The Best Camera For Web Video Is… ?

The best camera for web video is the one you own ;-)
The best camera for web video is the one you own ;-)

The best camera for web video is.....

The answer is….. The one you have!

Cameras are one of the least important factors in producing successful web video.  I’m generally more interested in the promotion and ‘success’ of my videos, but this is a very common question.

In the past few years web video has sky-rocketed mainly due to the flip camera. I own two standard format flips and dearly love them. I intend to use them [occasionally] for a long time but for now I’m primarily using the Kodak Zi8.

Both of these cameras are out of production, which is a bit of a shame, but they are still readily available.  Millions of us love the flip and will miss it. If you are just getting started with video I’d recommend you get your hands on a flip and make your first dozen or so videos with it. You’ll learn a ton and won’t get too frustrated. The flip is the simplest device I’ve ever used. It’s more durable, and has better sound and color than any other budget hand-held camera. I’ve recently seen them go for $30 to $65.

The Kodak Zi8 is also still widly available and for below $90. What an amazing tool for the money.  It take really great still pics and I use it frequently for this.  My big warning is that this camera eats battery power quickly so you’ll need to buy an extra. [ebay 3rd party knock-offs are cheap and ok for this]

The Zi8 is more complicated and requires more thought than the flip. The one mistake I make often is in the focus switch. The close focus setting is great for focusing on tiny stuff, but you need to remember to switch it back to the normal setting.  My poor old eyes can really see the difference in the tiny video display, especially if I’m outside.

The Zi8’s external audio jack is what make it the killer tool.  Get yourself a good external mic and you’ll really get the quality up in no time.

I do still recommend both of these cameras even thought they’re ‘out-of-print’.  If you want the new toys then I’d take a look at the Sony Bloggies and the Kodak Play

Now, there is a camera that I’m really hoping to get mey hands on soon. The Toshiba Camelio X400 is pictured here and looks to be exactly what I want in my next camera. Check it out if you’re in the market and expect a price around $250.  The X200 and X416 are not quite as perfect on paper, IMO, but that’s all subjacet to change once I get on out in the streets. I hope that’s soon. Hello Santa!!

Lastly, I haven’t mentioned a personal favorite, the Logitech webcams. I’ll have more to say here soon but if you’re talking to your tride from your desk then the stuff here is moot. Get a Logitech and nothing else. Model isn’t too critical but nowadays the HD stuff is pretty standard so spend the extr few bucks if you can. I can’t wait to tell you more about this soon!





Amazon S3 Software Utilities Review: 3 Winning Software Choices

The Gold Medal for Best Amazon S3 Software

HOSTING YOUR video files on Amazons S3 web service is the very best way to stream videos from your web page. The reasons are simple and powerful. Amazon reliability, security and performance capability simply can’t be matched by your web host account. [see my video below for an example.]

Top internet marketers and content pros are frequently using Amazon’s S3 service to stream their media files. Not only is this the best performance available, but believe it or not it’s about the lowest cost as well. You can run videos hundred of times for just pennies!

The reason that S3 hasn’t completely taken over the hosting world is that is (1.) not free and (2.) it’s more complicated. The money is not the biggest obstacle, the complexity is. Thankfully some software developers have made it extremely simple to utilize S3 and I’ve got the info here to help you decide on the best program for you.

The video world is full of complex technical talk and options but the best course of action for most of us is very simple. Of all the many video formats Flash video is the one that 99% of web surfers can view. This format is also the smallest file size so it’s fast and easy. Any video file you have can be easily converted to flash video, (and I won’t get much further into that here). Conversion can be done in one easy step in free software or as part of a bigger software program, one of which I review here.


Once a file is converted it must be uploaded to S3 and held to be served as a part of your html web page. The embed code and player must be added to the file package to make the magic happen. This is where the software programs do the real work. These make getting your html embed code a piece of cake. Once you have the code it’s very simple to post into a web page or blog post.

Making a video play in a flash player is one thing, but why stop here. The embed code can also modify the size, shape, colors, and features of the player. The video can be made to auto-play and to redirect the viewer to another page once finished. All these features can make these software packages a real bargain for internet marketers.

I compare the 3 programs here based on their effectiveness, features, and ease of use. My judgment is a bit subjective and not intended to be the end-all on the subject. I intend to make the points that I feel are important to consider, and leave the rest to you.

Note: The video above is hosted on my Amazon S3 account and is embedded using the S3MediaPlayer.

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