Category Archives: Video

Dartmoor video

I’ve put together another video slide show to the music of Harold Budd. This time it’s my walk across Dartmoor in April last year. It’s about six minutes long so get a cup of tea or coffee, sit back and relax.

Barking up the wrong tree?

Sorry to bang on about video, but this is exercising me at the moment. Maybe the answer is not a Flip or a Vado or an Aiptek, perhaps it’s a Sony. The new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T500 Digital Camera may be the answer. It’s a proper camera but it also shoots HD video. It has a Carl Zeiss lens. Quite frankly, I’ve been underwhelmed by the quality (or lack of) on most of the video clips I’ve seen. I also feel that carrying two cameras (one still, one video) is not exactly part of the lightweight ethos and may over-complicate life. It weighs 180g, which is not bad. It also has stereo sound. I’ll have a look after Christmas to see whether any bargains are on offer. £220 seems to be the cheapest at the moment. That seems better value than either the Flip Mino HD or Vado HD.

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The waiting game

The Vado HD pocket video camera has finally hit the UK streets at £195. For comparison the Flip Mino HD retails at £199. The lower definition cameras are the Mino at c. £120 and the Vado at £62. It’s interesting that the Vado seems to have dropped in price a fair bit recently. At this pace of development, the HD cameras will have fallen in price substantially by the middle of next year. At around £60, we’re starting to talk sensible money. At around £200, that’s way too much for an occasional user. However, the HD cameras look as thought they produce much better video quality. I could use my stills camera but I would prefer to have a separate lightweight dedicated camera that shoots HD (my camera does 640 x 480 max). It seems to me that it is worth waiting for the price of these HD cameras to fall further before taking the plunge.

Video poll

To say that my post and poll on adding video to my blog stirred up a controversy would be over egging the pudding. However, some forthright views have been expressed here and on Andy Howell’s blog as to the desirability of video content. I didn’t need the electoral reform society for the poll: 9 in favour, 4 against. I fully sympathise with the view that a lot of what is on YouTube is rubbish.

I’m grateful to Martin Rye for pointing me to Andy Skurka’s website as an example of how to integrate video clips int trip reports. I like the way he’s combined still photography with short videos. I think both are interesting and are not mutually exclusive. As a rule there’s not much commentary. It seems to me that it is a potential template to develop. There’s not a huge amount of editing to do.

I also doubt that anyone wants to watch more than 10 minutes of amateur footage at a maximum. Clips of 1-2 minutes are more than adequate. Filming short snippets shouldn’t impinge on other photography, nor should it dominate the walk, another fear expressed.

Over the next few months I’ll investigate the hardware aspect a bit more. In addition to the offerings from Flip and Creative, I had a look at the smaller hand held Sanyo camcorders. The ideal would be a camcorder that took stills which are as good as a camera, but I suspect that is asking to much.

If I carry a camera and a camcorder, I wouldn’t want the camcorder to weight more than around 100g. At the moment, the Creative Vado HD looks the best candidate. I shall wait until after Christmas to see if any bargains are on offer.