I have to admit to occasionally doing something that’s perhaps a little dorky. If I’m listening to particularly moody music, I’ll sometimes close one eye, then simulate a tracking shot or a crane shot from a movie, by slowly moving my head past the items on my desk. Yeah, I look pretty dumb doing it, but the continuous change in perspective created by such a simple move really has a way of making even the most mundane scenes look ... poetic? Profound? Good videographers realize how powerful such shots can be, which is why some of them put their DSLRs or prosumer-level camcorders on camera sliding mechanisms like the Glidetrack
. Now, users of smartphone cameras and pocket camcorders can get in on the smooth-tracking action, with Glidetrack’s compact new mobislyder.
As smartphones with built-in HD video cameras become increasingly commonplace, the stand-alone pocket camcorder looks like it could
be on its way to obsolescence. That’s certainly what Cisco Systems seemed to think, at least, when it recently stopped production
of the market-leading Flip camcorder. One company that apparently doesn’t share this viewpoint, however, is Philips – today, the electronics manufacturer announced its new ESee pocket video camera. While there’s certainly some overlap with many camera phones, the camcorder sports several features that might keep it from ending up in the bargain bin anytime soon.
If you've been holding off on getting a GoPro HD HERO
actioncam ... well, you were right to wait. Today, the California-based company announced the release of its HD HERO2 camera, which is claimed to be "2X as Powerful in Every Way." More specifically, it has an 11-megapixel image sensor (as opposed to the regular camera's 5 mp), along with a new processor that is said to be twice as fast, and a redesigned lens that GoPro claims is both twice as sharp and
capable of a complete 170-degree field of view even in widescreen 1080p mode. There's also good news for consumers who think the existing HD HERO is all the camera they need.
Sony has taken the wraps off the NEX-VG20, a consumer HD interchangeable lens camcorder that follows the world's first consumer-oriented HD camcorder with an interchangeable lens system, the NEX-VG10
. The upcoming NEX-VG20 features the same E-mount system that offers users the choice of seven different E-mount lenses. Sony claims the VG20 offers a number of improvements over the previous model, including comprehensive manual controls, improved imaging quality, upgraded sound and ergonomic refinements such as enhanced grips and a second record button.
Despite the killing off of the FLIP
there's still some movement left in the Pocket HD camcorder market. Samsung's latest release is a shock, water and dust-proof rugged unit capable of recording full high definition video and snap 5.5 megapixel stills. The bright lens and LCD screen are coated to help keep videos blur-free and the sensitivity is twice that of previous models thanks to the inclusion of backside-illumination technology.
We've seen optical add-ons for the iPhone
before, but the OWLE Bubo takes a slightly more holistic approach to giving the smartphone's video capture capabilities a boost. The Bubo is a hand-held video rig carved out of a block of billet aluminum that provides handgrips for increased stability, multiple tripod mounting points, a sensitive microphone and a wide angle glass lens.
It’s humbling, and in fact almost a little scary, when you realize just how far the video quality of mobile phones and pocket camcorders has progressed over the past few years. While features such as their resolution are truly something to behold, they do however have one distinct disadvantage when compared to their larger, heavier predecessors – they shake like crazy. It’s a shortcoming that’s addressed by the Steadicam Smoothee.
A new 3D high definition consumer camcorder is about to be released by JVC, which combines a couple of proprietary lenses, a pair of CMOS sensors and a newly developed imaging engine to simultaneously record both left and right 1920 x 1080i resolution images. The GS-TD1 benefits from 5x optical zoom while recording in 3D mode, optical image stabilization, onboard solid state storage and a glasses-free 3D touch panel display.
Sony has announced three new models in its Bloggie HD pocket-camcorder range. Backing up from the launch of Bloggie Touch
last year, the company has boosted its compact platform for 2011 with the addition of 3D technology and dual screen capabilities.
Will letting consumers make their own 3D
movies be enough to establish 3D TV in the mainstream? Sony
is hoping so with the release of its newest Handycam models. Amongst a slew of new additions to its Handycam line of camcorders unveiled by Sony at CES 2011 were a couple of notable standouts. The HDR-TD10 3D camcorder features “Double full HD” recording, plus a 3D LCD touch panel display that lets you view your 3D movies in camera without 3D glasses. On the 2D side, Sony offers three Handycams with video projectors capable of producing a 60-inch (152 cm) diagonal image.