Thursday, January 13, 2011

Engadget's curious "Best of CES"

Engadget has published a "Best-of-CES" list, and since they were actually there you'd figure they would know. ...BUT, their Best Camera List is puzzling:
  • BEST: Sony Bloggie 3D (and other 3D Handycams)
  • RUNNERS-UP: RED Scarlet and Olympus XZ-1
Let's take a look at the runner-up list first. Putting the RED Scarlet on any list makes little sense, but you cannot give a "Best of Show" award to a camera that was pre-announced two years ago, has been through redesigns, repositioning and repricing, still doesn't have a firm ship date, and wasn't formerly on the show floor. They weren't even showing footage shot with the thing!

On to the winner, the Sony Bloggie 3D. Engadget did give themselves a bit of wiggle room by sort of including the "other 3D Handycams"-  i.e.  the HDR-TD10 - but they pictured the Bloggie and only wrote about it, and I'm sorry but I'm not convinced it's going to be anything but a toy. Does it have stabilization? Can you zoom? Does it really work with 3D TV's? The Sony video from the show with Amy Koppman from the Bloggie Product Team makes it sound like you'll have to use Red and Blue glasses to view the content on even 3D TVs:
You can upload video from here to YouTube and then using those Red-Blue glasses that you've seen, like you used to get in the movie theatre, you can put those on and view the content fro your Bloggie on your computer or your friends can view it in 3D. With very little effort needed
And on 3D TV's I'm assuming?
If you're doing it with a 3D TV you would still need those Red-Blue glasses because of the way it's recorded. So if you have one of the newer 3D TV's that uses the Active-Shutter glasses, it's not the same format we're using here. But you're also looking at a product that's only $250
Even the dedicated 3D consumers are going to get sick of the red-blue glasses.
[UPDATE 1/14: This is incorrect: More on the Sony 3D Bloggie, though it doesn't change my rating of best-camera below!]

My Best Camera of CES 2011
If I'm going to write-off their choice, I guess I should counter. Here's my choice of best video cameras of CES:

  • BEST: Canon VIXIA HF G10: This looks like a consumer priced camcorder with a "professional" quality chip in it. We have to wait and see the reviews, but the image quality from this camera might be a big step up.
  • RUNNER-UP: The Sony HDR-TD10 (the 3D Handycam!) Sure, Engadget put it as an asterisk for the winner, but this camera is the one to consider. Even so, I can only put it as a runner up; 3D is still a big question mark. But this camera seems to have a good mix of functionality and image quality. All those people who spent serious money on 3D TV's should give this thing a good look over. I don't think the 3D Bloggie will be in consideration, even at $250.

Engadget: Best of CES 2011
NotesOnVideo: Sony Announces it's Own Consumer 3D HD camera
NotesOnVideo: Canon VIXIA HF G10 and "Pro" XA10 Cameras

[UPDATE 1/4: noted that Red-Blue limitation of 3D Bloggie is incorrect and added link to additional info]

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