DXG 125V Camcorder Review

A weather proof and inexpensive pocket camcorder.

Photo courtesy DXG.

The DXG 125V is an HD pocket camcorder that records 1280 x 720 video to SDHC cards. It has a splash-proof housing and is designed for outdoor enthusiasts who want to grab Web-friendly video of their death-defying exploits. It adds a few twists to the pocket camcorder concept as well, with a lanyard-friendly design and a built-in MP3 player. At $139, it's very inexpensive.

Video samples recorded with the DXG 125V can be found here.

DXG 125V At a Glance

The Good: Sturdy design, simple interface.

The Bad: Cumbersome MP3 player, limited recording capacity, uneven quality.

Decent Video Quality

The DXG 125V records 1280 x 720 video at 30 frames per second via a 1/4-inch, 1-megapixel CMOS sensor. The video quality in well lit areas is about as good as you'd expect from an inexpensive 720p pocket camcorder, which is to say it's alright. I noticed a few instances of over-exposure in particularly well lit areas.

Like many pocket models, the DXG 125V won't perform too well in low light. With no built-in video light and no ability to adjust exposure, there's not much you can do but crank up the room lighting.

In addition to 720p shooting, the 125V will record 848 x 480 resolution video and still photos at 3-megapixels using interpolation. Like the HD video recording, the snapshots are best in well lit environments.

Excellent Design

The DXG 125V gets high marks for its design. It's encased in a weather-proof (not waterproof) body with a rubberized grip which makes it easy to handle. It's small too, at 2.52 x 0.88 x 4.13 inches it's the equivalent to a slender point-and-shoot digital camera. It weighs just north of three ounces with the battery and SD card, so it's also very light.

Aside from the rubberized grip, another nice design touch is the hook-top, which allows you to use the included clip to secure the camcorder to a belt or bag.

As for the controls, the DXG 125V is similarly well conceived. Just four buttons on the unit: power, delete, mode/playback and a record button situated in between a four-way controller. There's not much to get lost in.

Limited Memory

To keep the price down, DXG packed a meager 128MB of internal memory into the unit. To record videos of any length, you'll need to spring for an optional SDHC card. Unfortunately, the 125V only supports SDHC cards up to 8GB (equivalent to roughly to two and half hours of recording) while SDHC cards can be bought in capacities up to 32GB.

The camcorder also won't display the time remaining as you record, so it's very difficult to tell how much space you have left on your SDHC card.

Basic Features

The remaining features of the DXG 125V are pretty basic. You'll find a 2x digital zoom, which isn't very useful but is standard on pocket models, and a 2-inch LCD. While filming, you can toggle between HD, WVGA and still photo modes or jump into playback.

MP3 Playback

The 125V also boasts an MP3 player. When announcing the unit, DXG took pains to note that it was more of a 'bonus' feature and not a core part of the specs. And you can tell from the way the feature was integrated into the unit that MP3 playing is not really front and center.

There's a mic jack on the side of the unit, but no dedicated button to access MP3s. Instead, you press the "mode" button twice to enter music mode. You'll then have to hit the red record button several times to play the song. There's no option to play music and record video simultaneously. Nor is there really much of a menu to navigate through your digital music files.

Keep in mind as well that adding MP3 music files to your SDHC memory card will reduce the amount of video you can store.

How Does it Compare?

The only model that competes directly with the DXG 125V in the rugged pocket camcorder niche is Kodak's Zx1. Kodak's model takes better quality video with roughly the same ease-of-use but the Zx1 is also larger and slightly more expensive. The exterior of the 125V appears more durable than Kodak's - its rubberized edges appears to be able to withstand more forceful drops. You can read a review of the Zx1 or see our picks for the Best Pocket Camcorders.

An Outdoor Companion

The DXG 125V is worth considering if you're an avid outdoor enthusiast looking to snap some YouTube-friendly videos of your exploits at a cost that won't bust your budget. There are higher quality pocket camcorders available for only slightly more money, but none that are as durable.