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Old Jan 6, 2008, 9:30 PM   #1
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Just wanted to let yall know about a nice little hybrid I have been playing around with that is super. Its the Jazz DV-150. It has GREAT video performance and works super in low light. Plus, the cost is good and can be found for well under 100 bucks. It is designed to be mainly used as a camcorder and records in VGA at 30fps. It is kind of like the new Click camcorders and the RCA small wonder, but it allows you to record to SD card. I get 90 minutes off a 2 gig card. I also get about 2 hours of recording time using 2 AA batteries with it.

I bought this camera to try out in my video trail camera systems I build. I do this as a hobby and am part of a homebrew trail camera group and we always are testing out cameras like the Jazz to use in our systems. I have tried many of the Aipteks, the MPVR, the 5800, 5900 and IS-DV2, but this new Jazz seems to have them all beat. I have started a temporary project website, http://www.wildtronix.com, showing the progress of using the Jazz as the recording engine in a video trail camera system. I posted some raw video clips on the site showing different video clips. I have some posted on the site showing how it performs right out of the box. I also have clips showing the camera integrated into our custom video trail camera systems we are developing (note that this is not somthing we are selling, just developing for our own hobby use). We basically hard wire into the camera and have a custom made motion activated controller board which takes care of the recording control. We also modded the CMOS sensor lens to make it detect IR light so that we can use infrared lights at night that will not spook the animals. Its working very good. But I just wanted to let you all know that the Jazz is a very nice, inexpensive camera and may be worth a look. Its not a GO-HD or a A-HD but its as good or better than any of the other Aipteks that I have tried. More info can be found at http://www.jazzcameras.com/

Also, if you visit http://www.wildtronix.com, you will need to download the xvid code to run the video clips. Most I left in the raw format that the camera redcorded in. The Jazz records in .avi but uses that codec, itsa bit strange as to why they did that but they did. There are a few raw clips in color of the jazz straight out of the box near the bottom of the page. Sorry for the annoying screaming my little girl is doing, you may want to turn down the volume . Also, I had the exposure turned up and you can see that is a bit over exposed. I will post some better color video in normal exposure and post them to let you see the difference.



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Old Jan 7, 2008, 1:00 AM   #2
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Very interesting. I guess you know that a few of the hybrids come with a motion detection feature. I've tested it on my Digilife DDV-5120A, and it does work. Nice that you have a purpose for this.
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Old Jan 7, 2008, 9:59 AM   #3
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Yea, I tested out that feature in some of the Hybrids and it works well. The problem with it in my application aretwo fold. a) the motion detection in hybrids work off pixel movement only. So blowing branches and leaves will set it off and b) camera has to be on at all times which would eat up the batteries within hours. Since I leave me camera systems out for months at a time, I actually power down the camera and then only turn it on when I detect motion from the PIR sensor. I hardwire into the power and shutter switches on the camera to remote control it. Its not to difficult to do, but I sure wish camera venders would allow for a "remote" port in these cameras to control them externally
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Old Jan 7, 2008, 12:24 PM   #4
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I downloaded all of those clips, and to be honest, I'm not impressed. I think the level of detail may be slightly higher than the traditional Aiptek (VGA resolution models) but otherwise the dynamic luminance range is the same, or possibly worse. Also it suffers from wavy video, which is no surprise given its price-range.

I have never liked this style of camera. I played with the RCA when it came out and I guess the thing I hated about it was that it had essentially no user-customizable features. It was essentially a dumb point-and-shoot and that was it. Even your typical aiptek has some adjustable settings. Now, I don't know about this model, if it is like that or not, but I am guessing it is being how similar it looks to the others.
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Old Jan 9, 2008, 4:01 PM   #5
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I suspect the Jazz, Flip Video, and RCA might get their cameras from the same contract manufacturer.

These easy-to-use point-and-shoot models with built-in USB plugs are also giving way to high definition 720p, based on the news from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

RCA appears to be first out of the gate with a brand new 720p model:

http://gizmodo.com/341260/rca-brings...ll-wonder-line

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Old Jan 9, 2008, 6:41 PM   #6
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Boy Idaho, you can really find them! Its great news that everyone is now switching to HD format for hybrids. That means the price will just keep coming down. I actually like that little RCA. Price is not to bad either, but I am sure they will be sold for under the $149 retail price they listed in the article. I like the option of the flip out screen. Hope it can be turned around and shut off during recording to save batteries. I mainly use these cameras for my trail camera stuff and I hope that one of the HD will be able to be used in my systems. I will try one out soon as I can figure out which to pic.

Yea, the Jazz does have some issues, but compared to others that I have tried, its just as good but much cheaper. B and H sells them for 69 bucks, which is pretty cheap and much cheaper than other similar alternatives. It does tend to wave a bit when moving and has some exposure issues in bright light. I think the reason is because they designed it more for indoor use since it pics up inside very well with hardly any light needed. WAY better than the MPVR. But for a quick, cheap, good quality hybrid, I really like it. It dont compare to the HDs hybrids for sure but its better than others I have tried.
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Old Jan 10, 2008, 12:19 AM   #7
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I don't know about the HD thing. Sure, it looks better (generally) but it isn't really neccessary for me. I'm perfectly satisfied with 640x480 as long as it is clear and sharp. Adding extra resolution doesn't always mean extra detail. Just like when the "toy" cameras started showing up with megapixel resolutions, only to find out that a lower-resolution name-brand camera still took better photos. I fear the same thing will start happening with HD. Suddenly every camera on the market will want to be HD, even if the quality is no better than before.

Keep this in mind. As a society, our analog televisions have been essentially similar to 640x480 for many decades. It has obviously been high quality enough for most stuff.

Another interesting tid-bit. I've been going through some of my parents' old Super-8 movies. I recently had them converted over to digital format. My grandfather was actually a professional photographer and one of the few people who had a color video camera back in the 1950's. The camera and developing equipment would have been extreemly expensive back then. The sad part is, my Aiptek IS-DV2 actually takes MUCH better video. If I could transport my IS-DV2 back in time to the 1950's, it would be one of the highest definition movie cameras on the planet. It would put to shame just about anything except for the most expensive studio quality cameras that were used in Hollywood.
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Old Jan 10, 2008, 12:52 AM   #8
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I agree. I'd like to see the HD hybrids use the same bit rate for their 640x480 mode and back off on the compression. They could have a second 640x480 mode at a lower bit rate with more compression.
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Old Jan 10, 2008, 10:48 AM   #9
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The problem with the high definition situation isn't resolution; it's aspect ratio.

The 640 x 480 resolution usually means 4:3 aspect ratio.

Meanwhile, more and more people are replacing their 4:3 tube TVs with 16:9 flat panel HDTVs.

So -- as that happens -- they naturally want the picture to fill the newer, wider screen.

So that's the real reason, in my view, why the 720p and 1080i 16:9 video is displacing the older 4:3 ratio formats.

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Old Jan 10, 2008, 11:24 PM   #10
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Absolutely. But given the versatility of these cameras, I'd hope that both formats can be supported and optimized within the price level.

You know what I really hate? People who want to show off their fancy new flat/wide screen tv's, and then the aspect ratios are wrong. How can they watch that? I'd much rather watch the normal aspect ratio.
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