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A Tapeless Digital Camcorder For Your Pocket

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the record-everything dept.

Toys 182

spullara writes "I've been waiting a long time for a small, tapeless, easy to use digital camcorder. Tapes wear out, they require playback in realtime, and make producing ad hoc movies time consuming. Without these types of recorders you can forget about iVideoPodcasting. I found the Fisher FVD-C1 at an Apple Store last week and it was amazing, but it turns out there is a better one being imported from Japan, the Xacti DMX-C4 thats nearly identical, but better. You can read my review of it here (I have no association with any of these businesses). Wouldn't it be great if one of these devices had WiMAX to upload directly to the internet?"

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182 comments

friost psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562807)

YEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! -tmf Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

FUCK YOU TIMOTHY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562808)

FUCK YOU TIMOTHY
FUCK MICHAEL SIMS
FUCK ROB MALDA
RUCK ROLAND PIQUEPAILLE
FUCK SALVATORE CANGELOSO

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Re:FUCK YOU TIMOTHY (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563053)


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Nice one, dipshit [slashdot.org] .

Re:FUCK YOU TIMOTHY (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563155)

Haha, this is truly hilarious. ROLAND PIQUEPAILLE. Ok so either this guy's account is hacked, or he's a moron. I vote for the latter.

before /.ers wake up (5, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562809)

The Xacti DMX-C4 is an amazing camcorder

As you might have read, my wife and I are having our first baby. So, of course, we needed a video camera.

One of the biggest complaints I have with mini-DV cameras is that you copy the data off them at the same speed you put the data on them. This is a nightmare. Additionally, tapes are terribly inconvenient to search, store, carry, etc. I was down at the Apple Store in Palo Alto on Tuesday of last week and saw a new camcorder there, the Fisher FVD-C1. It was amazingly small but easy to hold, used solid state storage, and had pretty good specs. At the store it was $800, so I wandered over to one of the Macs they have setup there connected to the internet and searched to see what the real going rate was. As it turns out, it cost about the same from Amazon. Later I did some more research and found a little company in California that imports Japanese only products into the US that had another version of the camera direct from Sanyo (Fisher OEMs their product). In addition to being the same size it also had 4MP instead of 3MP, a 1.8in LCD instead of 1.5in, and some improved software. Even better, it didn't come bundled with only a 512M card, instead it was $600 and you could buy a high-speed 1G SD card from them for an extra $120 (you can get them a little cheaper elsewhere, but i wanted it all to come at the same time).

Everything about the camera screamed buy me, so I did. I chose their cheapest shipping option (they are definitely making a bit of profit on their prices) and ordered it and a 1G card on Tuesday night. It arrived on Thursday morning, way sooner than I expected. All the manuals are in Japanese, fortunately I don't read those. Amusingly, it also talked in Japanese until I figured out you could change it to English mode by navigating the helpful pictograms.

Hooking it up to my Mac was trivial, it comes with a USB dock / recharging station that you just connect to your computer. It has a button on it to switch it between being connected and charging. I'm not sure if it is recharging when it is connected or not. Because it is also a still camera, when you plug it in and connect it, iPhoto launches and allows you to import any photos. Immediately I realized that I would need an efficient way to handle all the clips that I would be generating and I am a little bummed that there is nothing like iClips that comes with the Mac. I have some ideas about how that would work, maybe I should put something together. Instead of making a full fledged application, I instead did some applescript to get it setup with a Folder Action. So now when I plug it in, it immediately finds all the movies, renames them from their generic names to timestamp names, copies them to my Movies directory, and then if there are no pictures it ejects the camera and quits iPhoto all in one smooth motion. In the end I want to build something that lets me drop any of the movies onto a drop site and immediately reencode them for the web and post them to my website for consumption by the ever vigilant grandparents of our daughter to be. Speaking of photos, it does a pretty good job at those as well. Not as good as my Elph, but good enough.

There is only one thing that tripped me up that I would like to mention about the camera. While transferring movies from it I found that it was much slower than USB 2.0 should be. As it turns out, although it is spec'd for USB 2.0, it is for "full" speed, not "high" speed. So you should see transfer rates just about 500K/s. It would be much better if it were faster than that as that can mean 2000 seconds for a full 1G SD. Its still way more convenient than tape. I blame the USB committee for allowing devices to be touted as USB 2.0 when, in fact, they are the same speed as USB 1.1.

The movie/picture demo on their Yahoo store is pretty accurate and reflects the quality of the MPEG4/AAC recording that I have gotten while using the camera.

Re:before /.ers wake up (5, Insightful)

mike3411 (558976) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562884)

What an awful review. The extent of interesting product details include storage capacity and transfer speed. How about image quality? Camera features like focus, balance, etc.? Battery life? Video storage capacity (how much time does that 1gb get you)? How about the size of the camera? How heavy is it? Does it seem poorly or well made? etc. etc. This review is very sparse on details, and does little more than summarize some of the features and confirm that the camera works, more or less.

Re:before /.ers wake up (4, Insightful)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563003)

Amen to that. I read this article with my jaw dropped.

This part makes me wonder why he complains about tape transfer speeds:

There is only one thing that tripped me up that I would like to mention about the camera. While transferring movies from it I found that it was much slower than USB 2.0 should be. As it turns out, although it is spec'd for USB 2.0, it is for "full" speed, not "high" speed. So you should see transfer rates just about 500K/s. It would be much better if it were faster than that as that can mean 2000 seconds for a full 1G SD. Its still way more convenient than tape. I blame the USB committee for allowing devices to be touted as USB 2.0 when, in fact, they are the same speed as USB 1.1.

Okay, so copying a DV tape @ 720p over firewire is slower than this? Not. This sort of defeats his key point in the beginning of the "review".

For $800 you can get an excellent DV camera with near-professional quality and will last for many years. I would suggest avoiding gadgets who's only reason for being on the market is the fact it uses SD ram instead of DV tape. Maybe in 2-5 years there will be real DV cameras with 100GB of storage on them, but now isn't the time.

Personally, I suspect the author only had experience with VHS tape and had never used DV tape as a medium. Otherwise, he wouldn't be saying USB 1.1 speeds are better than "dealing with a tape".

Re:before /.ers wake up (-1, Offtopic)

cherokkester (823375) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563127)

The video standards of the porn industry aren't that stringent.

USB Naming/Packaging issues (4, Informative)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562932)

I blame the USB committee for allowing devices to be touted as USB 2.0 when, in fact, they are the same speed as USB 1.1

The USB folk's naming and packaging recommendations [usb.org] actually discourage the use of "USB 2.0" since it is confusing as heck ... but I agree with the parent that they kinda created this monster by saying that there is a "Lo-speed" and "Full-speed" USB 2.0 that are the same speed as USB1.x ... so most consumers (myself included) see USB 2.0 and unless we look carefully for "Hi-Speed", then things aren't any faster than 1.x ... which is an issue for still photography and a BIG issue for video.

BTW, have we ever seen a first post that has been so informative - mod the parent to +10 - nice work roman mir

Re:before /.ers wake up (-1, Offtopic)

foobsr (693224) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562934)

As you might have read, my wife and I are having our first baby. So, of course, we needed a video camera.

Sometimes I wonder how mankind had come to a certain stage of development without.

CC.

Re:before /.ers wake up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562953)

If you're anti-life then why don't you kill yourself?

All /.ers are dying to know (0, Offtopic)

notthepainter (759494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563028)

my wife and I are having our first baby

Uhhhh, about this sex thing...

Uhhh....

What's it like?

Re:All /.ers are dying to know (2, Funny)

cherokkester (823375) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563165)

Whatever you do, don't film it with THIS camera. Get a professional quality one with Hi-Speed USB 2.0 transfer technology.

Damn... (3, Informative)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562811)

Wish i had the money to drop on a real tapeless cam. Bought one of these [gateway.com] last week along with a 512MB SD card for parties. Mixed reviews, but the price is right for a poor college student.

1Gb of storage on SD? (5, Interesting)

big ben bullet (771673) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562814)

Nah.. why can't they just put in a decent 20Gb harddrive (like the iPod)

That's what i'll keep waiting for.

Re:1Gb of storage on SD? (3, Interesting)

chocho99 (552877) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562964)

How about this?

JVC Everio with 4GB Microdrive. To be released any day now...
http://www.i4u.com/article2116.html [i4u.com]

Re:1Gb of storage on SD? (1, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562981)

"Nah.. why can't they just put in a decent 20Gb harddrive (like the iPod)"

Price, weight, durability, longevity, and upgradability?

Re:1Gb of storage on SD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563048)

"Why no hard drive?" Battery life I would say. A HD uses a lot of it compared to an SD card...

Or Better Still (1)

TheLoneCabbage (323135) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563067)

Removable hard drive standard. Which could fit anything from a USB Flash Drive to a clam shell HD unit of your choosing.

Granted the power consumption would be awsome, but there is room for a "Little" more weight here considering that the cam is toughted at the size of a cell phone.

Now when can I expect to be able to write my own code for this thing [neurosaudio.com] ?

Re:1Gb of storage on SD? (3, Interesting)

droleary (47999) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563091)

why can't they just put in a decent 20Gb harddrive (like the iPod)

What I'm waiting for is someone (maybe Apple, maybe not) to put out a widget for connecting an iSight [apple.com] to an iPod [apple.com] . For basic home movies of the kids, something that that should sell quite well if you could package it all together at $599 or so. At the higher end, why not a camcorder that simply used an iPod mini as a "cartridge". It's only 4GB currently, but their form factor makes them a really attractive option. If the regular iPod was good enough to handle LoTR, aren't a few iPod mini (is mini the plural of mini? :-) good enough to handle my budget productions?

as for reviews... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562816)

that was the shittiest one i've ever read. You know you are a Mac-Head when you buy something because "it screams buy me". You all have too much money. And my first first post!

Re:as for reviews... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562825)

Darn, ok I wasn't first. /. is too fast for my typing skillz.

Re:as for reviews... (0, Offtopic)

Llama_STi (745859) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562894)

or lack thereof! hehe... not even close ;D

storage size (1)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562828)

storage size is always a problem with tapeless digital cam, I've eyeing on Sony's DVD handycam, one DVD stores 1GB, but the size of the camcorder is as big as a 8cm DVD.

No Thanks... (3, Insightful)

TheMysteriousFuture (707972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562834)

While these sound 'interesting', I wouldn't want one. What exactly am I supposed to do if I want to go on vacation and not haul along a laptop to download the video onto?

Or I'm somewhere and the drive is full, and I want to keep recording. With a tape-based Camcorder I'd just run to (Costco/Walmart/7-11/Target) and pickup some more MiniDV tapes or whatever.

With this I have to upload the video onto another device...

And I have to worry about making sure to backup the device I download the camcorder's drive to. With tapes, while they are NOT indestructible, and they DO wear out eventually, and (with analog tapes) you can loose quality when you copy them, you don't have to worry about loosing all your recordings because the latest virus wipes your hard drives and you didn't have backups.

_MOST_ people are NOT going to be cluefull enough to make sure to backup their video from their hard drive to DVD or some other medium.

Re:No Thanks... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562863)

_MOST_ people are NOT going to be cluefull enough to make sure to backup their video from their hard drive to DVD or some other medium.

Clueful, no. But they'll want a copy on a DVD anyhow. Most people don't happen to enjoy watching videos on their computers, and the interface for finding and selecting DVDs is easier for most people than using a computer.

So it works out.

Re:That is what these are for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562885)

It is not like this is a new problem, digital cameras with large MP ratings have the same problem. That is what these are for:

http://www.auspcmarket.com.au/show_product_info. ph p?code=CA-VP2060HD30&category_id=339
http://www.a uspcmarket.com.au/show_product_info.ph p?code=CA-VP300HD30&category_id=339

I have seen one before that had a CD-R burner as well.

More at: http://www.xs-drive.com/

Re:No Thanks... (1)

Drew84 (823362) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562887)

_MOST_ people are NOT going to be cluefull enough to make sure to backup their video from their hard drive to DVD or some other medium.
unless of course that video is of an ex-gf in a rather "exposed" pose. hey, it http://home.studieaccess.nl/wesse167/girlfriend_go t.wmv [studieaccess.nl]

Re:No Thanks... (1)

avi4now (567861) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562901)

This is insightful? Every single one of these concerns used to be considered obstacles to digital camera adoption, and we all know that those never took off.

Wake up! This is the future on it's way - howabout addressing the challenges instead of complaining about them like an crotchety old coot?

Re:No Thanks... (1)

TheMysteriousFuture (707972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562917)

heh...good point :)
The big thing for me, is the fact that the hard drive is not removable. So once it's full, it's full until I download it. That said I'm sure we'll see models where you can swap the drives soon enough.

Re:No Thanks... (3, Insightful)

MobiusClark (728561) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562914)

Erm, why not just carry a couple of SD cards in your wallet? Sure they cost more than MiniDVs but they're tiny. Memory cards are the new tapes.

Re:No Thanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562933)

Because a MiniDV SP 60 minute tape holds 8 Gibibytes? I am NOT saying it's not going to happen, It's just going to take a few more years before memory gets cheap enough

Re:No Thanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562941)

You could still run to Walmart and pick up a new SD card.

Re:No Thanks... (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562952)

You buy a X'S-Drive. I think they have like 20-80 GB versions, and most of them have a slot for every time of card. I want to get one so when I'm hiking on a very long trip I don't need to carry around a laptop as well (which is light in comparison to some of my photography equiptment but it'd still be unecessary if I had one of these X'S-Drives.)

Re:No Thanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562962)

"loose" quality? Are you referring to lossly compression? Or did you mean "lose"? What a loser you are.

Re:No Thanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563063)

yes I did, my bad.

Re:No Thanks... (3, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562973)

"While these sound 'interesting', I wouldn't want one. What exactly am I supposed to do if I want to go on vacation and not haul along a laptop to download the video onto?"

Use the right tool for the job? Seriously, there are some things that Mini-DV is a pain in the ass for. Others, it's great for.

I'll give you a quick example: I have video taken from my cell phone (of all places) of my dog teasing my cat. The video quality is crummy and all, but it was at my side, and ready to go. I have that funny moment now. If I had run to my video camera, I would have had to check if the tape was ready to go, power the silly thing up, and hope the animals co-operate. Okay, this isn't apples and apples, but there's something to be said for tapeless devices.

They're not perfect. Niether is Mini-DV. That's why both are on the market. Lighten up.

Oh no... (1)

ForresterInc (785824) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562975)

While these sound 'interesting', I wouldn't want one. What exactly am I supposed to do if I want to go on vacation and not haul along a laptop to download the video onto?

Or I'm somewhere and the drive is full, and I want to keep recording. With a tape-based Camcorder I'd just run to (Costco/Walmart/7-11/Target) and pickup some more MiniDV tapes or whatever.

Heaven forbid you should have more than one SD card...

Re:No Thanks... (3, Interesting)

timpaton (748607) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563036)

Somebody needs to...
invent (or hack) an iPod-like-device to act as a portable hard disk for all these flash-RAM-hungry devices.

I've thought of it many times for my still camera. Unless I buy lots of (expensive) flash cards, or lug a laptop with me, I can only shoot as many photos as I have room for...as we all know and have dealt with for many years already.

What I need is a pocket-sized, battery-powered intermediate storage device. When my camera (or voice recorder or tapeless video cam) gets full, I could plug it in to the USB port of my HD tranfer unit (or stick my SD card in the slot, or whatever), hit the "transfer" button; and in as much time as it would take to reload a film camera, have an empty card ready to start shooting again.

Back in civilisation, the HD tranfer unit could plug in like a regular USB drive...just like a flash card reader...so I can do what I normally would do with my photos/video/etc.

As an added bonus - now that it's established technology and lots of people carry them anyway - the HD transfer unit could hold a few GB of music (in .ogg format, of course, to keep the /. zealots happy) and have a decoder chip and headphone socket and whatever else these iPod-like devices have.

For me, being able to download data from my camera would be a digital music player's "killer app".

Re:No Thanks... (5, Informative)

TheMysteriousFuture (707972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563045)

Already exists :)
see steves-digicams [steves-digicams.com]
Scroll down to "Image Storage Devices" for reviews of a bunch of them.

See also the Belkin iPod Media Reader [apple.com] for a device that'll let you transfer all the major flash media formats to your iPod.

Re:No Thanks... (1)

timpaton (748607) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563068)

Ahem, that will learn me to do my research before posting!

Rewind...

The limited storage of this thing would be less of a concern if it is used in partnership with a portable HD-based bulk-storage device, of which there are many available. See parent for details.

Apparently, you can even transfer data between various flash-cards and your iPod...so we only need to carry a small number of geek-boxes when we're out in the field!

Re:No Thanks... (1)

Ubi_NL (313657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563297)

How about the iRiver iHP340, which acts as a USB host so you can download from your camera, AND plays Ogg:
http://www.iriveramerica.com/products/H340.aspx [iriveramerica.com]

Re:No Thanks... (1)

TheMysteriousFuture (707972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563057)

/me *sighs*...should have used preview...oh well.

Many thanks! (0, Redundant)

DaneelGiskard (222145) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562836)

I've been looking for user experiences/reviews on this little gadget for weeks. Many thanks!

Re:Many thanks! (0, Offtopic)

DaneelGiskard (222145) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562918)

Uh..should have read the review before posting this... *sigh*

WiMax? (2, Funny)

nev4 (721804) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562842)

"Wouldn't it be great if one of these devices had WiMAX to upload directly to the internet?"

Yes, because my local electric car recharging station now has a WiMax hotspot...

I was going to write something sarcastic too. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562929)

and then I considered the possibilities for pornography. The revolution is truly nigh.

Perhaps... (1)

imthatguy (772683) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562978)

If most of the country actually HAD WiMax...

Mini-DVD Digicorders are tapeless too (3, Interesting)

Kerhop (652872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562852)

I'd rather spend $1000 on a Sony DCR-DVD301 [sony.com] (Google'd info [google.com] ) that records directly to Mini-DVD's.

Points in article. (1, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562854)

Tapes wear out

And hard drives work perfectly, forever? At least you can easily swap tapes, they are fairly cheap, and most importantly, they handle shocks pretty well.

they require playback in realtime

Tape-based digital camcorders can do better than realtime playback.

and make producing ad hoc movies time consuming.

I don't believe it's merely the camcorder that makes producing movies time-consuming!

Wouldn't it be great if one of these devices had WiMAX to upload directly to the internet?"

GOD NO! Imagine your camcorder being slashdotted.

Seriously though, I can't see any real use for connecting a camcorder to the internet directly. Yet the drawbacks are serious. Have we learned nothing from computer security?

Re:Points in article. (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563026)

I COULD see a reason to connect a cam to the internet, but would it not be better to just have the networking in it like the Dlink cameras and the Axis webcam's? Once you have a network connection on it, the need for on board storage is minimal. All you would need is some flash rom to store a OS of sorts on the cam so it can handle all of hte nasty stuff like the networking.

wimax? (5, Insightful)

MrSpiff (515611) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562856)

"Wouldn't it be great if one of these devices had WiMAX to upload directly to the internet?"

Wouldn't it be better if it had 802.11a/b/g so you could actually use it in the near future?

Samples (4, Interesting)

DaneelGiskard (222145) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562859)

Please put some sample movies / pictures online. Specially showing the optical/digital zoom capacity. And maybe some low light movies to see its performance there?

I also have a question:
It got 5.8 times optical zoom and 10 times digital zoom. In video mode the camera only uses 0.3 MP of the available 4 MP (probably a bit more for the image stabilizer?). Anyways, when using digital zoom in video mode, will it simply use the remainder of the MP to do the digital zoom and thus provide a "loss free" digital zoom? Or is it similar to image shooting using digital zoom, where the resulting picture is blurred?

Re:Samples (5, Informative)

ohdawg (773768) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562882)

Here's a direct link to a sample from the Sanyo Xacti DMX-C4 page mentioned in the article:

4.35mb sample [64.60.113.123]

Thats assuming it still works by the time you see my reply (and it hasnt been slashdotted)

Re:Samples (2, Interesting)

DaneelGiskard (222145) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562892)

Thanks, I've known this sample for some time. A friendly guy over at dpreview.com provided some more samples in the forum (I won't link them directly or he'll probably be mad).

But what I'm looking for are examples showing the strengths and weaknesses of this camera. Show me the full range of optical and digital zoom and how the picture gets worse with the digital zoom. Show me a movie in low light or artificial light conditions.

This is the first "review" of this camera which I have encountered and I have been looking for some time. Unfortunately this review isn't very technical or thorough.

I'd love to get additional user experiences/reviews/... which concentrate on the technical side a bit more...

Re:Samples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562925)

So called "Digital Zoom" is nothing more then a frigging marketing scam/stunt. Honestly you are by FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR best off disabling it on all imaging devices you use.

Re:Samples (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562995)

There is no 'loss free' digital zoom. The optics provide so much zoom and thats that. Any more and you are just using algorithms to enlarge the already captured image. You will lose quality.

The problem is not that the picture gets more blurry really..although it may look like that. When a picture of say 0.4 MP is enlarged to 2MP or similar..the processor has to intelligently 'guess' on what colour pixel should be between the pixels it already has information for. The information just isnt there.

Re:Samples (1)

FryGuy1013 (664126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563024)

I think you're misunderstanding his question. He is asking if the 640x480 video images can be digitally zoomed from the 4MP camera resolution rather than digitally zooming from the original 640x480 video images. ie, when taking pictures at 640x480 resolution and the camera can handle 1280x960 images from the capturing, and digitally zooming 2X to produce a 640x480 image, if it would resample the image "losslessly," since it would only be saving to 640x480 anyways. It certainly isn't producing the pixel information from nowhere. However, I think it's more of a bandwidth issue from the imager to the memory that the video is only captured at the lower resolution and not anything else. I'm probably wrong though.

Fisher Price (4, Interesting)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562870)

When I saw Fisher my mind went immediately to Fisher-Price. Yes, completely different, but does anyone else remember that Fisher-Price actually made a video camera at one time? It was called the Pixlevision [freeuk.net] and recorded to audio cassettes! The quality was poor, but just poor enough to look really cool [ttu.edu] . As I recall, they didn't stay on the market long.

Re:Fisher Price (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562905)

I actually used it for an art class I was taking when it came out and one of my friend's younger sibs got one... they were intersting I suppose.

BTW... You are a freak if you like the IT colour scheme!

Re:Fisher Price (2, Interesting)

eclectro (227083) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562994)

Unbelievably, Fisher Price also made 110 and 35 mm film cameras. Normally you think of toys that a one year old would pound on and make noises, not a line of cameras.

That's what was so amazing about the Pixlvision - that it would even make it all the way to market and actually work.

What I loved about it is how it used a standard audio tape at high speed to produce 5 minutes of video.

Quite strange (but cool) when you think about it.

Sounds like a neat camcorder, But... (4, Insightful)

melekcrescent (697332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562871)

"I blame the USB committee for allowing devices to be touted as USB 2.0 when, in fact, they are the same speed as USB 1.1."

I think that we should actually blame the company, who is putting labels on their product which overstate the technology. Compliance laboratories are worked pretty hard to my knowledge, and it becomes increasingly difficult to weed out products which poorly meet the specifications. I want to support a company which produces high grade equipment, not one who works just hard enough for the selling point.

Re:Sounds like a neat camcorder, But... (1)

polecat_redux (779887) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563121)

I think that we should actually blame the company, who is putting labels on their product which overstate the technology.

A couple of years ago, I purchased a Linksys USB 1.1 ethernet adapter, and it really bothered me that it was labeled as being 10/100. It's somewhat misleading since USB 1.1 tops out at 12Mb/s. I find it difficult to believe anything I read on the packaging of most computer products.

jvc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562876)

jvc has 2 new digicamcorders with built in 4gig micro drives. not bad for $1000

http://www.jvc.com/product.jsp?productId=PRD1207 00 0&pathId=119

TRICKERY (0, Flamebait)

pronobozo (794672) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562878)

Imagine a slashdot.. where you could post poor reviews, bogus websites, and fill them up with referraled products and google ads. With the amount of people going through.. you could generate quite a bit of money. :-P is this where slashdots paychecks are coming from?

The Pro version -- Professional Disc -- XDCam (4, Informative)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562891)

Sony is rolling out their Professional Disc line of professional video equipment. The central part of their XDCAM [sony.com.hk] tapeless system is a 'Blu-ray' disc, storing approximately 24 Gigabytes of data. Professional cameras and VTRs supporting XDCAM can use multiple formats, including DVCAM [DV25] and MPEG-IMX.
Sony already had support for XDCam from AVID [sony.com.hk] at the National Association of Broadcasters converntion in Las Vegas in April, one of the big names in Non-Linear (computer-based) video editing systems (NLEs).
Sony plans to make computer drives able to read and write XDCAM discs, allowing Non-Linear Editing without re-capturing.

Links:
XDCam FAQs (pdf) [sony.com]
MPEG-IMX White Paper [v2] (pdf) [sony.com]

POSTER IS A TROLL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562907)

Wouldn't it be great if one of these devices had WiMAX to upload directly to the internet?



Although internet "backbone" pipes practically have more bandwidth than God, the LAST MILE connections DO NOT!

Putting WiFi card in camcorders to upload directly across the internet would be a very, very, very, very, very *BAD* thing. (At least for a while).

Timothy: I suggest you ask Santa for more "Troll Chow" for Christmas. If you run out, they are going to eat you instead!
[Of course, that could be a good thing for the rest of the community].

Re:POSTER IS A TROLL (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563213)

Although internet "backbone" pipes practically have more bandwidth than God

Got has limited bandwidth, ant that is even lower than that of internet backbone pipes? If so, then surely this bandwidth is more than exhausted by all those prayers, effectively contributing to a worldwide DoS attack on God.

Actually that explains a lot :-)

for best quality.... (2, Informative)

ezonme (671218) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562910)

I use a MiniDV camera and record directly to a 30GB firewire harddisk. No need to use tapes, no need to capture. Sure, it costs a lot more, but it's a pro solution able to store two hours and half of video (DV CODEC).

There is one samekind of cam, but cheaper (4, Informative)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562923)

Mustek DV-4000, see it at http://www.mustek.com/html/prod_camra/dv4000/dv400 0.html [mustek.com]

I had one of those, it was really nice, i'd like better light sensitivity, but you can't get everything.

It had quite good image quality, one socket for SD card, battery, in-build recharger etc. Night mode and other juicy features.

It costed around 380-420euros here when i got one, altho i didn't pay that much.
It was really great for the price, and with 512mb sd card you can shoot over 2hours of video. encodes also MPEG4/AAC.

Only thing is: those vids didn't play in BSPlayer, on WMP they played nicely altho, after installing the WMV codecs which came on the CD. Didn't try other players.

Re:There is one samekind of cam, but cheaper (1)

big ben bullet (771673) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562961)

i'm not interested in players

i want adobe premiere to handle them nicely...

recently had some real quirks with a take from my wedding that was done by a friend of mine, he used powerdirector or something like that and delivered a wmv and later on an mpg (mpeg2)

i couldn't import the wmv (only the first 23 seconds of footage were visible) and the mpg doesn't display in the monitor window so that narrows down my options at editing the footage like i want to

playing both 'raw' files resulted in different kinds of experiences with different players (no sound, played to slow, etc...)

i'm pretty stuck right now, and on top of all my XP machine is completely screwed with all sorts of video codecs... we even tried 'a capture' from the dv again on my pc iso his: no image!

maybe it'll work again after a complete reinstall wich i plan to do one of these days

Re:There is one samekind of cam, but cheaper (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562998)

Ever heard of http://www.dvdrhelp.com (or whatever their name is nowadays, changing all the time but all the old ones working too).

There is a lot of help on this kind of situations, and there is always a way to convert an video file :)

WMV is pain in the ass sometimes, just update the codecs of it and should work fine :)

Re:There is one samekind of cam, but cheaper (1)

akgoatley (787022) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563037)

I had the same problem as you a while ago, and spent ages looking for some good video conversion software. I would recommend Virtualdub - it handles loads of formats intelligently and I've never had a problem with it. Head over to virtualdub.org [virtualdub.org] to get it.
-Ashton

Re:There is one samekind of cam, but cheaper (1)

big ben bullet (771673) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563197)

thanks for the advice but i tried virtualdub already and it didn't read either the wmv or the mpg and warned me about some unauthorized codecs

think i'll have to go for that complete reinstall anyway...

Not just WiFi! (0, Redundant)

drewbradford (458480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562938)

Why stop at WiFi for uploading to the net?

Imagine a beowolf cluster of these!

-- Obligatory, and the submitter asked for it

CF instead of SD card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10562947)

http://www.jvc.com/presentations/everio/

I will wait for GZ-MC100 by JVC. CompactFlash can hold a lot more than SD.

ivideopodcasting? (5, Funny)

DrHyde (134602) | more than 9 years ago | (#10562950)

Anyone using such a horrible made-up word should be shot. If you want long compound words, German is --> that way.

Re:ivideopodcasting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563029)

http://www.google.com/search?q=ivideopodcasting

Your search - ivideopodcasting - did not match any documents.
No pages were found containing "ivideopodcasting".

Suggestions:

- Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
- Try different keywords.
- Try more general keywords.
- Stop making up words, wiseass.

Re:ivideopodcasting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563244)

übertragenSchalenartigBefestigtVideo. es speichert von ihrer zunge aus.

Resolution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563021)

Am I reading the specs wrong or isn't it recording in full video resolution* ? 640x480 cannot be that funny.

What's the point of a videocamera that isn't recording normal video? Shure its moving images but I can get that with most digital stillcameras. Maybe it's the SD card that has a bandwidth limit but why market it as a videocamera?

However, this type of recording media is here to stay so we will hopefully see more of this type of cameras further on. but I shure expect them to have both full resolution and iLink/firewire like any other videocamera.

*NTSC 720x486px or 520 square px / PAL 720x576px

Storage medium problems........ (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563038)

I would love to get a solid state camcorder,
but I have some issues with the media it uses.

For one, how would the camcorder handle
read/write errors in the media, especialy
where the file system is kept? Would it suffer from cross-linked clusters (very bad, scince
this would foul up the recording big time), or flat out refuse
to operate? With tape, if part of it is bad,
you might get annoying sound bars on the video and other artifacts, but this is usualy more of a
nusance than anything. Also, in extreme cases,
tape can be cut/respliced so if the tape goes
bad, you can still get most of your video off of
it. Can't say the same with flash cards. Also,
through user error or a hardware problem, the whole card could be wiped out (or rendered
unreadable) in an instant, which is generaly not easy to
do with tapes.

I would use something like this for impropmtu
get togethers, or to be able to whip this baby out of my coat pocket, and capture some event,
accident/whatever (much easier than taking my
VHS-C camcorder out of my bag, waiting for the
damn thing to power up and engage the tape...)
but for more important things, I think i'll stick
with take (keeping the Flash cam in my pocket....
just in case.)

Not something I would buy ... (4, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563044)

Following the link in the review and another one to the actual product description, I've found out the following facts (OK, some have also been somewhat in the review):
  • storage format is MPEG4.

    While MPEG4 may be a nice format to store finished video in, it is not a good idea to use it as a storage format:
    • If you want to cut, you don't want to have any format which contains non-keyframes
    • If you don't want to cut, but burn on DVD, you have to recode, which means some quality loss.
  • Image format 640x480

    DV has a resolution of 720x480 (NTSC) or 720x576 (PAL). I'm not even sure if 640x480 is a standard DVD format (720x480/720x576 is); if not, this means recoding to different pixel size for DVD, which means quality loss independent of the encoding itself
  • No Firewire

    Ok, this point might see some disagreement, but I consider it quite unfortunate that the trend goes away from FW to USB2.

Panasonic SV-AV100 (2, Informative)

anti-pop-frustration (814358) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563214)

Panasonic SV-AV100 [panasonic.jp] does record MPEG2 on SD card.

File size is still a problem though (even a bigger one than with MPEG4) but quality isn't as bad as MPEG4, and MPEG2 is much better than MPEG4 in term of editing and handling (you can actually USE what you record).

But these are still expensive products, I think Id'still go the DV way.

However, if I had the cash, I would have of these with me... the "on the go video" factor is really nice.

Panasonic have had one for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563058)

Is this news because it's through the apple store?

Panasonic have a few models out [panasonic.com] that write to SD card. Also, there's no real advantages of digital media over tape ATM and plenty of negatives.

This is what I bought (1)

Underholdning (758194) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563070)

I bought this camera [steves-digicams.com] specifially for it's video capabilities. It takes so-so pictures, but the video is excellent. It can record directly på MPEG which is a huge advantage. It can hold 30 minutes of high quality MPEG on the memorystick.
Just thought I wanted to show you an alternative. I have no stocks in Sony (wish I did though ;)

Re:This is what I bought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563109)

Very different beast. The Xacti is a real video/still hybrid while the Sony is really a dedicated still camera with video added on.

You can store far more video on a 1Gb card in the Sanyo/Xacti than on the Sony, zoom while filming, etc, however the still quality on the Sony is quite a bit superior.

Tape too slow? No! (3, Funny)

Bazman (4849) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563137)

This guy is impatient. He's got a whole 13 years to edit together the baby videos to make the perfect embarrass-my-teenage-kid movie.

time consuming? (1)

Kurayamino-X (557754) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563139)

i've worked with digital tape camcorders, and all you do is plug it into the computer, tell it where the different shots start and end, then batch record them to the harddrive. it really isn't time consuming as usually you have to review the shots anyway to see which ones you keep.

and yes, the tapes degrade, but if it's recorded as digital you can record over them a stupid amount of times before you start to see any digital artefacts.

the real time consuming part is the editing, which doesn't need the camera at all. the only time i can see the tape being hugely more time consuming then the purely digital is if you were to plug it into a vcr and hit the record button to tape the shots you want in sequence, as with the purely digital camcorder you would fast forward/rewind shots instantly, so you'd save time fast forwarding the tape...

iMovie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563153)

I am a little bummed that there is nothing like iClips that comes with the Mac.

Wouldn't iMovie work ok?

Fisher Cameracorder (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563166)

I bought the Fisher FVD-C1 and I can describe the video quality with one word, Awful! Also the sound quality was the worst I have ever experienced, tons of white noise and a hissing sound any time there was silence in the shot.

This camera comes nowhere near what Fisher describes as "DVD Quality". This camera is good for recreation and nothing more.

One thing I'll give Fisher is the build quality, very nice.

Resolution (2, Interesting)

Psychic Burrito (611532) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563217)

My big question ist this: With a 4 Megapixel chip, why do all of these camcorders still output standard PAL/NTSC/VGA quality and do not use the available resolution to its fullest?

Yes there are two HDTV-MiniDV cameras out now (JVC and Sony), but the JVC has a bad contrast range while the Sony has no real 24p recording (or even 25p would fill the bill).

When will somebody finally release a HDTV 1920x1080 camera with 24p below $3000? Or is there a way to fool these tapeless camcorder thingies in recording in a higher resolution?

This is new? (1)

PigBoyOhBoy (749359) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563222)

Picked up one of these [panasonic.com] little babies on eBay the other day for around $350. DVD quality MPEG2, SD media. Record time is a little short, but the camera is literally the size of a credit card (ok.. a thick credit card). These have been around for at least a year now...

Um... your wife? (3, Informative)

evilandi (2800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563229)

small, tapeless, easy to use digital camcorder

Er... here in Europe we call that "my phone" [nokia.com] .

Seriously, though... you guys don't have digital flash-memory video cameras on your cellphones? WTF? Digital still cameras have been standard on cellphones for the last two years, video and flash memory last year. I don't want to start a "diss the yanks" thread, I realise there are plenty of things y'all do better, but... you chaps need to have some serious words with your cellular providers, you're not getting good handset upgrades.

My phone has digital video camera and an MMC card offering up to 1GB of storage. The phone came free with 100 minutes of calls on a monthly £25 (US$50) contract, albeit only with a 32mb MMC card, then I purchased a larger MMC seperately for thirty quid. My missus got one too, free with contract again, here's footage she shot of squirrels in the churchyard [livejournal.com] .

I didn't even need to change contracts. I just rang them up and said I'd quit my contract after a year unless they upgraded my handset to a video model. It was delivered next day.

Direct upload (2, Funny)

daBass (56811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563233)

"Wouldn't it be great if one of these devices had WiMAX to upload directly to the internet?"

No, it would not. Why would you want to make anyone sit through your hours of uneditted footage?

If only owners of video cameras (and those uploading _all_ their digital photos to an online gallery) learned to edit what they capture before submitting it to their friends the world would be a lot less violent place...

Panasonic (1)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 9 years ago | (#10563237)

I recommend the Panasonic SV-AV100. Tapeless, 512M SD Card, 20min per tape (on good quality, there is a 10min/tape setting, but I find it's overkill). Very small, great battery life, nice unit all around (and Pansonic is the one brand, with which I've never had *any* disappointment; definitely an underrated brand).

A tastless cam in your pocket? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563333)

Ow, it's still morning. I need my coffee.

tabco (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10563352)

rivalry, and we'll for successful Join GNNA (GAY Cans can become '*BSD Sux0rs'. This Vitality. Like an
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