is this a videoblog in a box?

By , 26 April 2005 6:55 pm

I’m really excited. I ordered a new gadget from an on-line store, and finally got it today. Let’s just say I’m really impressed. I’ll write a more detailled review with links and stuff later, but first I want to try and post some video from it with no editing or conversion, to see if people can view it “as is”. To record this, I simply rolled the camera lens around to point at me, selected “camcorder” mode and pressed the go button. The device supports USB mass storage, so I just plugged it in and uploaded straight to web.

It’s as an enclosure, but you can also get the file direct. Please somebody tell me you can see and hear this …

20 Responses to “is this a videoblog in a box?”

  1. Mohammad says:

    Does it has Internet connection or internet programs like email? What’s the device name?
    btw I can see the video nicely.

  2. Frank says:

    It’s actually a handheld recorder/player device called a Nisis Pocket DV-H10. If you can wait for a day or two, I’m currently putting together a proper review of it.

    I must say though that it has made a big difference to my attempts at videoblogging. Somehow I just never got around to finding/transferring/editing/shrinking/framerate-adjusting any footage from my “proper” mini-DV tape camcorder, but this little handheld device crosses some invisible line that makes it easy enough to take and do anywhere.

  3. Satoshi says:

    Hi Frank,

    I came across this website when I was doing some research on Nisis DV H10. I must say I am quite impressed by the quality of the clip you provided.

    I am very keen to buy this product and would appreciate and value your over all comment of this little camcorder. What rating would you give it? I can already see pros but are there any cons?
    I am particularly interested in its performance in darker conditions like filming indoors.

    I look forward to reading what you have to say.
    Thank you for your time spent on this issue.

    Kind regards,

    Satoshi

  4. Frank says:

    Hi Satoshi,

    I have been intending to do a proper review of this little gem for ages. It makes it so easy to record, edit and upload video that well over 90% of the video on this site was made with it. Be sure to take a look around at other posts for more examples.

    In my opinion it certainly has many more advantages than disadvantages.

    The positives:

    It’s small and light and charges from USB, I love the rotating lens arrangement, it can record sensibly in 320×240 and 640×480 video, does a reasonably good job as a 2MPix still camera, records and plays audio etc. Everything you need in one pocket.

    The size and shape is the real winner for me. I am amazed that so many small memory-based “video cameras” have the same shape as a tape-based camcorder. This one is nice and flat, fits easily in a pocket even when recording (see my video about voting) and attracts no more attention than a mobile phone.

    It also has a few interesting features:

    It can happily use up to 1GB of SD/MMC storage, and even has an internal holder for a spare card so you can carry up to 2GB in the camera.

    It has two high-brightness LED lights that work really well both as a camera “flash” and as a video light.

    Now to the negatives:

    I have used mine for many hours of video and for hundreds of photos. During that time it has “crashed” twice. The first time I thought the camera had broken, but I have since learned that simply opening the back panel and removing the battery pack will reset it. You do lose the photo or video that was being recorded when it crashed, though.

    I also had one strange effect where the auto-exposure and auto-white-balance got confused when I started recording video just as I was stepping from a dark hallway into bright sunlight. The result was the strange colourful “fade out” effect that I have used as a title sequence on several of the videos on this site – despite appearances it was not done on the computer but happened in the camera.

    Another slight drawback is the strange rubbery cover to the USB and headphone socket. I found it inconvenient and fiddly in use, and eventually it broke and fell off. The camera seems to work happily without it.

    One final point. Although this device will play music, podcasts and other audio, it’s not as good an MP3 player as it is a camera/camcorder. In particular it has the problem (unfortunately common to many MP3 players) that it “forgets” where you had listened up to when you switch it off. This may be fine for short music tracks, but for audiobooks and long podcast shows it is a real pain. I still also carry a small dedicated MP3 player/recorder for making and listening to podcasts.

    One warning about any memory-based camera. REMEMBER TO BACK UP YOUR MEDIA FILES. As mentioned on another recent post here, I had a hard drive crash and lost months of stored video. Don’t let it happen to you!

    I hope this helps

  5. Satoshi says:

    Hi Frank,

    Thank you for your prompt and detailed information on this little camcorder.

    I must say I decided to buy it shortly before you reply to my message as I there was a good bargain on ebay. I now know what to expect from it and am prepared for what might happen.
    I am not going to use it for anything serious so I hope it would be ok as this is going to be my introduction to a digital camcorder.

    If I get inspired enough, perhaps I can start my own video blog one day!

    Thank you again for your help and well, warnings!

    Take care.

    Kind regards,

    Satoshi

  6. Frank says:

    Glad I could help.

    Let me know how you get on!

  7. Satoshi says:

    Hi Frank,

    Just to let you know that I have received my DV H-10 this morning and have been playing with it.
    It feels more flimsy than I thought it would be but I am sure it will do the job. Both video and picture quality seem quite ok.

    One thing I noticed is when you rotate the lense to film yourself, the image on the screen is upside down! So I tried again holding the camera upside down but when you play the file, it’s upside down!! I hope you get what I am trying to say. lol.

    Have you overcome this “problem” or is this one of the negatives that you just have to get used to? I didn’t expect this little camcorder to be perfect in every aspect but this is silly.

    It would be helpful if you could comment on this.

    Kind regards

    Satoshi

  8. Frank says:

    It does feel a little flimsy, sure, but despite several drops it has never broken anything except the rubbery connection cover for me. And I’m pretty rough with it – chucking it in my pocket with my keys and stuff. Occasionally the back pops off if it hits the ground or a wall, but it easily goes back on and away we go again.

    The answer to the rotating lens thing is in the manual 🙂 When the image is upside down, just press the “left arrow” (rewind/prev) on the ring control and it flips the image for you.

    I forgot to mention it because I do it without thinking now. With a bit of practice I find I can even flip it while rotating the lens smoothly and recording – to get a kind of in-camera “transition” between forward and backward views.

  9. Frank says:

    As a rough-and-ready example, here’s a short video of me doing just that (WMV 347kb) …

  10. Satoshi says:

    Hi Frank,

    I thought I read the manual throughly but obviously not…I am now 100% happy with my new toy, thanks to you!!!

    You even provided a sample video for me! I never expected anything like that.
    Without sounding cheesy, I must say that you are great!

    I will be checking your videoblog from now on.
    Thank you again for all the help you gave me.

    All the best

    Satoshi

  11. Satoshi says:

    Hi Frank,
    It’s been a while. I trust you are well.
    I have checked your videoblog from time to time. Very interesting. You obviously a guy with full of inspirations!
    I am now trying to start my own videoblog with my friend.

    How is your Nisis DV H10 doing? Mine is doing a good job. By the way, did you get an installation CD with yours? I was going to lend it to my friend but couldn’t find it. It says on the box that it comes with an installation CD but I vaguely remember just connecting the camcorder to USB port for installation.
    I’d appreciate if you can let me know of this…

    Take care!

    Satoshi

  12. David Smith says:

    Hello there,
    Looks like you two are glad with your camera. Glad i found this page 😀
    I am looking to get a DV H10 for my birthday, for the purpose of taking out with me to capture mad moments and pictures on my nights out.

    Are you both still happy with the product, and do you think it will be sturdy enough for what i want it for?

    Thanks in advance 😉

  13. Frank says:

    Satoshi,

    Sorry I missed your last comment. I’m pretty sure I got a CD that had a copy of ArcSoft ShowBiz on it, which I used for a while for editing.

    These days I tend to use Serif MoviePlus 4 (which loads the ASF files from this camera fine, and is IMHO a much more powerful editor) and I haven’t bothered with the CD again.

    The camera works fine with any PC I have tried, it just mounts using the “mass storage profle” like a USB “thumb drive”. Interestingly it is also recognized by the Fuji software that I installed for a different camera, so I often use that to do bulk uploads and filename changes.

    David,

    I still carry this camera with me pretty much all the time. The only times I tend to use a bigger/more-expensive camera are when I need to use a tripod or image stabilisation.

    Shooting video onto flash memory, and uploading directly without messing with tape, rewinding, digitisation, etc is just so smooth it makes video a pleasure again.

  14. Stuart says:

    Hi Frank,

    I have just been looking at the Nisis Pocket DV-H10 camera and am very impressed, one question though, if I leave the video camera running whil unattended does it automatically switch off for battery saving purposes. I ask this because I would like to use it as a security camera where I would keep it constantly recording.
    Thanks,
    Stuart

  15. Frank says:

    I don’t think it does switch off until it actualy ruins out of power. I’ve had mine running for at least an hour with no problems.

    You need to be a bit careful, though. like many devices it may not shut down the recorded file cleanly if it runs completely out of power while recording, which may result in an hour-long, but corrupted and unreadable, file.

  16. Leslie says:

    I’ve had mine (DV H-10) for a few weeks. It costs £52.86 from scan currently, but I got it for around £70 with a 512mb SD card and usb card reader. It’s ideal for little videos for the web. I tried it for some xmas videos for the family and I found it better at the lower (320×240) resolution as you get 30 frames/sec. 640×480 looks good, but unless the camera is still it’s very blurry.

  17. Todd Grenga says:

    Frank,

    I have a question about the Nisis H10. I have not been able to get a answer from the manufacturer.

    I came across the camera while searching High Speed Video Camcorders. Winthin the specs, it indicates that the H10 has a high sensitivity CCD. This provides 2 benefits 1) low light videos recording and 2) high frame rate (up to 240fps).

    However, in the summary table it doesn’t list a high speed video recording mode. It dose indicate “Sport Shot”. Is this a high speed video mode or just several frames taken with one click?

    Thanks for any help

    Todd

  18. Leslie says:

    Todd, this is a really cheap camera so I don’t think you can expect too much from it. You can choose between ‘normal’, ‘sport’ and ‘night shot’. The manual says “under sport shooting mode, the shutter speed is increased to capture fast moving objects”.

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