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Media (Apple) Input Devices

How the iPod Nano's Video Abilities Stack Up 216

Posted by timothy
from the now-equipped-for-one-night-stands dept.
andylim writes "Recombu.com has pitted the iPod Nano's video capabilities against an iPhone 3GS, a Nokia 5530 XpressMusic and Flip Mino HD. This simple test shows how the camera deals with motion, colour and audio. The iPod Nano's camera seems to offer a basic yet decent video experience and some might say delivers a higher picture quality than the iPhone 3GS's camera. What's interesting is how well it deals with close-ups."
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How the iPod Nano's Video Abilities Stack Up

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14, 2009 @07:08PM (#29420893)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_QuickTake

  • by Ormy (1430821) on Monday September 14, 2009 @07:14PM (#29420947)
    When it comes to taking video the limiting factor on video quality/resolution in a handheld device is almost always the processing power needed to encode said video in realtime, not the optics, which is why most phones with 5+MP cameras can save pictures at the full resolution of the CCD but videos are often limited to 640x480 at 25fps because that is all the processor can handle. For example my netbook with 1.3MP webcam takes far better quality videos than my sony ericsson phone with 5MP camera simply because it has the power to encode the video at a higher resolution in realtime. Of course if you have the storage space available to store the video uncompressed then its less of a problem but again we're talking a handheld device where storage space is by no means plentiful. And simply stuffing in a faster processor won't help because the power requirements mean a larger battery which means a larger device, and the whole point in these things is compact size.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14, 2009 @07:20PM (#29420995)

    Actual comparable sequences would be nice. For example, the iPod Nano appears to be more strongly affected by rolling shutter than the other cams, but it's hard to tell because the motion is different between the devices. (Rolling shutter is when the pixels are not all read at the same time but one row at a time, without a fast shutter stopping light from changing the picture on pixels which haven't been read yet while other pixels are already fixed by the read-out. This causes a wobbling effect for up-down motions and skew in horizontally moving objects. More detailed explanation on Wikipedia. [wikipedia.org])

  • My impressions (Score:5, Informative)

    by dbet (1607261) on Monday September 14, 2009 @07:32PM (#29421083)
    I picked up a nano a couple days ago to replace an older one. The camera is kind of nice but I'm not sure it will get much use. The picture is very nice looking, colors seem okay both indoors and out, and motion is handled well. The "biggest" plus however is the size. The nano is so small I feel like I'm holding a credit card. I'm still in the market for a good case because the current ones out are pretty poor. A case should make it a bit less delicate.

    There is a tendency to cover the lens with your finger because the ipod itself is so small, but you eventually get used to holding it a different way. The microphone and speaker are also somewhat poor but they told you it would be.

    Overall it's very nice for its price, and the live-pause radio is a nice touch. The screen is also nearly the size of the one on the classic (same width, about 80% as tall) in case you want to watch podcasts or something. I've put some TV shows on mine, they play and look good. I wouldn't buy this however if I were looking for a camcorder primarily.
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Monday September 14, 2009 @07:38PM (#29421133)

    iTunes will play ogg and flac if you install a quicktime component for it. Just don't expect those files to work on the iPod. If there is enough consumer demand for ogg on the iPod (read: it will increase sales), they will add it.

    iTunes does no file conversion before copying audio files to the iPod if it is in a format the iPod can play - AAC and mp3.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14, 2009 @07:58PM (#29421265)

    I'll probably upload it a few places this evening. I'm completely serious. I don't know if /. will be cool with me posting links to porn sites, though, so I may just place it a few places and post some sort of keyword folks can search for to this thread.

  • by dangitman (862676) on Monday September 14, 2009 @07:59PM (#29421269)

    When it comes to taking video the limiting factor on video quality/resolution in a handheld device is almost always the processing power needed to encode said video in realtime, not the optics,

    Nonsense. The encoding part is becoming trivial with modern processors. But a tiny sensor and pinhole-sized lens will always be problematic. There's a reason that pro video cameras have big lenses and sensors. How do you do selective focus with a pinhole lens that puts everything sort-of-in-focus? You can't. How do you get low light performance with a lens that doesn't admit much light? You boost the gain electronically, ruining the picture quality.

  • by WillyDavidK (977353) on Monday September 14, 2009 @08:14PM (#29421351)
    The camera is almost always contained in its own module, meaning it can be removed for people in your situation. The only problem is the nano is not very easy to get into. The iPhone, however is a synch to open, so you could still use one and just pop the camera out.
  • by TheGreenNuke (1612943) on Monday September 14, 2009 @08:24PM (#29421421)
    Not true. It's been tried. Still not allowed. The rationale is if I can take it out, I can just as easily put one back in. It's been beaten like a dead horse where I work (Defense Contractor). They trust us with a security clearance but not enough to think we won't put a camera back in after it's been removed.
  • wow (Score:4, Informative)

    by TRRosen (720617) on Monday September 14, 2009 @08:24PM (#29421427)

    I'm really surprised how poorly the HD did. Motion was poor and close ups were horrible. You do see quite a difference in calmer shots however the HD really looks much better then. Looking at the price I can't see any reason to buy the regular mino however the HD is still better if your not doing action or close ups. wont replace a $400 sony but for something you can keep in your pocket 24/7 and you wont cry if you destroy/lose it does actually rock.

    many people have said that the mino would be better because it has a bigger lens but if you look closly at one most of that big round lens is superficial with the real lens being the same size as the iPods.

  • by TheGreenNuke (1612943) on Monday September 14, 2009 @08:58PM (#29421623)
    Missed the point again. This time I'll change my words. If the camera can be removed it means the camera can be reinserted, and thus not allowed on site. Unless they change the casing to have no cutout for a camera, I can't have it on site, no matter if I remove the camera, Apple removes the camera, or the director of security at the site removes the camera. If it has a slot to plug in a camera, and a cutout for the lens, it's a no go.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14, 2009 @09:13PM (#29421699)

    Planty of professional work gets done on entry level DSLRs, which are also what a lot of hobbyists and students use, people with too much money tend to go for more.

  • by TheGreenNuke (1612943) on Monday September 14, 2009 @09:42PM (#29421877)
    Yes and no. Depends on what you mean. Mini USB ports allowed, cable or anything that plugs into a USB/Firewire port on a computer, No. So I can bring in a cell phone that charges through the Mini USB jack, but no accessories that plug into it and no cables to connect it to a computer. Anything with a standard male USB/Firewire is a no, CD's are a no. Basically nothing that can attach to the computers or network. And before someone mentions it, there is no wireless. Yes we do get checked everyday, by guards carrying assault rifles and handguns. You get caught with a camera/USB storage/cd/any other mode of connecting to the computers/network, the result is likely immediate firing, and most likely legal action resulting in serious jail time.
  • by Me! Me! 42 (1153289) on Monday September 14, 2009 @10:03PM (#29422019)
    Stop with the recreational drug use!
    You can't get even "entry level" DSLR quality from a phone sized package. Big glass and a large sensor are the barrier to entry and a quarter inch phone body will never have it!
    Mid level point and shoot? Almost, but not quite.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 14, 2009 @11:18PM (#29422435)

    Go to Empornium, search for "e505"

    You're all welcome.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Monday September 14, 2009 @11:58PM (#29422621)
    The main problem with DSLRs isn't scaryness, it's size and weight.
  • by hazydave (96747) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @01:01AM (#29422907)

    So, you're suggesting Apple get into the business, and produce a few dozen lenses to go with their DSLR? If not, there's zero point in building a DSLR... not that Apple would be taken seriously.

    That's also not a market that Apple would be or should be interested. Keep in mind that over 80% of the DSLR market is owned by Canon (41%) and Nikon (40%).. they're the guys who make those dozens of lenses and accessories that make the DSLR worth the price in the first place. The rest is being sliced up between Pentax, Olympus (6%), Fujifilm, Sony (6%.. they're one of the big four in high-end video cameras... the bought up what was Minolta-Konica's SLR works), just recently Panasonic (they're one of the other major powers in high-end video cameras, along with Canon and JVC), and a few others in specialty markets (Leica, Ricoh, Hasselblad). Serious users aren't likely to buy a DSLR from an electronics company without years of proof in the business.. that's why some of video camera companies compete, but few of the other film or CE companies who make digital P&S models (Casio, Epson, HP, Kodak, etc).

    The global market for DSLRs in 2010 is expected to be a bit under 12 million units (that's an estimated 9% growth in DSLR shipments)... so that's 4.92 million Canons, 4.8 million Nikons, and 2.28 million left for everyone else to fight over. Do you really think that's an iPod-like market? Apple sells nearly twice that number of iPods... every MONTH.

    No, Apple's doing the right thing here... "embrace and extend". They made a decent MP3 player, but really made the sale by delivering the iTunes store. Lots of people make better MP3 players, so Apple pushed in photos, then video. Lots of people came out with better PMPs, so Apple added PDA function, and a phone. Now they toss in a "free" webcam (some prespective here.. this is a crappy, crappy camera for any serious use, but it's fine for the kids buying crappy Flip cameras and delivering video only for Facebook and Youtube) and push the iPod/iPhone as a gaming platform, taking on the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS. That's the smart thing... that's a $1.00 camera added to the basic stuff the iPod already has. Not a couple of billion to develop a line of lenses no one will ever buy.

    Certainly, such "free" cameras will get better over the year, but the iPod is competing directly with the "Flip" and other web-cam + flash units, and to an extent with cell phone cameras. They aren't even close to being as good as a modern point-and-shoot model from Canon, Panasonic, Sony, Nikon, or many others. And they never will be.

  • by Pete (big-pete) (253496) * <peter_endean@hotmail.com> on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @02:52AM (#29423375)

    You can get them in Europe, and they cost about EU 950.

    I think you'll find they're significantly less [mobistar.be]...

    -- Pete.

  • by selven (1556643) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @04:41AM (#29423889)
    Turning a 0.5 second video clip into a picture is trivial. Play the video, full screen, take a screenshot, save to whatever you want.
  • by citizenr (871508) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:00AM (#29423993) Homepage
    Youtube generation. Too young to own a cellphone.
  • by speedtux (1307149) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @09:44AM (#29426345)

    Symbian signing is pain, but the criteria for it are technical; it's not a question of whether anybody "approves", it's a question of whether your app passes a bunch of compliance criteria.

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