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Comparing Three Handheld Video Cameras: HTC Ozone, Flip Mino, Canon Powershot Over Rockport Harbor

In the course of having a family, a few years ago I picked up a Canon Powershot A560, a digital still camera that also takes video. As a writer for Irregular Times, last year a sample Flip Mino pocket video camera came my way from CafePress (our subsequent coverage of which goes to show that we can’t be bought off with trinkets). A few weeks ago, a renewal of cell phone service with Verizon brought an HTC Ozone windows mobile smartphone my way (see my overall review of the HTC Ozone here). Just like that, I’ve got three devices that record video. It’s compare-and-contrast time!

Heading down the road to Rockport Harbor here in Maine, I took three segments of video from the same rock on the tide wall at Walker Park. Each lasts about 30-45 seconds. Maintaining the highest-quality settings for comparison purposes, the three videos are stitched together here. Tell me what you see.

To my eye, the Flip Mino and Canon Powershot are comparable, although every eye judges differently and I’d like to read your perceptions in the comments below. The HTC Ozone seems blurrier, and it’s not just the fog over the harbor; foreground details are fuzzy, too, and you can hear more blockiness in the accompanying audio. None of these are professional devices, but video for the Flip Mino and Canon Powershot fit in the reasonable amateur category while the HTC Ozone video sits in the “novelty” bin. Specs on the video captured by three devices are below:

HTC Ozone
File size: 2.2 MB
320×240 pixels
23 frames/second
8000 Hz mono audio

Flip Mino
File size: 20.9 MB
640×480 pixels
30 frames/second
44100 Hz mono audio

Canon Powershot A560
File size: 75.9 MB
640×480
30 frames/second
11024 HZ mono audio

For the events that occur while I’m out and about, I’ve learned that it will be unfortunately unwise for me to rely solely on my HTC Ozone cell phone camera. Another device (most likely the smaller Flip) will need to be at the ready.

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