Biking a tough trail can be exhilarating—the wind rushing through your hair (through your helmet vents, of course) as you swerve to avoid obstacles, bombing down hills at speeds that you’ll brag about for months. Thanks to a new line of rugged sportscams and helmet cameras, you can have high-quality HD video to relive every jump and swerve in high definition. Or you can post the videos online so that your friends can live vicariously through your extreme sports exploits.
In this era of powered appliances and gadgets, it seems like everything needs to be charged. Phones, cameras, camcorders, notebook computers, portable players, GPS receivers, flashlights—you name it, and it needs to be charged. Charging these gadgets is not much of a problem when you can plug in, but what do you do when you’re off the grid?
HDSLRs shoot great video, but as video cameras, their body shape is not optimal for shooting smooth, steady footage. When shooting video, you often want to press your eye to the viewfinder to see that your shot is in focus and to have better control over the camera's movement, but with HDSLRs, smooshing your face up to the tiny viewfinder can be uncomfortable and can make getting smooth, fluid video difficult.
Fifteen years ago, Avid was the only serious NLE option running for film and video editors. NLEs today are less expensive and more powerful than they've ever been—there are currently several affordable professional editing suites on the market. By releasing the brand-new Media Composer 5 Production Suite, Avid is hoping to blast around the inside turn and take its place at the head of the pack, for NLE projects of all sizes and budgets.
Want to remain hands-free while you record video footage? A few weeks ago I wrote about camcorders that you can wear. One was a helmet cam, another was a pen that records video and the third was a pair of sunglasses that capture video. Those posts generated quite a bit of reader interest in other forms of wearable camcorders, so I decided to write about some more of these increasingly popular items.
Here’s a diptych of two faces. It's called “Angry Man/Neutral Woman,” and was created and copyrighted by Aude Oliva of M.I.T and Philippe G. Schyns of the University of Glasgow, in 1997. It is used here with permission.
If you're reading this, you probably own a camera or two, and maybe even a camcorder. You probably take them everywhere. And if they’re worth anything, you’re probably worried about damage from shocks and impacts. Here are two gadgets that will expand the creative possibilities of your gear and also protect it from the forces of gravity.
I’ve always been a fan of the TV programThe Twilight Zone. In the mid ‘80s, when I was furiously taping every movie I liked even just a little bit, The Twilight Zone was broadcast two and sometimes three times a night, so I taped those episodes, too. Did you know that there were 156 episodes of that program? And did you know that one season consisted of hour-long episodes? Most people don’t know that, but I do, because I taped almost every one of them—I’m missing maybe four episodes. Unfortunately, those old tapes are pretty much unwatchable today.
Cameraman Wendelin Sachtler developed a tripod with a gyroscopic head, in a garage in Munich, in the late 1950s. Sachtler’s creativity, combined with a good business sense, helped create a brand name that has been highly respected by industry professionals for more than 50 years. In fact, it's the 50 years of customer feedback that has enabled Sachtler to fine-tune its products to the point of near-perfection.
It was a couple of hours into a day-long shoot. It was hot out, and to say that we were sweating would be putting it lightly. Being a pretty barebones shoot, we were passing the video camera around quite a bit. Many a sweaty eyeball was pressed up against that poor viewfinder. As I strained to look through the slippery sweat-covered eyecup, it occurred to me that this might not be all that sanitary.
It’s difficult to hold a camcorder while, say, climbing up a sheer face in Yosemite. But there are many camcorders on the market that allow hands-free operation. The LOREXvue Video Sunglasses will capture video while freeing your hands up for other duty. You put them on, turn them on and shoot video, all while doing whatever else you like. Whatever you see, the camera sees and captures.
It is amazing to watch the evolution of surveillance gadgets that modern technology brings us. Hidden cameras are now tucked away inconspicuously in smoke detectors, motion detectors, stuffed animals, clocks, and countless other innocuous products.
Today, it’s easy for manufacturers to squeeze a great deal of functionality into a tiny package. Integrated circuits have millions of transistors packed onto tiny chips, wristwatches offer a thousand functions, and cell phones can access the Internet and capture still and video images. Of course, those tiny integrated circuits enable the manufacture of most of these devices in the first place.
Ever since nanny-cams grabbed the spotlight, video surveillance has hardly been the monopoly of law enforcement. Cameras masquerading as common household objects can be bought by anyone. This raises the question: sure it's a hidden camera, but is the outward product functional? Can the clock with a clandestine camera tell time? As a value-oriented consumer, I want the cover story to be genuine, not a prop. It turns out the answer depends on the product.
Sanyo’s Xacti-branded pistol-grip Dual Cameras are ideal for capturing the memorable events in your life. Whether it’s your family vacation, friends gathering at the skateboard park, or a child’s birthday party, the Xacti cameras are typically up to the task at hand. The pistol-grip cameras in particular are easy to grasp and small enough to carry in your pocket. Unfortunately if your idea of fun involves being in or close to water, either liquid or frozen, these cameras could easily get damaged. But that changes with the introduction of the Xacti DMX-CA100, available the end of June.
You've probably seen those adventure reality shows where people like Bear Grylls, Les Stroud, and other daredevils find themselves in one perilous situation after another. Sometimes you wonder how they will make it to safety. But even more often you wonder how they were able to capture such footage in the first place. Sometimes the footage is captured by an equally nutty cameraman, but quite often the footage is captured using something like Drift Innovation's X170 Action Camera.
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