After covering the rest of the Vivitar action camera range a few months back we have decided to post our Vivitar DVR785HD review and complete the series. If you have read any of our previous reviews of the Vivitar DVR range then you will probably know that we are not fans of these cameras and feel that there are much better options available.
For example, the Akaso EK7000 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is without a doubt the market-leading action camera in the price range of the Vivitar DVR785HD and we would highly recommend it over the DVR785HD to our readers. Judging by the reputation of the Vivitar DVR785HD within the community and the reputation of the Akaso EK7000 within the community, it would seem that the majority of people would agree with us too and recommend that you go with the EK7000.
That said, we will still be reviewing the Vivitar DVR785HD in full to go over why we feel like this. Although our regular readers will already be aware of this, we just want to point out to anyone who is new to our blog, we always to try be as fair as possible when reviewing a product but the simple fact is, the Vivitar DVR785HD really does not have much going for it so this review will seem overly negative.
User Interface And Control System
The photograph above shows the interface for the Vivitar DVR785HD and as you can see, the majority of it is based around a touch screen with a few additional buttons across the top of the camera. Although the actual navigation menu on the DVR785HD is easy to use and lets you quickly and easily find the settings that you may want to tweak, it is a nightmare to actually get the touch screen working.
Not only is the touchscreen a pain to use at the best of times and randomly seems to be unresponsive but if your action sport of choice includes water or cold weather it is simply a waste of time. Once your fingers are wet or cold the problems change from randomly going unresponsive to rarely working and when it does it does not accurately detect the location of your finger.
This report on the DVR785HD from a third-party, independent owner of the camera also comments on these issues and how their touchscreen was a pain to use too. On top of this they also mentioned how one of the control buttons across the top of their camera locked in place on the first day of receiving it too.
Another thing that we would like to point out is that the waterproof case included with the DVR785HD is a solid case so you are not able to try and use the touchscreen of the camera when it is housed in its case too. This is just another nail in the coffin for the DVR785HD in our opinion and pushes the competing cameras at this price point further ahead of it.
In all honesty, we really don’t know why Vivitar released the camera with these problems. It was clear that there were already competing action cameras already on the market at this price point with much better touchscreens so the DVR785HD was almost doomed to fail right out the gate. Additionally, the technology was already available for Vivitar to use a more responsive touchscreen in the DVR785HD without having to add much to the price tag but they chose not to for some reason.
Performance And Functionality
Moving onto the performance of the DVR785HD, in our opinion, both the photograph and video footage provided by the Vivitar DVR785HD have issues although the video footage image quality is the stronger out of the two. Although the sales pitch for the DVR785HD claims it is capable of providing you with “high definition pictures” via the 5MP sensor on the camera, it really does struggle to hold its own.
Here are a number of third party reports from other people who have purchased the Vivitar DVR785HD and regretted it due to the poor image quality:-
As you can see, there are a number of people having the exact same issues when it comes to the picture quality of the Vivitar DVR785HD. The video embedded below offers an example of the video quality that the camera is able to capture and includes some footage of the camera underwater.
The main issue that we have when recording video is the poor audio track. As you can hear in the video clip above, there is constant noise on the audio track from the onboard microphone on the Vivitar DVR785HD and it’s sound quality is very poor. It struggles to pick up the people talking who are within a few feet of the camera and their voices are very quiet.
Now, we know by now, some of our readers are probably thinking we are just being overly harsh on the Vivitar DVR785HD and expecting more from the camera and not taking into account that it is a very budget-friendly, entry-level action camera. We thought this may be the case so this is one of the reasons we have been linking out to various independent reports above but let’s check out some footage from the market-leading action camera at this price point in the market.
The sample footage below was recorded on the Akaso EK7000 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) using its onboard microphone for all of the audio track.
Additionally, the audio on the Akaso EK7000 is excellent in our opinion. The audio track is free from noise, the people speaking are around the same distance from the camera as they are in the DVR785HD example footage but the EK7000 picks them up fine. All in all, it is just a much better camera and should be your primary choice when looking for a cheap GoPro alternative.
Another thing that we want to point out about the DVR785HD when used underwater is that it has a bunch of issues with fogging making it quickly unusable. This report from an independent owner of the DVR785HD comments on this while also sharing some of their test photographs to show how bad the situation becomes.
Build Quality And Design
The build quality of the Vivitar DVR785HD is probably its strongest feature but we see no point in having a robust little action camera that can take a ton of punishment if its performance is so poor you can’t see or hear what you are trying to record. We have no doubt that the DVR785HD will be able to take its share of bumps when out and about while you are going your action sport of choice, we just wish its performance was better so that it would be worth while.
Question – What is the battery life on the Vivitar DVR785HD?
Answer – Although we have seen the officially listed 6 hours of battery life, it seems 3 hours is more realistic.
Question – What is the maximum depth the waterproof case can be taken to without leaking?
Answer – The officially listed depth is 15 feet but we have seen reports from people saying they have taken it deeper without issue.
Question – Does the Vivitar DVR785HD have a time-lapse setting?
Answer – No.
That brings our review of the Vivitar DVR785HD to an end and as we mentioned at the start of the article, we would not recommend our readers use their hard-earned money to purchase this action camera. In our opinion, it is a total waste of time and money and if you are looking to pick up a cheap GoPro alternative around the $50 mark, the Akaso EK7000 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is the camera that you should be looking at.
If for whatever reason the Akaso EK7000 is not available in your area then the Dragon Touch Vision 3 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is another solid action camera around the $50 price point that offers some excellent audio and image quality and outright beats the performance of the DVR785HD.