The Kodak V1253

While trying to find more info about the camera I stumbled across this review at Amazon. The reviewer shoots down the camera by saying that the produced 720p file is unplayable on his Athlon 3000+ computer. Now, you would ask, who’s to blame here? The user or Kodak? The correct answer is: Apple.

Quicktime, might have a great usability, but it’s slow as molasses. There is absolutely no reason why a 720p mpeg4-SP or -ASP file should not playback on ANY 2.2+ Ghz PC (3+ year old PCs). Apple just didn’t take the time to optimize Quicktime, just like VLC didn’t either (VLC is as slow on .mov mpeg4 files). WMP is crazy fast on .avi mp4-ASP/WMV HD files, optimized to the bone, and using DirectX to its full potential. For the specific .mov files, the user should download an unstable version of MPC to get better speed.

Kodak could have decided to go with XViD in an .avi container instead of Mpeg4-SP on a .mov container that requires Quicktime. But XViD being an open source effort, it has no strong leadership and business face, and so no one cares to implement XViD in hardware. Which is why DivX, being a real company, already has, and Pentax currently sells cameras with DivX file recording. But that would probably be more expensive.

The other complaint I read on Amazon was about the 2 GB file limit, which results the HQ videos to never be more than 16 minutes long. Well, Kodak did not invent the FAT format, so they can’t do much about it. The complaints should go to Microsoft, for not retiring FAT earlier, and for not providing embedded versions of the NTFS file system royalty-free so manufacturers can use that instead of FAT.


Andy wrote on December 11th, 2007 at 2:33 PM PST:

Well, they rarely optimize anything, because it helps selling newer, more powerful machines. Fucked up, but it’s this way.
Most efficient movieplayer here is mplayer, it also has it quirks but manages to play files smoothly that stutter away in QT or VLC. (System here OS X PPC)

Andy wrote on December 11th, 2007 at 2:36 PM PST:

btw, Beware of Pentax Digicams, they claim to record “30fps” movies. Fine, but the sad truth is they record 25fps (or 27fps, depends on model) and do a framerate conversion in the camera by duplicating frames.
Just read the fine print technical specs at pentax japan.
I know this, because i wanted to buy a Pentax some time ago and stumbled onto this when viewing the sample move (“Why is this movie stuttering all the time?”) …

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