Hardware Thread, Recommend flash media DV video and still cameras in Technical; At the Schools' ICT Centre in Lancashire we use (at the moment) some aging Intel Digital Blue cameras (now manufactured ...
At the Schools' ICT Centre in Lancashire we use (at the moment) some aging Intel Digital Blue cameras (now manufactured as Digital Blue) and some getting-long-in-the-tooth Sony Mavica floppy drive based cameras. After a meeting the other day where it was coming to light that the Intel cameras were on their last legs and the Mavicas were having problems in schools where the PC's no longer have floppy drives fitted, so I suggested that we may as well kill two birds with one stone and try using flash media based DV cameras which can hold stills as well as movies and can be outputted either via USB or a card reader.
I just need to know if anyone out there uses such devices and what kind of success they have had. I like the look of the Nisis cameras... http://www.nisis.com/Products/DigitalCameras/DV6.asp
As they are cheap to buy and the media costs little. Are their any others which won't break the bank. I'll set a ¬£200 limit on them, but anything below ¬£150 would be better.
Re: Recommend flash media DV video and still cameras
We've used a variety of cameras in our cluster multimedia projects.
They all had deficiences mainly to do with how they stored the video.
The Digital Blues are simple but low quality (The software is 1st class for ease of use however - it should win an award) We are still using these for our stop-go animation project this year.
Kodak still cameras are simple to use and produce decent videos but are in Quicktime format -very difficult to work with afterwards (unless inserting into an OpenOffice Impress file where they just work)
(Lots of true still camera's don't do a high enough video frame rate for quality video BTW)
True mini-DV work beautifully but are still too delicate/expensive (now at ¬£180) to just let the pupils wander off with them and firewire transfer can be awkward (if no firewire on computers) but some now will transfer using USB 2.0
We also used some Logictech's (¬£50) that look simliar to the Niss but they didn't output .avi - they use .asf (pre-cursor to .wmv) that causes problems when you want to work with the files afterwards. (And the sound codec seems unique to it)
The Nisis ones you've referenced seem to do everything needed - stills - video (avi mpeg-4) - hi-res (640x480), no jerkiness (30fps) and can be used as webcam as well (our Logitech's won't do this)
Only fly in ointment I can see is playback on low spec computers might be a problem at full fps and resolution
640 x 480 pixels and 320 x 240 pixels, up to 30 fps
Ah just spotted these weasel words - this probably means that it won't do 30fps at 640x480
But as we all know - you need to try one to find out what it really does (and how it does it)