Up until Maxis passed me a unit of the HTC HD7 for review as part of their Maxis10 initiative, I’ve never had the opportunity to experiment with HD video capabilities of a mobile phone. Naturally, I was most pleased to be given the chance to use a phone with a LARGE (believe me, it is SO VERY LARGE) screen and 720p HD video.
One of our Integricity companies was headed to Kuantan for a server deployment and 2011 planning retreat, so I seized the opportunity to document our trip on video. We woke up early, met at McDonalds, then hit the highway. Here is our story.[hdvid-600]G_0TFGd918E[/hdvid-600] Music: Heart of Medieval (by Butterfly Tea)
Please feel free to use and embed this video in any reviews you may be doing. It would be nice to let me know where you’re using it, but not necessary.
My feedback is probably not overly fair, as I am not a regular video camera user. For most people, the camera is sufficient for documenting bits of a holiday, or to capture that uber-cute-baby-moment. I’ve been pampered with DSLRs like the Canon 5D Mark 2, and I have to keep telling myself it’s unfair to compare. This video was edited on Final Cut Pro and a MacBook Pro. Colours were not edited, as I wanted it to be true to the phone.
-1 The camera auto-focuses well, which is a big plus point, but as it does, it zooms out slightly, then in again, which makes the video seem as if I was unable to nail the focus spot on.
+1 Low light is rather challenging, but the HD7 didn’t fair too badly (look at the BBQ scene), so I’d give it a positive point here.
-1 Shutter speeds seemed to be rather high by default, resulting in somewhat staccato-ed frames for motion (look at the rain scene where the car and bike ride by).
+1 Battery life is pretty decent if you’re only shooting video and nothing else.
-1 I was using the 720p option and it keeps on defaulting to VGA (640×480) mode. It’s a known issue, and hopefully the next OS update fixes it.
+1 There aren’t a zillion and one options to set before getting the mobile phone to shoot video, so it’s really pretty simple for the average user.
+1 Weight-wise, it’s quite light and easy to carry around. Having a 720p camera in my pocket at all times is totally awesome for the unplanned moment.
+1 The screen makes it so easy to see what you’re shooting – you don’t need to squint through any viewfinder and colours are accurate – what you see on screen is also what is recorded.
-1 Audio isn’t fantastic, but neither is the in-built mic on 99% of cameras. You can plug in an external mic, but you’ll have to either buy a specific cable, or make it yourself.
The video feature is excellent if you have kids, or if you run a vlog. You can set up the camera anywhere and start recording easily. Transferring the videos to your computer is pretty automatic and you can start editing right away, if you choose. This phone is ultimately still a phone first (obviously), but it does have the capability to capture decent home videos.