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All posts tagged "video camera"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sanyo's Introduces New "Dual Camera" Model

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:00 PM

"SANYO... introduces a new Full HD (1920 x 1080 30p) Pocket-Size Dual Camera, model VPC-PD2BK, with embedded software for easy use and sharing on social networks. The camera is the only one of its kind that offers Full HD video recording, 10 MP photo shooting, and 3x optical zoom in a stylish form factor that is about the size of a deck of cards."

Although it veers somewhat toward the larger and heavier side of the pocket camcorder market, Sanyo hopes to capture your interest - and part of your spending money - with their new VPC-PD2BK "Dual Camera," by promising an enticing mix of photographic features in addition to the long list of video features that most competitors offer. This model has not been released yet (it is due in September 2010, with a list price of $169.99 US), so it may be a while before full reviews show up, but the specifications look promising, as Sanyo has included a 10.7MP CMOS sensor that is larger (at 1/2.33 inch) than that found in many competing models, to go along with its 3x optical zoom lens and a built-in flash (for still photography only). Alas, it does follow the pocket camcorder norm of having only digital image stabilization - but there is only so much technology that can be packed into what is still a small form factor, at least at this price point.

Monday, August 23, 2010

KODAK PLAYTOUCH Video Camera Boasts a 3-inch Capacitive Touch Screen

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:30 PM

""Eastman Kodak Company today introduced the new KODAK PLAYTOUCH Video Camera, a sleek and stylish addition to its award-winning digital video camera portfolio. The pocket-size KODAK PLAYTOUCH Video Camera features a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen so consumers can easily glide through their HD videos with the swipe of a fingertip. With new on-camera editing and Kodak's exclusive Share Button, the PLAYTOUCH Video Camera makes it easy for consumers to share their favorite moments with friends and family in full 1080p HD."

Kodak is one of the bigger players in the pocket video camera market - sheesh, we really need a catchy name for this category of camera - and the KODAK PLAYTOUCH looks like a significant improvement above previous generations. I'm not sold on the touch screen, though I see there's a single physical button - as long as that button starts and stops the recording, I'm OK with touch screen buttons being used for other features. Strangely, the press release doesn't mention the frame rate of the 1080p recording - I suspect it's either 24fps or 30fps. The on-camera editing and tagging videos for upload might be useful for some people. What I'd be more interested in are the details on the sensor itself - is the PLAYTOUCH any better in low-light than previous KODAK cameras? That's a key area of weakness for these cameras.

The remainder of the press release, and an image of the front of the PLAYTOUCH camera, is after the break. Read more...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

dpreview's Quick Guide to Pocket Camcorders

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:00 PM

"Compact digital cameras may all be starting to sprout HD movie capability but they're by no means the only devices able to capture your life in high definition. Driven by the popularity of video sharing on YouTube and FaceBook, a new class of devices has sprung up, offering an even more simple way to record and share the important, interesting or simply funny things going on around you - the pocket camcorder."

Although not an actual review, dpreview's "Quick guide to pocket camcorders" should be on the reading list of anyone thinking about purchasing a device that falls into this increasingly popular product category. The article provides a basic feature and specification chart for 10 pocket camcorders, touches upon available resolution offerings, and covers several key specifications to look for when making a purchase decision. The author also takes the time to cover some additional considerations - such as battery, connectivity, and storage type - and even includes several sample videos that provide some indication of the output quality a casual user might expect to achieve. It will be interesting to see how this market shakes out as mobile phones add greater photographic and video capabilities.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Logitech Keeps An Eye On Your Home For You

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM

"The system basically consists of a camera and a pair of bulky plug adapters. Connect one to your camera, the other to your network via Ethernet, and that second one will pipe signal to the first via HomePlug powerline networking. While WiFi would seem like a better choice initially, this does mean you won't have to worry about having a completely uninterrupted signal in and around your home."

I have to admit that I am a Logitech fan. I love their keyboards and mice, and I do think they have a nice range of speakers and webcams. However, as easy as the Logitech Alert system looks, I have questions about just how practical it is. It is not that I think that their system is bad, but rather, incomplete. Having cameras that can store images and videos themselves is great, but needing a computer to download those images seems like an extra hassle. No mention is made about whether the cameras can independantly offload images to a separate site, which I would consider to be a critical aspect of the cameras, especially since they look like they could be easily pilfered themselves. What I am really surprised is that while they offer a "mobile" solution, they are not promoting a newly launched (non-existant) service that would archive and provide an anywhere accessible web based interface to their cameras. Whether for paid or for free, I think that would be an invaluable component to any IP based security set up and it is not like there is a lack of companies already doing that. Anyone set up their own home security system? Have you included IP cameras? Any tips for those that are starting to set up their own?

Friday, July 30, 2010

YouTube Gives You 15 Minutes Of Fame

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 11:00 AM

"We want YouTube to be the best place to upload video. Without question, the number one requested feature by our creators is to upload videos longer than 10 minutes. We’ve heard you, and today we’re pleased to announce that we’ve increased the upload limit to 15 minutes."

While I am sure that many will welcome the increased time limit, I have to admit, in a way, I will miss the old limit. With 10 minutes, people were forced, if only gently, to keep their videos short and concise. Sort of like a Tweet. I kind of liked the idea that I could hop on, watch something quick, and then be done before the boss has a chance to notice what I am doing. An extra 5 minutes can make a entertaining video into a long, drawn-out affair. Anyone have plans to make use of your extra time? What will you do with it?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Samsung Releases ST80 WiFi compact and HMX-E10 Pocket Video Camera

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:30 PM

"Camera releases are somewhat a by-the-numbers thing with so many different variations being released by numerous companies throughout the year. Samsung's pair here does have some interesting standout features, but one at a time."

Samsung's got a pair of interesting cameras; the first one, the ST80, offers a standard 3x zoom lens (35-105 equivalent; people still make them?), a 3" touchscreen with no physical controls at the back, 720p video, and WiFi to upload files directly to photo-sharing and social network sites. After having played around with the latest generation of smartphones, I think it would be cooler if cameras now started adding Bluetooth so we can use our phones to share those social snaps taken on something better than crappy cellphone cameras.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

VueZone's Super Simple Personal Video Network

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:00 AM

"Vue is the easiest and simplest way to remotely view your family, your home, your business...virtually anything, from anywhere, at anytime. Vue lets you create your own personal video network and delivers live video wirelessly for you to see and share from any web browser* or flash-enabled mobile device – no software to load. It's really that simple!"

Remotely viewable security cameras are a market that while I think there is quite a demand for, just doesn't seem to have taken off. Mostly, I think this is due to the complexity of setting up most of these systems. Vue seems to have addressed the complexity issues with this product. The cameras are battery powered with a claimed battery life of one year! So there are no wires, plus the system is expandable to up to 50 camera, so it should be easy to get coverage wherever you want. Right now the software will work on most browsers and there is an iPhone app. According to their website, an app for Blackberry and Android are in the works.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Make Your Own 3D Movie Experience

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM

"We'd heard Panasonic was planning a more affordable stereoscopic 3D camcorder, but it looks like we won't have to wait until a mysterious July 28th Tokyo unveiling to find out for sure -- it's called the HDC-SDT750, and Panny's advertising it as the "World's first 3D Shooting Camcorder.""

Budding directors no longer have to feel inferior to the slew of 3D movies coming out in theaters. They too can join the 3D craze! It did not take long, did it? I imagine that a few years down the road, we will finally have those holographic projectors they have been telling us are just around the corner for 50 years. And of course, with proejctors come camcorders as well! I could not find a price listed, but this baby will not come cheap, but you can probably wow all your friends when they come over where your home movies will make theirs look flat.

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Canon Vixia Offers Mega Storage

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:30 PM

"Equipped with 64GB of internal flash memory, the new camcorder can record up to 24 hours of HD video and includes an additional SD memory card slot that is fully compatible with latest generation SDXC memory cards. The new SDXC memory card specification increases storage capacity from 32GB up to 2Terabytes and enhances data transfer speeds. "

Do you remember the days when flash memory cards were measured in megabytes? My first digital camera was a Logitech Fotoman. It was cutting edge, let me tell you. Black and white 320x240 images with 1MB of storage! Now I hear, 20 years later that Canon has this camcorder with 64 thousand times the storage capacity? I think I should go back to the video store and return my Fotoman for a Vixia! 64GB of storage is impressive, and the ability to add even more means that the camcorder will probably record much more of your life than you are prepared to show. Have any of you gone through more than 64GB of storage on a single trip? What about 2TB?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Webcams for Hi-Def Video Chat

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:30 PM

"[I]t wasn't long ago that VGA was good enough for online chatting. No more, and with the release of SkypeHD going high-def is easier than ever. To find out which multi-megapixel movie maker you want to clip onto your display... we gathered three cameras at a range of prices. Two will work with some particularly advanced TVs, while the third cam shuns Skype, offsetting that shortcoming with a middle-ground price and superior video quality. Which is your ticket to HD chat bliss, and how do they all compare to plain 'ol VGA?"

If you are in the market for a Hi-def Video Chat Camera, Tim Stevens has posted an article that will help you get started at, looking at models from FaceVision (TouchCam N1), Freetalk (Everyman HD), and Logitech (HD Pro Webcam C910). The article is fairly brief, but it does a nice job of summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of each model, particularly as regards their use with the SkypeHD service. Furthermore - and in addition to a number of useful photographs - an included video shows the HD output from each of these cameras, along with a section shot at standard VGA for comparison. Alas, each of these models presents at least one inherent flaw: the Everyman HD lacks a built-in microphone, the TouchCam N1 is relatively expensive, and the C910 lacks an onboard decoder and is - apparently - not compatible with SkypeHD (Logitech does offer instructions for using the C910 with "Skype," and also provides its own free HD video chat software, VID HD). These are not the only choices available, but the article provides a nice starting point for making an informed purchase. If you use video chat, is this the right time to go Hi-def?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stupid Gadget Friday - Swann's DVR-410

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:30 AM

"Swann's RemoteCam has a pinhole video camera disguised in a real-looking car remote control, complete with a keychain. It's small yet powerful, with the ability to create clear, full color AVI video files with a resolution of 720 x 480, or 1280 x 1024 JPEG still images. Recording is a breeze with push-button operation onto a micro SD card. The included 2GB micro SD card will store up to 40 minutes of video recording at an impressive 30 frames per second."

Want to be just like James Bond? Well, without the guns, cars, and women? You can have this snazzy video recorder disguised as a car remote. I'm sure nothing seedy will come of anything anyone will think to use this for. Happy Friday!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Panasonic GH1 Firmware Hacked: High Bitrate Video Encoding Now Possible

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 11:30 AM

"Canon isn’t the only game in town when it comes to hacking camera firmware. The famous CHDK firmware hacks now have a rival, at least if you are shooting with a Panasonic GH1, and especially if you are using the Micro Four Thirds camera to shoot video. The hack, called PTool, doesn’t add nearly as many features as the Canon hacks, but what it does is startling. With PTool, you can up the video bitrate of the GH1 from a pedestrian 20Mbit to 32MBit in AVCHD. If you opt for Motion JPEG (MJPEG), you can shoot at an astonishing 50 Mbit/sec at a full 1080p. This, according to testers, offers better quality footage than you get from the EOS 5D MkII. Above you can see an example. To view it in its full HD glory, click through to the Vimeo page."

So I'm just a wee bit late on finding this out, partly because I haven't been visiting the excellent forums for some time. Amazingly, Tester13 (the guy who started all this) was only asking for volunteers not too long back. I'm amazed at the amount of work he's managed to do in such a short time. Short recap: The GH1 encodes its AVCHD files in 17 Mbps with no B frames, so any fast movement in the scene generally won't look good. Upping the bitrate helps, and if you follow the link, 32 Mbps in AVCHD is possible, and using MJPEG, 50 Mbps has been achieved. Check the link for more; Wired's article has a nice list of links appended at the bottom. I'm going to be messing around with this on my own GH1, and see what I get.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sanyo Xacti DMX-CS1 Reviewed

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:00 AM Akihabaranews_en (AKIBA EN)

"Sanyo is now a well-known company, especially for their huge line-up of Xacti HD camcorders... A series that's also known for their pistol-shaped camera. And since the first Xacti model, the Japanese manufacturer worked hard to improve every part of the device to make it more powerful in a smaller and thinner body. And earlier this year, Sanyo kindly sent us their latest Xacti DMX-CS1 (or VSP-CS1 in the US), which is introduced as the world's smallest, lightest and thinnest dual camera. During the press conference we had the chance to get a brief hands-on, and we have to admit that wasn't the most exciting shape... Indeed, our camcorder is simply lightweight and ultra slim, but we would say incompatible with our hands."

Sanyo's latest offering in the Xacti range of HD camera's has been reviewed by the Akihabara News website. I've never owned a small pocket HD camera like this as I believe they simply don't produce a quality that I would be happy with, and this review seems to back it up. Also with so many phones having a camera with video mode built in these days do we need devices like this? Isn't it more likely that the camera in mobile phones are going to get better and remove the need to carry a separate device, much like they have removed the need to carry a PDA/MP3 player and phone, or even the way normal point and shoot camera's have now got HD video functions added to them. You can see the full review and specs over at the Akihabara website.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Engadget Reviews Toshiba Camileo S20

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"Indeed, we have our complaints about the S20's confusing interface and cluttered controls, but when you think about all the features (and accessories!) you get for $150 (on the street, anyway), it's hard to totally pooh-pooh it. Obviously if you are looking for a pocket cam for someone less tech savvy we'd recommend the Flip Mino Ultra HD or Kodak Zi8 HD, and if you want a better performing pocket cam the Xacti VPC-CS1 has a 10x zoom and a less palatable $225 price tag. Ultimately we can't say the S20 cured all of our camcorder woes, but it did turn out to be an HD cam that we can recommend for the price."

Pretty impressive. At this price point/feature level, I'd have expected this to be from an brand like Apitek or a similar off brand. So it is a pleasant surprise to see this from the likes of Toshiba. I'd certainly choose this over the Flip Slide.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Flip Slide HD

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:00 AM

"If you'd asked us to bet, we'd have put money on the next Flip camera including minor-but-important enhancements like image stablization and perhaps a 1080p sensor with better low-light performance. After all, competitive products like the Kodak Zi8 and Sony Bloggie get great reviews for these simple incremental feature additions, and it's been nearly a year and a half since the original Flip Mino HD came out. But apparently you get to play by different rules when you own nearly 40 percent of the "shoot and share" camera market, and Flip's latest cam eschews the spec upgrade game in favor of repackaging the Mino HD into a radical new form factor with a tilt-slide screen that's designed as much for playback as it is for recording."

This review mirrored my exact thoughts when I first saw this. The Flip line is successful because it provides good enough features at a great price. The big touchscreen isn't necessary and the prices tag of $279 is certainly a great selling point for all the point and shoot cameras that also happen to shoot better quality video than the Flip at the same price point.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Toshiba Enters U.S. Camcorder Market

Posted by Jon Childs in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

"Toshiba has decided to test the waters of the digital camcorder market in the United States, today unveiling Camileo line, aiming at a range of every day consumers with a range of sizes and capabilities. The initial offerings include the pocket-sized S20, the compact H30, and the higher-end X100, and all shoot full-HD video, sport 3-inch LCD monitors, and feature one-button uploading to YouTube."

Toshiba has introduced three new affordable camcorders for the US market. They are all fairly basic models, but at affordable prices. The S20 does full HD, is only two thirds of an inch thick, and has an MSRP of only $179. Assuming it will have a slightly cheaper street price, it looks like a nice little camcorder that you could throw in your pocket to record all those spur of the moment events. The other models add more features and quality lenses at a higher price point and larger size. So if you are in the market for a no frills flash based camcorder check out these new Toshiba offerings.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Flip Releasing the Slide HD Soon

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:50 AM

"All we have is this one image, care of a gracious anonymous tipster who said it was found at Best Buy. Our best guess? Well, it's a Flip camcorder, and there's a sliding element to it -- amazing deduction skills, we know."

What's that? A new Flip HD camera? Seems so - and if that yellow sticker is any indication, we'll see it launched in under two weeks. Oh Best Buy employees, can't you keep anything a secret? Spec wise, the Flip Slide HD has 16 GB of built-in memory, good for up to four hours of video. Unfortunately, it's still limited to 720p h.264 video at 30fps - I was hoping they'd be up to 1080p by now, or maybe 720p with an option for 60fps. The big change here (beyond the bump in storage capacity) is the much bigger screen - though based on the position of the lens, you still use it held vertically. Which means the bigger screen is for...playback and showing your videos to others? I can see that actually - I bet a lot of people keep their favourite video clips on their Flip and don't transfer them to their computers, so having a bigger screen means it's better for sharing.

I have a Flip Mino HD and like it quite a bit, but what I really want - what would make it a better product for me - is better low-light performance. That's something I'd pay more money for.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Aiptek Lets You Share Moments On The Big Screen

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 10:30 AM

"Watch out, Flip, because here's one tough guy that you don't wanna mess with. Joining Aiptek's family of pocket camcorders is the PocketCinema Z20 -- a fine mix of 720p camera (courtesy of a 5 megapixel sensor) and pico projector of an unknown resolution, powered by a two-hour battery (which we'll believe when we see it)."

I like the idea, but I see most of the features provided by the PocketCinema X20 eventually being integrated into phones. Even putting that aside, while I love LED projectors, their lumen output still is really low, and I have doubts about just how bright this little wonder is. Full integrated devices do have to start somewhere, and I imagine Flip and other companies will start offering similar features with better features when the second generation stuff is developed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Flip Video's Improved MinoHD Video Camera

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:30 PM

"With the original MinoHD, we were impressed with Flip Video's ability to pack 720p video into a truly pocket-size cam. But we nonetheless wished the product offered a bit more, such as more recording time, HDMI support, and a bigger screen. Those are three of the top improvements Flip Video made to its new MinoHD 8GB."

MaximumPC gives a mostly favorable review to the new Flip Video MinoHD 8GB video camera, which seems to be the video equivalent of a compact point-and-shoot still camera: small, not too expensive, and simple enough to use that almost anyone can get decent results. But the small format imposes a number of compromises: a tiny (2") screen, no optical zoom, no removable storage (but with 8GB internal), and a battery that cannot be replaced by the user - although you can pick your own graphics design, as illustrated by the two right-hand photos above. If you are willing to carry a thicker device, the Flip UltraHD costs less, works with either AA batteries or a NiMH battery pack, and offers an optional Underwater Case (!), and there are three other units in the model line. So which type of device gets your vote: a simple video camera like the MinoHD (or the new HP V1020h), or a digital camera with video capability?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Home Videos - Why Do We Make Them?

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home News" @ 08:00 AM

"I can't open some of the musical scores I prepared for Broadway shows in the 1980's, because the sheet-music software company went out of business. I know a film editor who can't see the first movie she ever made, because it uses a Sony videotape format that disappeared ages ago. And I routinely hear from readers who can't open their Microsoft Word documents from the early days, because, incredibly, today's Word can't open those early-version files."

Image courtesy of Toms Hardware

David Pogue of The New York Times has blogged about the dliemna he faced with media becoming obsolete. As an example he talks about a film editor who can no longer view a film she made years ago because the Sony videotape format has disappeared. No doubt many of us have experienced this issue with the loss of media such as floppy discs over the years. This leads on to David discussing why we even keep home movies, if the media we save them to now, will be obsolete by the time our children grow up. Will our children even care about those movies when they are adults, will their children care? It's a nice thought provoking article that really raises the issue of how to keep media we treasure as the formats continue to evolve and progress.

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