Digital Video

Last night while browsing through products at our local mall, I noticed a new kind of video camera.  I’d seen mini video cams before but this one was different.  Called the i*dear DV30 (hey, I don’t name these things!), its a Taiwanese designed and manufactured digital video camera that employs MPEG4 compression.  It does a lot of cool things but the main point is that it can shoot 640×480 resolution digital video and save it directly to an SD card.  The files are standard Windows .AVI files that can be played on virtually any computer.  The price we paid for it was NT$5990.

We are going to Thailand tomorrow and taking it with us.  I will write a review of the unit when I return.  After playing around with it today I’m convinced that it’s a useful tool for my business and is also going to be fun to have for traveling.  I use my Nikon Coolpix 5700 in video mode often, but it is limited to 60 seconds only, and the format is Quicktime (not my favorite).  The Nikon shoots the video and stores it in standard memory, and then writes it to the CF card.  The DV30 writes to the SD card in real time, so as soon as you stop recording, its ready to go again immediately.

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  1. So far the DV-30 has done well, with the exception of 3 files that it severely botched. Before I go and blame the camera I want to eliminate the SD card first (which I believe is the real culprit). On all 3 occasions, saving a file that was over 5:00 (5 minutes) long, the unit locked up and refused to do anything, even turn off, and required the removal of the battery in order to shut it down. Some large file was written to the card but it is unreadable junk, just taking up space. Attempts to play the junk file back on the DV cause it to lock up again. This aspect is very disappointing because I am limited to smaller durations of recording. In all 3 cases, I recorded longer segments because interesting things were going on of course. Now they are lost (and were some of the best stuff, IMO). Oh well, live and learn. I am documenting all of this for a very detailed review later.

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