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Philips Demos Keychain-sized Camcorder

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the skirt-cam dept.

Privacy 151

mateub writes "Philips gave PC Magazine an exclusive demo of the KEY019 USB camera/camcorder etc. Sez PCMag: 'You can use the 128MB of internal memory for 2.0-megapixel still shots, digital video, MP3 files, and document storage.' How long before we read the first story of some, um, inappropriate footage captured with one of these?"

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Wonderfull... (-1, Redundant)

supraxnet (567080) | about 10 years ago | (#8821280)

Next you will see internet sites that secretly recorded video during sex using one of these.

Re:Wonderfull... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821450)

Wow, this is amazing. This is beyond RTFA! This person didn't even finish reading the story!

Your comment = the last line of the story.

"inappropriate footage" (5, Funny)

theraccoon (592935) | about 10 years ago | (#8821281)

How long before we read the first story of some, um, inappropriate footage captured with one of these?

Just as soon as I can buy one...

Also known as.... (1, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | about 10 years ago | (#8821417)

The crevice cam. All they need is an LED to self- illuminate.

Also known as.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821496)


goatse for everyone! XD

Re:Also known as.... (4, Interesting)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | about 10 years ago | (#8821546)

I bet they don't have a high-pass filter on the CCD, so they'd be infrared sensitive. You could illuminate with an IR led, and no one would even see the light source.

Re:Also known as.... (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | about 10 years ago | (#8821770)

Actually thats "near IR" band ... real IR band sensors don't require illumination because objects *EMIT* IR radiation.

You read slashdot (4, Funny)

ad0gg (594412) | about 10 years ago | (#8821649)

We don't want to see inappropriate footage of solo acts performed in your basement.

Re:"inappropriate footage" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821971)

"Just as soon as I can buy one..."

Unfortunately that cant't happen as fast as you posted that perfect one-liner. Comedians always say that timing is everything, and on /. that has a lot to do with being an early poster.

Anyway, as someone with a few mod points to spend, my own timing sucked and you were already +5. So here ya go, an unofficial +6, and my thanks!

I gotta get one of those (4, Interesting)

mindless4210 (768563) | about 10 years ago | (#8821286)

That's a pretty sweet little toy. I wonder how much one of those costs... and how effective is it? I know there's probably a thousand different uses for something like that.

Re:I gotta get one of those (5, Informative)

e9th (652576) | about 10 years ago | (#8821386)

Their 1 megapixel version sold for $130, so it probably won't be too much more than that.

Re:I gotta get one of those (1, Interesting)

Slack3r78 (596506) | about 10 years ago | (#8821761)

It's been about a month, so they're probably all gone, but you may want to check your local Target, if you have one. Target was clearing out the 64mb/1.3 megapixel still camera for $25, I picked one up for myself at the time since I needed a USB keychain anyway, and the camera was a nice addition since it was on clearance anyway.

The pictures it takes look decent - as long as you're in plain daylight. It doesn't have a flash, so if it's darker, you can expect to delete the picture as soon as you hook it up to your computer. I wouldn't use it as a primary camera, but I do tend to carry it around to take snapshots when I'm out with friends, and it serves that role rather well.

Re:I gotta get one of those (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 10 years ago | (#8821820)

there's probably a thousand different uses for something like that.

Yes, but those thousand different uses are really just variations on a theme, aren't they? :-)

how much video can the camera hold? (4, Insightful)

tsunamifirestorm (729508) | about 10 years ago | (#8821290)

128Megs doesnt seem like much. or if it is, the video is probably lo-fi

Re:how much video can the camera hold? (1, Insightful)

Anarcho-Goth (701004) | about 10 years ago | (#8821336)

I wonder if they could make it 2-3 times as big, which would still be pocket sized, and hold 10 times as much memory?

And does the sound record in stereo?
At that size two microphones would probably be too close together to make much of a difference.
It would still be great for recording concerts.

And how much do these things cost?

Re:how much video can the camera hold? (5, Informative)

colinramsay (603167) | about 10 years ago | (#8821360)

Take a look here [firebox.com] for a handheld camera which can be upgraded to use 128mb SD cards. In it's standard 8mb form, it can take 2 minutes of low res footage at 15fps.

Just a comparison. We got one, it's really pretty good for the price.

Re:how much video can the camera hold? (3, Interesting)

iamhassi (659463) | about 10 years ago | (#8821637)

pfffft... my canon A60 [powershot.com] is smaller than that thing (A60's 101.0 x 64.0 x 31.5mm vs SiPix's 100 x 74 x 36mm) plus it takes 180 seconds (3 min) of continuous 320x240 15fps video and it takes excellent 2mp pics with a 3x optical zoom (vs no optical zoom on the SiPix), storing them on dirt cheap CF cards and 4 AA batteries allow lots of videos! Best part: the price. $65 after mail in rebate! [fatwallet.com] Or you can just buy them for $165 at any walmart [walmart.com].

$91 for that "SiPix Pocket DV Camcorder" is a waste of money.... oh did you say you bought one?

The A70 is the same size but takes 3mp and 640x480 video, although it's considerably more expensive.

Re:how much video can the camera hold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821719)

Can you upgrade yours? That one takes 3 minutes on 8 megs... but can be upgraded to 128 or 256 megs.


Re:how much video can the camera hold? (5, Insightful)

stienman (51024) | about 10 years ago | (#8821413)

MPEG4. They recorded at least 20 minutes of it. Since they didn't mention quality, and they stressed (repeatedly) that it doesn't replace current camcorders then we can safely assume that the image quality is, at best, standard tv quality. Still, that's much better than the old CIF stuff most digital cameras do, and the convenience factor (carry it everywhere, whip it out at a moment's notice) is worth it for some people.

I expect low-budget proctology offices everywhere buying them in droves... Hope you've got good healthcare.


Re:how much video can the camera hold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821524)

I expect low-budget proctology offices everywhere buying them in droves... Hope you've got good healthcare.

I guess they would probably be using the "Universal See real Butts" interface.

Re:how much video can the camera hold? (1)

garcia (6573) | about 10 years ago | (#8821642)

I have a Kodak DX4350. It records video with sound in quicktime. It gets about 35 mins on a 512MB SD card. The quality on those videos is ok, nothing great. If they are getting 20min on 128 it's bad.

Re:how much video can the camera hold? (2, Insightful)

SmackCrackandPot (641205) | about 10 years ago | (#8821437)

For comparison, one of the latest digital cameras can record colour video with sound, but there usually is a maximum video clip limit size of 8 Mbytes (or around 60 seconds), and the resolution is limited to 320x200 during this time. And it takes around 30 seconds to compress the video. So maybe this video camera could store around 10 minutes of video with video at 320x200.

download (5, Funny)

appleprophet (233330) | about 10 years ago | (#8821291)

"How long before we read the first story of some, um, inappropriate footage captured with one of these?"

More importantly, how long until the torrent is posted?

Great But... (4, Interesting)

jchawk (127686) | about 10 years ago | (#8821292)

This is great and all but who wants 2 megapixel anything? Camera phones, this device are create for getting quick shots, but honestly do you want to archive them? They simply don't look good, because the color is off, usually they're fuzzy etc...

I'm not knocking this device, but I have a feeling it's a sign of better devices to come. With in a year or 2 I would bet you start to see 4 and 5 megapixal devices like this... This is when they are really going to take off!

But what? (2, Insightful)

baudilus (665036) | about 10 years ago | (#8821393)

2 megapixels is sufficient for most applications. Remember, the digital camera on the Mars Rover is only 1 megapixel. If you need to take higher quality picture / movies, buy a higher quality piece of hardware. Something tells me that the truly useful applications for this type of device (e.g. clandestine) do not cry out for super-high quality photos.

It's also good for getting that quick shot of your buddy spewing chunks because who carries around a big digital camera everywhere they go? This you can keep with you at all times.

Re:Great But... (4, Informative)

AJWM (19027) | about 10 years ago | (#8821399)

Considering that 2 megapixels gives you slightly more pixels than fit on a 1600x1200 computer screen, that's actually pretty darn good (depending on the quality of the pixel). You must still be thinking of the old cheapy 640x480 (1/3 megapixel) devices.

Granted you need more if you want photo-quality prints, but it's more than adequate for on-screen use. In a device this small, the real limitation is the size and quality of the lens (ie, crappy) rather than the resolution of the sensor. There's a reason that good cameras have big lenses, and it has little to do with the size of the sensor or film they're recording on.

Re:Great But... (2, Insightful)

winsk (117756) | about 10 years ago | (#8821431)

This is great and all but who wants 2 megapixel anything? Camera phones, this device are create for getting quick shots, but honestly do you want to archive them? They simply don't look good, because the color is off, usually they're fuzzy etc...

2 megapixels is perfectly fine unless you want to make large prints. The color being off, or the picture being fuzzy has more to do with the quality of the optics, the CCDs, etc.

Re:Great But... (1)

wheany (460585) | about 10 years ago | (#8821442)

I get the feeling from your post that you equate the number of pixels in a digicam to the quality of the pictures. That is one of the most common fallacies regarding digital photography.

That said, I'm sure that the device is only good for "Woooo, look at me, I'm drunk, PARTAYYYY" -pictures.

Re:Great But... (4, Insightful)

odie_q (130040) | about 10 years ago | (#8821453)

5 megapixels is overkill for a lot of applications. For ordinary 15cm (~6") photo paper printouts of vacation photos, 3 Mpixels is enough. For web use I'd say 1Mpixel is plenty good enough.

Bad quality is more often due to crappy lenses and ultra-low quality CCD's than low resolution. If a 2Mpixel CCD is cheaper than an equivalent 4Mpixel one, it has a place in the market.

Re:Great But... (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 years ago | (#8821993)

I disagree that 1MP is enough for web use. If you weren't going to scale the image that would be true, but any time you scale an image by anything other than doubles or halves you end up doind a bunch of weird interpolation and you lose data. A lot of it. If you're going to scale an image at all in any direction then you want as much information to start with as possible.

Re:Great But... (1)

pipingguy (566974) | about 10 years ago | (#8821468)

Just a bit of an off-topic rant...

Decades ago (this was back when a CAD computers cost $20K or more) I proposed the adoption of CAD for the company I worked for. It was new and spiffy and promised all kinds of new things I could learn.

Since then I've seen a lot of clueless use of the technology that seems to waste more overall time than drawing by hand ever did. The worst part seems to be that management can hire discipline-ignorant CAD people and expect to save big bucks. Not to mention that newcomers don't have to learn the skill of working and communicating with pen and paper, which makes them essentially useless in the field.

On the other hand, having convenient access to "live" site photos is a big help, but document control can be a problem.

Re:Great But... (2, Informative)

Rolo Tomasi (538414) | about 10 years ago | (#8821508)

The problem is that the tiny, crappy lens doesn't even have an optical resolution of 2 megapixels.

Yes (1)

KalvinB (205500) | about 10 years ago | (#8821582)

I have a 2.0 Megapixel Visioneer camera and I need to install an LED over the photosensor so I can control exposure (light off == long exposure, light on for fastest exposure) since the flash kills the battery after very few shots but when used in the proper lighting (or low lighting and proper care) the pictures are quite excellent.

During a vacation to DC I took over 1000 pictures with the camera. After I realized what it was doing in low light with excessive exposure times I compensated by holding it very steady and pulled off some really nice (not blurry) shots in the National Cathedral and other darker locations.

It had no problem with outdoor shots. And yes, all the pictures are archived in a family web-site which uses a custom PHP script for an easy to browse photo album.

I have a bunch of digital shots from Colorado and I actually think they look crisper than the film shots.

If you're doing professional work and need top notch prints then you aren't going to be using a cheap 35mm camera or a cheap digital camera. For the casual user a 1, 2, or 3 megapixel camera is good enough. They're just looking to capture memories, not art.

When it comes to photography what you're taking a picture of and how you set up the shot can really compensate for the film or mp count you're using. It really doesn't matter what camera or film you're using if you have nothing interesting to take a picture of or no clue how to properly frame it.

Eventually I'll pick up a better camera since I go nuts taking pictures and have some outstanding shots and would like better quality images to go with my ability to setup and take pictures.


Re:Great But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821599)

Megapixels have nothing to do with the picture quality. You will never get good picture out of cell phone or other small device just because of a bad lens. Optics is what determines quality of a camera. Some of the artifacts resulted from cheap fixed forcus lens is hard to correct with any image processing sofware no matter how good the DSP is.
Optics and CCD size is what determines an image not amount of pixels in CCD. Cameras on mars rover are great example of this.

Re:Great But... (2, Informative)

juhaz (110830) | about 10 years ago | (#8821628)

2 megapixels is just fine for lots and lots of things. Few years old "real" non-professional digicams are 2mpixel, most of the time the pictures from those are just fine. They are light years ahead of this thing, despite the same theoretical resolution.

These, on the other hand, as you point out, simply don't look good, they look fuzzy, and the colors are off, but that's not because they don't have enough resolution on CCD, it's because they have absolutely CRAPPY optics, and crappy electronics, and crappy software.

Unless the optics get a lot better (they wont't, size and especially price places some limits...) you won't get any major improvement in few years even if someone is insane enough to put a 5mpixel CCD in one of these, 5 megapixels of blurry lens does not look any better than 2 megapixels worth of blurry lens, it's just a bigger picture of same crappy lens.

Already happened. (3, Insightful)

domodude (613072) | about 10 years ago | (#8821304)

This sure does top the JB1 camera that ThinkGeek sells.

As per the "choice" footage and pictures, this has already happened with the new camera phones. Mobileasses.com or something to that order.

Notice they never mentioned the price (1)

Nerd With Nalgene (740915) | about 10 years ago | (#8821316)

It sounds like a pretty neat gadget all right, but I'm willing to bet it's way too expensive to be worth it. I'm waiting a while longer before buying any many-function nerd gadgets.

Re:Notice they never mentioned the price (3, Funny)

irokitt (663593) | about 10 years ago | (#8821532)

"Honey, where's the video camera?"

"It's with the car keys."

(pauses to look for the car keys)


Re:Notice they never mentioned the price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821690)

"What does 'fusck' mean, dear?"

Look what I caught this guy doin' with a goat! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821320)

Dang! I miss goatse.cx. *snif*

That all depends (0, Flamebait)

proverbialcow (177020) | about 10 years ago | (#8821324)

How long before we read the first story of some, um, inappropriate footage captured with one of these?

Kinda depends on your definition of 'inappropriate.' Some guy clicks record and puts his keys on the nightstand before he beds Paris Hilton/Pam Anderson/Carmen Electra, etc.? Five minutes.
Cops wire these puppies up with the 1" micro drives in the iPod-mini's and start an entirely new wave of invasive 'safety monitoring?' As soon as they can draw up plans and write an argument that'll claim it deters terrorism. Next week, maybe.

Now you can store it safely (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821326)

And record the people who decide to strip search you at the airport.

How soon? (-1, Redundant)

derrith (600195) | about 10 years ago | (#8821333)

How soon till you see some "innapropriate footage" captured? As soon as I get my hands on one.

Roll your own RPV (4, Interesting)

Trespass (225077) | about 10 years ago | (#8821340)

Add something like this to a radio controlled model airplane and you've got a (relatively) cheap platform for surveillance or air survey work. Could have uses in archeology as well.

Re:Roll your own RPV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821868)

If I own a r/c a/c, I certainly can afford to put a better camera that can record better video and take bigger pics w/more storage.

Re:Roll your own RPV (1)

Trespass (225077) | about 10 years ago | (#8821897)

Yes, with more bulk, more noise and more need for upkeep. I am wondering about the possibility of a unit like this mated to an electric r/c plane. Of course, this sort of configuration does seem to be more geared to surveillance...

Re:Roll your own RPV (1)

-tji (139690) | about 10 years ago | (#8821963)

Yes, that would be perfect to mount on a plane like this [hobbyzonesports.com]. It's a small electric plane, with something they call an "X Port". They use this to drop parachutes or little plastic "bombs", and to do combat with little sonic transmitter/receivers. It should be pretty easy to adapt the trigger mechanism to turn the camera on.

I wouldn't worry (5, Insightful)

Mia'cova (691309) | about 10 years ago | (#8821348)

Cameras are getting smaller and smaller anyways. I don't know what advantage having it on your keychain does for any kind of voyeurism. Just turn on your TV and you'll bump into one of those hidden-camera comedy shows. How long before we're getting all of those in HDTV? It's really not hard to film without being noticed.

We all just have to get used to it. We're going to be recorded everywhere we go in public and our friends are going to get thousands of horrible photos of us.

I just have a regular 3 megapixel camera and already have something like 10,000 photos saved. My friends have cameras too and take just as many photos. I know there must be bad / 'compromising' (lol) photos of me I haven't seen but really it's no big deal. We all just finally need to get used to it and stop being so fricken camera shy!

Smile :)

Re:I wouldn't worry (3, Insightful)

oberondarksoul (723118) | about 10 years ago | (#8821457)

I'm not entirely sure it'll be too easy to not be 'camera shy' with the knowledge that the Powers That Be could very easily be on the other end of those cameras, being the ones who record us "everywhere we go in public". I, for one, wouldn't be too comfortable with that.

Re:I wouldn't worry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821563)

The BBC have an article [bbc.co.uk] on clandestine uses of minature sub-minature digital cameras.

Re:I wouldn't worry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821763)

Bruce Springsteen is a miniature camera now?

Re:I wouldn't worry (2, Informative)

iamhassi (659463) | about 10 years ago | (#8821732)

"Cameras are getting smaller and smaller anyways. I don't know what advantage having it on your keychain does for any kind of voyeurism."

A) it's smaller and easier to conceal than standard small cameras
B) doesn't look like a camera so it's less obvious you're recording
C) sometimes you're in situations where you didn't plan on something happening so you didn't bring your trusty camera, like the girl dancing on the bar during happy hour (usually that's unexpected, although I know some bars...)

this would be great in strip clubs where you're not allowed to bring cameras in.... wonder how it handles in low light? Please include "nightshot", the world needs more Paris Hilton type videos ;)

Re:I wouldn't worry (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821746)

Ugh, shut the FUCK up please.

It's just killing me to read your post. Ugh.

what we can't see... (4, Funny)

cliveholloway (132299) | about 10 years ago | (#8821349)

...is the whole camera. All the pics are close-ups. My guess is because it's actually about 2ft long and they don't want to scare us off.

cLive ;-)

Re:what we can't see... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821499)

So you're really saying that it's even more of a 'convergence product' than PCMag wants to admit, i.e. "the ladies will love it"...

Re:what we can't see... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821585)

I didn't read anything about a vibrate or massage mode in the products specs.

Inappropriate footage (4, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | about 10 years ago | (#8821379)

" How long before we read the first story of some, um, inappropriate footage captured with one of these?""

This is much more likely if they add a vibrator mode to the thing.

Re:Inappropriate footage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821838)

I'm not kidding when I say that I think there's a market for this if you create one. Since they make Hello Kitty vibrators, and rubber duck vibrators, I bet this would sell.

But you'd need a really good steady-cam feature?


Inappropriate? (4, Insightful)

colinramsay (603167) | about 10 years ago | (#8821382)

See, the thing I always wonder when people bring up this topic is this - the technology to record people without their permission has been here for a while. Be it photographic, video, or audio, there have been accessible means to invade someone's privacy for quite a number of years.

What devices like this represent are a proliferation of this technology. And the uses to which it is put is not a problem of the technology, it's a problem of society.

Re:Inappropriate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821531)

The difference, and this is the same reason the RIAA/MPAA machine is so flumoxed, is the Internet allows easy distribution.

See in the olden days, you had to have a pretty big bankroll to put out a compromising picture to many people. This simple resource constraint usually vetted out people that would do stuff just for kicks.

So as you say its a problem of society, but also of technology lowering barriers to entry of certain activities. So questions and situations that were just as common in the past as they are today are put to a different test considering the distribution climate.

Re:Inappropriate? (1)

colinramsay (603167) | about 10 years ago | (#8821578)

Good point, I agree.

Those "certain activities" are still of the same level of right/wrongness - so this is somewhat similar to lowering the penalty for robbing banks to a 50p fine.


I'm sure you take my point though - the accessibility levels have changed but the acceptibility of the action has not.

Re:Inappropriate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821678)

True true. I'm sure a woman in the 20's (1920s that is) wouldn't have liked people sneaking around with a camera while she was in her, for the times, revealing bathing suit.

Which brings up an interesting question. If privacy violation becomes so common place will people grow to not care. Not because they are desensitzed to the act, but because they are desensitized to the consumption. Maybe we'll all have nude pictures of us on the net someday and it will be passe to care that someone put another drop in the ocean.

Re:Inappropriate? (1)

colinramsay (603167) | about 10 years ago | (#8821836)

Yeah. But it would be nice to think that even though we didn't care about the photos that were out there we would have had the opportunity to stop them being distributed...


Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821405)

Say no to Slashdot abuses by marking one of the most obnoxious users of all time as a foe. That user is the infamous Anti-Slash Blacklist [slashdot.org]. He is bent on censoring users of Slashdot who troll for the purpose of forcing the editors to put an end to their abuses, lies, and hypocrisy. Anti-Slash Blacklist is against freedom and is for censorship on Slashdot. Do your part to support the jihad and mark this clown as a foe.

-- jihadi_31337

128 Megs... (1)

Bl33d4merican (723119) | about 10 years ago | (#8821412)

Isn't nearly enough for the sex video! But seriously, I think this is a very cool idea. My only worry is that these will be quickly banned from public places the way camera phones have been. Interestingly enough, devices like this make it easy for anyone to commit espionage, take pictures in public rest rooms and the like, or spy on people or organizations. I wonder when the government will decide that you need a liscense for one of these, too...

Re:128 Megs... (5, Funny)

proverbialcow (177020) | about 10 years ago | (#8821497)

[128 megs] Isn't nearly enough for the sex video!

Whoa, slow down there, pr0n star! Some of us have jobs, and lots of stress. 128 megs might easily store two or three...

Mobile pr0n viewer (1, Redundant)

lhaeh (463179) | about 10 years ago | (#8821418)

One of this cameras major functions not mentioned in the article is that its viewfinder doubles as a image/video preview monitor. Since it can handle >20 minutes of mpeg4 video you could upload your favorate tv show to watch at youe leasure. Looks like your fscked when the battery wears out, its not replaceable.

All batteries are replacable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821475)

You might have to whip out a soldering iron, but look where you're posting.

Nice try, but no dice? (2, Informative)

zipwow (1695) | about 10 years ago | (#8821517)

If it isn't mentioned in the article, can you point out where it is mentioned? The thing I'm seeing pictures of here doesn't look like it has any kind of digital viewfinder apart from some glass. The specifications list a "2 element optical viewfinder" which I think equates to "glass and mirrors".


Re:Nice try, but no dice? (2, Informative)

lhaeh (463179) | about 10 years ago | (#8821930)

I though it was just a regular cheepo plastic lens viewfinder as well, its hard to imagen they packed it so tight with features.

You have to click on the 'exclusive slideshow' link at the bottom of the page. From the article:

This viewfinder also acts as a microdisplay for viewing video playback (you'll need to plug the headphones in to hear sound). The trashcan symbol sits to the left of the delete button, which deletes whichever pictures or clips you're viewing. Below the button are the Power and Memory indicators [[inset]] (labels for each are to the left).

Why must.. (3, Insightful)

dj245 (732906) | about 10 years ago | (#8821421)

Why must companies create these silly devices that they call "camcorders" that really have little or no storage space to speak of? It isn't a proper camcorder, it is a gimmick. 128mb of space is not a lot of space. Not only that but the firmware of the thing means you don't get the whole 128mb. Add in a lossy (lousy?) mpeg codec, and you'll be lucky to get five minutes at any kind of watchable quality. I hope people don't actually buy these things expecting a halfway decent recording device. The image sensor must be terrible (being so small and cheap) Good thing its a camera too, because its a pathetic camcorder.

I hope we don't see more of these things in the future. Do these companies have focus groups? What focus group with any sanity decided they wanted a camcorder with 5 or so minutes of storage? More likely they wanted a camera that could record a video (maybe) but that isn't the way this thing is being marketed. Just because you can easilly and cheaply add features to existing products doesn't mean you have to promote them and market them as primary functions. (Camera phones anyone?)

Re:Why must.. (3, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | about 10 years ago | (#8821510)

yeah, too bad they couldn't go for 256 megs.

On the other hand, I record TV shows on my computer, and I've set the bitrate so 1 hour fits on a CD (700 megs) and the quality is pretty good IMHO. So at the same bitrate, 128 megs would hold around 10 minutes of video. I don't know about you, but I seldom shoot more than 10 minutes of Camcorder footage for anything, because it would be too boring to watch.

Re:Why must.. (3, Interesting)

dj245 (732906) | about 10 years ago | (#8821588)

Thats why some people shoot for hours and hours and then take all the interesting bits and put them into a 3 minute clip so they don't bore people to tears. Its like in American Football. In 3 hours, maybe 2 minutes of something really exciting happens.

Oh and television capping at a really high bitrate and then post-recompressing to a 2-pass codec (Xvid, mpeg2, divx, whatever you want) will give the exact file size you want and much better results compared to fixed-rate low-bandwidth encoding. Thats why these types of camcorders suck, they do fixed-rate at low bitrates and 2-passing later only gives lower file sizes of the already crappy looking video.

Re:Why must.. (2, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | about 10 years ago | (#8821594)

25 minutes of MPEG-4 is what they claim on the Web site. That's not bad. I personally think any more than ten minutes of home video at any particular event begins to enter boring city. I certainly don't want to see a full two hours of little Jimmy's birthday or even Our Excellent Spring Break. A few minutes of footage is all that's required to get the gist of most events.

Re:Why must.. (3, Insightful)

Frennzy (730093) | about 10 years ago | (#8821616)

I think it's more of a 'because we can' attitude. I am actually quite pleased with convergence in data storage devices...the video is just another input.

I DON'T like the fact that I had to buy a 'camera phone' to get the other phone features I wanted.

However, this would be a real handy gadget to have. (And it's just that...a gadget...+1 Karma to whomever can identify the origin of that word...specifically, whose name it came from and what they are most famous (in the US) for...no googling, you cheaters).

As a cheap and easy way to move over a hundred megs of data from place to place, I like it. The fact that if you happened to see something noteworthy, like, say, a hostage situation or a plane going down and you could just pull out your keys and record it (in poor quality, yes) for posterity, is just a bonus.

Plus, if it gets people interested in buying technology again, so much the better. We need tech jobs growth (in all sectors)

Come to think of it, I have a great idea for this...do new video projectors have USB inputs and file translation capabililites? If they don't, they soon will. Now those marketing droids won't need laptops...they can put together their PowerPoint presentations and them load them onto their keyring, and just jack that into the projector.

Re:Why must.. (1)

dj245 (732906) | about 10 years ago | (#8821833)

The fact that if you happened to see something noteworthy, like, say, a hostage situation or a plane going down and you could just pull out your keys and record it (in poor quality, yes) for posterity, is just a bonus.

yep lets associate cameraphones with aeroplane crashes. The experience of taking a sub-megapixel picture on a device with no viewfinder or realtime-display window, zoom, or flash definitely reminds me of being shafted up the arse by the aerospace industry.

Look Here: I can get free advertising in /. (0, Offtopic)

|>>? (157144) | about 10 years ago | (#8821422)

Does any one else get annoyed when real stories get rejected but blatent advertising gets accepted to the front-page?

I thought this was supposed to be "stuff that matters" - since when does another little gadget that will be overtaken in two months at best qualify as "stuff that matters"

Here's something that matters: (albeit to me)

Linux Australia [linux.org.au] has written a draft position paper [linux.org.au](or a PDF [linux.org.au]) on therecently negotiated Free Trade Agreement between the US and Australia,and is looking [linux.org.au] for feedback [mailto].

The FTA has some Intellectual Property provisions that have a severe impact on Australia. The Australian Senate has a Committee looking into it and the dead-line for submissions is: April 30.

What can you do? Sign the petition [petitiononline.com], Comment [mailto] on thedraft position paper [linux.org.au] and send feedback to the JointCommittee on Treaties [aph.gov.au].

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821831)

Offtopic much?

Moderated up?

Man this place sucks.

Pictures and More Info (5, Informative)

sethml (232387) | about 10 years ago | (#8821424)

There are some nice pictures and such in a Philip press release at:
http://www.press.ce.philips.com/press/2004-2-23-Ce bit2004-568.html [philips.com]

Prices and Release Dates! (1)

sethml (232387) | about 10 years ago | (#8821486)

The press release gives a release date of May in Europe, and price of 300 Euro. There's also the key010, which looks like the same thing without the video capability and MP3 player, for 200 Euro.

In other news (1)

zakezuke (229119) | about 10 years ago | (#8821426)

You can now safely go into US theaters in the usa without fear of triggering the cam-corder check until such time as they ban keychains.

It's been noted by one observe that Cantonese subtitles are no longer on their pirated video downloads. Patrons of such P2P file systems before had some assurance that cam editions of movies came with subtitles.

Oh Great (3, Insightful)

esac17 (201752) | about 10 years ago | (#8821463)

Does that mean we won't be able to have our keys out in the gym anymore? Last night my fiancée called me as I was dressing and the locker room attendant politely asked me to put my cell phone away because people were afraid of getting their pictures taken with the camera phones. Now will there be a reason to limit, if not to start searching our bags everywhere we go.

I will buy one of these. (4, Funny)

e9th (652576) | about 10 years ago | (#8821554)

If I had a nickel for every time I've said, "Damn, I wish I had a camera," I'd already have enough nickels to pay for the thing.

Keep governments on their toes (3, Insightful)

t_allardyce (48447) | about 10 years ago | (#8821577)

Ok i know the world needs more food and medicine than anything else but we should send loads of these things to countries like china, iraq, america & cuba etc where there are oppressive regiemes in oparation, they could be used to capture countless numbers of human rights atrocities! Yes i know they're all made in china.

Re:Keep governments on their toes (1)

XaosTX (723612) | about 10 years ago | (#8821893)

> countries like china, iraq, america & cuba etc where there are oppressive regiemes in oparation

What do you mean America has an oppressive regi-&@993549@23..!@335



This is a nice idea for novelty use and the like.. (2, Insightful)

phaetonic (621542) | about 10 years ago | (#8821655)

but for the people who sport tin foil, realize that certain government agencies have had much better mini video cameras for quiet a while...

At only $249 MSRP... (3, Interesting)

josh glaser (748297) | about 10 years ago | (#8821701)

...it sounds great, but it is $100 more expensive than the Gateway (the current best buy for tapeless camcorders, because it's not $800 like most). It has double the memory, but lacks a card slot (and an LCD display). So for it's value, well, I'd say they're both good buys for people who want an ultra-cheap camcorder that's small (these things go for convienience and such, not for super-high quality) and just fun. I'll probably buy one of these things just so I can always have a camcorder around to take video of stuff that happens (I don't want to have my "real" camcorder with me all the time). For now, that's really what I see the market for these (and, say, camcorder phones) is - when these things have hard drives, well, then they might be more of a viable alternative to a "real" camcorder. But like them a lot now - they're tiny, cheap, and you can always have them with you to capture life - in all its spontaneity.

Whoa - I actually spelled "spontaneity" right. (1)

josh glaser (748297) | about 10 years ago | (#8821876)

Just wanted to add a bit of a P.S. here (mainly stuff I forgot to add in the original post, but hey, that's what P.S.'s are for, right?) The Philips Key-Ring Camcorder can play MP3s and WMAs, the Gateway cannot. The Philips can take 25 minutes of video, the Gateway gets 5 (high quality) or 18 (low quality) - but remember, that's with the base memory, you can upgrade (and will probably want to). Oh, and Philips also sells a standalone Key-Ring MP3 player and a Key-Ring Camera (that they just upgraded to 2MP). And no, I don't work for Philips ^_^

Is it *really* 2 MP? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821704)

The KEY007 is marketed as 1.3MP, but it only has a 0.3MP sensor, and the images are upscaled to 1.3MP. All I see is "2MP sized images", nothing about what the sensor really is? Nowhere does the press release mention the sensor size, only that it produces 2 megapixel images. My gut feeling tells me that this is a 0.3MP camera, or maybe if we are very lucky, a 1.3MP camera, that is upscaled to 2MP. I'd love to be wrong.

nudie bar here I cum! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8821853)

I can't wait to sneak one of these into the VIP room at the local nudie bar. Prepare to be on Kazaa you big titty stripper bitches!

duh (3, Funny)

douthat (568842) | about 10 years ago | (#8821895)

How long before we read the first story of some, um, inappropriate footage captured with one of these?"
That's how they beta tested it.

Video = Better Stills? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8822010)

Wasn't there recently news of programs that create superior stills by combining frames of panned video or multiple still images?
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