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Old September 18th, 2007, 01:08 PM   #16
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This is cheaper than most lipstick cameras guys are strapping to their heads. And it does not require a capture unit.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:45 PM   #17
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Didn't end up having much time to really get out and shoot any tests, so you'll have to make do with my dog playing fetch...

http://www.divergentshadows.com/vide...y_A-HD720p.mov (right click and 'save as...' if you don't want to watch in your browser)

This is straight from the camera with no recompression - shot the video, plugged the camera in and the card mounts like any other drive, copied the file to my hard drive and used MPEG Streamclip to trim down to this segment.

A few observations... there is no focus on this camera - it's basically a pinhole, with a small fixed aperture so that everything is in focus from about 15" on out. There is a switch for a close up mode - you can see me switch into it at the point where Benny (that's my dog) steps up very close to the camera.

Since the aperture is fixed exposure seems to be handled entirely via shutter speed - you can see the strobing when Benny wags his tail. The sensor is clearly a CMOS, as there is a little bit of rolling shutter effect during movement - you can see the 'wobble' when I pick the camera up and walk closer (the camera is on a little REI pocket tripod for most of this shot).

No image stabilizer + CMOS wobble + high speed shutter strobe + HD resolution + high compression = rough handheld shots. I think you just need to be careful when shooting handheld with this camera. I'll have to experiment some more to figure out the best way to use it - I'm not certain how well it'll hold up for fast motion on my bike but I'll try to get out for a ride tomorrow and upload some shots.

It also shoots SD (720x480) and web resolutions, both of which look pretty good. Down-rezzing for the web works really well, too - here's an iPhone-compatible (640x360, 900kpbs/video, 128kbps/audio, 2-pass compression, no b-frames) version of the same video recompressed in MPEG Streamclip:

http://www.divergentshadows.com/vide...ny_640x360.mp4

It also looks pretty decent via component on my HDTV, so despite all of it's limitations I can't complain - it's a good casual, take anywhere camera, especially if you're primarily shooting video that will end up on the web. You can also use it as a portable media player - I don't know what it's limitations are in terms of bit rate, but I'll try copying some higher quality stuff to the card and playing it back on my tv - might prove to be a great portable means of playing back HD material.

I'll shoot some more samples in a wider variety of situations over the next couple days and add the links as they're ready.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 01:25 AM   #18
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Thanks for posting this. If the video looks more like the ipod footage before you trimmed it , it's not bad for the price.

Man what a cool little dog you got.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 01:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Atilano View Post
If the video looks more like the ipod footage before you trimmed it , it's not bad for the price.
The first video is exactly what you get straight from the camera - MPEG Streamclip does lossless editing unless you specifically tell it to recompress, so trimming it down didn't change the quality. The camera encodes HD @ 4Mbit/s, which definitely hurts the video quality - in my own tests I've found 6Mbit/s the lower limit for 720p material before quality starts to degrade. However, in this case it may be that the imaging system isn't high enough quality to warrant much more than 4Mbit/s anyway.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 03:38 PM   #20
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Cool , I didn't know that. Im may pick one up to keep in my car .
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Old September 19th, 2007, 04:03 PM   #21
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Is there a tripod mounting screw-hole?

I may pick one up to mount to a car if so.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #22
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yes, there is a standard tripod mount. I'm going to grab one of these this evening:

http://www.rei.com/product/697398?vcat=REI_SEARCH

I think it'll be a perfect match - clamp the camera to just about anything and shoot...
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Old September 20th, 2007, 09:50 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Donn View Post
yes, there is a standard tripod mount. I'm going to grab one of these this evening:

http://www.rei.com/product/697398?vcat=REI_SEARCH

I think it'll be a perfect match - clamp the camera to just about anything and shoot...
I'll pick one up as well, I think, if I've got money in the budget. My big problem is that if my 1080p camera breaks, the next step down is a standard DV camera, meaning I'll have to downrez the whole movie to match.

I'll have to capture sound separately (which I would have had to do with the DV camera anyway,) but with this camera, I can downrez to 720p instead.

And, as people have said, it's a great "crash camera."
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Old September 21st, 2007, 04:16 AM   #24
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From the posted clips I have seen so far,
the Aiptek A-HD at around 150 to 170U US$ seems to be much better in video quality than the
Go-HD at about 280 US$ !

It seems it made sense, to drop the optical zoom and thus
there is no annoying permanent automatic focus as with the Go-HD,
which made the Go-HD unusable e.g in low light rock concert conditions,
which I already tried.

Is there the possibility to hook up an external mike to the A-HD ?
If not, maybe with this low prize it is possible to hack the camera
and include a jack for an external better microphone sound that will
not distort in loud concert conditions ?

How is the digital zoom with the A-HD ?
Is it working only in steps or is the zoom smooth ?
Many thanks.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 10:54 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Boyko View Post
I'll pick one up as well, I think, if I've got money in the budget. My big problem is that if my 1080p camera breaks, the next step down is a standard DV camera, meaning I'll have to downrez the whole movie to match.
I guess it depends on what kind of movie you are making, but personally I'd go with a DV camera uprezzed rather than this camera - I just wouldn't consider it suitable for any type of serious production work.

Watching video from the camera on my tv looks pretty good in HD - until I switch between it and my A1, which makes all the shortcomings of the A-HD much more evident. Which means cutting between this and a better camera will only draw attention to the camera's limitations. As a crash cam, you can probably get away with it - in situations where the nature of the shot makes up for the quality difference.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan Hartmann View Post
Is there the possibility to hook up an external mike to the A-HD ?
If not, maybe with this low prize it is possible to hack the camera
and include a jack for an external better microphone sound that will
not distort in loud concert conditions ?
No, no mic inputs - but I suspect it would be easy enough to open up the case and wire something in. The built-in mic is pretty bad.

Quote:
How is the digital zoom with the A-HD ?
Is it working only in steps or is the zoom smooth ?
Many thanks.
It's smooth... I haven't tested it much but it doesn't appear to reduce quality much either. Since the camera apparently has a 5 megapixel sensor there appears to be enough extra resolution to zoom in and still produce 720p video.
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Last edited by Evan Donn; September 21st, 2007 at 12:01 PM.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 01:15 AM   #26
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A nice bonus feature of the A-HD is analog input capture @480p. Very handy feature.
It has a voice recorder feature and records to .wav

8GB cards are available for under $90 US/CAN will give you 5+hours of 720p30 record time and 10hours in 480p.
The cam uses N60 batteries will last 90min in record and cost around $10.

I would like to have any verification if the cam can operate as a media player. I know it does not accept mp3's, but does anyone know if you could send a PC encoded file (Mov) and have the cam properly decode it?

Here is an entertaining review of the A-HD.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-VQr...elated&search=

PS- Anyone have a link to where I could buy one in or will ship to Canada?
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 06:37 AM   #27
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GSpot codec analyzer gives me these stats on the raw Benny clip.

Quicktime(.mov)

Under audio codec it reads
mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC
48000Hz 128 kb/s tot , stereo (2/0)

Under video codec it reads:
avc1
H.264
kbps=3916 and Qf=0.142
Not sure what Qf is though?

Frames=29.971
1280 x 720
1.778 (16:9)

This may help for anyone trying to convert.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 07:42 AM   #28
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Wow! 160 bucks? Cool.
Is this camera the same as the GO-HD just without the optical zoom or does it use a different sensor and produces lower quality images?
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 05:52 PM   #29
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Bronx, NYC Custom Car Show

One small annoying quirk is lack of focus during zooms or rapid movement- but for $169 what can you expect.

Here are 2 quick vids directly from camera, hand held no editing or any adjustments- just straight from camera:

Right click and save as.
1. Lamborghini's at the Bronx Orchard Beach Car Show- very harsh direct sunlight:
http://www.stevenunez.com/videos/lambos.MOV

2. Just a quick clip of a hotrod driving past:
http://www.stevenunez.com/videos/hotrod.MOV
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Old September 24th, 2007, 12:39 AM   #30
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Great clips. What more could one ask for at that price point. Wow.
Thanks Steve.
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