Throw-away cameras aren’t good enough anymore. Now there’s disposable camcorders.
A company called PureDigital recently began marketing a one-time use digital camcorder. It’s $29.99 and available only at CVS/pharmacy.
"The target consumer for this is our core consumer at CVS," says company spokeswoman Erin Cowhig. "That core customer is a female who has above average income and has two or more children. She’s the person who’s interested in documenting the family’s life."
Cowhig says the device has been well-received.
"To spend $30 for 20 minutes of video for an important moment is well worthwhile," Cowhig said. "It’s really simple to use. It’s pocket sized, weighs under five ounces, and it has four buttons. You don’t need a lesson."
Convenience: They’re attractive for people on vacation who forgot their camera or people going on a wilderness experience who don’t want to risk losing or destroying a nicer recorder. The artistic market: Intel came out with an inexpensive digital movie camera. Amateur filmmakers use them because they like the grainy quality of the video they produce. Web sites already are discussing how to use the disposables for similar purposes.
Cost: The total investment (for the camcorder and processing) is about $42. A decent digital camera capable of taking some home movies can be purchased for about $200.
Tech savvy: Since the movie is recorded to a DVD, it implies the person who buys it has a computer and knows something about computer technology. That’s very different from a disposable camera because it can be bought by people who are technological laggards.
HOW IT WORKS
> > The camcorders have 20 minutes of memory capacity. There are four buttons: Record, playback, pause and delete. The camcorder has a 1.4-inch playback screen.
> > Take a video clip. Play it back. If you don’t like it, you can delete it.
> > When the 20 minutes is full, take the camera back to a CVS photo lab and the company processes the contents of the camera onto a DVD. The processing fee is $12, and it takes about one hour. Images are available for 30 days after processing on the CVS server, so no space is taken up on a customer’s personal computer.
> > The DVD can be put in any computer or DVD player to watch the movie. The files can be attached to an e-mail to send video cards or movie clips easily.
> > The camcorder is recycled for another customer to use.