When we talk about HDTV, we tend to focus on professionally-generated content that is commercially distributed one way or another. But this totally overlooks another important source of HD video: user-generated content. There’s only one problem; most HDTV video cameras are extremely expensive.
DXG USA has announced the DXG-569V HD camcorder. It comes in your choice of silver or black, and can record video at 1280 by 720 at 30 frames per second. The camera can also be used as an 8 megapixel still photo camera with an LED flash if needed. There’s a 3-inch diagonal LCD screen so you can preview your shots. It uses SD cards for storage and supports the High-Capacity SD format, so you can either plug the card into your computer or use a USB 2.0 interface to transfer your videos to a computer. You can even use the camera as a digital voice recorder. And the package includes ArcSoft’s Total Media Extreme software that lets you edit and burn home movies in HD. According to the company, the camera will be available at Radio Shack and other consumer electronics retailers.
The surprising thing about this camera is the list price: $169.99. Just a few years ago, that would have been an amazing price for an 8 megapixel still camera, let alone a full speed, 720p HD camcorder. Now, I have not tested this camera so I can’t comment on the quality of the images; at this price, I don’t expect to get professional quality results. Still, it is likely to be satisfactory for most home movie — or small business — applications. Note that many companies are moving to wide format Powerpoint presentations as their standard format, and this camera could easily be used to capture custom video inexpensively that could really punch up a sales pitch. So whether it’s a birthday party or a soccer game or the opening of a new manufacturing plant, cameras like the DXG-569V HD could open the door to a new world of HD user-generated video content.