Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pocket Video Camcorder for Web 2.0 Apps


The camcorder market remains one of the most complex and dynamic Consumer Electronic (CE) categories, despite witnessing fairly modest unit growth in recent years. Now, the emergence of a new breed of low-cost, back-to-basics, pocket video camera (PVC) is connecting with consumers.

"With the death knell sounding for traditional tape-driven camcorders and DVD giving way to HDD and Flash-based devices, it's the pocket video camera segment that's really leading the charge," says David Watkins, a senior analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

Accounting for just 5 percent of total U.S., Japan and Western Europe camcorder shipments in 2006, they expect this to swell to 40 percent by 2010, equating to more than 7 million units shipped across the three regions next year.

A range of factors is driving this step change, including the ever-increasing popularity of Web 2.0 sites with video upload capability -- as PVCs simply plug into a computer and the video can be uploaded direct to web.

America, the world's largest video sharing population, with more than 50 video uploads per minute to YouTube alone in the first half of last year, is the biggest market for PVCs -- with the UK and Germany leading the way in Western Europe.

In addition, low price points, durability and point-and-shoot functionality mean these devices appeal to a broad cross-section of the population. Sports enthusiasts and extreme sports participants, young parents, teenagers, bloggers, vloggers and online social networkers are just some of the groups utilizing the PVC.

With embedded or removable flash memory and a stripped-down feature set, PVCs are small enough to qualify as highly portable everyday video camera devices. Non-traditional camcorder brands such as Pure Digital, Aiptek and DXG are currently dominating the PVC segment.

I personally use a Pure Digital Flip Ultra camera.