Ion Twin Video camera: Perfect for double-takes

The latest Twin Video camera from Ion could change the face of You’ve Been Framed for ever! The latest take on the handheld video camera, the Twin Video has a front and rear lens, so, so you can record your reaction when your toddler falls asleep into his dinner, or when that stray football comes hurtling towards your face.

iOn-Twin-Video

As you’re recording, you can also switch the 2.5in screen to view either what’s in front of you, or yourself, and when you go to edit the film on your PC (it’s not Mac-compatible), you can split the screen to watch both video feeds at the same time – or view them picture-in picture.

The Twin Video records 640×480 resolution videos onto a standard SD or SDHC card, has a 3x digital zoom, and films at 30fps.

The makers have designed the weighted handle to allow for steadier recording, and there is also a light on both sides of the camera for filming in dark situations. The lithium-ion battery is charged via USB or mains power.

The Twin Video is about the same size as the hugely popular Flip Mino, and its extra features might just be the deciding factor for many buyers. But how often you’d actually want to use the twin video facility depends on the user – it could be fun on a rollercoaster, we guess.

The ION Twin Video will be available from Firebox.com at £119.99

Camcorders in focus: HMX E10, HDC-SDX1H, Xacti CA100 and iPhone 4

Camcorders have long been a family favourite and manufacturers are constantly looking for new features to set themselves apart from the competition. We thought we’d look at a few recently released camcorders to see some of these new features.

Firstly, why buy a camcorder at all when you have a smartphone like the iPhone4, which can shoot HD video? The iPhone 4 shoots video in 720p and has a pretty amazing lens, making it a serious option for video, especially over a dedicated portable Flip device.

iPhone-4

If however you want to capture all your holiday shots in Full HD then Samsung’s HMX E10 has recently been unveiled, which will not only shoot in Full HD but also has a 270 degree swivelling lens, enabling you to put yourself in the picture. It also has a built-in USB port meaning you can attach it to a computer without a USB cable. The HMX-E10 will be available at $199.99 from September at selected retailers. There has been no UK price announced.

Camcorders are currently competing on zoom, so you can achieve close-up images like never before. Panasonic’s HDC-SDX1H offers 23x Intelligent Zoom and is Panasonic’s lightest HD camcorder, (some say lightest in the world), weighing in at 50lbs with the battery and optional SD Card. It is Skype-enabled so you can make calls using it as a webcam and microphone.

There is also strong trend towards making sports-friendly camcorders as manufacturers make them tougher or waterproof. We recently covered the Sanyo’s Xacti CA100, which allows underwater HD filming. You can also get rugged camcorders, which will not shatter or have so much as a dent if you drop them, which are great if you are like me, clumsy as hell.

Sanyo-Xacti-CA100

Camcorders are becoming more pocket-friendly and networking is becoming a common feature and all the cameras featured above allow for effortless uploading to Facebook and YouTube. Do any tempt you, or are there any exciting new cameras we’ve missed? Let us know!

Toshiba makes a splash with the waterproof Camileo BW10 camcorder

It’s not only snorkelers and action fans who will benefit from Toshiba’s latest baby – a waterproof camcorder.

If you’ve ever ruined a gadget by dropping it in the water getting off a boat on holiday, or even if your rugrat has managed to drop it in the bath or a paddling pool, the Camileo BW10 could be the answer to your prayers.

Toshiba-Camelio

Following on from Sony Ericsson’s announcement of a waterproof phone in the shiny pink shape of the S003 Cyber-shot, it makes sense that a camcorder used to capture action, makes the leap into the great watery deep – well at least to 2m anyway. One suspects that real underwater fans will be hoping that this will lead the way for more cameras to withstand deeper water in the near future.

Whether you’re off on an adventurous holiday, or just want a camcorder that is robust enough for family life, take a look at this. As well as its water, snow, rain and dust-repelling abilities, the Toshiba Camileo BW10 offers 1080p Full HD video and has a rubber exterior cover to help it withstand a bit of rough use.

The 10x digital zoom should get you close to your subject, and quick, two-button operation means the user can switch easily between video and 5mp still photos. (Five mp does seem a bit meager when even mobiles boast upwards of 8mp cameras now, but as we’ve established before, unless you’re enlarging images to massive proportions, there’s no real benefit to having an 8mp pixel camera for most users).

The BW10 is also designed to work in ‘challenging’ ambient light conditions, with a maximum ISO speed of 1600. As is becoming common now, there is dedicated YouTube functionality, allowing you to easily upload your videos to the web.

And with a price tag of just £129.99 for a waterproof rugged camera, it certainly looks like a bargain buy. And if that isn’t enough to persuade you, perhaps the news that it comes in stylish yellow, turquoise or silver and is small enough to fit into a pocket or small bag might be the final temptation for the image-conscious among you.

Sony announce PM5, PM5K and CM5 Bloggies

We all know that the new blogging is now vlogging and for those of you that perhaps are out of the ‘vlogosphere’, the process involves blogging your life via the means of video. Keeping up with the action, Sony has launched three new high definition pocket camcorders, each one aptly named the Sony Bloggie.

Colourful and lightweight, the new Bloggie models are fun and simple to use. At the switch of one button you can shoot crisp, clear 5 megapixel still photos, whilst the switch of another will allow you to capture your special and spontaneous moments in clear Full HD MP4 video. The PM5, PM5K and CM5 Bloggies can record both super-smooth 1280×720/60p video and high resolution Full HD 1920×1080/30p clips. SteadyShot image stabilisation also eliminates the annoying camera shake when you’re shooting whist on the move, and Face Detection fine tuning allows for clear and precise images.

Perhaps a competitor for the Flip Video camcorder, the new Bloggie is predicted to be the camera of choice on which to record your next potential YouTube phenomenon and is designed to be taken out and about with minimal effort so you can record all those day to day moments on a quick, easy and high quality recording device.

For more creative filming, the PM5 and PM5K also feature a rotating lens that swivels 270 degrees which allows you to film from any angle – the bright, high resolution 6.0cm LCD screen also shows camera settings in the bottom half of the display while you’re shooting. The PM5K even includes a special 360 Video lens adaptor that lets you experience incredible panoramic videos – something that really places this gadget a step beyond the Flip.

The Sony Bloggie also features an in-built USB adapter to connect directly to a PC or Mac and is available in a choice of four vibrant colours.

The embedded PMB Portable software launches automatically when the Bloggie is connected to your PC or Mac, allowing you view, select and upload clips to video or social network sites including YouTube and Twitter. The added advantage is that you don’t need to install any editing or file transfer software on the computer, making bloggie ideal for use on-the-go. The camera’s battery is also automatically charged while it’s connected to your computer via USB.

Fun, simple to use and minimal uploading effort! The Bloggie definitely sounds like another winning product by Sony!

The Sony Bloggie pocket camcorders are available from February from Sony and prices range from – £169.99 – £209.98.

Next generation of Flip MinoHD to have WiFi

Everyone likes a good gadget; make it pocket-sized, give it a retro design and a few simple but exemplary assets and you’re on to a real winner.  This is just what Pure Digital (recently acquired by Cisco) have discovered as they launch model after model of their successful Flip camcorders, adding a single significant feature to make each model bigger and better than the one before.

flip-minohdFirst they brought us the FlipMino, a sleek and handy retro-styled camcorder no larger than a mobile phone with simple and easy to use functions that reintroduced us to the world of video-recording on the move.  Next they brought us the FlipMinoHD and Flip MinoUltraHD. The same sleek design as its predecessor but with the ability to produce videos in vibrant HD 230p and 720p respectively and in 16:9 widescreen – the smallest ever camcorder with this quality.

Hot on the heels of its HD models, Flip has once again pushed the boundaries having just announced that their next model will come equipped with Wi-Fi.  This means you can shoot a video and instantaneously upload your clips from any Wi-Fi hotspot.  Of course, you’d have to find a hotspot first, but once you do, a new addition to the software allows one-click links to Facebook.  Each model is compatible with both PCs and Macs and comes with a handy USB arm that helps make video-sharing to sites like Flickr and YouTube absolute childsplay. Its sophisticated software also cleverly compresses video size bringing an end to lengthy transfer times.  Like the earlier models, it will come with a large LCD screen, 1280 x 720 video resolution and touch-sensitive buttons but with double the memory space.

Due to launch in January 2010, the FlipMinoHD with Wi-Fi is a smart and worthy contender to become the leading camcorder on the market next year.