I just came across a video review of the new Sanyo Xacti E1 waterproof SD card camcorder (VPC-E1) on the website freevlog.com. I found the video to be entertaining, well produced, and the host was very honest with her criticisms and praise compared with other Xacti models and other camcorders in general. I learned about the review from one of my favorite newsgroups that focuses on online video production, blogging and the business side of online video: Videoblogging on Yahoo!Groups.
It is the world’s first waterproof camcorder, and by looking at a few sample videos, still images and reviews, the most impressive features in my opinion are the quality of the movies it can produce, which look very good, the weight (approx. 8.3 oz with battery and SD card), ability to fully submerse it, ability to directly import MPEG-4 files into Apple iTunes and the fact that you can get up to 5 hours of video with a 4GB SDHC memory card.
The still image quality of the sample photos posted on Sanyo’s site are also very impressive, however, I wonder how good the 10 megapixel captures look, if that’s not a typo. According to the info on this page, it produces “6-megapixel digital still images,” but on the full specs page, it lists 10 megapixel stills as one of the options. I like the colors as well (blue, yellow and white). It seems to me like yellow would be easiest to see at the bottom of a pool if it fell out of your hand (hopefully in the shallow end!). About a week ago, Dick DeBartolo, on the very entertaining and informative podcast, Daily GizWiz (co-hosted with Leo Laporte), also reviewed the camera. That specific episode can be found here.
The main negatives I see with the camera are the fact that the manufacturer recommends the camera not be used more than five feet under the surface of the water. That rules out snorkeling at depths that would be considered very common (10-15 feet). I actually wonder what happens to the camera at 6-15 feet below water, and I look forward to seeing some tests that show the power of the built-in light. I also read here that the Sanyo Xacti E1 does not float, which could make it $500 fish food if you’re not careful!
(The Xacti E1 is $466.94 as of 7/10/2007)
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For the last month or so I’ve been a member of the Yahoo!Groups VideoBlogging group. In a very short time, I’ve learned a lot about technology, such as inexpensive video cameras, as well as ideas for how to set up a blog with content. I am planning to launch a video podcast sometime this summer, and I’ve been inspired by many of the members’ work. The group is free to join.
Today, I learned from one of the members of the group about a chart compiled by Scott Kirshner (Editor, CinemaTech), that covers a number of different companies who are working with content producers to monetize (earn income) with original video. There are many opportunities for people who create video how-to’s and even slide shows with audio to earn income with their work. I look forward to exploring this more and sharing what I learn. Here is a link to the chart with the excellent video content monetization options. I found them to be unbiased and easy to read.
Scott Kirshner’s blog, CinemaTech, is also very well written, and covers many topics related to the business side of movie making and new media. Scott also has some self-published books on Lulu.com. Lulu.com is a site that allows authors and other content producers to produce hardcopy books, e-books, and other media and then sell them on-demand. There are also free excerpts from at least one of his books available as downloadable PDFs on that page.