Sunday, May 23, 2010

Insignia NS-DV1080P Review

John Marine | 5/23/2010 01:46:00 AM | | | |
(UPDATED: April 12, 2012)

After talking about this camcorder in blogs and videos, it's time I do a proper review. This concerns the Insignia NS-DV1080P- my first camcorder. What you're about to read is a full review of this camcorder based on various facts and figures I've been able to use in using this camcorder. I'll even tell you of a few things to be aware of if you want to get this camcorder. I am even trying to do a video on this camcorder for YouTube.

The item is NOT available on Amazon, so I'll link you to some other sites in case you want to learn more about or even buy this camcorder. One more important note- this is my own commentary. I would NEVER steal someone else's comments and damage the integrity of my blog.

PERSONAL NOTE: Thanks to all of you for visiting this blog post! Considering how long ago I posted this blog post, it's great to know that this resource is still valuable enough. I hope you enjoy this blog post and all of its resources!


APR 12 2012 - made several individual edits

--- Insignia NS-DV1080P at a Glance ---

Insignia NS-DV1080P
^ from: - Insignia's NS-DV1080P camcorder. It is their top-of-the-line camcorder, but is it worth it? Find out in my review!

Insignia's top-of-the-line camcorder is the NS-DV1080P. As its name suggests, it is capable of video quality up to 1080p. For a budget-type camcorder, you do tend to get a lot. The camcorder has a swivel screen that rotates up to 270°. You can use the camcorder as you normally would, or you could even record yourself by pointing the camera at yourself and press Record. The camcorder features a unique light that can make it possible to do videos and pictures in low-light conditions. Still pictures can be taken with this camcorder. The pictures come out in a resolution of 2592 x 1944, good for 5.0 megapixels. The camcorder is even capable of allowing you to show your saved videos on a standard TV or (with HDMI cables) on HD television units. You can mount this camcorder on a screw-on tripod, and you can insert an SDHC card (up to 8 GB) to boost the amount of pictures and videos you can take. An 8 GB SDHC card gives you two hours of 1080p-resolution video. This camcorder is powered by a rechargeable litium ion battery.

The camcorder will activate automatically when you flip out the swivel screen. You can, however, turn on the camcorder manually using the power button after flipping out the camcorder. The camcorder will be turned off when you properly shut the swivel screen.

--- Basic Specifications ---

Here is a look at what this camcorder is capable of.

Video Capabilities.

This camcorder is capable of five different video sizes, listed below:
• 320 x 200 at 30 fps - QVGA video with a 4:3 ratio at 30 fps.
• 640 x 480 - SD Standard with a 4:3 ratio running at 30 fps.
• 848 x 480 - Widescreen SD with a 16:9 Wide ratio running at 60 fps, the best FPS for this camcorder.
• 1280 x 720 - 720p High-Definition video with a 16:9 aspect ratio running at 30 FPS.
• 1440 x 1080 - 1080p High-Definition video with a 16:9 aspect ratio running at 30 fps.

The camcorder offers stabilization features when recording videos, but your options don't include stabilization at higher resolutions. One of the most disliked aspects is that this camcorder only offers a 2X zoom at the highest resolutions.

Videos can be recorded in either AVI or MOV formats. It ships in AVI format, but you can change the settings to do MOV format videos.

Picture Capabilities.

Still pictures can be taken at 2592 x 1944 resolution. The images appear very lovely on your camcorder. However, they appear grainy and have a lot of noise when you upload them to your computer. They still look great, just that you need to do some extra adjusting to make your pictures look their best on your PC.

I'll feature some tips later in this blog entry to help you correct these issues.

--- My Story With the Insignia NS-DV1080P ---

People recommended that I get a camcorder to make better-quality YouTube videos. I considered my options. The first option of mine was the Vivitar DVR 865HD. I wanted this camcorder because it had great quality while not being a truly proper camcorder. It was what I wanted to get... until I visited a Best Buy, when I saw an Insignia NS-DV720P. Before I thought about wanting to get it (because I had my mom with me), I wanted to do more research on the Insignia NS-DV1080P. As I got to do more research seeing videos on YouTube, I changed my mind from getting the Insignia NS-DV1080P. This video below was the clincher for me:

It was this video that convinced me to get this camcorder. It shown me that great-looking videos were very possible with this camcorder. A few days before my 27th birthday, I got this camcorder thanks to my mom. I somewhat conned her into getting the bundle package. The bundle package included this camcorder, a Dynex tripod, a 4 GB SDHC card from PNY, and a Lowepro carrying pouch.

I took this camcorder with me to do some videos and take some pictures. Some of my "Car Style" blog entries feature cars that I took pictures of at the show. I did about ten or so video clips averaging a total of five minutes. I was purely disappointed about the videos I did, not so much the quality. So when I was disappointed on the videos I did, I canceled my YouTube video project. Since, I've never made any real special videos with this camcorder.

--- Insignia NS-DV1080P Retrospective ---

For those of you who may have seen two past blog entries of mine on this camcorder, I have deleted BOTH of them and added my impressions in this blog entry. This will give you a chance to see what I've thought of this previously. Read below to see my initial impressions with this camcorder!

--- Insignia NS-DV1080P: First Impressions ---

(originally posted: January 15, 2010)

The Insignia NS-DV1080P is the birthday gift of mine. This is my first true
camcorder. It is capable of 1080p video. On my somewhat aged computer, I fear at the possibility of HD video. This is an early report of this camcorder as I've used it for a few hours now...

--- General Overview ---

I wanted my mom to get me the Insignia NS-DV1080P bundle package. The bundle from Best Buy consists of an Insignia NS-DV1080P, a Dynex mini tripod, a Lowepro Ridge 30 carrying pouch, and a PNY 4 GB SD card.


This camera takes awesome pictures. It's not a proper camera, but image quality is quite lovely. You start noticing all the grainy spots when you see the actual images, but for its quality, picture quality is quite impressive to say the least.


I got this camcorder to test the waters of high-definition video. With limited success, I made 1080p and 720p videos. I assured my Facebook people that I would post some test videos on Facebook to see how they would look online. I did not install the MediaImpressions material or the ArcSoft material. I wanted to see how much I could do right out of the box with this camcorder.

When trying to record myself, I needed to make sure to have ample distance between myself and the webcam. I have to be very near the webcam for the best-possible video quality in showing my face. I'm still learning the ropes with this Insignia NS-DV1080P.

If I can find a combination I'm comfortable with, I may have my plan go underway to make a video project for the Houston Auto Show. I still have a long way to go if I am to really prosper with this thing.


The biggest gripe I had about the camcorder was that I had to ram in this pathetic PNY SD card just to get it to stay in. I actually want to get rid of this PNY card and go for a much better brand- SanDisk. And I want to get an eight gigabyte Sandisk SD card.


I've been unsuccessful using the TV camera to show off what is recorded on my card or in my camera's internal memory. The Dynex Mini Tripod is rather small, only six inches tall. But it is pretty durable for what it is. The Loewpro carrying pouch nicely contains the Insignia NS-DV1080P. I've had lots of trouble trying to get my PC to load the stupid PNY SD card this bundle comes with. Even more so, I decided it's best to keep the SD card lodged into the Insignia NS-DV1080P.

Overall, I am pretty much okay with this thing in my first experience with this camcorder. Have I mentioned that this is the very first Insignia product I've ever owned? I've already smudged up this thing for the most part, but I feel I can really make and load some great videos with this device. I need more practice before thinking I can actually create quality videos with this camcorder. I am still not confident enough and happy enough to start doing videos for YouTube (and elsewhere) yet.

--- Insignia NS-DV1080P: Second Impressions ---

(originally posted: February 1, 2010)

Back on January 31, 2010; I had a chance to take my camcorder out on the road and actually use it for once. I had fears that this camcorder would fail me graciously. But here is what has changed since my previous blog post...

The preferred format for video is MOV. However, I had more confidence in using AVI. I made sure to have DivX installed on my computer. I also made sure to get x264vfw and configure it. Then, I downloaded (or at least configured) ffdshow. Afterwards, I've become more confident making AVI videos. And to put it to the test, I did about 16 individual videos. All of which we no longer than one minute. I must say... the PNY 2 GB SDHC card was more than sufficient. I recorded videos in 640 x 480 standard resolution. To me, this camcorder was more than adequate. Taking over 169 (official) pictures and doing about 16 (official) video recordings, I only occupied 488 MB of the 4 GB card's space.

In the course of a week (basically), I've grown much more confident in using this camcorder. I confidently feel like I can make some true and complete videos with this camcorder. All I basically need is more codecs or better settings for the current codecs to confidently make and edit videos. It is all surprisingly more than adequate for my video and picture needs. I went from giving this camcorder three stars out of five... to four stars out of five. While not overly impressive, while not out-the-box amazing, it's still VERY manageable. Have you the patience for something like this? This camcorder is very manageable.

To all of my YouTube fans, I'm still thinking about how I should do my Houston Auto Show video. I'm happy with my recordings, but not completely confident in my video posts. I unfortunately had some zits on my face. I wasn't very pretty looking (but when am I?). While not a proper and complete camcorder, it still takes a great deal of confidence to get the camcorder going beautifully. My confidence only increases with this camcorder, and I'm becoming happier using this camcorder even with its flaws.

The Insignia NS-DV1080P is Best Buy exclusive. but a very worthy camcorder if you have the software and patience. Believe me.

Now on to the important parts- my tips and (more importantly) review of this camcorder.

--- My Review of the Insignia NS-DV1080P ---

This review comes in two different styles.

The Short Review.

This is a good, but not great camcorder. If you're not reluctant to be patient and give this camera a chance, this is not the camcorder for you.

The Long Review.

While severely flawed, this is not a bad camcorder to be honest. The camera is made and executed very nicely. Nowhere is it near any of the true camcorders in its price range. Still, what you get for the money is a very manageable and decent BUDGET camcorder. While the camera has some negative aspects, it is still possible to take decent pictures and videos with this camcorder. You just have to exercise patience and try to find some ways around making this camcorder work for you. To be quite honest, this is a very good budget camcorder. All you need is a good set of compatible codecs to make the most of this camcorder. The light and color settings are set to Auto. Sadly, you can not save these settings. So every time you turn on the camcorder, if you need to manually adjust the light settings, you'll need to do this before recording any video or taking any pictures. The worst thing about this camcorder is that there is no amazing customer support. You can't even register this camera to get more updates. So you basically are buying this camcorder at your own risk. You can, however, visit Insignia's online forum for all the advice you need and for sharing questions and comments on all Insignia products.

Still want to get this camcorder? Let me offer you some advice from my own personal experiences before I close this blog entry.

--- Insignia NS-DV1080P Advice ---

The advice I have to give you comes in the form of various individual points. Please read what I have to offer to you in helping you make the most of this camcorder.

• The most important thing is to have some good codecs to make the most of this camcorder. The most important thing to remember is that you'll need some codecs that can handle H264 video. I've used a combination of different items, such as DivX and ffdshow. I'm still trying to sort out audio issues when trying to upload these videos through either Windows Movie Maker or Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD 9.

• If you want to REALLY do more with this camcorder, get an SDHC card for it (up to 8 GB) and keep it there. I've had trouble trying to get my PC to read my SDHC card when I put it into the appropriate SDHC slot, so I basically keep the SDHC card in the camcorder and just connect to the computer using the USB cable. When you jack in this camcorder to your PC, it will load up the regular drive info for the camcorder, and then later give you options as to what you want to do for the SDHC card data.

• Pictures taken can be grainy with some noise included. All you need to resolve this is to use a good graphics program (like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro). Pictures look very nice when you're browsing through your I recommend two things to have images looking better than what they were saved as. Think about it like this- the images saved on the Insignia NS-DV1080P look good only after everything fits to the swivel screen. Try uploading them to the computer, however, and you'll see how the pictures REALLY look in their full detail. That's why you need to do two things to make pictures look better when uploaded to your PC. (1) Use your paint program's Soften feature to soften the image to reduce the noise and grainy details, and (2) reduce the 2592x1944 size images to something more manageable. Examples of manageable resolutions are 640 x 480, 800 x 600, or 1024 x 768. Both of these hints will help ensure that pictures look much more decent than when the images came off of your camcorder.

• The lens cannot be covered. So remember not to mess up the camera lens very much. Take some cloth or some tissue to clean the lens.

• Light in the area will need to be sufficient if you plan on taking any pictures or videos. If you don't have enough sufficient light, try using the two different digital light settings. The initial setting has light levels the way that they are. You can turn on digital light to enhance the light through gamma correction. Adjust the digital light settings again, and the light on the camcorder will turn on to give you better image quality through dark areas.

• Get a tripod if you plan on making videos. That is, unless you want do your videos holding up the camcorder.

• From my research, DO NOT install any of the picture or video editing programs included on the CD. I've heard of how videos can be uploaded successfully, but not have any sound. The camcorder will not lose any functionality just because you don't install any of the included programs. If anything, just download the software that will have the Insignia NS-DV1080P be properly read when connected to the computer.

• The camera smudges up easily, so make sure to clean the plastic coating of the camcorder with cloth or something to keep it clean and free of smudge marks when using it.

• Know when to use the macro switch properly. The macro switch helps you to take better-quality images of things either far away or close by. Keeping the macro switch at the bottom is good for taking pictures and video of things further away from you. Keeping the macro switch at the top is good for taking pictures and video of things closer to you. You'll know which mode is engaged if you see a flower in the bottom-left corner. If you see this flower, then images closer to you will appear sharper while images further away appear blurred.

• If taking video of yourself using the swivel screen, be warned that you may not sound very loud when talking into the camcorder. You may have to speak as loudly as you can so you sound clear. Either that, or you may need to edit the audio settings of your video to increase the volume on sounds.

• If you are unsure as to what codecs are needed to play a certain video, I recommend you look up a program called GSpot. GSpot is a program that helps you to find out what codecs are needed to play a file properly. More information on this program can be found towards the end of this blog entry.

• You can also download Any Video Converter to convert the AVI files to (at least for me) WMV for better usage. I may start doing this so I can better use these files for Windows Movie Maker and Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD 9.

Now to answer a question that I see when I look at my FEEDJIT data...

Can the Insignia NS-DV1080P be used as a webcam? The answer is: no. When you connect the camcorder to your PC, its only purposes are for recharging the camcorder and uploading pictures and/or videos. It can not be used as a webcam. You'll just have to record videos using the camcorder, then upload your results to the computer.

--- Thank You For Reading! ---

I hope my video has given you some insight on whether or not you want to get this camcorder. Thank you very much for reading my blog entry. Resources and links can be found below:

To purchase the Insignia NS-DV1080P or to learn more about it, visit:

Insignia NS-DV1080P on
Insignia NS-DV1080P from Insignia's website

For software resources...

GSpot (NOTE: this is only available for Windows)
Any Video Converter

(ADDED: May 14, 2011; edited March 24, 2012)
Even though the NS-DV1080P is not sold on Amazon, here are two alternative camcorders from Insignia related to the NS-DV1080P. Have a look at these and/or buy them on Amazon if they interest you:

I hope these resources have helped you in making your decision about this camcorder. If so, please post a comment to this blog entry. How do I know if I'm doing a good job if you don't comment on my work? So post a comment (all comments subject to moderation). Thank you for reading!

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John B. Marine said...

im haveing trouble downloading a video on to my computer.wat video editor should i use to download it

John B. Marine said...

I am not sure how to help you. If you have Firefox, I used to use Download Helper. So that's my only recommendation.

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