Editors' note (April 26, 2011): Since this post, Cisco has announced it will continue to support Flip devices within the terms of the company's one-year warranty. Technical support for both the video cameras and the FlipShare software and sharing services will be available until December 31, 2013. Sharing services will also end on this date. As long as they're still available on the market, you may want to consider buying one and if not, here are some alternatives.
What do you do when you buy a cool new gadget, and the company that makes it suddenly and without warning announces it's canceling it, even though that device is the hottest one in its category?
That's what millions of Flip camcorder customers are asking themselves this week. Despite being ranked as the No. 1 mini camcorder on Amazon, Cisco Systems shocked loyal Flip fans this week when it announced it was killing the product line. Cisco bought Pure Digital, the maker of the popular Flip mini video camera a couple of years ago, as part of its … Read more
First, congrats to Kyle of Astoria, N.Y., for winning last week's Seagate Slim drive. Now onto this week, which has an extreme theme.
For those who are into shooting action sports--or just like the idea of a wearable camcorder--we're serving up the ContourGPS, a tube-style HD video camera that's helmet-mountable. When we reviewed an earlier version of it a couple of years ago, we liked its design and thought it offered great performance for a helmet cam (other mounts are also offered) but was a little lacking in the features department.
Well, since then Contour has … Read more
In advance of next week's NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show, Canon announced the intent to ship a summer firmware update for its XF300 and XF305 pro camcorders, thus bringing them into parity with the cheaper XF100 series.
The update will deliver the same 3D Shooting Assist features: the ability to use the image stabilizer to shift the optics for alignment across camcorders and a Focal Length Guide for calibrated zooming. It also adds up/down/left/right image inversion to the Scan Reverse function. Even if you don't shoot 3D there's reason to update: the firmware … Read more
Last year Panasonic started up a mini-camcorder line with one device, the HM-TA1. It wasn't very good, but Panasonic decided to press on, announcing three dual-camera pistol-grip models (HX-WA10, HX-DC10 and HX-DC1) and HM-TA20 and HM-TA2 candy-bar-style models.
For the HX-series models, they look like the continuation of Sanyo's dual-camera Xacti line (Panasonic announced total acquisition of Sanyo in December 2010). The WA10 is the highest-end dual-camera model (they have separate video and photo capture buttons) and features waterproofing good down to 10 feet for up to an hour; a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor; 16-megapixel photo capture and full … Read more
Apple's release of iMovie for iOS was greatly welcomed and it has been a popular download for numerous iPad users; however, people have noticed that the program does have some limitations, one of them being movies not working if they were directly imported from camcorders and other video devices.
Recently Apple posted a short but to-the-point knowledge base article that acknowledges this limitation:iMovie for iOS is designed to work with video recorded with iPad 2, iPhone 4, and iPod touch (4th generation). To ensure optimal performance, the app filters out certain non-Apple video clips from the Video browser. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--In 2011, Panasonic is expanding the number of models in its entry-level and mainstream HD camcorder lines; sadly, most of them follow the regrettable trend of using sub-HD resolution sensors, leaving only the top-end of the midrange HDC-TM90 and SD90 as the models likely to produce decent video.
Here's a summary of the lineup, with last year's SD60/TM55 for comparison:
HDC-SD60/TM55 HDC-TM40/SD40 HDC-TM80/SD80 HDC-HS80 HDC-TM90/SD90 Sensor (effective resolution) 3-megapixel CMOS 1.… Read more
I was really hoping to start this show wrap-up with a look at the good and/or interesting things to come out of CES 2011. But as I was assembling my thoughts to work on it, I was assaulted anew by the continuation of a consumer-hostile trend which initially started--or at least which I first noticed--with the Canon HF R series launched last year. The trend: marketing camcorders that have an effective sensor resolution of less than 2.07 megapixels (1,920 x 1,080) as "Full HD" models. This is the equivalent of marketing your 3G network as 4G. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--It was a bit unfortunate for JVC that its "world's first consumer camcorder to offer 3D recording in Full HD" came the day after Sony's announcement of its consumer full HD 3D camcorder, the HDR-TD10; it's even similarly named to JVC's offering, the Everio GS-TD1.
Like Sony's offering, the JVC model has two of everything that counts: a pair of 3-megapixel BSI CMOS sensors and two f1.2 lenses (5x zoom in 3D, 10x in 2D). It only has a single processing engine--unattractively dubbed "Falconbrid"--but that's just marketing. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--In one of the more interesting camcorder announcements at the show, Sony rolled out a line of prosumer AVCHD camcorder models with projectors built into the body. Coupled with an enhanced speaker system, the new Handycam HDR-PJ series sounds like it might offer some appealing capabilities for users who want a better way to share their videos without huddling around a smallish LCD. The projector can throw an image up to 60 inches.
With prices ranging from $700 to $1,000, they do seem a bit expensive for the potential audience, but that's unsurprising for a new technology. … Read more