Videos have come a long way from the clunky VHS recorders of yore to camcorders, to devices that nestle in the palm of your hand but can shoot video and still in high definition, and store the data on SD or microSD cards. Mobile phone cameras are so advanced that they are replacing normal cameras in many scenarios, even under water.
However, there still are dedicated devices that make life so much more interesting for a dedicated amateur videographer. Let us look at some video cameras:
Go Pro Hero 3+ Black Edition: $399.99 (about Rs. 24,800)
Available in three variants, the Go Pro Hero has been the action cam of choice for sports enthusiasts, from skateboarders and surfers to cyclists and bikers and even sky divers and regular movie makers.
The camera comes in a waterproof, dust proof body and has in-built wi-fi. It shoots high definition video as well as stills. The top-of-the-line 3+ Black Edition comes with a wireless remote, and can take 12MP stills and 4K videos.
The entry-level variant costs $199.99 (about Rs. 12,400) and is sold in India by the official distributor — but it is cheaper if you can get it abroad.
Accessories include a handle-bar mount, and chest-straps and other mounts are available as extras. There is no built-in LCD display — that has to be bought separately.
Narrative: $279 ( Rs. 17,298)
The project started as Memoto and got renamed Narrative in the last few weeks. It is still available only for pre-order (shipping starts on November 1), and is designed to be worn all day.
Unlike Go-Pro and the Sony Action Cam, it is unobtrusive (almost a spy cam) as it simply clips to your shirt. Features include GPS, and a battery that lasts two full days.
There are no buttons – the camera just goes on shooting so long as you are wearing the device, at the rate of two geotagged photos per minute with a recorded orientation. If you want video, you would need to stitch the images to build a time-lapse video.
Me Cam: $49 (about Rs. 3,100)
The cheapest in the lineup, sold online, and costs roughly Rs. 5,000 if you order it online to be shipped to India, it is available in five colours, and is also a wearable device. It captures video at 720P and 5MP stills.
It captures all this at a 65 degree viewing angle, and it has infrared LEDs so that it can work in the dark as well. You can transfer the content via USB cable to your computer, or remove the SD card and transfer the files.
You can wear the Me Cam as a necklace, or attach it on your backpack or wear it as a badge on your T-shirt. Audio quality is passable, and images not the sharpest, but at this price point you cannot really complain.
To record video, press the button for 2 seconds, and for shooting stills, just depress the button.
To be on the alert for photos and video ops at all times may not appeal to everybody. Depending on your requirements, there is something for everybody. Life blogging is the name of the game. Choose your instrument wisely, shoot discreetly, share with thought, and bring your life to life.
Sony Action Cam: $299.99 ( Rs. 18,000)
This camera is not yet available in India. It feels and looks like a video camera, and comes with a waterproof case and adhesive mounts, and has in-built Wi-Fi, NFC and even onboard GPS to register your location coordinates.
The camera can shoot full HD videos with stereo sound, and 11.9MP stills. It features the legendary Carl Zeiss optics, and results may appear sharper than the Go Pro. Headband mount and helmet mount have to be bought separately.
It has an LCD display as well, and can be used as a regular camcorder without the waterproof case — a definite advantage over the Go Pro. The battery lasts a bit longer, too.