JVC, Cisco and Immation all recently introduced pocket-style flash-memory video cameras, all keying on new affordable price levels and social-networking features for the holiday season.
JVC entered the pocket camera/camcorder category for the first time with the in Picsio GC-FM1, which carries a $199 estimated retail.
Allan Holland, JVC Consumer Video Division national product specialist senior manager, said that while the Picsio should appeal to a wide audience, it should have particular appeal with the youth market.
“The pocket flash-memory camera market is growing by leaps and bound,” Holland said. “It's a little different than what a traditional camcorder would be, in that it's really meant for sharing. Among the younger demographic these cameras are all about recording friends, parties and sports.”
The primary use for the captured images and video clips is to quickly be shared with family and friends online and through social-networking pages, he said.
JVC said it will continue to offer more sophisticated camcorders for users looking for higher-quality video and still images they intend to archive and exhibit more formally.
The Picsio stores images directly to 128MB of internal flash memory or to SD/SDHC flash-memory cards through an included memory card slot.
Video images are captured in FullHD 1080p resolution while stills are captures in true 8-megapixel resolution.
Key features include a 2-inch color LCD view screen, digital image stabilization and a 4x digital zoom lens using JVC optics. The camera also offers macro focusing for shooting subjects as close as a foot away.
The Picso GC-FM1 includes connections for mini HDMI out, composite A/V out and USB 2.0. The camera charges via USB connection to a PC.
A USB cable, A/V cable, hand strap and PC software — loaded into the camera's internal memory — are included with the camera.
JVC will offer the Picsio in a choice of three colors — Black Ice, Blue Steel and Purple Passion.
The case includes tone-on-tone geometric patterns and chrome accents offering “a jewel-like appearance,” JVC said.
Images are captured using an 8-megapixel CMOS image sensor that does not use image-degrading interpolation, the company said.
Videos are recorded in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format and stored as MOV files for easy sharing without the need for image conversion.
The camera includes four video (1080p, 720p, VGA and QVGA) and four still (8-megapixel, 5-megapixel, 2-megapixel and VGA) recording modes.
Holland said JVC will ship the Picsio GC-FM1 through its full range of retail distribution including national chains Best Buy and Walmart.
Meanwhile, Cisco unveiled the second generation of its Flip MinoHD pocket camcorder featuring a new design, up to two hours of recording time and a larger high-resolution screen.
The company also added a new version of its FlipShare video-editing and capture software, which now uploads clips to Facebook and comes preloaded in the video camera's memory. It will also upload clips to YouTube and MySpace, and includes a number of new organization tools and user controls, including the new Magic Movie, which automatically trims and arranges selected video content into a movie.
The new 8GB version (two-hour video capacity) of the video camera is available now at a $229 suggested retail, and joins the one-hour capacity Flip MinoHD model ($199) and the standard Flip Mino ($149).
The new design features a brushed-metal finish with slightly rounder edges and touch-sensitive buttons. It also can be personalized with one of thousands of designs or can be custom designed by the user at theflip.com web site.
Other features in the step-up model include a 2-inch (960 by 240-pixel) screen, an HDMI jack for direct input to HD televisions with an HDMI cable, and a 2x digital zoom.
Audio is handled with a built-in wide-range, omni-directional microphone and a built-in speaker.
Imation launched its first Memorex-branded flash-based camcorders.
“These are the first designed-by-Memorex and Memorex-branded camcorders,” said Natalie Danaher, assistant brand manager for the Memorex brand.
The MyVideo and MyVideoHD retail for a suggested $99 and $129, respectively. Select models are available in select Toys “R” Us and OfficeMax stores.
Designed to capture events at the spur of the moment, the devices feature integrated USB ports and one-touch recording, and they work with editing software and ability to upload videos to Web sites such as Facebook and YouTube. The camcorders also connect to a TV to play back video, with the MyVideo HD model coming with HDMI port and cable.
Memorex's other lines include home audio and video products, MP3 players, iPod accessories and LCD televisions.