FlipLive: The Camera That Might Have Been

Cisco announced this week that they are shutting down several parts of its consumer business to refocus on four of their “key company priorities.” These include core routing, switching and services, collaboration, architectures and video. Their priorities do not include the Flip video camera we all know and love, though. Cisco has pulled the plug on the popular device and will no longer be working on their newest version, the FlipLive. The little camera that could will no longer, and that makes this geek very sad.

My Flip Ultra HD may not produce the highest-quality video in the world, but it certainly does a decent job. It’s light and small – perfect to throw in my pocket when I’m out and about. You cannot argue about how simple it is to use, which is what made this device so beautiful. Anyone could use it – including grandma shooting videos for the first time when the kids come to visit or a youngster just beginning their journey into the world of technology.

The FlipLive would have been pretty damn sweet, I think. The same little video camera you know and love would have allowed you to also stream live from any HotSpot you could find! Yes, yes – my iPhone can do that. Your device can do that. But can they do it well? Can they do it in a manner that’s simple enough for anyone to figure out right out of the box?

I honestly think Cisco has gone a tad bit loco with this move. Of course there are other devices and gadgets out there which can do the same thing. However, ease of use with any product is one of the key selling points, and the Flip camera had a lock on that arena. Am I the one who has lost his marbles? Do you think this was a bad move by the company, or do you feel that the market is saturated enough that no one will really notice?

readySTEADY Portable Video Camera Stabilizer System Review

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Everyone seems to have some type of pocket video camera these days. The issue is that most of these cameras don’t have any type of optical image stabilization. Thankfully, there are products available to help, such as the readySTEADY stabilizing system.

readySTEADY fits right into your pocket and actually works very well to stabilize your camera. It is durable, made of sturdy aluminum, not plastic. Most importantly, it puts an end to the impossible task of trying to hold your pocket video camera steady for more than 10 seconds.

Do your viewers a favor: use a readySTEADY to shoot your next video. They will thank you for it.

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Do You Want a Logitech HD Webcam?

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I have been addicted to webcams since they were first introduced to the market. I still have the first one I ever owned sitting in a box in the closet! I have to thank Logitech for passing along their new HD C510 webcam, which is part of their new series. This little device may be small, but it packs a lot of punch!

The Logitech HD Webcam C510 with 720p Video and Swivel Design boasts fluid 720p HD video recording and video calling in 16:9 widescreen. It allows you to upload to your favorite sharing services with a click of the mouse.

The camera takes awesome 8 MP photos – much higher quality than the 5 MP ones that Logitech’s C310. They are crystal-clear and very sharp. The built-in automatic light adjustment works well in harsh or dim light situations, making it easier for the person on the other end of the line to see you.

The built-in microphone is actually pretty dang good. It picks up the smallest sound that you could ask it to… such as my dogs playing on the other side of the room. You won’t have to worry about the other person being able to hear you.

Automatic adjustments for brightness, contrast, color saturation, colors, focus and face tracking make high-quality video calling and recording a breeze. The “follow-my-face” feature only seems to work in standard resolution. I’m not sure that I appreciate everything on this camera being “always focused” instead of having the auto-focus capability found on their C910 model.

The software works very well, but there is one major drawback… there’s no software available for the Mac. You can use the webcam with a Mac, but you don’t have software to take full advantage of everything it has to offer.

If you’re looking for an HD webcam with an easy way to record and then push up to YouTube, this may well be the device you’ve been looking for.

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Lorex Security System Review

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I’ve demonstrated home security systems in the past. This time, I’ve gotten my hands on a couple of different systems from Lorex. I’ll even be giving one of these products away at the end of this video review.

One of the systems allows you to “Connect. See. Hear. Protect”. You can connect the camera to any electrical outlet. It then transfers to a wireless receiver which is connected to my Slingbox software. The other allows you to record as well as watch what’s going on. So how would you like to win one of these systems?

The LW 22-series, the receiver features single view, auto switching or quad (4 camera location) view. That’s right – you can connect up to three other cameras to this so that you can keep an eye on several locations in your house at once. You can view in VGA resolution for high quality video or CIF res for real-time observation. There’s also a mic built in to provide audio.

The other system I was sent performs these same functions. However, it also comes with the ability to record. It is the fast and easy way to add video security to your home or small business. The digital wireless micro-receiver plugs directly into your surveillance monitor, DVR, or TV. Set up the security camera near the front or back doors, garage, backyard, patio, kid’s room, or any location that you would like to keep an eye on. Thanks to wireless technology, there is no need to run video cables between the cameras and the receiver!

This system is what I’m offering to you! I will send the video surveillance system recording device to one of you in our community. You may have a small business that you need to protect. I got to review a few products that I happen to like, so it’s time to pay it forward. I’ll choose a random winner from either the blog comments or YouTube comments left for this video.

I have to thank Lorex for passing these products along, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have tested them. I also did like the QSee Surveillance System.

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Sony Bloggie Camera Review

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I’m very glad that Sony sent along the new Bloggie PM5 and CM5 for me to review. I decided to record half of the video using one of these little devices, and half using the other one! They can take still shots, and record in full 1080p format! They support a media stick, or SD media, which is impressive to see. Both cameras are capable of creating very nice YouTube videos!

The great thing about the PM5 is the swivel screen. The camera features a unique lens that swivels up to 270 degrees and, when rotated, instantly powers on the camera so you can start recording video or taking still shots immediately.

SteadyShot image stabilization helps reduce blur caused by camera shake. It boasts 4x Digital zoom that lets you move in close and capture the action in crisp detail. Face Detection technology recognizes faces and optimizes camera settings for both video and still images, so faces are captured more clearly and skin tones look more natural.

Both the PM5 and CM5, much like the Kodak Zi6, suffer from blurring during low-light recording. This is something I’ve repeatedly tried to tell companies about in the past. However, it looks as though not many of them have figured out an answer yet.

Once I switched recording devices to the PM5, I noticed a few things immediately. The CM5 Bloggie is all about simplicity and ease of use. Simply push the video button to shoot a movie, and the photo button to snap a picture.

The CM5 definitely handles close-up video better than this PM5 does. You can see in the video how far out of focus this thing is, and I’m not happy about that. I definitely recommend the CM5, as long as you are not planning to shoot in low-light situations.

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