RCA Small Wonder
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RCA Small Wonder EZ101
One of the most useful tools I discovered last year was the RCA Small Wonder video camera. The camera model is RCA EZ101 and a similar model is the Flip Video camera.
The EZ101 model was reviewed in Bill Myers Online and after reading the review I bought a new one on eBay.
At the time RCA was marketing the devise through Ace Hardware with a rebate and some of the Hardware stores were selling them on eBay at very low prices - less than $40. After I bought the first one I liked the camera so much I placed bids on more and eventually got 4 cameras for friends and family.
Let me tell you why I liked my RCA Small Wonderso much
A major factor with me was the very low cost.
The video obtained with the camera is not first class, it doesn't compare with High Def or even old Hi 8 mm, the video looks more like old vhs, but since the cost is low enough I can work with it.
A big reason for liking this camera so much is the software that comes with the Small Wonder. The software is flawless. I hooked the little camera up to 4 different computers all running MS XP and each time the RCA had installed itself in a moment and was up and running on the computer with absolutely zero hassles. This is a first for me. I always have trouble with computer equipment and programs. I am so tired of having to return items or go buy an external connection device or card or cable or load another program etc. RCA got the software right. You just slide the cover back and a USB port clicks open and you plug it into your computer- no fuss no muss. It runs perfect
After your computer connects it identifies your video selections and asks what you want to do with them.
This is the way it is supposed to work.
Reason Number Three
The great thing about the size of this camera is you never have an excuse not to have it on you. The RCA comes with a small cloth bag to carry the camera but ditch that and get a simple plastic bag. -a ziploc plastic bag will keep the camera free of the dust in your pocket. You will not believe how much dust gets in your pocket from lint, etc. I once ruined a little Nikon Pocket camera I had in my pocket unprotected. A plastic bag will also protect the lens.
Reason Number Four
Because of the small size you can use this camera in creative ways you never imagined with your old video camera.
I haven't done this yet but there is no reason you could not place this camera on a kite or even a large RC model plane or helicopter for aerial photography. The camera with batteries weighs 5.2 ounces.
I made a very low cost and simple underwater camera bag that this camera fit in very well. This makes the camera an ideal companion on the boat or snorkeling or at the beach or anywhere you are expecting to get wet.
See my video below I posted to youtube of the little camera bag I made for using with small digital cameras and the Small wonder
Put this camera in your pocket with the lens sticking up over your pocket and no one will notice you have a video camera and are recording the event.. Imagine the times you would have liked to have had a video record -sometimes it is better to have a video camera than a gun.
Other surveillane uses:
If the troops needed to see what was going on in a house before they went through a door they could use the camera on a small pole to safely look in a window. The camera has a RCA jack output to video so wires could run to a small monitor. It would also be a good way for the troops to see around corners etc.
Attach the camera to your dogs collar and let him run off in the woods and you get to see what he sees.
Reason Number Five
Point of view filming
In a couple of my short how to videos I taped the camera to my hat and wore it while filming assembling an item. The camera took perfect Point of View Angle shots as it was filming exactly what I was seeing. This is an interesting way to film without a crew or tripod.
You can also attach the camera to cars, planes, boats etc. and get interesting point of view shots.
The video above showing how to use the Nemo Jr was shot that way, here is another video I posted on youtube made with the camera attached to my hat.
Reason Number Six
Here is a sample below of my first tape I loaded onto youtube. I had never used the RCA camera before or even edited with Windows Movie Maker that comes with Microsoft XP.
I had very little problem editing with Movie Maker. It is a simple program that does not match the big boys like Adobe Premier or Sony Vegas but Movie Maker will do more than enough for most of us. Give the free Moviemaker a try before paying for a more expensive and harder to learn program.
Reason Number Seven
I had one of my Small Wonders in a prototype underwater bag and cut the bag climbing on some barnacle covered rocks and accidentally got salt water in the bag and got the camera wet. The camera stopped playing.
I immediately took the camera home and took it apart and flushed it with water and dried it out in my oven overnight. The next day the camera powered back on and still works over 9 months later!! I find this amazing.
Reason Number Eight
made for Internet and youtube
This camera can compress your video into a format that is made to easily download to the Internet. This camera was made for making little videos to watch on youtube.
To see more examples of what the camera can do go to youtube and plug in the word RCA Small wonder
RCA has also come out with a newer model EZ105 and EZ201
The EZ105 shoots for an hour in the same quality as the EZ101 and a half hour in higher quality mode. It also has a camera mount slot .
The EZ201 takes better video and has a card slot you can increase the video time but the camera is 2-3 times more expensive, but still a good bargain.
In the final analysis,The RCA EZ101 camera is not rated highly for its video quality, however, for the price and ease of use and its improvisational potential this little camera gets a big 'thumbs up' from me
RCA EZ101 Digital Video Camcorder
RCA EZ101 Digital Video Camcorder
Shoot, save and share up to 30 minutes of digital video
Affordable, everyday MPEG-4 Digital video camcorder
Easy to play and delete files on camcorder
View on bright 1.5" LCD screen or output directly to TV (cable included)
Connects to computer with convenient USB arm
Small Wonder automatically compresses your videos to make them easy to e-mail
Runs on 2 'AA' Batteries
Slim, sleek silver design
Visit one of 8,000 drugstore and camera store locations that can easily burn your Small Wonder video to DVD
Ready To Go (No Tapes Needed, No Charging Needed) – Just insert two "AA"
batteries and you're ready to start capturing memories
Point-And-Shoot Simplicity – Just aim and press RECORD. A great camcorder for
all age groups and for anyone on the go. Take it roller blading or biking
Instant Playback/Delete – So you can see what you just shot and delete it if you
don't want it
Built-in Memory – Holds up to 30 minutes of video clips. No tapes required
Easy TV Viewing – Watch your video clips on TV by connecting the camcorder
with the included AV cable
Built-in Simple Software – Camcorder comes complete with integrated software
in memory. Simple software allows you to download video through highspeed
USB connection and email video clips to family and friends. Activates
automatically when camcorder is connected
Convenient USB Arm – Allows quick connection to PC for easy viewing or
downloading of video clips
Simple Downloading – Convenient USB arm allows quick connect to PC or
laptop for easy viewing and archiving of video clips
No Computer Needed – Users that have no computer can take camcorder to any
Pure Digital Processing lab and have a DVD created while they wait. DVD can
be played on a home DVD player and shared with friends or family. Processing
labs are located at many retail stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, and CVS
More info about the RCA Small Wonder EZ201
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