I tinkered a bit with the video features of the IXUS 400 (PowerShot S400 for all you americans) today, and already having experience with DV cameras, I doubted it would blow me away – but it did. You can’t fit too many minutes on the camera, unless you have huge CF cards, and each clip is still limited to 3 minutes. You can’t zoom while recording, you can’t focus, in fact – you can’t do much at all but moving the camera around. Unlike its predecessor, the IXUS v3, which were able to record in 640×480, the new model can only record at 320×240. Why did Canon choose to step DOWN on features? I don’t know, maybe some last-minute “if we want the camera out on time, we need to remove this” or something like that. Or maybe they simply discovered that this is not a camcorder?
Nevertheless, the quality of the recording is pretty awesome – much better than any webcam I have tried (no, my iSight has yet to arrive) – almost DV quality to be honest – that is if you shoot it and then compress it.
Like I said, you get 320×240 in resolution, and 15 FPS. Data rate is about 330kB/sec. You can also record in 160×120 if you like, but who would? What I mean to say is, if you manage to drag the camera with you somewhere, and all of sudden find out “this would be cool to show off on my website” – this is just the perfect device. You normally wouldn’t be taking your camcorder with you on a trip to town, but how about a still camera? Maybe, and getting the clip out on the web is as simple as drag&drop as it’s already compressed. I made some previews for you. Sound is removed for smaller size, but quality remains the same. Clips: indoor and outdoor.
Exactly how Mac-friendly Canon is have always interested me. Their products work on the Mac, camcorders, still cameras, scanners and printers… on Classic or native in OSX (most newer devices anyway). Their installers are horrible on the other hand.
Before getting the camera, I read a review of it at some website, and they posted a video clip taken with the camera. The clip was a .avi file though, and QuickTime complained about some missing codec (no it wasn’t a DivX). So much for Mac compliance I thought. Upon getting the camera however, I noted a QuickTime logo on the box. What’s this? So today I finally got a chance to try some of my own recordings. Since the CF card doesn’t pop up on your desktop, you will need to use Image Capture. Fine enough. So I get my clips, and low and behold they have .avi extensions. However, they DO play in QuickTime. Upon closer inspection it appears they are of format “Motion JPEG OpenDML”. I’m the casual movie user who enjoys iMovie, so I have no clue what this is – but it sure isn’t AVI? Hmm, is it?
I’ve been drinking a lot of Snapple lately. Great stuff. Oh, and if you ever buy a LOT of candy – do NOT leave it in a box in your window when the sun shines. Now I’ve one giant multicolored candy instead of several.