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Livestream's $399 Movi streams from multiple 'cameras,' using only its single lens

January 4, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Mark Hachmann / PCWorld

Using some computational magic and an iOS app, this handheld video camera lets you livestream like a pro.

Livestream's Movi camera feels like the next step in the evolution of livestreaming. It offers the ability to professionally pan, zoom, and cut back and forth between multiple virtual cameras--but all with just a single, small $399 device.

Livestreamed video typically goes one of three ways: It's either a boring feed of a static scene, a nauseatingly jerky experience as the cameraperson angles for a better shot, or a smooth, professional-looking stream with skilled cuts back and forth. The latter is usually the result of professional expertise and/or equipment. The magic of Movi, Livestream's first consumer camera, is that it helps you achieve professional-looking results by pairing the device with an easy-to-use iOS app that lets you smoothly transition between different angles and focal points as your stream is being captured.

There are just a couple of catches: Since the Movi is designed as a livestreaming camera, you'll be making editing decisions on the fly. Though video can be stored for later playback (and presumably editing) that isn't the way Livestream intends the Movi to work. And though the Movi is a 4K camera, the actual output is only 720p: All those additional pixels are used to create the virtual cameras that the Movi cuts back and forth between. Finally, don't assume that an Android version will arrive soon; Livestream's Jesse Hertzberg said the company spent a great deal of time optimizing the app for the iOS platform.

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