's features are few and the resulting footage nothing to write home about. However, there's a lot to be said for the very simple approach - as the popularity of other flash memory-based digital camcorders such as the Flip, attests.

The back of the Busbi Video is dominated by its 2in TFT colour playback screen. Next to this is a small, raised power button, while below the display sit a thumbprint-sized speaker, playback and delete buttons and a big red Record button.

Video footage is recorded at a tiny 320x240 (Quarter VGA) resolution - think mobile phone quality or a poor YouTube effort, although you do get better results in strong light. With no directional microphone, just the baby monitor-style circular affair below the playback screen, it's little surprise to find the audio quality is also ropey.

The Busbi Video picks up the sound of whoever is doing the recording, along with any ambient background sounds. Dialogue between people in shot often sounded more like noises off, though the sound quality improves if they are within four or five feet and you've set things up so they are talking ‘to camera'.

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Busbi Video: Specs

  • Display: 2.0 inch TFT
  • Memory: External: SD/MMC card slot (max 2GB) 1GB SD included
  • 106×62×33mm
  • 72g
  • Image Sensor: VGA 640x480 (300k pixels)
  • Video Resolution: QVGA 320x240 pixels
  • Video frame rate: Up to 30fps
  • File format: AVI
  • 2 × AA batteries (included)
  • 1GB SD card (included)
  • also records to MMC card
  • Battery life: 60 minutes recording or 70 minutes playback
  • USB 1.1
  • 2-year warranty
  • requires: Windows: Windows Me/2000/XP/Vista
  • Display: 2.0 inch TFT
  • Memory: External: SD/MMC card slot (max 2GB) 1GB SD included
  • 106×62×33mm
  • 72g
  • Image Sensor: VGA 640x480 (300k pixels)
  • Video Resolution: QVGA 320x240 pixels
  • Video frame rate: Up to 30fps
  • File format: AVI
  • 2 × AA batteries (included)
  • 1GB SD card (included)
  • also records to MMC card
  • Battery life: 60 minutes recording or 70 minutes playback
  • USB 1.1
  • 2-year warranty
  • requires: Windows: Windows Me/2000/XP/Vista

OUR VERDICT

This is a lightweight toy of a camcorder you’d probably be happy to let young kids loose with. Its price reflects this and if you want a cheap, convenient video camera and don’t have big expectations of the results, it’ll do the job.

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