GoPro Updates its Hero Range With The New Hero 3+

GoPro, the pioneer of action camcorders, has updated its popular Hero3 with a smaller, sharper, faster version now called Hero3+. They have just made one of the world’s best-selling compact action camera and made it better. Most notably the Hero3+ is significantly lighter and smaller while at the same time increasing battery life by a massive 30%.

GoPro HERO3+

The lens went through a major upgrade and is now 33% sharper according to GoPro’s press release. Also new are some exciting features like SuperView.  The HERO3+ shots from a wider angle perspective allowing you to capture more of yourself and the surroundings resulting in a more captivating and engaging footage.

There are 2 editions: The Black and the Silver priced at $399.99 and $299.99 respectively. The top of the range GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition captures high-resolution, high-frame rate 1440p48, 1080p60, 960p100 and 720p120 video modes as well as 12MP stills at 30 frames per second. The HERO3+ Silver Edition has a lower frame rate of 1080p60, 960p60 and 720p120 and 10MP stills at 10 frames per second.

Low light performance is also enhanced. Auto Low Light mode intelligently changes frame rates based on lighting conditions. What is full action video without the cacophony of well recorded audio. Sound quality is also improved with an advanced wind-noise reduction technology keeps the audio clearer during high-speed activities. What more can we ask for.

Another Action Cam To Add To The List : Toshiba Camileo X-Sports

Toshiba Camileo X-Sports

Toshiba Camileo X-Sports

Sports enthusiasts will be pleased to find they have more options for action cams these days as compared to the days when there was only the GoPro. Toshiba has joined the action cam bandwagon with the release of its Toshiba Camileo X-Sports.

The Toshiba Camileo X-Sports is designed for action sports and comes with a waterproof housing that will allow users to take the X-Sports down to a depth of 60m and also plenty of mounting options for bikes, helmets, chest and so on.

The camera captures 1080p video at 60fps and owns a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor and a wide-angle lens to capture all the action. It also comes with a wrist remote that gives users basic controls, even while underwater up to a depth of 3m. Other features include an electronic stabilization system, being shockproof up to 1.5m, a 2-inch rear LCD display and USB and HDMI connections.

Stay tuned for the full Toshiba Camileo X-Sports camcorder review!

Garmin VIRB Action Camera Takes On GoPro

Garmin VIRB

Garmin VIRB

Garmin has announced its latest and its first 1080p action camera – the Garmin VIRB. With Garmin’s strength in developing military and aviation-grade kit for decades, the Garmin VIRB is certainly worth checking out.

Garmin seems to have taken the best of the GoPro and even overcome some of its weaknesses. The Garmin VIRB Elite comes with built-in Wi-Fi, accelerometer, altimeter, GPS and even shoots 1080p video, albeit at 30fps. It even comes with image stabilization, lens distortion correction and takes 16-megapixels stills. All this compared with the GoPro Hero3 Black that manages 1080p at 60fps and can take 4K video.

While the GoPro wins on frame rate and even sensors, the Garmin VIRB hits home with a whopping 3-hour battery life over the GoPro’s one hour and a half. It also gets points for having a built-in 1.4-inch Chroma colour display and HDMI output, allowing users to not only frame and watch video easily but also enjoy instant video playback on a big screen.

Garmin also infused its expertise with ANT+ sensors into the Garmin VIRB. Both VIRBs work with ANT+ sensors and allow users to link it to their heart rate monitors, cadence bike sensors, speed sensors and more.

For those who love water, the VIRB’s rugged casing has an IPX-7 rating which means it can be submerged up to 1 metre deep for half an hour. Those who wish to take it deeper can go for the dive case option.

Stay tuned for the full Garmin VIRB and Garmin VIRB Elite reviews!

Fancy A Wearable Camcorder?

Adventure seekers are out in droves in the summer biking, rock climbing, hiking, diving, and doing all sorts of outdoor activities. And more are documenting their adventures in video thus  action camcorders are growing in popularity. It’s nothing like re-living the adrenaline rush  in the comfort of the home.

GoPro and Contour are the industry’s first movers and many other major brands followed suit. Sony released the HDR-AS15 and Panasonic launched the new HX-A100 earlier this year.

The HX-A100 is slightly different from the typical POV camcorder. Instead of mounting it on a helmet, a ear hook is included so you can wear it around your ear and shoot hands. A “Multi-Mount” option is also available for attaching the camera to a helmet or backpack. It also comes with built-in Wi-Fi to broadcast live video on UStream. Videos are captured in full HD. You can upload video and images to social networks using your smartphone. A lot of thought is built into the design and it is made to deal with the harsh outdoor environment like being waterproof to depths down to 5 feet.

Panasonic HX-A100

Panasonic HX-A100

It has intelligent video sensors to automatically correct tilted images, while the Image Stabilizer suppresses blurring. This is essential for an action camcorder.  In dim lighting situations it is able to capture clear, low-noise videos. The slow motion capability is another useful feature.

The Panasonic HX-A100 is priced at $299.99 and is available in 2 colors – black and bright orange.

Source: Panasonic USA

Blogger Alert : Look Out For Canon’s Latest Vixia ‘Mini’!

VIXIA_Mini_5

Canon has pulled off the wraps on its latest Vixia camcorder – the Vixia mini. Targeted at bloggers, this mini camcorder is really a Full HD camcorder with an ultra-wide angle lens, built-in stand and flippable viewscreen that can be placed to show the action from the rear or front of the camera that is perfect for bloggers who love those pretty self-shots!

Not only can this ultra-wide angle f/2.8 lens capture video at 160-degrees and stills at 170 degrees, it’s 2.7-inch LCD touchscreen can also be tilted by up to 60 degrees to get the best shots when placed on a flat surface.

This feature-packed DLNA-compatible camcorder comes with a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor and Canon’s proprietary DIGIC DV 4 processing, a built-in stereo microphone and Wi-Fi connectivity on board, allowing users to upload video straight to YouTube and Facebook without the need for a computer.

Look out for the Canon Legria mini in stores soon and the full review here!

How To Get The Best Out Of The Canon Vixia HD Camcorder

The Canon Vixia HD Camcorder lets you get the best out of any situation with two different aspect ratios in varying quality levels with 3 different frame rates.

You can shoot in (16:9) widescreen or the traditional (4:3) aspect ratio. For frames per second you can choose from the 24, 30 progressive or the 60 interlaced frames per second for your video recordings.

canon-vixia

For starters, you can set your image quality to MXP with a 60i or PF30 frame-rate for a 1080p widescreen video with a standard frame-rate in North America. At such a setting, you can record close to 3 hours of video on the internal memory of the camcorder. If you do not wish to view it on the highest quality possible, you can change the quality to XP+ for double the recording time.

The Canon Vixia HD camcorder stores your videos in an AVCHD format which needs a software to convert the AVCHD file to a DVD or something useable. Software out there include iMovie or Final Cut Pro. The software aside, you need to connect your camcorder to the computer via the USB cable to access the files. Make sure to eject the USB drive before unplugging to avoid any possible complications with the files on the camcorder!

Glidecam Launches XR-500 Camera Stabiliser

Glidecam XR-500

Glidecam XR-500

Glidecam launched a most affordable Camera Stabiliser earlier in the year and it has some interesting features and potentially more value, making it decent competition to the Steadicam Smothee.

For a mere $100, users will get a camera stabilizer with a foam handle grip, a gimbal and a tripod-style mount. And unlike the Smothee which requires adaptors to attach various cameras, the Glidecam does not require any adaptors except your regular tripod mount. With the exception of the iPhone which requires a special mount at an additional $50.

The Glidecam XR-500 also features an extendable post and adjustable weights, giving users more control over the camera.

Samsung HMX- QF30 – An Affordable Digital Camcorder

Samsung has a foothold in many industries but ‘video camcorder’ is one market that they have not really gotten a grip on. But they are inching forward ever so slowly with a few models and are making some headway.

Their new Samsung  HMX- QF30 is priced at $329.99 with street prices going for less than $300. It is for those looking for an affordable digital camcorder and who are willing to settle for less than cutting edge stuff. What you get is a compact, easy to use camcorder with useful features.

Samsung HMX-QF30

Samsung HMX-QF30

The HMX-QF30 has a 1/4in sensor and a 20x optical zoom. If you are fine with less optical quality, you can go all the way to 40x with digital zoom. The 2.7in color touchscreen monitor is adequate but is smaller than those offered by competitors.

Wi-Fi is built-in. With that you can easily upload your videos to YouTube and Facebook. The HMX-QF30 also lets you transfer videos to your mobile and broadcast live on the internet with the Ustream web service. You can download the free Samsung MobileLink app from the App Store and Google Play to transfer videos to your smartphone or tablet.

Ergonomically, the compactness and the thin short strap may be uncomfortable for those with large hands to control the record and zoom buttons on the back of the camcorder. To keep file sizes low, it records videos in the MP4 format which introduces compression artefacts. So don’t expect pristine quality videos. So if you keep your expectations low, the Samsung HMX-QF30 delivers an affordable solution for the younger set who wants to easily share videos with friends.

More info and specs from Samsung.

All New GoPro Dive Housing For Optimal HD Hero Performance Underwater

Summer is here and it is time to check out the Dive Housing that GoPro announced for its HD Hero line of action cameras a few months ago. This new accessory from GoPro will give you the best possible results from your action cam up to depths of 60m.

So why would you get this accessory considering the GoPro already comes with a waterproof housing that would taken you to the same depth of 60m too? This new Dive Housing is an enhancement to the existing housing, offering a large flat-glass lens to give you the best quality results from your camera. It is also compatible with all models of the HD Hero, as well as with existing mounts and accessories.

The Dive Housing comes with a lens cap and string and mounting accessories in the pack.

Want Something Light and Rugged? How About Pocket Camcorders

Although camcorders have been scaled down in size and weight over the last few years since the digital revolution, most of them will just not fit properly in your pocket or handbag. If that is your major bugbear, here are some handy pocket camcorders that might just fit your bill.

1. The Toshiba Camileo P100 is a sporty looking pistol like pocket camcorder that measures just 4.4″ x 2.4″ x 2″ and weighs under 6 ounces. It’s about the size and weight of an iPhone! Belying its size is a spacious 3″ touch screen with 5x optical zoom which is good enough for most purposes. The pistol grip is comfortable, but those with large fingers may find it a challenge to hit the right control buttons. The Toshiba P100 supports SDXC memory cards, which means that you can use up to 64GB for a solid 12 hours of full HD video. In addition, there is a video light for low-light shooting and shoots good stills at 8MP. As you’d expect from a small video camera, one major drawback is shooting time. It’s lithium-ion battery will only last about an hour, so plan your video shooting carefully. This is not for serious shooting at far away exotic places. Being a 2011 model, it is now going at street prices below $130 which is certainly a good buy.

Toshiba Camileo P100

Toshiba Camileo P100

2. Slightly better in specs and features is another pistol grip camcorder – the Panasonic HX-WA03. The sensor is a respectable 1/2.33in CMOS with 16MP. Still images ring in at 14.3MP. It renders images in Full-HD recorded on SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards. It also has a 5x optical zoom and 15x iZoom, dropping to 6x with the Active image stabilization enabled. However don’t expect image stabilization to be as effective their mainstream camcorders like the $399 Panasonic HC-V520 for example, but it fairs very well on image quality. A common feature of most pocket camcorders is that they are more rugged. It is waterproof, freezeproof, dustproof and you can use it safely to a depth of 5M underwater. It retails for $199.99.

Panasonic HX-WA03

Panasonic HX-WA03

3. If you have a larger budget the $449 JVC Everio GZ-V500 is a compact unit that packs some big camcorder prowess into a pocket-sized housing. It comes with higher optical zoom (10x), a large aperture lens (F1.2) for good low-light capability, 32.8mm Wide Angle lens, optical image stabilization and snaps 10M Digital stills. The hand strap and screen allows you to handle the camcorder steadily with both hands, making it easier to shoot more smoothly than with a pocket model. It is very portable and light so you can comfortably slip it into a pants or shirt pocket. However it is not as rugged as the Panasonic. Video quality is not exceptional but decent enough. It has a slow motion recording function useful for analyzing your golf or tennis swing.

JVC Everio GZ-V500

JVC Everio GZ-V500

4. Kodak PlaySport (Zx5) is another great option if you want something really rugged for use in rain, snow, surf and sand. This waterproof/shockproof pint-sized camcorder produces pretty good video quality for its price and size, is easy to use, and has good editing/sharing software. However be prepared to accept the bare essentials as it does not come with a built-in USB connector, no flash or video light, the battery can’t be removed, and an anemic 4x digital zoom which has to be used sparingly. The default resolution is 720p at 30 frames per second which is slightly better than DVD video. It captures 5-megapixel stills. Sharing the video is made easy with ArcSoft’s MediaImpression for software and the Kodak Share Button app.

Kodak PlaySport (Zx5)

Kodak PlaySport (Zx5)