Product Type: Flip Video digital camcorders
Newest Review: ... files and save them onto the computer. What's in the box? In the box there's the soft pouch, 2 AA batteries, wrist strap, TV cable and... more
I've flipped for this little gadget
Flip F260B-UK Video Ultra Series
Member Name: sandra101
Flip F260B-UK Video Ultra Series
Advantages: inexpensive, decent quality, pocket sized, zoom function
Disadvantages: not as good as a full size video, memory card can't be changed
The Flip Ultra Series video camera is a compact little video camera with an LCD screen which allows you to video upto 60 minutes of film digitally and upload it immediately with the flip out usb stick on to your computer. This footage can then be used for inclusion in reviews, reports, powerpoints, attached to emails etc. and all for the bargain price of around £80.00.
On opening the box you find the video camera itself, TV connector cables, wrist strap, soft carrying case and two AA batteries. So you are up and running straight out of the box.
- - How does it look - -
The video camera is about the same size as a normal digital still camera. At the side is a little sliding catch which you pull down to release the usb stick for connection to the PC. At the back you have an approx. 1" lcd screen and a red button which you click once to begin videoing and once again to stop. This red button is surrounded by a joypad type of frame which allows you to zoom in and out, skip from one video to the next and adjust the volume, a play button and a delete button are on either side of the red button. The microphone is presumably held within the rectangle of holes beside the lens on the front and is effective within 12 feet.
- - How do you use it - -
To record simply switch it on at the side and the lcd screen comes immediately to life with the scene in front of it showing clearly. To record press the red button in the centre once, to stop recording press it again, the only other button you may need would be to hold in the plus or minus key while recording to operate the zoom in\out. The other two buttons on either side are to play or delete and both are clearly marked.
When I've been handed our big JVC camcorder it takes me a couple of minutes to place it properly and remember how to turn it on and then how to record and zoom on it. This is about 10 x faster to begin recording on as its simply point and shoot, very important if you like catching people unaware or when trying to capture kids about to start walking for the first time.
- - How do you access the video - -
Once you have plugged in the video camera on the computer using the usb stick the camera itself works rather like a normal usb stick, only all the files on it are video files. You are given the option to access the video files using the software already loaded onto the flip camera. This allows you to actually do a little bit of editing while still on the camera itself. There aren't a lot of options but you can edit the start and end points of the video and take still photographs which can then be opened or downloaded onto the PC all within a few seconds.
While you can simply plug the video into the usb port of your PC I wasn't happy with the weight of the camera pulling down on the usb port as hubby has previously complained about me inserting a usb stick on a heavy key chain as it would distort the port. I therefore purchased a little usb extender cable for around £4.00. One end plugs into the port and the other into the camera, you don't need to purchase the official flip extender cable at twice the price.
- - Video Quality - -
When you first look at the video on the screen at the back the quality is really good much better than I've ever seen on even the most expensive of mobile phones. When you first upload it to the computer and watch in a youtube video size screen it still looks almost as good as a full-size video camera footage. Its only when you show the footage at full screen size or on a television that you start to notice its not as good as a full-size video camera but its still clear enough to watch and enjoy.
It videos acceptably well in low light which other cheap video cameras struggle with but there is no light on the unit so some degree of light in the room is required.
- - Sound Quality - -
I'm not an expert in sound technologies so from a totally non technical view point I will point out that you can hear any speech or music reasonably clearly. It easily picks up any noise within the 12 feet radius and plays it back without any sign of crackling etc.
- - Zoom - -
The digital zoom is a great little tool but is definitely not in the same league as the ones on a full-sized video camera. If you were taking a full length shot of a child the zoom would allow you to zoom in and capture them from the waist up rather than being able to zoom in on just the face. The zooming action doesn't affect the quality of the video as far as I can see.
- - Accessories - -
There are a number of accessories currently available.
Small tripod to capture steady video footage.
USB cables which come in different colours but as previously mentioned are twice the price of the standard grey cables
An underwater case allowing you to capture your close encounter with jaws or the great barrier reef. This can be used down to 30 feet with full access to the controls.
Action mount - allows you to attach the video to your handlebars, helmets etc.
- - Final thoughts - -
I have been very impressed with the quality of this little video camera for the money. The ease of use, ability to slip it into your pocket and reasonably good sound and video quality make this ideal for taking on day trips, holidays etc where you are happy to get a bit of sand in and around it or have the kids mess around with it.
Although the quality of the footage wouldn't compare to that of our family JVC video camera, this camera would be my preferred choice to take away. Its so slim, always ready at the touch of a button and I can download anything I shoot onto the computer in seconds.
The ease of downloading and no need to convert the files is a stark contrast to our JVC as I don't even know how to get the video off the camera and hubby has presently got footage of the last two holidays and Christmases waiting to be taken off the camera and put onto disk which is such a bothersome job he keeps putting it off. With this I could have had it done and saved onto a disk within minutes.
For kids wanting to video you've been framed shots, youtube videos, my holiday powerpoint shows etc this is the business and if it gets scratched or sandy at £80.00 you are not going to break your heart.
Use straight from the box
Good video quality in reasonably low light conditions
Simple enough for a grown up to use in less than 20 seconds
Compact and fits into your pocket
Higher quality than most video phones
No tapes or additional memory cards required
Videos saved on the camera as avi files - no conversion needed
Comes with a 2GB memory card which holds 1 hour of video this cannot be upgraded or swapped for another.
No built in light for very low light conditions
Not upto the standard of a £300/£400 video camera but then it doesn't cost as much either.
Summary: Its a cracking little video for the money
|Ease of use:|
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