Random thoughts of a Brit living in the Imperial Valley of California

I Got a New Camera

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I’m not money like db, but I did buy a new video camera last week – the Aiptek Action HD GVS 1080P High Definition Camcorder.

I love my Flip but ever since they brought out their HD version I’ve felt, well, a little resolution envy. At CES Sony brought out the Webbie that looks great and takes really good HD footage (for the price) but just as I was about to pull the trigger on it, I read about this camera and it has something that none of the others have: an external mic input.

I’ve posted a Flip video from the cockpit before and you may recall that it suffered from (at least) two problems: you can clearly see the prop spinning in the video, and all you can hear is engine drone (and me if I shout). This new camera should give me high definition pictures AND allow me to plug the radios into the camera thereby letting you hear all the air traffic control goodness. Look for a test of that in the next couple of weeks.

The camera retails for $249 so it’s a bit more expensive than the Flip HD. It’s not much bigger but it has a lot more buttons so it’s not quite as ‘shoot from the hip’ though, once you have set the resolution you want, it is really just a case of turning it on and hitting the record button. Videos are H.264 .mov and slide right on into iMovie etc without the need for encoding. My Mac Mini wouldn’t recognise the camera being plugged into it (my Mini has a lot of issues when it comes to cameras and video) so I took the SD card out of the camera, put it in the reader and copied the files to my hard drive. I’m guessing that my Macbook Pro will have no problems.

There are three resolutions to choose from: full 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 60fps, and WVGA (DVD) at 60fps. The latter two modes have image stabilisation by default. There’s a whole bunch of other settings for white balance, shutter speed and so on but I don’t understand those things and don’t care to. For me it’s just a “cheap” and cheerful video taker.

I haven’t played with it much yet but I did shoot a couple of videos to see how the resolutions come out. Unfortunately Viddler doesn’t support HD video so I am probably going to have to put them elsewhere. When I’ve found a good solution I will post them.

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January 18th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

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