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October 24, 2004

VIDEOBLOGGING UPDATE: I've had poor experience with small, cheap MPEG4 videocams. But this one from Phillips (it's also an MP3 player!) seems to be getting good reviews on Amazon. The size is nice, and the price (about $200) is good. On the other hand, my cheap Sony still camera isn't a whole lot more expensive, and I strongly suspect that the video is better -- though it won't hold 25 minutes' worth on one chip. Adam Keiper is managing to do his Nanotech Conference videoblogging using the same Sony camera that I have. And I just noticed that he was inspired by some of my videoblog envangelism:

There is a secondary goal here, too: I'm going to try to test the limits and usefulness of liveblogging, or newsblogging, or conferenceblogging (an unwieldy neologism). Professor Glenn Reynolds, the InstaPundit, among others, has pushed the concept of bloggers as news collectors, and I hope to put that idea to the test. So this is a sort of media experiment, too.

Looks like a successful one to me, and I hope that more people will emulate his approach.

UPDATE: Reader Melody emails:

You might want to check out the little Canon Powershot S410 for this purpose. It's a 4.0 mp digital still camera about the size of a cigarette pack, but takes pretty good video with surprisingly decent audio quality. My 20 yo daughter purchsed this for herself recently. She has the 256 ultra chip -- she tells me ultra is important because it's faster -- but says they also have a 1 gig chip for it. Go to thenitelite.net under "media" then "Summer of Darkness" at Trees, Dallas is an example of some video shot with this camera but by her 14 year old sister. It was the first time she'd used the camera. They recorded several songs in their entirety, but only uploaded this partial one because it was shorter and she didn't want to spend all evening uploading to her friend's site. It wasn't the best of the video they shot that evening.

I agree about the Sony cybershots. We have two different models in our household, and they've been excellent little cameras for the price. Two years
being used by teenaged daughters, and never a single problem. They seem rather slow, though. Neither of ours gets audio with the video.

Some time ago you mentioned buying an all weather or waterproof camera for someone deploying to Iraq. I'd be interested in seeing an update on how that has worked out. We're considering purchasing one for a gift for use in that environment, so obviously it needs to be tough and dustproof.

Yeah, that was this Pentax. I'll see if I can get a review posted on that. The Canon Powershots are great little cameras, but they don't take AA batteries in a pinch, which I think is important when you're trying to do blog-journalism. But the concert video -- and sound -- is pretty good!

And here's more from Justin Katz. (Katz link bad before -- fixed now. Sorry.)

MORE: Reader Jay Kim corrects me on the PowerShots -- well, one of them, anyway:

The Canon PowerShot S1 is my video camera of choice. It costs ~400, and has a video mode of 640x480, with 10X zoom, and image stabilization. 3.2 MP stills, too. Can take CF cards up to 4GB, AND AA BATTERIES!

Cool. And it's about $350. Doesn't look easily pocketable, though.