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All posts tagged "hd video"

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Amazing Flip Feature We'll Never See

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 04:00 PM

"But there's a second part of the tragedy, too, something that nobody knows. That new Flip that the product manager showed me was astonishing. It was called FlipLive, and it added one powerful new feature to the standard Flip: live broadcasting to the Internet. That is, when you're in a Wi-Fi hot spot, the entire world can see what you're filming. You can post a link to Twitter or Facebook, or send an e-mail link to friends. Anyone who clicks the link can see what you're seeing, in real time-thousands of people at once."

Oh Flip, we hardly knew ye. The feature that David Pogue describes above would have been insanely cool to have on a pocket camera - and now we'll never see least until someone else (Sony, Kodak, etc.) develops the same feature into their cameras.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cisco Kills the Flip Camera

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 12:53 PM

"Don't look now, but the Flip camera is officially dead. Cisco announced Tuesday morning that it is killing off the line of pocketable video cameras in order to refocus the company around home networking and video. The news was a surprise to even Flip critics, leaving everyone wondering why Cisco bothered to buy Pure Digital (the Flip's former parent company) for $590 million just two years ago."

This is a shame, but it wasn't hard to see it coming - it never made a lick of sense to me for Cisco to purchase Pure Digital, the creators of this product. Cisco had no heart for this type of consumer business. Flip cameras essentially defined this part of the technology space starting a few years ago: they were small, easy to use, had great battery life, sufficient storage, and were perfect for simple videos. The coming of smartphones with HD video capture capabilities put a crimp in the sales of these devices, though I still feel there's a lot they can offer. I have two such devices in my possession right now - a Flip Mino HD and a Sony Bloggie - and both last a long time on a charge, are simple to use, and can be left within easy reach for capturing special moments. My cell phone on the other hand is often in my home office, or jacket, and not typically within reach. For most people though, capturing a video with their phone - then immediately uploading it - is the winning combination and why these devices weren't going to be in every home.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Corel Releases VideoStudio Pro X4 Software

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 02:00 PM

"Corel today introduces Corel® VideoStudio® Pro X4, the new version of its powerful video editing software that lets anyone create and share professional-quality videos. With outstanding speed and easy ways to bring great-looking movies to the screen, VideoStudio Pro X4 combines power and simplicity to break down the barriers to video editing."

Corel has released a new version of their popular VideoStudio Pro software. So what's new? Here's the list, straight from the Corel press release:

  • New! Stop Motion animation: Have fun making movies that bring inanimate objects to life. Capture images from webcams, camcorders and DSLR cameras and use the automated tools and settings to simplify the stop-motion animation process.

  • New! Speed/Time-lapse: Easily create time-lapse effects from a series of photos or video clips and give your movies the professional look of speeding up time. With the ability to handle full-resolution files and very large-size image sets, this is a perfect tool for HD-DSLR photographers.

  • New! Processor optimization: Offering exceptional power and speed, VideoStudio Pro X4 is optimized for the new 2nd generation Intel® Core™ and AMD Fusion processors.

  • Enhanced! Integrated HD authoring and burning: Ideal for upgrade customers, it's easier than ever to author HD movies to DVD and Blu-ray™ Disc with tightly integrated disc creation tools.

  • New! 3D export: Convert 2D video clips into 3D files with presets for 3D output on DVD, Blu-ray™, and AVCHD discs, as well as WMV 3D formats for mobile. Box versions also include a pair of 3D glasses.

  • New! Customizable Workspace: Set up your workspace the way you want – including across dual monitors.

  • Enhanced! Web sharing: With presets for YouTube™, Vimeo®, Facebook® and Flickr® in both HD and SD formats, it's easy to upload directly to your site of choice.

  • New! Import/Export Movie Templates: Make your own templates and effects that you can upload and share with other VideoStudio Pro X4 users.

  • Enhanced! Corel Guide: Get the tools you need to make great movies with free in-product training videos delivered through the Corel Guide. Click on the Corel Guide inside VideoStudio Pro X4 to access an array of useful information, Help, product updates and add-ons, downloadable media packs, and more.

  • Enhanced! Smart Package: Automatically gather your entire project – video, photo, and audio files – into one folder you can take with you while choosing a custom compression method and secure with password encryption, powered by newly integrated WinZip® technology.

Looks like a solid list of new features - I'm definitely interested in taking it for a spin! You can grab a free demo version to see for yourself.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Animoto to Finally Offer HD Videos Come Next Week?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 10:30 AM

Former Windows Phone Thoughts editor Jonathon Watkins, now a full-time professional photographer in the UK, attended the SWPP (Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers) conference in London a few days ago and had a chat with folks at the Animoto stand. He mentioned he was hoping for the service to upgrade to HD and was surprised when he was told that would happen on the 25th of January. The service will be 720p and initially only the Animoto Original video style will be HD enabled. The Pro styles will be upgraded next followed by all the other styles in due course. Animoto have also tweaked their server farm so the renders will now run 10x faster. There is no plan to charge extra for the service according to Watkins.

I've written about Animoto before, and way back in 2008 I was scratching my head over how they could possibly charge $5 for a standard definition video and offer no HD options at all. Now, almost three years later, they're finally offering HD video, and their pricing is $5/month or $30/year - but the video only 720p. That's good, but why not 1080p? Will they offer 1080p when we're all using quad HD TV sets? I've never signed up for an Animoto account because without HD output, there's no point, and while 720p is dramatically better than 480p, I'm still puzzled by Animoto's refusal to offer 1080p video to people who are paying for their service. This does mean, however, that Animoto will have something that ProShow Web doesn't offer for $30/month...HD video output. I was disappointed when Photodex launched ProShow Web with the same SD video limitation that Animoto has rather than one-upping them and having a real advantage to using their service. Worth noting is that ProShow Web's professional-grade service ($150/year) offers 1080p output.

I personally think most people would be better off spending $69.95 once and buy Photodex's ProShow Gold - you can output to 1080p that way, and have great control over your projects. And with the new project wizard, you can get amazing results in just a few clicks.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mikey for Flip: Enhance Your Audio

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:30 PM

"Mikey for Flip is the simple way to enhance the sound of your recordings and expand the abilities of your Flip camera. Whether you're recording a sporting event, a rock concert, or a child's first words, the high quality stereo microphones and advanced circuitry inside Mikey will make the soundtrack of your Flip video clips more exciting, enjoyable, and professional. Simply plug the Mikey into your camera's FlipPortTM connector and press record to enjoy the studio-quality sound that Blue Microphones is renowned for."

If you have a Flip camera - which I do - you'll know that the audio quality leaves a bit to be desired. It's OK for most things, but there's certain room for improvement - which is what the Mikey product delivers. It's only compatible with Flip cameras, but if you're looking to give your audio a boost, this might do the trick!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Panasonic Introduces HM-TA1 1080p Pocket Camera

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 PM

"Panasonic today introduced the Panasonic HM-TA1, a new Full High Definition (HD), 1920 x 1080 pixels-capable mobile video camera with pocket-sized dimensions for ultimate portability and ideal for on-the-go shooting opportunities. With an easy-to-use design intended for intuitive operation, the TA1 features an integrated USB terminal and software that allows for easy PC connection and uploading videos to online sharing sites such as YouTubeTM and Facebook®. The TA1 also supports the Apple© iFrame video format (960 x 540/30p), which is optimal for Mac® users to import quickly and maintain small file sizes. When using iMovie®, the iFrame video data in the video camera is the same format as the one that is used to edit."

I have a bit of a funny relationship with small, pocket cameras - I received a Flip Mino HD a couple of years ago at a Mobius event, and I used it exactly once. I simply didn't see the purpose - I could get better quality video from a point-and-shoot video camera, as well as take pictures, so what was the point? Then my wife and I had a kid. Things completely changed - now the Flip Mino gets almost daily use in our house. It's all about the right tools for the right job, and the Panasonic HM-TA1 looks like it would be a very worthy replacement for my Flip Mino HD. It offers 1080p (and the sissy-format iFrame from Apple) recording, can work as a Webcam, electronic image stabilization, and use SD memory cards. The one thing I don't see mentioned is the focal range of the lens; I find that the Flip Mino HD is difficult to use close up - I quite often have to take a step back when I want to use it, which I dislike. I also like that the Panasonic HM-TA1 (awful name!) has physical buttons - I think Flip made a huge mistake with their move to touch sensitive buttons on their new model.

Full press release and more images after the break.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eight Reasons Not To Buy a DSLR for Video

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 10:00 AM

"DSLR's, the game-changing family of hybrid cameras are the darlings of the media world. Cheap and capable of eye-catching imagery, they've captured the imagination of thousands of would-be (and real life) cinematographers and directors. It seems everyone has a feature in production using the neat little cams which are going to take over Hollywood. But this picture isn't perfect. Here are 8 reasons not to buy a DSLR for video."

This article brings up some excellent points about the limitations of using a DSLR for video - the biggest of which is the ergonomics. DSLRs were designed to take pictures; video is just an afterthought. I love the way DSLR video looks, but this article raises some very valid points that should make anyone re-think a DSLR video project if they assumed it would be easy. Not that it can't be done - Vincent Laforet has proven amazing things can be achieved - but it's not something you should go into blindly. I wonder what kind of challenges they had on this episode of House shot with a DSLR?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Nikon's D5000 DSLR: Small and Feature-Packed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

This is my review video of the Nikon D5000 DSLR. The D5000 has a 12.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, can record 720p videos at 24fps (MJPEG format). The 2.7 inch screen flips down and rotates around to face the front. It also has 19 auto-exposure scene modes, up to 4fps shooting, one-button Live View, ISO sensitivity from 200 to 3200, built-in image sensor cleaning, 11-point autofocus system with 3D focus tracking, auto active D-Lighting, in-camera image retouching with special effects, and more. Read more...

Monday, February 22, 2010

HP Enters the Crowded Pocket Camcorder Market with the V1020h

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:41 PM

"The V1020h is a 720p high definition digital camcorder that combines performance, portability, and style. It captures videos of your life moments in great clarity and color. The V1020h fits easily in your pocket or purse making it great forrecording on the go."

The product name - the V1020h - is a mouthful, but the specs on this pocket video camera look, well, average. 720p video with a digital image stabilizer, h.264 format (.AVI format - can it be both?), 2x digital zoom, and digital image stabilization. And that's about it. It uses SD memory cards in addition to the built in 128 MB of storage (why even bother?), but doesn't support the new SDXC format - though with a 32 GB SDHC card, you could cram a lot of 720p video on to this thing. I'm frankly a bit surprised to see HP enter this market with nary a stand-out feature on this product. No 1080p, no optical zoom, no external microphone support, no optical image stabilization...and no mention of a bigger sensor for more high-quality low-light video (the latter is on my wish list for these small cameras).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Do I Have a Problem Buying Too Many Cameras?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 07:00 AM

Above: starting in the middle and going 'round, that's a Nikon D300, Panasonic GF1, Panasonic TS1, Flip Mino HD, Panasonic ZS3, Kodak EasyShare M1093 IS, and a Nikon D5000. I took this photo with my HTC HD2.

I have to admit that since the birth of my son, I've become a bit of a camera whore enthusiast - I just can't seem to have enough cameras with the right features in the right places to capture all his cuteness. Yes, I'm a completely biased father, but comon', this is one cute kid. ;-) Not shown in this picture are my Canon HF100 and Canon G1 video cameras (the latter I haven't used in a couple of years) - and I also forgot to include my Canon SD870 because it was tucked away in a container below one of my monitors. Yeah, I have a lot of cameras. The question is, am I using all of them? For the most part, yes. Read more...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Corel VideoStudio Pro X3: Perhaps the Video Editor You've Been Waiting For?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 11:05 PM

"Corel Corporation today announced a dramatically enhanced version of its powerful consumer video editing software, Corel VideoStudio Pro X3. Offering great value at a new price of $99.99, Corel VideoStudio Pro X3 combines video editing, media authoring, real-time effects and DVD and Blu-ray burning, enabling video enthusiasts to create professional-looking productions in a simplified and streamlined environment that offers maximum performance. With industry-leading speed and lowest-in-category rendering times, Corel VideoStudio Pro X3 now performs many common tasks more than twice as fast as the previous version with optimization for new, high-powered chipsets including the Intel® CoreTM i7. The software also offers multi-core and GPU parallel processing with support for new technology including NVIDIA CUDA to offer impressive performance and an improved end-to-end production workflow."

Jan Piros from Corel gave me a demo of Corel VideoStudio Pro X3 yesterday, and I have to admit, I was quite impressed. VideoStudio has always been a capable product, but the enhancements I saw in X3 made me want to take it for a spin to see if it could replace my angst-ridden experience with Adobe Premiere Elements 8. Here are my notes from the demo I was given. Read more...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Panasonic LUMIX GF1 Unboxing and First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:15 AM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the Panasonic LUMIX GF1 [affiliate], easily the most unique camera I've ever had the opportunity to look at. It's similar to a DSLR in that you can change lenses, but the micro four-thirds system doesn't use a pentaprism or mirror, so it's not a DSLR (which I think I got wrong in one of these videos when I said it was a DSLR). Panasonic calls it a DILC: Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera. I don't see "DILC" taking off as a term, because it sounds vaguely dirty, but this camera is hot's been selling out everywhere, and Panasonic is struggling to keep up with demand. It uses SD cards and supports SDHC, so you can slap a 32 GB memory card in there for a massive amount of pictures and videos. Read more...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Broadcom's Crystal HD Helps out Intel's N450 Chipset

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 11:30 AM

"NVIDIA's Ion technology may be hogging the limelight when it comes to netbook graphics, but Broadcom's no stranger to the space. After giving Acer's Aspire One HD playback capabilities that it could only dream of just months prior, the company's newly announced Crystal HD platform could provide Intel's Atom N450 with the multimedia boost it badly needs."

Intel's Atom 450 chipset doesn't do squat for HD video playback - I guess Intel hasn't gotten the memo that this HD thing is kind of big - but Broadcom's Crystal HD chip will give any Intel 450-based system the ability to play back 1080p content, including acceleration of the Flash 10.1 player. This is a chip we'll supposedly see in netbooks from Samsung, Dell, and Asus. I suspect HP will be on that list too, as the HP Mini 110 can be purchased with an earlier version of the Broadcom chip. HP has a $30 up-charge for the current Broadcom chip, so as long as the new chip is in that range, I can see consumers going for netbooks that can handle 1080p videos.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Panasonic's Lumix DMC-ZS3 Reviewed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

This is a review video of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 digital camera. This is a 10 megapixel point and shoot digital camera with an impressive 12x optical zoom, starting at 25mm and reaching all the way to 300mm. That's a lot of zoom! It uses Secure Digital memory for storage, and is SDHC compatible, allowing for up to 32 GB cards to be used. It also takes 30fps 720p videos in either AVCHD Lite or MJPEG formats, has optical image stabilization, and you can zoom while shooting a video - a feature many comparable cameras lack. I didn't do an unboxing/first impressions video of this camera because I bought it and immediately wanted to start using it - so instead what you have is my review after having used it for a couple of months. You can see all the specs here. If you're interested in buying one, has them in our affiliate store. On to the sample pictures and video... Read more...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nikon D5000 Unboxing & First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the Nikon D5000 DSLR. The D5000 has a 12.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, can record 720p videos at 24fps (MJPEG format). The 2.7 inch screen flips down and rotates around to face the front. It also has 19 auto-exposure scene modes, up to 4fps shooting, one-button Live View, ISO sensitivity from 200 to 3200, built-in image sensor cleaning, 11-point autofocus system with 3D focus tracking, auto active D-Lighting, in-camera image retouching with special effects, and more. Read more...

Friday, July 3, 2009

YouTube Adds HD Embeds, Doubles Video Upload Size Limit

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 12:30 AM

"If you upload videos to YouTube and feel restricted by the 1GB limit, YouTube now offers 2GB of wiggle room as well as the ability to directly link to and embed high definition video."

If you use YouTube, you're going to like this: YouTube has expanded upload limits to 2 GB, which is around 60 minutes of 720p HD quality video. And if you have a blog where you like to embed your YouTube videos, you can now embed it in HD. One thing worth noting: if you're embedding at 600 pixels wide, there's not much point in using the HD option. The high-quality (HQ) option looks quite good at that size. To show the HD option, you'll want 800+ pixels in width - or tell people to go full screen. Good stuff - thanks YouTube!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

PC World Compares Six HD Pocket Camcorders

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 10:00 PM

"Senior Editor Tim Moynihan takes a look at six HD, YouTube-friendly pocket camcorders from Pure Creative, Kodak, Sony, and the brand new FlipHD from Pure Digital. With features ranging from a wide-angle lens to variable frame rates, one of these devices in the $150- to $200-range is bound to be a great fit for your needs."

Moynihan goes through the basics of each pocket camcorder, though without video samples it's hard to know for sure which one you'd like the video the most on - but arranging a six-way shoot-out with video samples would be tough. I'm not overly impressed with the video quality on my Flip Mini HD personally, but I haven't used it outside in bright light much - it's not great in low-light, at least not compared to my Panasonic point and shoot camera.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nikon D400 Rumours Continue

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 01:23 PM

The rumours about the forthcoming Nikon D400 continue to surface, this time from a Nikon Solutions show held in Germany last week. These rumours about the D400 have been bubbling up for months, and some of them are downright ludicrous. The rumours this time around are a bit more down to earth: the sensor will be based on the new EXPEED II engine, be a DX sensor in the 16 to 18 megapixel range, and do 1080p HD video capture at 24fps. It also mentions a tilt display, similar to the D5000. The D300 has a 12.3 megapixel sensor, so it wouldn't be unheard of for it to jump to 16 megapixels, though I think 18 is stretching it. I'd personally be happy with zero increase in resolution - 12 megapixels is a lot to work with as it is. Some people believe the D400 will be an FX sensor (full frame), but I doubt Nikon wants to make a compeditor for their own D700. The D400, as a successor to the popular D300, will continue the prosumer line and with Nikon's recent investment in DX-format lenses (such as the 35mm f/2.8) I see Nikon continuing that trend. I really like the look of HD video shot on a DSLR - the depth of field is gorgeous - so that's my main reason for wanting a D400. I'm hoping that the D400 will be the first DSLR to offer true auto-focus while shooting video, but that may be too much to hope for at this stage. Lastly, as for when it's coming out, it's anyone's guess - but with the D300 having been released in August of 2007, I'd say sometime in the summer months would be a good bet for when we might see the D400.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Panasonic's Rugged Little LUMIX DMC-TS1

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:53 PM

"Panasonic today introduced the LUMIX DMC-TS1, the world's first waterproof, shockproof and dustproof digital camera to also feature AVCHD Lite High Definition (HD) video recording capabilities. The TS1's tough and rugged design makes it the ideal choice for active users needing the ultimate hybrid for capturing both still and motion images during outdoor activities. The LUMIX TS1, with a 12.1 megapixel resolution, features a 28mm wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens, a 4.6x optical zoom and Panasonic's proprietary iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, making this an easy-to-use, yet powerful camera that packs advanced imaging features."

Panasonic announced this a few weeks ago, but after our own Lee Yuan Sheng mentioned it, I decided to take a look at it and create a post because this is an impressive little camera! It looks like the camera the Canon D10 wanted to be - it boasts 720p video capture - and in AVCHD no less (AVCHD Lite = 720p). It has 4.6x optical zoom over the Canon D10'd 3x zoom, and a wider-angled 28mm to the D10's 35mm. The rest is probably a wash, and while I have no idea on image quality yet, the DMC-TS1 looks like it's a worthy competitor. The remainder of the press release is after the break, along with a few more images. Read more...

Friday, February 20, 2009

PowerShot SD970 IS, HD Video Now Added to Mix

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:12 AM

"Cool curves, powerful features and a fun new way to operate the camera mark Canon's PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH. Amazing resolution and expanded editing options are yours with 12.1 megapixels, and you can even create HD movies. Shooting is fun and easy with Smart AUTO that makes all your shots better effortlessly, and there's a new user-friendly interface. And see how much fun it is to browse through your photos and even speed up image advance with a shake or tilt of the camera!"

Similar to my earier post I'm thrilled to see that Canon has finally added 720p video capture, and they've done it across multiple models. I've always found Canon's point and shoot product line up baffling, and they continue to confuse everyone by releasing the SD970 IS, a camera that has 5x optical zoom, a 12.1 megapixel image sensor, a three-inch display, 720p video capture, and a MSRP price of $379.99 USD. Then there's the slightly older SD990 IS, which is $20 more expensive, and boasts 14.7 megapixels, but only VGA video. So, the more expensive model with the higher model doesn't have everything the less expensive, cheaper model has. Well, at least Canon is consistent in making things confusing.

The PowerShot SD970 IS is expected to be available in April of 2009, at which point I'll try to pick one up immediately. I guess that shows how I really feel about my Panasonic DMC-TZ5 - it's just a bit too big, and the photo quality isn't that great. The 720p video and 10x optical zoom rock though, which is why I've tended to carry it. I'm willing to lose 5x on the optical zoom if it means better photos - which I presume the Canon will deliver.

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