7/21/09
12:54 pm

The iPhone 3GS: The Latest Video Gadget

With the release of the iPhone 3GS, there was a subtle, but important change in the gadget world. It has to do with the iPhone’s camera. The new camera will not only take better pictures, but also video.
The video recording capability is what is so interesting. Many of us have been carrying around little Flip cameras or something similar for a while now. The iPhone 3GS has pretty much the same capability as these cameras, so they can now be retired. More importantly, the iPhone is always with us, whereas the Flip usually one came with in situations where it was anticipated that it would be used. So there opportunities to record video just broadened enormously.
But there are two more important aspects here to consider. The first is network connectivity. You can shoot, trim and upload video right from your iPhone. You can upload to YouTube or MobileMe. Can’t do that with a Flip. Heck, just getting the video from your Flip to your Mac requires putting up with old AVI video codecs.
The second interesting thing about using an iPhone for recording video is that you are not stuck with the built-in microphone for audio. You can actually use the mic on the earbuds that come with the phone for recording, providing an easy way to speak directly into the mic while pointing the camera elsewhere. You can also use any third-party iPhone mic. For a lot of people this is minor, but for video creators like me this is huge. Camcorder makers have ignored the external mic option for a long time.
So now we have a phone, Internet device, compact camera, compact camcorder and mp3 player all in one small gadget. Getting better all the time.