5th Gen. iPod nano & Flip Ultra Video Recordings Compared: Auto-Focus Issue?

I bought one of the new 5th generation iPod nanos with video camera on Friday. You can see the result of my first video comparison’s above. I used the iPod nano and a Flip Ultra to record the same scene about two minutes apart in time. The Flip was mentioned during Apple’s announcement last week Tuesday. So, it seemed like the appropriate device to compare the iPod nano’s video against.

“Better” is a relative term and a value judgement. So, I’ll leave it up to you to decide which video looks better to you. However, note that my test environment probably messed up the results a bit. I stood outdoors under a roof during a period of moderate rainfall. You can see the water coming off of the roof’s edge in both videos. My guess is that the iPod nano focused on the raindrops while the Flip Ultra had a more distant focal point. The result is that raindrops are in near perfect focus (you can see individual drops falling) while the background’s contrast is way off (too dark). The Flip Ultra’s video, by comparison, looks better overall because the plants in the near distance have relatively good contrast and are easy to see. The raindrops, on the other hand, are seen as streaks. And, this is probably ok and even preferable for most people.


Although this video comparison may not be an optimal one. If the iPod nano auto-focuses like the iPhone 3GS, this is a good thing to be aware of when you record video with the nano under various conditions.

One aspect I think has a clear winner, though, is sound quality: The iPod nano’s sound is much better than the sound recorded by the Flip Ultra to my ears.

More video comparisons will follow…