The world is somewhat divided on video recording on a mobile phone. Sure, it's a fun tool once in a blue moon, but it's probably way, way down on the list of things users are looking for in a prospective new device.
Apple's position has traditionally been that it's not a necessary extra when building a mobile phone, but it has clearly changed its mind and whacked on a pretty good effort. It's a shame that video recording is one of the (few) features that you'll be getting as an upgrade from the iPhone 3G, as it's hardly a deal-breaker.
The new video recording is very good though, ie enough to film your mates playing Frisbee in the park or whatever it is people use mobile phone video cameras for. And the quality plays back well on a computer screen, although it's not going to win any awards at Cannes unless you were posting it in an 'ironic' way (probably wearing a beret).
From early hype, it seems people are very excited about the possibility of trimming video on their iPhone before posting it to the internet via YouTube and the like. We're struggling to see why this is such a decent feature, as not only is it a bit useless 90 per cent of the time, but it also means that once you edit a video, there's no way to view the original.
Perhaps that's something for Apple to think about in the future as more updates come out to the 3.0 firmware.
In terms of beating the best on the market, which we think is currently the Samsung i8910 HD 720p video capture, it doesn't really match up, and the fact that very few others don't bother with video editing on the device should tell Apple it's a pointless feature. It's nice to have, it's just not essential.
It would have been much nicer to have a forward facing camera for iChat, and a lot of industry insiders were predicting this would happen on the iPhone 3GS, which makes it strange that it hasn't happened, as it would be a logical step for Jobs' lot.