Flip Video Review

Hey, folks!

I’m trying to get on here and post a bit more often. Since tonight is a Co-op night, and since Twitter is totally borked, I figured I’d got on and do this.

Flip Video Camera Review

So I’ve had my Flip Video camera – the Ultra, 2GB model, by the way – for a whole 3 hours, tops. I don’t know absolutely everything there is to know about it yet.

That said, this device is the iPod of video cameras, so within the first 5 minutes, I knew everything I needed to get going. Basically, that was “Where do the batteries go?” Speaking of, this gadget takes double-A’s. Yeah. Not some crazy, proprietary $40 NiCd that you’ll misplace. Trusty, good ‘ol double-A’s.

The video quality is remarkable. These sensors these days – I would put this easily beyond the quality of the old Canon ZR-70’s we used to shoot with at BCTV. For a $150 camera, this handles high contrast, and motion, extremely well. I don’t know that I can say the same about the standard Flip Video – the Ultra, according to Pure Digital has almost double the bitrate, and is using an updated codec for storage. I would assume that both of those upgrades would result in a jump in quality.

The unit has a whopping 7 buttons. Four for menu navigation, one to record, one to play, and one to delete. There’s also a slider to turn on and off, and a flip-out USB plug – hence the Flip camera name. Operation is completely self-discoverable. Play with it for more than a few seconds, and you’ll know how to recorde, playback, and delete, as well as zoom and shuffle through your previous videos. Extremely simple and smooth. Recording response is nearly immediate, no waiting for tape to pre-roll. Stopping is also snappy.

There is also a standard tripod mount on the bottom, and a TV-out. I haven’t tried either of those, because I’ve not been near a tripod or a TV.

My only complaint at all is the software. The 3ivx codec it comes with doesn’t really enable solid playback in OS X – I’ve read that Perian does better. Fortunately, I have MPEG Streamclip, which will open and convert the files with no complaints.

Directly out of software, I can upload to Youtube, so the codec switcheroo only comes into play when I need to edit something.

Here’s my first Youtube post, and my very first recording with the Flip.

Rock and roll folks. Questions? Hit the comments.

Update: 12/29/2008

I have now opened up the “Buy Stuff” section, and due to the awesomeness of this item, I’ve added it on there. Looking to buy one? Head here.

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