twice connect
careers

Pocket Camcorders Get Feature Rich

1/24/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

LAS VEGAS — New pocket camcorders were positioned
at International CES to expand beyond the bare bones
feature set that propelled the category to popularity in previous
years.

Features such as 3D recording, Wi-Fi connectivity and
swivel displays will be incorporated in 2011
pocket camcorders.

The tiny pocket camcorder carried
the camcorder market on
its shoulders in 2010. Lead by
Cisco’s popular Flip line, and a
broadening assortment of models
from leading camcorder and
imaging brands, pocket camcorder
shipments surged 67
percent in 2010 to 11.9 million
units, according to IDC.

The research firm expects unit
shipments to reach 17 million in
2014.

Today, the name of the game is differentiation,
said Chris Chute, research manager,
IDC. “Cisco has been hinting at Wi-Fi for
a while — we see more ruggedization and
possibly some GPS integration.” Despite
sales growth, manufacturers will have to
work hard to distinguish their products from
a crowded field. Besides Kodak, Sony and
Flip, Chute said, “no one else has discovered
that hook yet.”

Kodak will offer a pair of new pocket
camcorders. The PlayFull captures 1,920
by 1080p video and 5-megapixel stills. It
offers a built-in USB port, onboard editing
software, face tracking and digital image stabilization. It
will work with an optional remote and retails for $129.

The company will also update its waterproof PlaySport
camcorder. Retailing for $179, the new PlaySport can be
dunked in up to 10 feet of water and is also shock- and
dust-proof. It offers 1,920 by 1080p video recording and
5-megapixel still capture with a fixed focal length, autofocus
lens. It features a 2-inch LCD that automatically adjusts
its brightness based on ambient lighting conditions.
The camcorder also offers an electronic Glare Shield that
improves visibility under bright lighting. Additional features
include a flip-out USB arm, remote-control compatibility,
digital image stabilization and an underwater video
mode.

Samsung will introduce
two new pocket camcorders.
Pricing and availability
were not available at press
time. The P300 is a 1080p
camcorder that records in
the H.264 format. It features
an 8-megapixel backside
illuminated CMOS
sensor, a 3x optical zoom
lens, 3-inch touchscreen
LCD, built-in USB plug and
a Smart Pivot function that lets users
rotate their recording angle. It will be
sold in black and silver.

The P100 is another 1080p model
that offers a 5-megapixel back-side
illuminated CMOS sensor, 1x optical
zoom, a 2.3-inch LCD and built-in
USB plug. It will be sold in black and
silver.

Toshiba will bring its Camileo S30
into the U.S. market in 2011. The pistolgrip
1080p camcorder features a swivel
3-inch touchscreen display, a 16x digital
zoom and digital image stabilization. Additional
features include 128MB of internal
memory with an SDXC card slot (up to 64GB), an HDMI
outlet and a one-touch upload button. It will retail for a
suggested $179.

Sony will keep its Bloggie Touch line of touchscreenbased
pocket cameras on the market in 2011 in addition
to adding the Bloggie Duo, which offers two LCD displays (one on the front, one on the back). Pricing and
availability were not available.

Vivitar’s pocket lineup is highlighted by the
inclusion of Wi-Fi-enabled 1080 HD, which
supports uploading to YouTube and Facebook
from within the camcorder. It features Full 1080
resolution via a 5-megapixel sensor, 2-inch display,
4x digital zoom, SD card slot and HDMI
output. Like all of the company’s 2011 camcorders,
it will be sold in 10 colors.

The 720p iTwist 680 will feature a 180 degree
swiveling body for self portraits. Additional
features include a 4x digital zoom, 2-inch display
and SD card slot. The 800HD boasts a
pop-up 2-inch display in addition to 1080p recording,
a 4x optical zoom lens, HDMI output
and an SD card slot. The 805HD builds off the
800 by adding a larger pop-up display at 2.4
inches.

The DVR 745HD is a standard form factor
pocket camcorder offering 1080p recording,
a 2-inch display, 4x digital zoom, HDMI output
and SD card slot.