Vlogging is a very popular activity these days. If you’re not familiar with it, the process involves recording a video-diary of your life and then posting it online for the world to follow. It seems everywhere I look there’s someone who’s decided to record a portion of their life and post it on the internet. If you’ve ever tried to record yourself while “out and about” you know it’s not easy. Using a standard video camera requires what I like to call the “one arm reach” where you hold the camera in one hand and turn it around. Then you extend your arm as far out as you can and record yourself. This works fairly well until it comes time to shoot something other than your face and you have to flip the camera around mid-stream.
There’s gotta be an easier way right?
ION Audio will soon be releasing their solution to this problem, the TWIN VIDEO. The TWIN is the first video camera to have a lens both on the front and on the back. I recently got a sneak peek at this really cool device and wanted to share it with you.
The TWIN VIDEO uses SD cards to record onto. I prefer this method as it allows me to easily transfer the recorded media onto my computer of choice. I can simply pop out the card and insert it into my card reader; there is no dealing with messy cables. The ion includes a 2 GIG SD card in the box along with instructions and software. Unfortunately the software is PC only and being the all Mac household that mine is, I wasn’t able to test it out. I was able however to simply import the movie files into iMovie and edit/export them from there, which is how I prefer to do things anyway.
In addition to the camera you’ll also find a carrying case, wrist strap, handheld tripod, rechargeable lithium ion battery, charging cable and remote in the box.
On the back of the camera you’ll find all the important controls. This includes the 3X zoom buttons, record, access to the menu, and the button which allows you to switch from the front facing camera to the rear while on the go. Both the front and rear cameras have built-in LED lights for recording in low light situations.
On the front you’ll find the second lens and flash. The battery compartment features a dot-matrix like pattern.
The right side of the camera houses the slot for the SD card. The slot gets protected by a rubber gasket like cover. There’s also a mic gain control slider which allows you to select low or high and the power button.
The bottom of the camera gives way to access for the handheld tripod to be mounted.
Once screwed in the handheld tripod offers a very ergonomic way to hold the camera while in use. It also has additional threads for mounting onto a larger tripod should you so desire.
The included remote control allows you to switch between the camera’s two lenses with a simple push of the button. This is helpful when you plan on placing the camera away from you, say on a tripod. You can then easily switch between subjects without having to do any editing.
Check out the video below for a quick look at how the process of switching between the camera’s two lenses works.
The resolution of the TWIN VIDEO is 640 x 480, 30 fps. No HD, but at 30 fps you’ll be able to record video in a quality that’s perfect for uploading to YouTube, blogs or other social networking sites, or videos can easily be shared with friends and family.
But enough with the specifications and pictures. What’s really important here is the video! Check out the short video demo I recorded using the TWIN VIDEO below. In this video I set the mic. gain to low. The camera seemed to do better with the mic. gain set to high, as seen in the video which follows this one.
Or how about using the TWIN VIDEO to conduct an interview? Check out the impromptu one I shot with my 10-year-old daughter below. In this video I set the mic gain to high.
The TWIN VIDEO camera makes any sort of vlogging a breeze. Whether you plan on recording yourself, interviewing someone, or just shooting your surroundings, being able to easily move back and forth between the camera’s two lenses is a very welcomed feature. While it lacks HD, it makes up for it with a low entry cost, a small lightweight design and removable storage. I enjoyed using the camera not only to record myself but to record my surroundings as well.
The TWIN VIDEO has a planned release date of December 2010. In the meantime your can learn more about it by visiting the ion Audio web site located here.
What I Liked: Dual camera make recording yourself and others super easy; comes with SD card; inexpensive
What Needs Improvement: Not HD; no Mac software included