31
May
Review And Hands-On Results With HTC EVO 4G's 720P HD Video Camera - Paris In Videos
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Yesterday I posted my review and hands-on results with lots of photos made by HTC EVO 4G's 8MP camera, and today I was finally able to finish uploading the 720P HD videos from the same period of time during my visit to Paris (damn you, slow French WiFi!).

As before, I'll start with some details and thoughts and end with the videos themselves. Switch the Youtube player to the 720P mode if you want to see them at max quality.

Camera Details And Performance

I was very excited to finally own a device that can take HD videos, as the next best thing I owned was an old Canon SD450 which shot in questionable quality and relatively low resolution, so I jumped on the EVO's camcorder capabilities like fat Parisian kid on a bag of Parisian pastries (I suck at fat jokes).

My overall experience was that during the day, the videos come out quite well but at night and in low to medium-light indoor shots, they're practically unusable due to the horrid lag - this is especially apparent in the first test video which was shot at night, though in a relatively well lit location at Champs-Élysées in Paris.

There is quite a bit of graininess and blockiness present in all videos, even ones shot during the day. The results do come out better than my point-and-shoot in good light, but quite a bit worse in low to mid-light.

I was also not very happy with how dim the videos ended up being compared to the real world. A truly sunny day seemed a bit cloudy and dark, even though the EVO dynamically adjusts brightness as it shoots.

The dual LED flash cannot be used while making videos, so forget about using it in the dark, at least with the stock camcorder app. This was probably done so that we don't destroy the LEDs by having them constantly on.

IMG_5699 IMG_5702

Some technical details - the videos at the highest settings end up with the following specs:

  • Video: 6000 kbps bitrate, 3GP container, 1280 x 720 pixels resolution (16:9), 25 fps (frames per second) .
  • Audio: only 12.8 kbps bitrate, at 8 kHz and 1 channel (mono), AMR format. That seems awfully low but may be as good as a mobile phone can record. Still, I would have expected higher quality sound.

Conclusion

EVO 4G is definitely not a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which can shoot something as amazing as this Nine Inch Nails concert video and not even a lower budget T2i - not even close. It is OK for casual movies but only in excellent conditions. Overall, I was much more satisfied with EVO 4G's photo taking capabilities compared to shooting video.

And now it's time to have a look at the videos. I tried to shoot in various conditions as I was walking around the city, both dark and bright, while panning the camera slow and fast. Here are the results.

The Videos

The 1st video was shot in the dark and is extremely laggy - to the point that it's absolutely unusable. A big disappointment - I would understand graininess and artifacts but such horrible lag is inexcusable.

The 2nd video was shot from a bus driving up to the Eiffel Tower. It's is pretty decent, as the conditions are close to perfect. There is some graininess due to movement.

The 3rd video shows a few street performers doing Michael Jackson impressions, also in front of the Eiffel Tower. This time I'm facing the sun which makes everyone's faces pretty dark, expectedly.

The 4th video was shot in the Luxembourg Gardens, and to me it seems too dull and dark. There were a few clouds but I am fairly sure everything was brighter in reality.

The 5th video was shot on a cloudy day at the Grande Arche, which is a very original and interesting building in Paris. See how the EVO performs in these conditions. I really didn't like how it got confused by the stairs - watch the video to see what I mean.

What do you guys think? How does it compare to your expectations and your own devices?

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://www.ohmydroid.net Pablo Pasten

    Nice review, rgards from Chile

  • Xesez

    Artem, I can appreciate the artifacts in the video you pointed out, but overall, I think it's fantastic quality. Let's not forget that it's a phone! It was never meant to replace a video camera, but is only a tool. The night seen you shot had to be laggy with the way you were swinging that camera around...it got me dizzy...hahaha. The times when you did stop, it didn't look that bad for a night video. Overall, I think you're being too hard on the Evo because you probably had higher expectations...and you never know, with software updates, it could get a little better in many areas of the phone. Thanks for the shots of Paris. I loved it.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      It gets laggy like that as soon as it gets dark, so unless you're planning on recording stationary videos, whatever you record will make you dizzy when you move. Not the kind of impression I'm looking for when shooting and showing my videos :-]

  • James Irish

    Were you using the stock 8gb class 2 card? If so, could you test out a class 6 or even class ten to see if it helps out with the video quality? Your videos are not the HD quality that I am use to....

    Cheers,

    James

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      I was but I won't be able to use another card until I get back to the States from France. I doubt much will change.

  • http://digitaldeviation.com Justin D.

    The last 4 videos appear to be in 360p (no "YouTube HD" logo). Were they not uploaded to Youtube in 720p format?

    Daytime seems to be ok (for a phone). Nighttime seems to be the real issue.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Really? They work fine for me and all of them show up in HD.

  • worldbfree4me

    Hey Artem Russakovskii, can you start labeling or tagging your youtube video uploads "Android Police." It will be alot easier to find them as opposed to going thru the site from my handheld each and everytime. Thanks in Advance. Btw, the 2nd video in day light was excellent even on my trusty Palm Pre @480p soon to be replaced by a HTC 4G:)

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      I've retagged all of the recent videos with "androidpolice" but currently Youtube search is only picking up one of them. Odd/weak...

      Edit: nvm, they're all there now, just took some time.

  • James Irish

    Artem,

    Have you been able to test out another card such as a Class 6 or Class 10?

    Just still wondering if the video is going to improve or if its going to be stuck as it is now for life...

    Thanks,

    James

  • JVice

    I just got an EVO and every low light shot (and I just mean indoors, with all lights fully on, so not really considered "low light") are an orange hue. Horrid. But yours are beautiful! What are your exact settings? I would love to copy. Can I make them the default settings? Thanks!

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