January 4, 2016 weblog
Movi camera and companion app impart cinema vibes
A camera is being introduced for when you want to capture special moments of a friend reaching the top of a hill or reeling in a fish or anything else special. Movi is a new live event camera that lets you get very filmy— zoom, pan and cut— without having to bring along a camera crew. Livestream's Movi is making its debut on pre-order.
It's pocket sized with a companion iOS app that lets you edit at the same time as you are filming. The video feed is viewed in the phone's companion app and that is where you get to control which portions are recorded or streamed.
This is all about the "production value" of what you shoot. All from a single camera, you transform a single frame into multiple live shots from your iPhone. Using taps, you can shoot close-ups, for example, and pan across the screen.
The Movi promotional video indicates that the camera has important advantages not just for fun but for practical business reasons—capturing highlights of a panel discussion, a product demo, an instructional lecture. "Every conference wants to look like TED, every product launch wants to look like Apple, every keynote wants to look like Steve Jobs," Livestream CEO Jesse Hertzberg said in The Verge. "But lots of businesses don't have the resources."
Edit video on the fly, stream immediately or share later; the iPhone is turned into a video editing suite.
"It's like having a multi-camera production studio in your pocket," said the makers.
"No one wants to go home and edit for hours in FinalCut Pro … and certainly no one can afford to show up at an event with three cameras and cameramen," said Livestream founder Max Haot in TechCrunch.
Marc Hachman, senior editor, PCWorld, said the camera is light enough to hold in your hand but you can also place it on a mount. "Movi isn't much more than a chopped-off 2.5-inch cylinder with a 150-degree lens mounted in its side."
The included battery lasts about 60 minutes; a separate Movi Pro accessory includes Ethernet and 10-hour battery.
The company's specs list includes a 150° all glass lens and 4K sensor. An LED light ring keeps you informed about the Wi-Fi connection and battery life.
What about audio? Movi has built-in stereo microphones. You can add and mix an audio source via the iPhone's microphone jack when using the Movi app.
Movi comes with a mount for mic stands and tripods, a 10 foot USB cable to keep the camera charged, and a 16 GB microSD card to save videos.
Anthony Ha, writer at TechCrunch, picked up on the value of a Movi, saying that unless you're a video professional, you're probably recording with a single camera, and that can be a limitation. "Sure, that's fine [single camera] if you're looking to capture something brief, but if you're filming a longer event (say, a concert, or a baseball game), being locked into single viewpoint can get pretty dull, pretty quickly."
Ha noted: "It creates the illusion that you've captured the event from multiple cameras, rather than a single, pocket-sized device." Similarly, PCWorld wrote, "Livestream's first handheld video camera, the Movi uses a single lens and an innovative iOS app to make one 4K video stream look like up to nine different shots."
Hachman also said that, "though the Movi is a 4K camera, the actual output is only 720p: All those additional pixels are used to create the virtual cameras that the Movi cuts back and forth between."
The creators have put Movi on preorder at the price of $199 (regularly priced at $399). Movi will ship in April 2016.
Can Movi work with Android? The answer is "Not yet."
Livestream, a live video-streaming platform, allows users to watch, like and share live events via a suite of hardware and software tools, said CrunchBase.
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