Jump to content



Photo

Possible new recorder - aiptek a-hd


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Jaron Berman

Jaron Berman

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 104 posts
  • LA, CA

Posted 29 August 2007 - 04:26 PM

Ran across this item, and it looked intruiging. It's a palm sized solid-state 720p camcorder that shoots to SD cards (up to 8gb). More interesting is that it can record 720x480 video using the h.264 codec. Also the interface cable is standard minijack split out to RCA's, and the charger is standard usb.

Now, the interesting part is that with the AV-In cable attached, it automatically switches the camcorder off and enters record mode. One buton starts and stops - apparently creating new clips after each stop. It's $169. I ordered one to try it out and I'll get back with notes on quality and feasibility in terms of Steadicam usage. If the footage looks good, it should be pretty easy to find a cellphone 12v lighter plug to rip apart and make into a power adapter, and minijacks... Also, if it looks promising, I'll rip into it and see if I can find all the important pins, incl. run/stop. Well needless to say - if this works, it'll be a great and cheap recording tool. For $169 my hopes aren't too high, but who knows...

Oh, and it's NTSC or PAL - switchable in menu.
  • 0

#2 Jaron Berman

Jaron Berman

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 104 posts
  • LA, CA

Posted 05 September 2007 - 08:08 PM

well, I can happily say that while the unit is about 2-3x as thick as an archos, the quality is as good, and this is SO much simpler to use. One button records, when hit again it stops and starts a new clip. I went into the file inspector, and checked the actual specs, because like most of these bizarre off brands, the manual says nothing about the av-in recording format. Sure enough, it's H.264 720x480 @ 30fps. I was pretty blown away, because for $169, it shouldn't be anywhere near this nice. And again, my favorite part - it uses a minijack to get AV in!!! It has an internal lithium battery, but takes a standard mini-usb power plug. I'll be on the lookout for cheap USB mini - lighter jack adapters to power it off the sled - should be no problem.

Also, it can fast forward and rewind on recorded clips, and shows the live image on screen while recording.

So, first impressions - sweet little toy.
  • 0

#3 Robert Starling SOC

Robert Starling SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1134 posts
  • Las Vegas, NV

Posted 05 September 2007 - 08:56 PM

So, first impressions - sweet little toy.


Hey Jaron! You'd better be taking care of my old rig!!! Wear that sucka out!

How about posting a clip from your new wonder-toy for the rest of us to see. If you need space you can put it on my web server.

Peace!
  • 0

#4 Ramon Engle

Ramon Engle

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 506 posts
  • Atlanta

Posted 06 September 2007 - 08:13 AM

So, first impressions - sweet little toy.


Hey Jaron! You'd better be taking care of my old rig!!! Wear that sucka out!

How about posting a clip from your new wonder-toy for the rest of us to see. If you need space you can put it on my web server.

Peace!



Hi Jaron. Give us a link.

Ramon
  • 0

#5 Peter Milanov

Peter Milanov

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 90 posts
  • Sweden

Posted 07 September 2007 - 03:56 AM

www.aiptek.com/ :rolleyes:

To bad they donĀ“t ship overseas, but I guess there are other places to get it as well.

Unfortunatley for us in europe the AV-in is usually disabled for the european models due to toll/tax issues, so we have to import ourselves.


Anyway, this looks like a promising little device, let us know how it works under real conditions.
  • 0

#6 Ramon Engle

Ramon Engle

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 506 posts
  • Atlanta

Posted 07 September 2007 - 08:53 AM

Ran across this item, and it looked intruiging. It's a palm sized solid-state 720p camcorder that shoots to SD cards (up to 8gb). More interesting is that it can record 720x480 video using the h.264 codec. Also the interface cable is standard minijack split out to RCA's, and the charger is standard usb.

Now, the interesting part is that with the AV-In cable attached, it automatically switches the camcorder off and enters record mode. One buton starts and stops - apparently creating new clips after each stop. It's $169. I ordered one to try it out and I'll get back with notes on quality and feasibility in terms of Steadicam usage. If the footage looks good, it should be pretty easy to find a cellphone 12v lighter plug to rip apart and make into a power adapter, and minijacks... Also, if it looks promising, I'll rip into it and see if I can find all the important pins, incl. run/stop. Well needless to say - if this works, it'll be a great and cheap recording tool. For $169 my hopes aren't too high, but who knows...

Oh, and it's NTSC or PAL - switchable in menu.


Jaron where did you find it for $169? I can't find it for less than $249.

Ramon
  • 0

#7 Dan Coplan

Dan Coplan

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 507 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 September 2007 - 06:15 AM

You can get that price directly from their website. I'm a big fan of Google's price comparison website, froogle.com.

Looks like they also have a number of options including the IS-DV for $79.99 (the cheapest one I found that does full frame rate in SD).

Very interested in reports from other people. Intriguing product considering the cost. I wonder what the return policy is...

Dan
  • 0

#8 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2224 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 September 2007 - 07:22 PM

I tested one at home today and will be returning it.

Picture quality is as Jaron said, really really good. Much better than the little Supercircuits recorders. No visible compression artifacts.

However, the funkiness of maneuvering between record and playback and powering up and down is the primary deal killer for me. Being a camcorder first and foremost, the various controls that you need to operate are located on three surfaces: record button the front, transport (play, forward, rewind) next to the screen, and the navigation selector on the rear. That makes it awfully complicated to mount on the rig and operate while wearing same.

Assuming that I will be powering this off the sled, every time I save the monitor breaker and power back up I would have to hold down the tiny power button on the screen until it comes to life. You then have to navigate between 3 options to activate the AV-IN feed. From there, you simply push the record button to start and stop the recording, not all that bad.

To switch to playback, two different buttons can be used to bring it to a MODE screen that requires a few wiggles of the selector button and then you are looking at your clips, which are (rather nicely) thumbnails rather than long file names in a menu. If you were really slick you would hit record while the slate was in the shot so you could easily move between the thumbnails (you'd need some powerful eyeballs to make out the number on the slate though). Pause, rewind and fast foward are engaged by some really harsh yet tiny little membrane buttons next to the LCD, about as far from positive feel as you can get. The unit does come with a credit-card remote that has all of the controls on it but I have never been able to wrap my head around using these on the sled--too fiddly.

If you happen to like playing back through the rig, as I do--those little LCD's are nice and colorful but it's hard for me to judge what a shot will really look like while played on a 2" screen, especially while I have that really expensive big one on the rig already--this camera falls down for this function, and hard. You have to unplug the miniplug and reconnect it to get the 3-way option screen back up again, and this time select AV-OUT. Depending on what order you do this (camera powered up or not), I was able to get the camera to freeze up a few times, requiring another power-up cycle. It's pretty clunky (and of course one has to throw the appropriate switch on the sled to move to playback mode, and all this in reverse to get back to recording mode).

For some, all this might be dealable somehow. I'd just like the operating to be as simple as it always was with the tape technology--ya pressed record, then stop, then play and there you were. I love the random access and miniaturization of the flash recorders but the multiple steps are fiendish, and I continually find these units flaky and easy to "confuse", requiring reboot. But maybe it's just me being an old fuddy-duddy.
  • 0

#9 Jaron Berman

Jaron Berman

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 104 posts
  • LA, CA

Posted 22 September 2007 - 12:08 AM

I agree. This past week, I finally got a chance to test it in "game conditions," and found it to be less than convenient, but not horrible. The people I shot for seemed to thrilled to have playback, they didn't mind the tiny screen. But I 100% agree that the manner of getting between playback and record (plugging or unplugging the av in cable) is a bit backwards. Unfortunately, my computer is REALLY showing its age, and I'm not even able to view my clips... but when I looked at them on a friend's comp, they looked quite good. considering the price), the only problem being slight moire. I was shooting video, so the DOF wasn't doing the codec any favors. I'd imagine that with any kind of selective focus it would be much better. I tried recording off a DVD and it looked fantastic.

Its an interesting unit, and now that I've played with it a bit, I'm going to rip it open and see if I can upgrade the critical switches and come up with a simple solution to allow it to flip between modes. Should be a pretty easy fix, but I'll post photos and info if it works. If not....well
  • 0




GPI Pro Systems

IDX

Omnishot Systems

Wireless Video Systems

PLC - Bartech

Teradek

Varizoom Follow Focus

Paralinx LLC

Boland Communications

Ritter Battery

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

rebotnix Technologies

BOXX

Engineered Cinema Solutions

SkyDreams

PLC Electronics Solutions

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS