The Sony Ericsson Vivaz captures 720p videos at 24 fps, venturing to kick the Samsung Omnia HD out of its complacency.
Probably the best new feature of the Vivaz is the continuous auto focus during video recording. That's definitely a first for any cameraphone and it allows it to act just like a dedicated video camera. We've compiled a demo video to show you the benefits of the technology. Hello, macro videos!
A really positive thing is that the video framerate is steady, never dropping below 24 frames per second. If you remember, in most of the videos the Omnia HD was obviously struggling to reach the desired 24 frames.
Many users are concerned about the difference between the 24fps and 30fps. The truth is both are equally fine and if you see the same footage shot at both framerates, chances are you're going to like the 24fps one better. All cinema movies (including the blockbuster Avatar) are shot at 24fps so watching those looks more natural. Bear in mind though that currently YouTube converts all uploaded videos to 29.97 fps, so uploading to YouTube won't yield the best possible result.
We know what you are about to ask, so here it is in plain language: yes, we think that once the contrast is fixed, the Vivaz videos will outdo those by Omnia HD.
The Sony Ericsson Vivaz has an edge over Omnia HD in audio recording too. Currently, the Vivaz videos use AAC audio with 48kHz sampling rate, while those by the Omnia HD have a sampling rate of 16kHz. And you can definitely tell the difference.
Here's a direct comparison of the videos recorded by Sony Ericsson Vivaz and the Samsung Omnia HD to give you a better idea. Plus it's the only full-res video sample of the Vivaz that we'll publish due to the large file size.
The quality of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz videos is nice with reasonably well-resolved detail and faithful colors. Still there are a few things to nitpick about.
Of course, the Vivaz is still not a completely ready product, so improvements to video recording may as well be under way. But here's our two cents the way we see it now.
First of all, the videos definitely need some increase in contrast. Slightly higher resolved detail is another thing, but it's optional since we guess increasing the micro contrast and adding some sharpening may add for a subjective feel of added resolution. Finally, we would definitely appreciate a bit pimped up colors - currently they look washed out at times.
The last bugger that we'll mention is the nasty rolling shutter effect and unfortunately, a fix for that is highly unlikely. At times the jello-like line skewing effect makes videos look like shot by a really cheap camera.
Here are some other Sony Ericsson Vivaz camera video samples that we've uploaded to YouTube due to their large filesize: