Apple is going right after the pocket camcorder market with its latest iPod nano, which integrates a camera and camcorder. It also includes an FM radio (first for nano) and voice recorder app. There’s even a pedometer, so you can sync up to Nike Plus.
The device includes a larger 2.2-inch, 240 x 376 display, microphone and speaker. The body is polished anodized aluminum in multiple colors. It comes in two models. 8GB for $149. 16GB goes for $179.
The nano will record 640 x 480 pixel video at 30 frames per second. You’ll even be able to add real time effects, like Sepia, X-Ray, Film Grain, Cyborg, Kaleido, Motion Blur, Mirror, Stretch and 7 more. Read on for more details and hands-on impressions.
The new nano enables one-click uploading to YouTube, just like the Flip cam. And you get double the memory for a lower price. Apple showed us some sample footage and it looked quite good on the big screen, with well saturated colors and plenty of detail (and not much shakiness). I’m just not sure people want to buy a music and video player to get a camcorder.
We spent a little hands on time with the new nano and came away impressed with the video quality, but we’d want to do a full head to head with the Flip before declaring a winner.
There are certainly some trade-offs to using the new nano as a camcorder. First, we wonder how much battery life you’ll get when recording, even though we know it’s designed for capturing short clips. Plus, there’s no dedicated recording button. And, unlike some other competing flash cams like the ones from Kodak, you can’t capture still photos.
On the plus side, we like the new 2.2-inch display (up from 2 inches) and the fact that the nano can record smooth VGA video at 30 frames per second. If you want HD recording, look elsewhere. Maybe HD video capture will be added to the touch line by early next year.
Really, video recording is a bonus for potential nano buyers, and that might be enough to make a dent in Flip’s market share and mind share.
Click through for our image gallery and video.