Product Type: Flip Video digital camcorders
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It's Flippin' Simple
Flip F260B-UK Video Ultra Series
Member Name: Deru
Flip F260B-UK Video Ultra Series
Date: 12/01/11, updated on 12/01/11 (51 review reads)
Advantages: Simple to use, Good picture quality when in good light, Takes AA batteries, compact
Disadvantages: Needs good lighting, No good for close - ups, Slow charge time, No mic jack, some bugs
The camera comes with its own rechargeable batteries (a pair of AA batteries stuck together) but need to be charged for quite a few hours. Once charged, simply switch it on and press the red button to start recording. Literally point and shoot. Of course, you can also change the video quality settings if needed. Battery life is very good, and it even takes AA batteries so if you run out, you can always buy a set of AA batteries. It has 8GB storage capacity, which gives around 2 hours of HD video. More when using lower quality settings.
The picture quality varies depending on lighting. Indoors without bright light, pictures appear grainy, which is a bit of a disappointment. Outside, on a sunny day, picture quality is very impressive. Clear and sharp with nice colours. The resolution on maximum quality setting is only 720 and not 1080 HD, which is a shame. It also doesn't do stills, which is another let down.
It only has digital zoom, which isn't great as the picture quality degrades as you zoom more, which is one downside to owning a Flip camera rather than a full blown digital camcorder. A normal digital camcorder would have massive optical zoom capabilities and the cost of a second hand camcorder would not be too far off from the cost of the Flip Ultra HD, albeit it wouldn't be capable of HD unless you don't mind spending more. The hype and the name Flip 'Ultra HD' would make one believe it was capable of 1080 HD. The footage is only as steady as your hands but it's possible to mount the camera on a tripod although not ideal for all situations as it's meant to be a camera you can easily point and shoot while moving around.
One thing I don't like about it is that it's not very good for taking shots of items up close as it would fill the whole screen too easily. It lacks the 'macro mode', which is standard in digital cameras. Some other HD pockets-cams on the market do have such a facility, which makes the Flip rather disappointing.
Sound quality isn't bad. Even when there's background noise, it is possible to pick up what someone is saying while standing two meters or so in front of the camera, however, I would have liked a microphone jack to plug in an external microphone for situations with too much noise. This is a feature I've seen on the Kodak equivalent of this product.
MANAGING RECORDED VIDEO
You can playback and delete the recorded videos via your PC but you can also do it on the Flip via the 2 inch screen. Although playback works, I've never managed to delete anything without using my computer as it always says it cannot delete the file. This is quite risky if I'm running low on space and I'm without a computer to delete or transfer recordings out. Not sure why this is but seems like a software bug.
To transfer the recorded footage to a computer, simply slide the release button to 'flip' the USB plug out from the side of the camera. Plug it into a PC or Mac to open the drive and then copy or move the MP4 files to your computer. Now this is all well and good if you have a laptop but plugging it straight into the back or even the front of a PC is extremely awkward (especially if you have other USB cables plugged in) unless you have a USB extension cable, which they do not provide. I feel they could have given you one for the benefit of those whom want to use the camera with their PC. The Flip costs over £100 and a small USB extension cable costs next to nothing after all. Alternatively, you can play the video on the Flip and watch it on your TV via HDMI as the flip has an HDMI port.
It also has a bit of software stored on the camera itself which you can install but I've not used it. Supposedly, it lets you transfer video to your PC and upload the video direct to YouTube.
- Simple to use
- Good picture quality when in good light
- Uses AA batteries, so easy to find replacements when out and about
- Needs good lighting for sharp clear picture
- No good for close-ups
- Doesn't do still pictures
- Has some bugs (i.e. unable to delete files using the Flip controls)
- Awkward to plug into the USB ports on a PC (no extension cable included)
- Slow charge time via USB (no mains charger included)
- No microphone jack
The picture and sound quality is good, so long as there's enough light. The camera is easy to use and the cost is quite low for something that can shoot in HD, even if it's only 720 HD resolutions. I like the fact that it takes AA batteries so that I can just pick up AA batteries from a shop rather than worry about the rechargeable battery dying. I do think they could have included a mains charger though as the device takes too long to charge via a computer's USB port, although, you can buy one separately if you do want one. Replacing the batteries is another way round it though. They do provide a little pouch to stop it getting scratched in your pocket but having to take it out each time isn't exactly convenient. You'd be better off buying a case made for the Flip Ultra HD. So do I recommend the Flip Ultra HD? Yes and no. If you want to shoot professional shots with great colour and quality in most conditions, lots of features, good zooming capabilities, then 'no', it's definitely not up for the job. If you just need something basic for YouTube and home or holiday videos, then I think this would be fine for those purposes.
Thanks for reading
Summary: Flip Ultra HD
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