The 3M Shoot 'n Share has one unique feature: a built-in projector. But whether evaluated as a camcorder or as a projector, the Shoot 'n Share has lots of room for improvement. And at £148 (as of July 27, 2011), it's more expensive than most of competing pocket camcorders, despite performing poorly.
Its built-in projector makes the Shoot 'n Share bulkier than other pocket camcorders on the market--even the Sanyo Xacti VPC-PD2, which comes with a 3X optical zoom (the Shoot 'n Share lacks this feature) is slightly smaller. The Shoot 'n Share is 2.4 inches wide, 4.9 inches tall, and 0.9 inch deep, and it weighs about 160g. It sports a 2-inch-diagonal LCD, as well as an HDMI port, an AV port, and a MicroSD card slot. Below its LCD screen are a camera button, a record button (for video), and a projector button. Below those function buttons are control arrows that allow you to fully interact with on-screen menus.
You can perform most of the Shoot 'n Share's basic functions at the push of the appropriate button. If you want to change the camera's settings or find pictures you've taken, however, you'll have to press a lot of buttons and move the arrows around-at least until you fully understand how to perform the tasks. I also noticed that some of the camera's buttons had a time lag between when I pressed them and when they took effect.
One major drawback of the Shoot 'n Share is that it permits you to use only one video resolution: 720p (at 30 frames per second). Other pocket camcorders typically offer 1080p and 720p at 60 fps. It can shoot photos at 8, 5, and 3 megapixels.
The projector has a resolution of 640 by 480 pixels, and it displays images in a 4:3 aspect ratio--not widescreen--even though it captures video at 1280 by 720. With the Shoot 'n Share's power adapter plugged in, the projector's brightness is rated at 14 lumens. When using battery power, the brightness is turned down to 12 lumens.
Video Quality and Image Quality
In Labs' subjective tests, the Shoot 'n Share earned a video quality grade of Fair. The camcorder performed poorly in both low light and bright light situations and our judges rated the audio quality of its videos as Poor.
The Shoot 'n Share's strong point is its still-photo capability. In assessing its photos, our judges awarded the Shoot 'n Share marks of Fair for colour, and Good for exposure and sharpness.
Though the projector seems like a nifty idea, the projected images looked grainy when displayed on clean white surfaces. Furthermore, the projector's image quality was best when it displayed images at 8 by 8 inches--not exactly huge.