Mobile phone videos are in increasingly popular way of shooting and transmitting movies.
With the growing popularity of video sharing Web sites like YouTube and Google Video, mobile phone and PDA manufacturers have started to recognize the ability to take mobile phone videos as a key phone feature for consumers. The image quality and frames-per-second rate on most phone video cameras, however, aren't yet up to speed with the popular small and inexpensive (less than $200) digital video cameras like the Flip UltraHD. Most mobile phone video cameras also have limited memory capacity considering the large file sizes of most YouTube-type video clips. Certain features, such as optical zoom, on almost all phone video cameras are very limited when compared to standalone camcorders like the Flip. In addition, the usage of phone video cameras can quickly drain most cell phone batteries.
Though the technology of mobile phone cameras is currently limited, phone video cameras do have their advantages. A camera and a phone together in one device offers easier portability. Many standalone cameras require a physical connection to a PC, while mobile camera phones have the ability to transfer videos remotely though this depends on the phones service provider and rate plan.
A few mobile phone models with video camera features are beginning to compare favorably with the Flip UltraHD and other small standalone video cameras.
The Nokia N96 is a mobile phone that was introduced to the American market as an unlocked model, meaning that it did not come with a contract requirement for a specific wireless carrier. The N96 weighs only 4.5 ounces and has 16 gigabytes of internal memory that allow up to 40 minutes of video recording time. An additional eight gigabytes of memory can be added to the phone with a microSD card. The Flip video camera only has eight gigs of memory and provides no memory card expansion slots for additional memory.
Video recording is a major feature of Apples iPhone 3GS model. The iPhones video camera has a variety of capabilities geared specifically for video-sharing sites like YouTube. It can record 30-frames-per-second (like the Flip UltraHD) Web-ready videos in either portrait or widescreen formats. Mobile videos can be edited right in the iPhone with editing tools that trim footage in a filmstrip format. Videos can also be easily sent via MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), though this feature must be supported by the phones service provider.
The iPhone 3GS lets users download videos from Apples iTunes Store, including videos that are uploaded to iTunes from video-sharing sites like YouTube, as well as videos that have been edited with on a computer with Apples iMovie before being uploaded to iTunes.
Another important aspect of the iPhone 3GS is a one-touch-send feature that will automatically send a camera phone video to a users YouTube account. Note, however, that YouTube will not accept videos longer than 10 minutes.
Certain Blackberry smartphone models including the Blackberry Pearl, Curve, Bold and Storm offer video recording features powered by Roxio Media Manager software. Recording features include easy drag-and-drop video file uploading from phone to computer. To accommodate large video files, a microSD memory card must be installed.
Android is a Linux-derived Google open-development software platform for mobile devices, including mobile phones with built-in video cameras. Android-compatible phone brands include HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Compatible mobile phone video service providers include T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel. Android-powered phone camcorders include a one-button video capture feature and three sharing options that include e-mail attachment, MMS message attachment and automatic delivery to YouTube.
For videos that are too large to share via MMS e-mail, the iPhone lets users upload videos to Apples MobileMe photo-sharing gallery service. After a video is uploaded, an e-mail notification can be sent to friends and family that includes a link to the video at MobileMe.
Amazon Video On Demand is a video upload service that includes a small portable file that's specially encoded for camera phones and other types of portable video players. The Nokia N96 model, as well as other compatible phones, offers easy downloading of videos from Amazons Video On Demand (VOD) service via the services Unbox Video Player. The videos can then be played on the Nokia camera phone. Earlier Nokia N85 and N79 unlocked cell phone models are also compatible with Amazons VOD service.
In 2008, the photo-sharing social networking Web site Flickr introduced m.flickr (or Mobile Flickr) its video-enabled service for PDA camera phones. Unfortunately, not all video cell phone models are compatible with the service, and m.flickr is only available to fee-based Flickr Pro subscribers.
YouTube Mobile as the name implies, is the YouTube video sharing Web sites mobile device-compatible download and upload service. YouTube Mobile allows users to establish a unique YouTube e-mail address where videos can be sent. Note, however, that not all mobile phones are compatible with the YouTube service.
Windows Media Player Mobile is a Microsoft video player application for online video viewing. The Windows Player includes a My Videos folder where users can create a video playlist, along with other online viewing options.
Skype Mobile Videophone is a mobile phone video service courtesy of Internet phone call service provider Skype and ASUSTeK, a Chinese electronics manufacturing corporate giant. Along with its online services, Skype Mobile Videophone offers its subscribers a free ASUS Eee Videophone AirGuru.