Apple’s new iPod nano includes a video camera and takes a direct shot across the bow of the Flip and other ultra-compact video cameras. In fact, at Apple’s “It’s only rock and roll” event today, Apple showed an image of the 4GB Flip Ultra and mocked its $149 price tag. The presentation went on with Steve Jobs at the helm touting Apple’s video option as 8GB for free. What that really boils down to is that all the iPod nanos now include a video camera; however, you still have to buy the iPod nano to get the video camera (so it’s not really free Steve). And, unfortunately, the iPod nano doesn’t offer the ability to capture still images.
- H.264 VGA format
- 640 x 480 resolution
- 30 frames per second
- AAC audio
The iPod nano video camera also includes a number of special effects that can be applied while recording:
- Black and White
- Film Grain
- Security Cam
- Motion Blur
- Light Tunnel
- Dent, Stretch
Engadget got a little hands-on time with the iPod nano after the press conference using their blurry cam; however, you get a little taste for the features and functionality:
Much like the Flip video cameras, the iPod nano offers several sharing options on social media sites like YouTube and Facebook through iPhoto on your Mac. Apple claims, “It’s just as easy on a PC when you use your favorite photo software.” I’ll withhold comment on that statement until I get a chance to try it for myself; however, it’s going to be tough for Apple to push the ease of working with iPod video files on a PC over the seamless functionality of FlipShare for the Flip video cameras.
Apple also chose to accentuate the positives of the form factor of the iPod nano without mentioning the variety of compact video cameras that really outshine it in terms of features and resolution. For a few bucks more, you can pick up a Flip UltraHD or a Flip MinoHD (both at $199). Both HD cameras from Flip capture 720p video at 30 fps. While the MinoHD offers 4GB (for 60 mins recording time), the UltraHD has 8GB built-in memory (for 2 hrs recording time). (See also Flip MinoHD Review)
Consider some of these other specifications, along with the fact that your storage space on the iPod nano is going to vary based upon how much music or videos that you have in your playlist and the iPod nano starts to look a little more . . . well, average.
In a nutshell though, the iPod nano will be a casual video recording hit. Expect to see an explosion of iPod nano videos on YouTube and Facebook (the same thing occurred with the Flip cameras). While Apple would like to bring down Flip off it’s high horse (on which Flip has rightfully earned its place), I don’t think the iPod nano is quite there yet.
Give Apple 6 months or so and I bet we see an HD version surface in an iPod. As for now, it looks like a good first effort.
Note to Apple: Put a still camera on one of these and you’ll get my $149. In the mean time, I’ll stick with my Flip MinoHD for casual video.