Thursday, June 3, 2010
Welcome to Compact Video
It all started with the Flip. Oh sure, there were personal video cameras before then, but the Flip was a game-changer. A small, simple video camera, as tiny as a cell phone that could go anywhere. No crazy menu system, no tapes, no cables, just turn it on and push the record button. Simplicity itself and, in my opinion, a stroke of genius.
Now almost everyone is in the “compact personal video camera” market, from major manufacturers to importers you’ve never heard of. All trying to capture the magic of the Flip - with their own personal twists. Most of these cameras fit in the $100-300 price range which makes them affordable for virtually everyone. There are standard and high definition versions. Many come with built-in editing and organization software which helps you manage video. And all attach to your computer with a simple USB connection. What could be easier? Unfortunately, that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Some remain very basic while others add nifty features and, of course, every compact cam has its quirks.
More important than price and features, these new cameras are plain fun to use! Unlike camcorders of the past, you can hand one of these to the kids or even your grandmother, tell them to aim it and push the record button. Now anyone can capture video. When you get it home, the video is instantly available – no need for capturing or fancy video editors. In most cases, you can find a clip you like and post it to YouTube in a few clicks. The ability to quickly and easily share your video memories makes it fun for everyone (and you’ll probably use it more too).
This blog is dedicated to the wonderful world of compact video. In these posts, I’ll review compact cams and software, play with some modifications and explore how to squeeze the best possible video from this new product segment. I’ll praise the winners and flame the losers. I’ll also point you to people doing crazy/amazing things with their little cameras. But most of all, I hope to inspire you to grab one of these compact wonders and make some video. Not just any crappy video (there’s plenty of that out there already), but something you’ll be proud to show the world.
I’d love for you to follow me on the journey.
(special thanks to shareski on flickr for the pix)