Apple adds video camera, larger screen to new 5G iPod nano

Apple sure took long enough to get to this, but just as rumored, the iPod nano is seeing a hotly-anticipated refresh today. The big addition? A camera that just so happens to shoot live video (but not stills, apparently). On the lower left of the new fifth-generation nano, you'll find the camera as well as a speaker and microphone, but unfortunately you'll have to sync it with your computer before you upload clips to YouTube. The camera-laden nanos will be available starting today in a rainbow's worth of hues (nine, if we're being precise), with the 8GB model pegged at $149 and the 16GB edition at $179 -- though, we should mention that yellow and red are Apple Store exclusives. Oh, and oddly / tragically enough, the iPod nano is officially the only dedicated iPod with a camera, leaving the iPod touch -- and every human on the planet -- scratching their head in befuddlement. Meanwhile, iPhone 3G users are equally bewildered by the fact that a mid-range iPod can shoot video while a fully-capable smartphone cannot.

As for other specs, you'll find a built-in FM tuner with Live Pause (!) and iTunes Tagging, a pedometer (you know, for that fancy Nike+ integration), VoiceOver, support for voice memos and a larger 2.2-inch display (up from 2.0-inches) with a 376 x 240 resolution. As for the camera, we're told that the video capture mode snags footage in VGA quality (640 x 480) H.264, with up to 30fps and AAC audio. If you're feeling fancy, there's also 15 real-time special effects including Sepia, Black and White, X-Ray, Film Grain, Thermal, Security Cam, Cyborg, Bulge, Kaleido and Motion Blur (among others). As for dimensions, the 5G nano remains identical to the 4G nano at 3.6- x 1.5- x 0.24-inches, though it somehow shaves a whopping 0.02 ounces as it climbs down from 1.3 to 1.28 ounces. Curious about battery life? Apple claims that the new nano can last up to 24 hours when playing back audio (same as 4G nano), while video playback should zap the rechargeable battery in just five hours (which is up an hour over its predecessor).

Update: Check out our first hands-on live from the event!