How to Use the iPod nano Video Camera

iPod nano video camera
The camera is in the gray panel at top left of the iPod in the background. image credit: Apple Inc.

The 5th Generation iPod nano is one of Apple's most interesting experiments with the size, shape, and features of the iPod nano because it adds the the ability to record video. By adding a video camera (a tiny lens on the back bottom of the nano), this generation of the nano goes from just being a great portable music library to a way to also capture and watch fun videos.

Read on to learn all about the 5th Generation iPod nano video camera, how to use it, how to add special effects to your videos, how to sync movies to your computer and, more.

5th Gen. iPod nano Video Camera Specs

  • Records video and audio in h.264 video
  • 640 x 480 pixels resolution, at 30 frames per second
  • Saves video in the MP4 format
  • Built-in special effects
  • Does not take still photos

How to Record Video with the iPod nano Video Camera

To record video with your iPod nano's built-in video camera, follow the steps:

  1. On the iPod's home screen menu, use the Clickwheel and center button to select Video Camera.
  2. The screen will fill with the image being seen by the camera.
  3. To start recording video, click the button in the center of the Clickwheel. You'll know the camera is recording because the red light onscreen next to the timer blinks and the timer runs.
  4. To stop recording video, click the Clickwheel's center button again.

How to Add Special Effects to iPod nano Videos

The nano has 16 visual effects built into it that can transform your plain old video to make it look like a security camera tape, an x-ray, and sepia or black and white film, among other styles. To record video using one of these special effects, follow these steps:

  1. Select Video Camera from the iPod's home screen menu.
  2. When the screen changes to the camera view, hold down the Clickwheel's center button to see previews of each special effect.
  3. Choose the special video effect here. Four options are shown on the screen at a time. Use the Clickwheel to scroll through the options. 
  4. When you find one you want to use, highlight it and click the button at the center of the Clickwheel to select it.
  5. Start recording video.

NOTE: You have to select the special effect before you start recording video. You can't go back and add it later.

How to Watch Videos on the 5th Gen. iPod nano

To use you iPod nano to watch the videos you've recorded on it, follow these steps:

  1. Select Video Camera from the iPod's home screen menu using the center button of the Clickwheel.
  2. Click the Menu button. This shows a list of the movies stored on the nano, the date they were taken, and how long they are.
  3. To play a movie, highlight the video you're interested in and click the button at the center of the Clickwheel.

How to Delete Videos Recorded on iPod nano

If you watch one of your movies and decide you don't want to keep it, follow these steps:

  1. Follow the first 2 steps in the last tutorial to find the movie you want to delete.
  2. Highlight the movie you want to delete.
  3. Click and hold down the center button of the Clickwheel. A menu appears at the top of screen giving you the option to delete the selected movie, all the movies, or to cancel.
  4. Choose to delete the selected movie.

How to Sync Videos from iPod nano to Computer

Want to get those videos off your nano and onto your computer where you can share them or post them online? Moving your videos from the iPod nano to your computer is as simple as syncing your nano.

If you use a photo management program that can support videos—such as iPhoto—you can import videos the same way you import photos. Alternatively, if you enable Disk Mode, you'll be able to connect your nano to your computer and than browser its files like any other disk. In that case, just drag the video files from the nano's DCIM folder it to your hard drive.

iPod nano Video Camera Requirements

To transfer videos recorded on your iPod nano to your computer, you'll need:

  • Mac OS X 10.4.11 or higher; Windows Vista or XP Service Pack 3 or later
  • A computer with a USB 2 port
  • iTunes 9 or higher
  • iPhoto 6.0.6 on Mac OS X Tiger; iPhoto ’09 for Mac OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard.