We all know what a pain in the ass it is to find Christmas Presents that are "different" and don't suck. Year after year, this tradition continues taxing our imaginations and pocketbooks. One of the funky cool oddities that I will be gifting this year is the Swann Flashlight DVR. That's right, it's a full size, beefy Flashlight combined with a video camera, guaranteed to provide hours of stupid fun for both kids and adults! Read on for full Swann SW244-TDV review.
I mean this isn't exactly a "holy shit you got chocolate in my peanut butter" moment, but pretty damn cool nonetheless. As the name implies, the unit consists of a Flashlight with three levels of brightness, and a built in Digital Video Recorder that can also take still photos. As an added bonus it comes with tiny backlit clock/function display, so when you are stumbling in the dark you can press a button and see what the hell you are doing. Like most of the other crap you get on Christmas this thing requires batteries that do not come with it, specifically three C-size batteries, preferably Ni-MH rechargeable (this gadget has a built in Ni-MH battery recharger and even comes with a complimentary external power adapter, and car charger). The manual is pretty thorough, idiot friendly, illustrated, and unlike this review, written in pretty good English.
Now let's talk about the important part, the DVR. It comes with an unremarkable 128mb base memory of which you have access to about 100mb, but there is a SD expansion slot available that allows you to use SD memory cards (2GB max). The video quality is not mind blowing, but acceptable "“ for spec freaks I ran it through the GSpot (giggidy) Codec Information Analyzer and it came back with mp4v (ISO MPEG-4) video and mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC 32000HZ 128kb/s mono audio. Frame rate and compression appear to vary depending on how much you swing this thing around (less is better), so just like with a real camera, don't get stupid with the motion unless you are shooting a sequel to the Blair Witch Project.
So all that said, I have no idea how much weed the guys at SWANN smoked before they came out with this hybrid, but I am glad they did "“ this is a definite off-the-beaten-path Christmas present. Enjoy!