LG KU990 is meant to be a revolution with its video recording capabilities. All the video recordings are stored in AVI file format with DivX 5.0 encoding. This ensures good balance between file size and quality and is remarkable amongst cameraphones. The camcoder supports capturing video in VGA resolution at 30 fps (the "DVD-like quality" as advertised by Nokia), but that's not all. At QVGA resolution the framerate can soar up to 120 fps!
When we first heard that the newly announced Viewty will be able to shoot video at 120 fps we thought it was some kind of a mistake. After all, most digital cameras and camcorders nowadays will only go up to 60 fps. As it turned out, the 120fps were for real. Why should we need such speed, you may ask, when the good old 24 frames is what gets people crowding the movie theaters. Well, the 120 fps mode is meant for slow motion movies. LG calls the mode QVGA QVS and while the capture occurs at 120 fps, the resulting AVI file is stored at 15 fps slowing down the recorded action 8 times.
Compilation of slow motion videos taken with LG KU990
Doing the math, it turns out that these 120 fps at QVGA are not that demanding on the processing power. The amount of pixels processed per second is exactly the same as with VGA 30 fps movies. As you may see from our samples, a 120 fps video recorder can be real fun and it's strange that no other manufacturer (digicams included) has implemented it so far.
Another compilation of slow motion videos taken with LG KU990
When shooting at 120 fps a lot of light is needed. It's easy to understand, since the shutter speed for each separate frame should be no slower than 1/120 sec, even if we don't count the added time for processing. Keeping the shutter speed as fast as 1/120 sec indoors, for example, can be done only with significant ISO boost, which of course will result in worse quality. So, to summarize, good-quality slow motion movies will be possible only with a lot of light and this is not the device's fault.
Have a look at our 120 fps samples. We've used VirtualDub to adjust the playing speed of the 30, 60 and 120 fps samples, the 15 fps version is the original one produced by the KU990.
We present those video samples to give you an idea what can be done with a high-speed amateur camera like this one.
|LG KU990 is meant to be a revolution with its video recording capabilities. The camcoder supports capturing video in VGA resolution at 30 fps, but that's not all. At QVGA resolution the framerate can soar up to 120 fps!||
Our guess is that when the novelty of the new 120 fps mode fades out, the users will mainly use the VGA video capture at 30 fps. The DivX compression LG KU990 uses ensures that the video files don't need a lot of memory space. Our calculations show that this mode consumes only 300KB per second or, to put it simply, you can fit 1 hour of video on a 1GB memory card at the highest quality setting. Besides VGA resolution videos, the LG KU990 is also capable of recording movies in a 640x384 resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
All that said, the camera does have its drawbacks. There is no lens cover, using the jog wheel easily puts a finger on the lens and, finally, there is no macro mode when recording movies. In video mode KU990 behaves just like a fixed focus camera. A macro switch would have been welcome. This could've been handy when shooting slow motion movies of insects for example.
While some manufacturers tend to mass-produce handsets over the same interface and platform, LG have decided to do it their own way. We see improvements in interface with every new handset they release - fixing usability issues and making the user experience more enjoyable. It really shows they take into account user feedback in the mobile community, and are constantly developing their product line, both in terms of design and features. We've seen proof of that in all of their devices, ever since the creative LG Chocolate came to life. The LG KU990 Viewty stays on the same path.
Complete with high-tech features, the LG KU990 managed to impress us even at its pre-release stage. To say the least, the Viewty holds a lot of promise. It's a well-balanced product, in which style is not eclipsed by the massive functionality. We believe it's got what it takes to aim for a sweeping success.