This little camcorder may look small but don't be fooled. I take the children out all the time whether its at the beach or the park or for a walk or to the skateboard park. I love taking videos i have done for years since i had my first huge video camera which was like taking a breeze block with you everywhere.
I had a pretty good camcorder which my mum had borrowed and i was missing dreadfully and on christmas day to my dismay my husband and little boy had bought me the flipshare ultra hd camcorder for my present. All i could think of is what on earth is that going to be any good for?
I did the right thing looked happy and said thank you loads and then put it back in the box. It sat there for a few weeks then the question arose. So is it any good do you like it? What could i say? there it sat for 3 and a half weeks gathering dust trying to stay hidden. So i did what any caring person would do. I said its wonderful i love it loads and to prove it i took it out with us when we went snakeboarding at the park.
Well how simple an idea can you get? To my great surprise this turned out to be brilliant. The little camcorder is not much bigger than a normal phone just a little thicker. In fact its about the same size as a smartphone. Its also not very heavy. But the best part of all is it fits into any bag i take with me no matter how big or small. It takes 2 AA batteries which come included and they just simly slide into the back of the camcorder. Alternatively you can buy and additional rechargable flip battery to use they are around £15 to £20. I am looking into buying one of these but i haven't had chance yet.
We get to the park and i take out the camcorder trying to look as though i've been using it for ages. It's so easy. On the side is the on off button just press lightly and on comes the screen. This camcorder only has 3 actual buttons. Thats it. When it turns on it is ready to record and the picture comes up straight away. I looked at the big red button in the middle. As I guessed this was record and press again to stop recording. So for a while I recorded the children having fun on their snake boards thinking is that it?
Then the camcorder zoomed in. At first i couldn't work out what i had pressed so i investigated. Around the red button is a square button which if you press up zooms in and if you press down zooms out. Very handy. Its not the most magnified zoom it doesn't zoom in very far but it's enough to get closer images quickly and easily.
There are 2 other buttons on the camcorder. One to the left says play. One to the right shows a dustbin. As it says when you press the left play button it changes from record to playback mode and starts playing. The same button around the red record button allows you to press left and right to scroll through to the video you want to watch you can also press left and right to scroll through from the record screen then press play when you select the right clip. The up and down zoom button now puts the volume up or down as desired. Neat. Once you scroll left and right to the video you wish to watch simply press play to view. If it is a long video then press and hold right and it will fast forward through it but this can be frustrating if you let go and it flicks over to the next video clip.
Next the dustbin. Yes no big wonder here it is of course to delete. Simply find the clip you wish to remove and pres the delete button then it will ask if you wish to delete the clip yes or not. Press left or right to select the option you wish then press the play button to confirm the action. Be careful as there is an option to delete all.
So thats all the camcorder buttons. Oh except for the clever bit. On the side of the camera on the opposite side to the on button there is a slide button. When you pull it down a usb stick flips up hence the name Flip share. To put your clips onto your computer all you have to do is put the camcorder into your computers usb port and wait. It will automatically load the software onto your computer - this is all on the camera no need for discs ideal for anyone with a netbook.
The software will open (follow any instructions that come up. To my recollection i don't think there were any but if there were it would only have been to accept the software.)
The videos will automatically show on the right hand side. Any unsaved clips will say unsaved against them. Now you can watch the clips, select one or two to save to computer, select all to save all to computer or select unsaved to save just your unsaved clips.
They will all show and be saved in date order and you can pull them up by month as well. There are 3 options in the "share" section in the bottom middle. Email gives you the option to send the selected (whether saved or unsaved) in an email, greeting card i which sends a virtual greeting video card to a friend or loved one again via email, or the online section which allows you to upload straight to facebook, twitter or youtube. Very handy if you like sharing videos. All of these are very simple. Click on the clip you want to select then click the option you want to use it with and follow the instructions. You really cannot go wrong it tells you exactly what you need to do at each step.
On the right side at the bottom are 2 options. The first is movie which allows you to put your clips into a movie and burn to disc. The next is snapshot this allows you to take a still photograph from you video clip. It splits the clip into frame by frame which makes it very easy to find that perfect picture and save it to you computer to print or share later.
Finally movie. This is the easiest way to make a dvd you can imagine. Click one movie or select multiple movies then follow the instructions. To add or remove clips click and drag the clips onto the box on your screen or remove them from the screen as required. Then move them around so that they are in the correct order and select magic movie to break your video down into lots of sub clips to make it easy to edit then add credits and titles to you movie, then music and then create a movie file or burn straight to disc or just click full length to keep the whole video as is and then as titles, credits and music.
I have used a lot of video movie making software and this is the simplest you can get. If you find this too basic and wish to use an alternative software like Nero or Pinnacle (which i usually do as there are more editing options) then just save the files to computer and find them in videos under flipshare and use them is Nero or Pinnacle as normal.
This is the easiest smallest camcorder you will find to use. Plus it is very robust. I took it with me on my snakeboard and held it in place on a gorillapod (a bendable tripod which attaches it to anything as it has a hole at the bottom to screw any standard tripod to.) and as normal i fell over. The camcorder hit the ground very hard and although as expected there are a few scratches to the casing the screen is still intact and not scratched and the camcorder survived and works as normal which i was very surprised as as it took a big hit. You can also get waterproof cases if you wish to take it in the sea with you which cost around £20 and say they are waterproof to around 5 metres deep.
Now for details:
The battery life is fairly good. I use this camera a lot and i've had it nearly a year now and have only replaced the batteries a few times. Will be getting a rechargable battery soon as i think this would help.
No memory cards or discs required. No added expenses other than batteries unless you buy a rechargable then no additional costs.
The camcorder itelf is easy to use, light weight and fits well into any handbag, bum bag even my jeans pocket.
The children love using it as it is easy and not bulky. They attach it with the gorillapod to their bikes and anything else they can think of.
One cable instantly connects this to your tv and you can take it anywhere and show all your friends and family your film without having to put it to disc or buy a dvd player.
I know many people now have a phone with video ability but i would still recommend the flip share as it has good quality and if you are anything like me as soon as you start videoing someone calls and it cuts out. Plus its the memory and easy of saving to disc/computer or uploading or emailing that makes this far more beneficial.
I know this was just over £100 when it was bought but now is around £70.
Not so good bits?
The memory is only 2 hours. This is shown on the indicator on the screen and will flash when either battery low or memory running out. The good thing is 2 hours is usually more than a disc would take and is adequate for a day out. Down side is if you are on holiday then if you wish to take a lot of video footage you will need to save your clips daily and delete them from your camera to start fresh each time. Good thing is to save them doesn't take very long at all. You can keep recording until you reach the 2 hour limit then you will need to delete something.
The usb i find i worry it might get damaged so i use a usb to usb lead to avoid it hanging off the side of my laptop. This is a very minor quibble.
The bag it comes with is a very small thin cloth bag with a draw string top. I simply bought a mobile phone case which keeps it safe and protected. I still keep it in the cloth bag but nearly a year on its beginning to show lots of wear and tear.
Finally this is absolutely perfect if you want quick, easy and simple. Just turn on point and shoot, then play or upload and done.
If you are after technical capability, maximum zoom, night vision and other features then this is not your camcorder. I still keep my other high tech camera for special occasions but for everyday use i carry this everywhere with me because its light and easy to carry and you never know when you might want to catch something on camcorder (with my lot it could be at anytime and it's wonderful to have it to hand and record instantly.)
The picture quality is not the best but in HD is far better than the original Flipshare. Its still clear and very watchable but not quite as good as a high quality camcorder.
It's also brilliant for holidays and theme parks as it is so small. I wouldn't feel happy taking a large expensive all singing all dancing camcorder to a theme park or the beach then leaving it on display for someone to notice. This is descreet and durable and perfect for all the fun things we do.
Overall this is one item i always keep with me at all times and a definite item i would recommend to everyone the smallest most convenient camcorder i know of. The best bit is its also the best christmas present i could have had. Makes a very good gift for adults and older children alike.