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Tag Archives: Camcorders

Vivitar 690HD Pocket Cam – High-def Underwater Video Capture For Just $60

Vivitar 690HD Pocket Cam (Images courtesy Vivitar)
By Andrew Liszewski

Water and electronics do not mix, and even when a device has been designed to be submerged and used underwater, I’m still hesitant about doing so. Somewhere deep down my gadget conscience screams “NOOOO! DON’T DO IT!” and I usually listen for fear of damaging a given device. But according to SlashGear, Vivitar’s new 690HD pocket camcorder will sell for just $59.99 when it’s available, which makes taking the plunge with it, both literally and figuratively, a little easier.

Its ‘HD’ capabilities are limited to just 1280×720, and as far as other features go it’s pretty run-of-the-mill for these types of cameras. On the back you’ll find a 2-inch LCD display, videos are captured to an SD card, it’s got a fixed lens so you’re limited to digital zooms up to 4X and it runs off 2xAA batteries which are easy to replace as needed. Nothing particularly exciting, but for $60 it’s hard to expect more than just a decent HD video camera that you won’t be afraid of losing if it ends up getting waterlogged.

[ Vivitar 690HD ] VIA [ SlashGear ]

Olympus Decides To Take Advantage Of The Hole Left By Flip’s Demise, Introduces The HD Video-Capable LS-20M

Olympus LS-20M (Image courtesy Pocket-lint)
By Andrew Liszewski

While Olympus certainly has a thriving digital camera division, I tend to more associate them with their high-quality PCM audio recorders. But I’m happy to see them bridging the gap between the two with their new LS-20M which captures 24 bit/96 kHz audio via a pair of stereo mics, and 1080P through an oddly placed lens located on the top edge of the unit instead of the back. Now I understand that layout allows the mics to capture the audio as optimally as possible, but I think it could make capturing video at a usable angle while monitoring the 2-inch color LCD display a little awkward.

In addition to that color display the LS-20M sports an additional 1.46-inch data-only monochrome display just below it providing info on audio levels, time cues and battery life. Connections include the standard USB port for transferring videos and HDMI for watching captures on a hi-def display, and the included 2GB memory card can be swapped out for something heftier since cards up to 32GB are supported. An optional wireless remote lets you control the LS-20M from afar if you have to prop it up somewhere remote, but I’m not sure if there’s a tripod mount on the back or if you’d need to attach an adapter of some sort. Available starting in June for $299.99.

[ PR – New Olympus LS-20M Unites High-Definition Video and PCM Audio to Capture Sights and Sounds Like Never Before ] VIA [ Pocket-lint ]

[CES 2011] Mattel Crams A Video Camera Inside A Hot Wheels Car

Hot Wheels Video Racers (Images property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Ever wondered what it would be like to ride inside a Hot Wheels car as it raced through loops of orange track? Sadly CES is still devoid of any shrink ray technology, so instead Mattel has gone and crammed a video camera inside their 1:64 scale Hot Wheels vehicles giving you a first-person perspective view of what it would be like to ride in one. Its limited on-board memory can only capture about 12 minutes of VGA-quality video which can be offloaded to your PC via a USB connection, or watched on a tiny LCD display located on the underside of each car. Available sometime in the Fall of this year for $59.99.

[ Mattel Hot Wheels ]

[CES 2011] Hands-On With KODAK’S Tiny PLAYFULL Camcorder

KODAK PLAYFULL Camcorder (Images property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

SONY might have already started pushing their compact camcorders into the great 3D beyond, but there’s still plenty of room for old-fashioned 2D models. In fact there’s even more room now that KODAK has introduced their PLAYFULL which is one of the smallest zoomless camcorders I’ve ever held. But at the same time KODAK didn’t shave off features to shrink it down. It still shoots full 1080P video or 5MP stills, has built-in image stabilization, a pop-out USB port, a micro HDMI port from the looks of it and an SDXC card slot so you can store up to 32GB of footage.

You can even trim clips on the camera, though the downside is that there’s not a lot of room for an LCD display on the back, so expect to do some squinting. Still, for just $149.95 available sometime in the Spring it’s a nice, compact option if your smartphone hasn’t already taken over your video capture duties.


Hands-On With the The Latest Generation Flip UltraHD

Flip UltraHD (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

For better or worse, Flip has stuck to their guns when it comes to being the easiest to use pocket camcorder on the market. While the majority of its competitors have found a foothold in the market by filling the holes where the Flip is lacking, it still remains incredibly popular. Even we have pointed out the Flip’s shortcomings time and time again, like the lack of an external mic port which would make it considerably better for activities like conducting interviews. But at the same time, if my dad ever decided to get his YouTube on, the Flip would easily be my first recommendation to him.

So while not necessarily caving in to the feature-packed peer pressure of its competition, Cisco has recently improved the Flip in a way that still keeps it dead easy to use, but also makes it more appealing to those who’ve always wanted more…

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Scosche FlipPort-Friendly Bluetooth freedomMIC

Scosche FlipPort-Friendly Bluetooth freedomMIC (Image courtesy Scosche)
By Andrew Liszewski

A couple of days ago Flip announced updated versions of their camcorders that include a new feature called the FlipPort. It’s a proprietary connector now found on the bottom of the Flip UltraHD, and eventually all of the Flip camcorders, that provides a way for accessories to ‘plug in’ to the camera. Thankfully instead of keeping it a secret from everyone, Cisco made sure that certain third-party accessory makers were aware of the new addition before it was announced.

So over the past few days we’ve already seen a handful of FlipPort accessories revealed, like the new freedomMIC from Scosche that immediately improves the Flip which has only ever been able to use its own built-in mic for recording audio. Primarily designed for recording audio during an interview the freedomMIC is composed of a receiver that attaches to the FlipPort and a wireless “high performance” lavaliere-style condenser mic complete with DSP noise cancellation. It uses Bluetooth for a pretty decent range of up to 100 feet, and since the mic and receiver both have their own rechargeable lithium ion batteries good for about 4 hours, they won’t drain the Flip. (Does the FlipPort even provide power? I wonder…) Available mid to late December for $99.99.

[ PR – Scosche Designs freedomMIC™ Lavaliere Mic for new Flip UltraHD 2HR Video Camera ]

3M’s Shoot n’ Share Camera Projector

3M Shoot n' Share Camera Projector (Images courtesy 3M)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you can’t wait until you’ve had a chance to edit down that 3 hours of birthday footage before sharing it with the family, then 3M’s got 2 1/2 words for you: Shoot n’ Share. Their new Flip-like camcorder is able to capture 720P video clips to a microSD card (up to 32GB supported) since the 14MB of built-in memory sets a new standard for being laughably low. It can also capture 5MP stills but surprisingly seems to be lacking the pop-out USB connector that have become ubiquitous to these types of video devices.

But what it’s lacking in pop-out USB connectors it makes up for with a built-in pico projector allowing you to immediately share videos and photos with more than just a small crowd huddled around its LCD display. Now the projector is limited to 640×480 and a not-so-bright 12 lumens when running off its rechargeable battery (14 lumens on AC) but hopefully it’s the first appearance of a handy feature that will hopefully one day be commonplace. $299, available around the beginning of October.

[ 3M Shoot n’ Share Camera Projector ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

Sony Introduces Another Bloggie Model – The Bloggie Touch

Bloggie Touch (Image courtes Sony)
By Andrew Liszewski

Sony’s Bloggie cameras were introduced at CES earlier this year, and while I wasn’t exactly blown away by the lowest-end PM5 model, I have to admit I was quite enamored with the slightly more capable CM5 with its optical zoom and flip out LCD. But here we are just 8 months later and Sony’s already introducing a third member to the Bloggie family with the Bloggie Touch.

The most obvious upgrade over the previous two models is a 3-inch LCD touchscreen display and a new UI allowing you to ‘touch and flick’ your way through photo galleries and video clips. It’s got 8GB of internal memory in lieu of an SD card slot which is kind of limiting, and according to the Sony Europe press release that’s enough for about 4 hours of 720P video, in 29 minute chunks. Obviously at full 1920x1080P that will be considerably less. It’s also got the requisite flip-out USB connector for offloading photos (12MP) and clips, a much appreciated HDMI port and should be available by early November with pricing TBA.

[ PR – Sony Europe – Have fun shooting Full HD video and 360 Videos with new-generation Bloggie™ Touch by Sony ‘All-in-one’ web sharing solution with camera, software and Personal Space online service ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

JVC’s New Picsio GC-WP10 Waterproof Camcorder

JVC Picsio GC-WP10 (Images courtesy JVC)
By Andrew Liszewski

At one time it was really easy to choose a flash-based zoomless camcorder. You just walked into your local electronics store and bought a Flip because there really were no other options. But these days it’s not as easy, which is a good thing since competition has brought more options that are far more capable than the Flip, if that’s what you’re looking for. (The Flip’s simplicity is definitely not a bad thing.) Like this latest addition to JVC’s PICSIO line, the GC-WP10, which can capture 1080P footage on dry land or up to 10 feet underwater. At 1080P you’re limited to 30fps since these consumer friendly cameras tend to shy away from 24P, but if you reduce your resolution to 720P you can capture up to 60fps. And if you want to be really creative there are even time-lapse recording options available.

‘Round back you’ll find a glove-friendly 3-inch touchscreen LCD display with on-screen controls for recording and playback, and the GC-WP10’s got an SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot that’s Eye-Fi friendly for uploading footage over a wireless network. There’s also the requisite built-in USB connector which has become the trademark feature for these types of cameras, and last but certainly not least is its ability to record high-quality MP3s thanks to a set of stereo microphones on top. Available “late September” for $199.95.

[ PR – Two New JVC Picsio Pocket Cameras Offer Easy Video and Photo Sharing ] VIA [ Gizmag ]