Nexus One doubles in-car camcorder

In the US, Google sells a US$55 windscreen mount for its Nexus One phone. On the weekend we found an unintended use for it: as an in-car camcorder mount.

There's a large open space in the back where the phone's 5-megapixel camera can poke its head out. We're assuming hardware maker HTC did this to keep from obscuring the nearby secondary microphone, which is used for noise cancellation.

The handy side effect is that you can still use the camera app freely, even when it's in car mode. Sure this can be a little dangerous, but only if you're fiddling around with it while driving.

During our brief weekend foray, the results were good. We shot three videos, each at around five minutes long and one of them (embedded below) turned out quite well. Part of the success-to-failure ratio comes down to the smooth road we were on and the fact that we were only travelling at about 40 to 50km/h.

The camera didn't perform quite so well on freeways, where constant vibration and frequent bumps led to a rolling-shutter effect. If your car has a softer suspension it will probably fare better than ours.

The other problem was that shooting with the phone in portrait mode results in sideways video. This is an easy fix in a video editing app, like VirtualDub or QuickTime Pro, the latter of which we used before uploading the video to YouTube. Additionally, if you're thinking of hosting it on YouTube, you can use the site's tagging system to crop or alter the video player's aspect ratio to fit the extra-tall clip. We ended up just cropping the video to get rid of the car's dashboard.


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simon posted a comment   

Why dont cars have recorders on them so that when an accident occures there is more evidence?

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