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This week in the news: Rode announced the new VideoMic Go, a battery-free shotgun microphone for cameras; the Looxcie 3 wearable camera was unveiled; Sound Devices released the compact and powerful 633 field mixer/recorder; the Windows Phone platform received an official Instagram app; and ExpoImaging announced the ExpoDisc 2.0.
When you're shooting video using just the built-in microphone on the camera to capture sound, it's likely that the audio of your video won't sound very good. One option that can help in certain situations, is to use a small on-camera microphone. This week, Rode introduced a new microphone called the VideoMic Go, which is appealing for this purpose because it runs without batteries. Not only don't you have to worry about a battery dying in the middle of a shoot, you also don't have to worry about turning the mic on and off. The VideoMic Go comes with an integrated Rycote shock mount that attaches to the shoe of your camera, and a short, coiled mini-plug cable.
There's a decent amount of interest these days in small cameras that can help you document and share your life. The new Looxcie 3, which was announced this week, is designed to be mounted to your clothing, hat, bike handlebars, scuba gear, tripod, etc., with a few separately-available mounts and cases. Think of the Looxcie 3 as a hybrid of a wearable live-streaming camera, and an extreme sports action camera. It can capture video and still images, and stream footage live to Facebook and mobile devices. It features built-in Wi-Fi, a Micro SD card slot, and a built-in rechargeable battery. It comes in black, and you can buy several colored covers to change the look of the device.
Sound Devices is one of the most respected names in broadcast audio equipment, and for a very long time, their 302 Field Mixer has been one of their most beloved products. The Wisconsin-based manufacturer had updated nearly every other product in their lineup over the years, and you couldn't help but wonder what they had in mind for the 302. The new 633 Field Mixer/Recorder was unveiled this week, and while it isn't a replacement for the venerable 302, it shares a similar look, footprint, and role in the production world.
Physically, the new 633 is only a little larger than the 302, but it's much more powerful. It features six inputs (three XLR's and three TA3 mini-XLR's), an integrated 10-track recorder, and a time code generator that writes to both SD cards and CompactFlash. You can record all six inputs as individual tracks, in addition to recording its two dual-channel output buses. It's built like an Arctic tank, features four auto-switching power sources, a large easy-to-read display, and a truckload of features.
This was a good week for the Windows Phone mobile platform. Not only did Microsoft's mobile OS get a new Google Search app and the popular Waze crowd-sourcing navigation app, but it also got an official Instagram app (everyone's favorite photo-sharing social network). The new Instagram app for Windows Phone doesn't have a video-shooting capability, and it also lacks the Instagram camera interface when you shoot. (Instead, you get the native Windows Phone camera interface.) But regardless, this is really welcome news to people who own these devices.
ExpoImaging announced a new, specialized white-balancing filter this week called the ExpoDisc 2.0. Instead of using a card to set a custom white balance on your camera, you pop the ExpoDisc on the front of your lens, and it uses the incident light of your environment for white balancing. In addition to fast, easy and accurate white balancing, the ExpoDisc 2.0 also helps you meter for exposure and dust map your sensor. It includes warming filter gels, and an the design has been improved over the original.
And that's your news for November 22, 2013. Be sure to follow all the consumer electronic news on B&H Pulse.