Livestream's tiny Movi camera does the work of many (hands-on)

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Single, static camera shots can make for some pretty boring storytelling. But most people don't have access to a bunch of cameras, people to operate them or a team of editors when it comes time to capture their kid's school play or little league game.

With the Livestream Movi camera and its intuitive iOS app, though, you'll be able to create videos with a variety of shots using just one camera and your iPhone. The camera has a 4K-resolution image sensor and some very smart software, so you can digitally zoom in and out, creating everything from wide shots to close-ups while still capturing at 720p HD resolution.

Not bad for a 2.5-inch tall camera that'll cost $400 when it arrives in April (that's about £270 or AU$550). If you don't mind paying now and waiting, you can order it for $200 for a limited time.

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Joshua Goldman/CNET

Multiple live shots at your fingertips

Let's say you want to capture a live band performance. You set up the Movi to take advantage of its wide 150-degree field of view. Then, you wirelessly connect to the Movi with an iPhone (it'll work with an iPad too, but is optimized for the iPhone) and using the app you can create up to nine different shots to cut between. Start with a shot of the whole band and then pinch to zoom in for a tight shot on the singer or get a two-shot of the bass and drums.

Once the performance starts you cut between the shots you've created just by tapping on them, giving your video the look of a multiple-camera shoot. The camera's intelligent face detection and movement tracking capabilities allow it to stay on subjects and can even be used to let the camera automatically create shots.

You can also zoom in and out on the fly at different speeds determined by how long you hold your fingers on the screen. The same goes for panning: Drag your finger from one subject to another and hold your finger down for how long you want the pan to take. This is all done live while you're recording or livestreaming the event, so you have a finished, fully edited movie as soon as it's over.

Unfortunately, at the moment, you're limited to using one camera, so while you can get different compositions with a Movi, you won't get multiple angles. Also, livestreaming an event requires a paid subscription and there are currently no plans for Android support.

The rest

  • The lens is angled slightly up so you can put it down on a table to start shooting or use the included mount to put it on a tripod or mic stand.
  • The built-in battery lasts for 1 hour of streaming, but a Movi Pro accessory gives it up to 10 hours of runtime.
  • A 16GB microSD card is included for storing up to 1.75 hours of recordings, but cards up to 32GB are supported.

More details can be found at getmovi.com.

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Where to Buy

Livestream Movi

Part Number: CNETLivestream Movi

MSRP: $399.00

Visit manufacturer site for details.