Earlier this year, the Brainshark Customer Experience team released a Research Report on the topic of integrating video recorded with the flip ultra and the Kodak Zi8. Since then, both Apple and HTC have released video-enabled smartphones.
So, are smartphones a viable option for producing videos? We would say, just about, but there are a few considerations.
The iPhone4 (5 megapixel camera) makes it pretty easy by recording in one format, HD and the end result is a .mov file. The Incredible (8 megapixel camera) uses the Android operating system and offers 6 formats using Mpeg4 and H.263 and the end result is a .3gp file. Both upload equally well in Brainshark and the finished presentation will also play on these devices.
When uploading your files, there is a setting that makes a significant difference; the option of preserving the videos orginal dimensions. The check box is located in the attachments tab. The default is to not preserve which results in the video playing in full screen.
Take a look at this 1-minute presentation to decide what is best for you. The slides with an * in the table of contents are the options we think look the best. In general, we recommend "preserving the orginal dimensions" which results in a smaller viewing area.
For optimal results, we would suggest experimenting with the "preserve" setting and notice the differences for a close-up shot as opposed to a wide-angle.
If you carry one of these phones, the ability to instantly record pretty good video is compelling.The major concern is the audio. None of the smartphones or personal video cameras (except the Kodak Zi8) let you record with a microphone and we doubt a smartphone will ever accept a tripod. That said, in a pinch a short video shot with a smartphone would play very well in Brainshark.
Please note: we have not discussed an important element of any video; editing. Apple has an app that allows for some editing and a service we have written about in the past, Pixorial enables users to upload videos from a camera or smart phone for on-line editing. Once edited, the finished video can be made available in Brainshark.
As we hear about new tools and enhancements in this area, we will try them out and report back.
Written by Irwin Hipsman, Director of Customer Experience.