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Can A Consumer Video Camera Shoot Video in HD?
Can A Consumer Video Camera Shoot Video in HD?
When you are familiar with the bells and whistles that professional grade cameras provide, it is hard to imagine that a consumer camera like the Sony Bloggie or Flip Camera (see pic below) can actually provide quality pictures in High Definition or HD.
But they do, and they do it very well. The dictionary definition for HD is High-definition video or HD video which refers to any video system that provides higher resolution than standard-definition (SD) video, and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1,280×720 pixels (720p) or 1,920×1,080 pixels (1080i/1080p). While this technical jargon may be important to videographers and other hardcore techies like myself, what it means to the consumer is high quality video and great video at a relatively inexpensive price.
I was surprised when a friend suggested I purchase one for my business needs since I was much more accustomed to Panasonic’s heftier professional models as a matter of fact, it took a lot of convincing and arm twisting. But I agreed to shell out the $200 for a Sony Bloggie thinking I could use the camera for filming at the beach, the next family outing or any mini video project . Much to my chagrin I let the camera sit on the shelf and forgot about it, until one beautiful summer day I took the camera with me and had the opportunity to stumble across some ducks that were taking a stroll. I decided to film the ducks for a few minutes, brought the video back, downloaded to my Mac and edited the whole three minute video with Apple’s Imovie software.
What I didn't realize at the time were all the features this hand-held camera provided. It's easy to use and films in 1080/30fps, it has a removable memory card with either the option of a Sony memory stick or a SD memory card and a removable battery. These features allow you to carry an extra battery so that you don't have to stop in the middle of what you are doing to recharge the battery or so you can easily pop in another memory card in order to continue filming. The camera's microphone is great, although it is a mono mic. The video camera comes with built-in software so that you can install on your computer or laptop; but, I prefer Apple's Imovie as a basic video editor. However, for a windows platform you might try the Windows Movie Editor that comes on the Vista operating system or Adobe Premiere elements for more sophisticated editing.
When I viewed the video on my Mac I was taken aback by the clarity of the picture, the ease of the camera’s video download capability and the quality of the video that used to be available only on high end professional video cameras! I marveled that it wasn’t a bad performance for a camera no bigger than the size of your hand. That’s when I became a believer that the developers at these video camera companies knew exactly what they were doing and how they were making top quality HD video available to the average consumer and not just video professionals.
So you can benefit by my experience; however, I would advise you to check out some review sites by googling the name of the video camera you are interested in purchasing so that you can get exact specifications as well as additional reviews by satisfied customers. But unlike me, don't let the video camera sit on your shelf!
Three Ducks Take A Stroll
I have included the video referred to for demonstration
purposes only. Any shaking that occurred was caused by my unsteady
hand and the movement caused by trying to follow the ducks. The camera
has a 5X zoom feature-- which I might add until that day, I had not even
attempted to use which contributes to the occasional lack of focus. The
clarity of the HD picture did not pixelate even when expanded on the
full 27" screen of my MAC.
Motion Test Video
This video demonstrates the motion capabilities of the HD camera ( Sony Bloggie MHS-CM5) that I used.
There is video below that covers all the features that the Sony bloggie CM5 has. I might add that Sony has now released their latest HD camera model, the Sony bloggie PM5 which has a body style more like a Flip camera rather than the pistol grip of the Sony bloggie CM5.
- Latest Flip Camera Models
This is the official company site that displays information about the latest cameras, styles and specifications.
CNET Reviews for the Flip Camera
- Flip UltraHD Review (black) - Digital Camcorders - CNET Reviews
Editor's Rating: 4.0/5; User Rating: 2.5/5 from 45 users; The Flip Video UltraHD may not be the sexiest mini camcorder out there, but it offers a respectable feature set and some of the best video we've seen from
Sony Bloggie Camera
- Sony Bloggie
Additional site for the Sony Bloggie pocket HD camcorder which covers in-depth information on specifications and other camera features.
Cnet Reviews For Sony Bloggie
- Sony Bloggie MHS-CM5 Review (purple) - Digital Camcorders - CNET Reviews
Editor's Rating: 3.5/5; User Rating: 4.0/5 from 2 users; The Bloggie CM5 isn't as compact as competing models from Flip Video and Kodak, but it delivers an above-average feature set and video for the money.