The Flip Ultra HD camcorder was made most popular by YouTube. YouTubers (As the video creators are known) often use these inexpensive cameras to produce their videos for a number of reasons and these reasons are the same as many other people too.
The Flip Ultra HD is lightweight, being a pocket camcorder, which means that it can easily be carried around all day without being a nuisance like a more professional camera would be. i have had this camera in my pocket fro the majority of a day and it was not weighing me down - most of the time I forgot it was even in there!
It is reliable. These cameras have outlives many other pocket camcorders I have owned and they have been through some tough situations including rain, downhill biking, rock climbing and a child messing with it (which is probably most dangerous of all!). Throughout these trials, the camera always performed well and no issues ever showed on the output - some cameras, if shaken or moved vigorously (like they are when downhill biking) will jump or produce visual artefacts on the output - the Flip Ultra HD never has for me.
The Flip Ultra HD is... well... HD. For the low price of the Flip, being able to get a HD camcorder without the huge hole it would burning to your wallet without these types of camera is what made them so successful upon their launch a few years ago.
So far so good, but what about the downsides?
The Flip Ultra HD is not perfect by far. Even though the output is 720p HD, it doesn't mean that this resolutions is always made up of any accurate pixels. By that I mean that the colours can be quite a long way off in certain situations and motion can cause some issues with the camera (unrelated to vigorous movement issues). These issues however are all common issues of pocket camcorders and are generally expected for this product type. However to improve and to be able to stand out even more in the market, these issues would need to be improved upon.
The Flip Ultra HD is powered by 2 AA batteries (yes, they still exist). This was my biggest issue with this camcorder and although a new set of these would get a pretty impressive battery life of a couple of hours use, the expensive would soon build up after buying replacement batteries over time - possibly even making it cheaper to buy a better camera with a rechargeable battery.
The focus time on this camera is decent. It is not possible to change the focus depth on the camcorder as it only auto-focuses (making it best for beginners) but this auto-focus will generally readjust within a second or two. I have had camcorders which can take 5-10 seconds to do this (I admit, this was a particularly bad time) so I was pleased when I got this camcorder and it updated so quickly.
In low light, this camcorder performs decently. You will certainly get a fair amount of noise from the low light but it is still generally possible to see what the intended target for the camera is and it generally will not reduce your enjoyment of the video too much.
The build quality of the camera is great, very solid. As I have said, mien has been through some rough experiences and apart from the odd scratch on the casing and screen, it has faired well. The most fragile part of the camera is definitely the flipping USB as this could be snapped off if accidentally retracted. The fact that this only has internal memory means that if this happens, you lose the footage already inside and cannot use the camera again either. Making this, although often its selling point, it biggest flaw too.
I recently went on holiday to Australia with my partner, I went over there for almost a month to see my sister get married and see my 2 nieces. I wanted to get something to take along a record my time with my nieces over and above that of my standard compact digital camera. I tend to do allot of physical activities on holiday and I needed something cheap (so that if it broke I wouldnt be bothered), fairly robust and can be used quick and easily. My parents saw the flip advertised on QVC and suggested I use that.
Dont blame me:
Now a caveat, im not saying that this camera is suitable for everyone, I understood that I would be using this as a one time only thing and I didnt need to have anything fancy. So this may not be for everyone.
In summary- This Camera is great for those people that do not want anything to complicated, too fiddly and do not necessarily care about effects or great amounts of zoom. The trade off for the simplicity and ease of use of this camera is the fact that the picture quality is OK, other more expensive cameras will have better quality, and the most telling factor is that the zoom is pretty lame. It only goes to x4. But on the other side the price is pretty cheap too at £120 on Amazon, but I reakon on QVC you can get it for as much as £90, so keep you eyes peeled.
For £90-£120 quid, you get 2 hrs and 8Mb of memory, fairly good visuals , but no effects whatsoever. The sound is quite good, you will be able to pick up most things. But im sure if you get a Sony or Panasonic camcorder it will be much better...you will pay the price though.
The good things:
The advantage here is that the case is rebust, its so easy to use with a simple 4 way cursor, no digital menus, everything is very manual and quick. You have a recorder start stop button in the middle, a big red button, the usb adaptor is inbuilt to the side and flips up with a spring loaded action, so you cant lose the lead. Its easy to zoom, you just press + or - on the cursor. There is also a lock/unlock button to get to the battery pack, which has rechargeble AA batteries included in a central battery unit.
My critisisms are that the zoom is pretty weak, you will not get much detail and I really felt this when filming the fireworks at Sydney Harbour. But the colours and sound was very good and the music being played over the tannoy came out rather well, the bass wasnt blurby as you sometimes get.
My only other critisism is that the battery pack doesnt last as long as the memory. I`d say depending on how you use it the battery will only last an hour, so you will have to charge it before the memory runs out. When we were away we had no laptop so had to use my sisters laptop, If you dont have this capability then it could be a problem. You might be able tosolve this problem by getting better rechargeble batteries and putting them into ther battery pack. However, I havent been able to try this yet.
So Id honestly say get this camera if you hate the way modern technology seems to make life harder then it needs to be, but you want to film stuff. If you want better then average quality and are willing to pay the price for that, then you might want to get another camcorder. But as this camera is marketed on its simplicity, it certainly cannot be blamed for misrepresentation.
I bought this Flip Ultra HD for a couple of very specific purposes and the best thing is that it did not cost me a penny as it came out of my departmental budget. I actually paid £109.99 on Amazon for it and never having owned one before I was not very sure what to expect with regards to picture quality and options. So far I have used it to record students delivering presentations as part of the Young Enterprise programme and also a training weekend at Buxton for World Challenge, the idea is to take it away with us this summer to record some footage of the expedition.
The size of this little device is one of its main attractions, it is the size of a mobile phone, all be it a chubby mobile phone that has binged on the mince pies and it weighs a mere 170g so it is ideal for travelling as it takes up little space, the dimensions are 10.8:5.6:3 cm, and can be carried easily in your trouser pockets or attached to a belt thanks to a separate case that I also purchased which is designed to keep it free from dust and sand. This makes it easy to conceal and thus reduce the risk of being a target for bag snatchers and the weight is just enough that you would notice if it was being lifted from your pocket. Plus because of the size it will fit in the zipped pockets of the travel trousers like Craghoppers Kiwi's. The other big attraction is that there are no cables needed to download your films as it has an usb arm that flips up at the press of a button and is located on the side of the video camera.
The video camera itself is black in colour, on the back is a small viewing screen which is 2" in size and has a very clear picture quality, there are then a minimum of buttons, the power on button is one the side of the camera and on the back there is a large red button which acts as the record and stop start button and at the four points on the compass there are smaller icons to operate the rather limited zoom options and also to skip forward and back when in playback mode. There is a separate play button and also a delete button to remove and footage you do not want with the rubbish bin symbol to warn you as to what this button does.
Setting up the camera to start is easy, it comes with a AA NiMH rechargeable battery pack however it will also work off two AA batteries as well, the battery pack comes partially charged however the first thing to do is to charge it fully which takes about six hours. Again just plug it into your laptop using the flip usb and you are away. Now I said that no cables are needed and technically this is true however if like me at work you have an upright PC which means the usb points are located at the top of the machine this means that while plugged in using the flip usb all of the devices weight is on the usb which I figured may not be that good so for work I have invested in a cable. While it is charging you can complete the set up by switching the power on and then setting up the language, time, date and various other settings. Apart from the charge time it takes only a couple of minutes and is easy to do.
So now to the important bits, recording and picture quality, well the first thing to say is that the device does have its limitations, mainly in the fact that the x2 zoom is pretty limited and not very responsive. This is very much a point and press operation and if the objects get too close to you then you have to step back to get them in, similarly it has its limitations on distant objects as well. On the plus side the picture quality is very good, I have been impressed with the quality of the images on my PC, there are pretty crisp and clear with the colour being sharp and well defined. For sure an expert will not be bowled over but it is not designed for that end of the market. The HD picture quality is good and it has an 8GB memory which allows you to shoot plenty of material. Fully charged the battery pack will give you about two hours of shooting time as well however start playing back material and that diminishes fast. I have not yet tried it with separate batteries but no doubt will while in China.
The sound quality is pretty good and the inbuilt mike picks up quite a lot including my out of breath efforts to film and climb at the same time but again it has its limitations but due to the size of the whole thing it is perfect to provide a running commentary of what you are filming or recording a message home to family.
There is built in Flip software to make it easy to transfer your footage to either your PC or directly onto file sharing sites like YouTube and I have found this easy to use and quite quick as well. You can also edit your films using the software something I have only just started to experiment with but it is fairly intuitive and has not presented any great challenges to a complete novice like myself.
Would I recommend this product, well for certain purposes it is ideal, if you are looking to record epic masterpieces of the family holiday to Skegness then maybe not, however if you want something that is very portable and easy to conceal, something that is easy to operate and is in the point and press mode of video filming then this little baby does produce a very acceptable picture quality. It is a hand held device so if you have a shaky hand then you will get a shaky film but for me it was money well spent and has been very useful so far both as a teaching aid and preparing students for interviews.
Thanks for reading and rating my review.
This camera is ridiculously simple. Just point, shoot and share. It's a good first camera to own or give to your kid brother, or for casual use, but that's it.
The Flip is very compact. It's not the best nor most elegantly designed but I like its simplicity and general feel of sturdiness. A record button, directional keys, and play and delete buttons on the back, and a power switch and "flip out" USB port on the side. Some minor complaints though. I nicked the front of the camera and the paint peeled right off. I'm not a big fan of the chrome finish on the sides either - big fingerprint magnets. There is a wrist strap for support, but you can't adjust it to tighten.
I was disappointed to learn that the Flip can't capture camera stills and can only record up to 720p (the words "Ultra" and "HD" are very misleading). There are no video settings to play around with, so the quality of the video will really depend on the conditions under which your are shooting. Taken outdoors, the videos should come out vibrant and crisp. Indoors and under low light conditions, the videos will appear grainy. Forget about shooting clearly at night.
The camera outputs shaky videos. Say you want a camera that will record well when riding a roller coaster or bike - this is not the camera to get. There is supposed to be an image stabilization feature but I'm not sure if it even works. The Flip also only offers a 2x digital zoom, which I recommend that you DO NOT use as it will only exacerbate to the jitteriness. Of course you can connect the Flip to a tripod for stability, but I don't see the sense in lugging around one when the main selling point of the camera is in its handheld convenience.
Battery life is adequate at 2 hours, which should be more than enough for a lot of people. Charging times are pretty woeful though. Hooked to a USB port, a full charge on a drained battery will take 6-7 hours. Charging from a wall outlet would probably take a lot quicker, but I wouldn't know since an adapter is not included in the package (and I have no plans in getting one). Speaking of accessories, there is no HDMI cable provided, so you have to purchase one if you wish to play videos on the TV straight from the device.
My other complaint with the Flip is that it can't record when plugged to the computer. I planned on using it as a webcam replacement for use on Skype but it looks like I'll have to stick with my laptop's default webcam for a while. Also, it can't pause and resume while recording, which can be a bit inconvenient.
The Flip comes with a software called Flipshare for quick editing and sharing. Don't bother using it if you have an editor already, as it will only perform the most basic of tasks. Also, I don't know if it's only me, but I can't seem to upload HD videos to Youtube directly from the software. I find that I have to export to my 3rd party video editor first and then save it in the appropriate size (720p) for Youtube to recognize that the video is in HD.
All in all, this would be a great starter camera for kids and novices. But if you know what you are doing, save your money and stick to a proper camcorder.
I saw an advert for the Flip Ultra HD on Facebook and really liked the idea but expected a HD video camera of that size to be way out of my price range. I had a look on eBay and found they were averaging about £100 for a brand new one which I thought was good value for money so I treated myself to one for my birthday. In the box along with my Flip I got the battery pack, a wrist strap and a soft case to keep it in along with a quick start guide. I was extremely impressed with the quick start guide as it is only short and all in English so I didn't have to hunt through the millions of other languages before I could find out how to use my new toy.
For those of you who have never seen a Flip before I thoroughly recommend you go to doyouflip.co.uk and find out what all the fuss is about. It is an amazing little gadget. The Flip Ultra HD is a handheld HD video camera that is about the size of a mobile phone (4.25" x 2.19" x 1.17") that weighs 6oz. It is called a Flip because there is a built in flip out USB arm (up to USB 2.0 speed) in the side of the camera that is released when you slide a clip down. It is boasted as the World's simplest HD camera and that is a very true statement. On the opposite side of the camera to the USB arm is the on/off button so you can't get confused and turn it off by accident. The camera takes no longer than 4 seconds to power up and it has a power saver option which automatically turns your Flip off when you have not used it for a while. On the front on the Flip is the lens and at the top of the back of the device is a 2.0" (diagonal) LCD screen which has a resolution on 320 x 240 with Transflective TFT which helps you see the screen in bright day light. Underneath the screen is a red circular button in the middle which is the record and stop recording button. This is surrounded by 4 buttons, the top one is for zooming in or turning the volume up, the bottom for zooming out or turning the volume down, the right is for fast forwarding or moving to the next video in playback mode and the left for rewinding or moving back to the previous video. On the left of these is the play button so you can switch to playback mode and on the right is the delete button (there is a function to lock this too so you don't accidently delete any videos which I think is a great idea). That is it, all there is to it. Idiot proof in my eyes, well I haven't been able to go wrong yet.
The camera has a 2hr recording time with an 8gb internal memory (not expandable) and is currently available in black and white. The video has a resolution of 1280 x 720 and the camera has a ¼.5" HD CMOS sensor (2.2 µm pixels). It has ultra low-light sensitivity (>1.4 V/lux-sec) with automatic low light detection with automatic white balance and black level calibration. The average bitrate is 9.0Mbps (auto-adaptive algorithm) and has Flip video engine 3.5 which is the most up to date. The video has automatic exposure control with dynamic exposure compensation and the videos are saved in MP4 format with H.264 video compression and AC audio compression. The lens is fixed focus (1.5m to infinity) and the aperture is f/2.4 which is apparently a fast lens for great results in low-light environments. The camera has a smooth multi-step 2x digital zoom.
The Flip comes with a AA rechargeable battery pack (1.2 Volt NiMH rechargeable) which can be charged in about 6 hours via a computer USB port or in about 3 ½ hours if you buy the separate power adapter. I bought the power adapter for about £7 on eBay and a pack of 3 USB leads (about £12 on eBay) to connect the two as I was not overly happy about my Flip being left dangling from the plug socket. The reason that I chose the Ultra HD instead of the smaller and lighter Mino HD is because the Ultra HD will also work with 2 AA batteries if your battery pack runs out while you are out and about. The battery pack will last for up to 2.5hrs though which is longer than it will take to use up the memory.
The Flip Ultra HD has a built in speaker and a built in wide range stereo microphone. I found that the sound quality was really good when I was listening to it through the camera and through my PC. You can also buy Mini HDMI cables so you can plug your Flip straight into your HD TV (if you are lucky enough to own one) and watch the videos on the big screen. There is a tripod mount in the bottom of the Flip and I bought a Gorrillapod which has bendy legs so you can attach it to things for £3 brand new on eBay. The Flipshare video software allows unlimited private video emails or video greeting cards and has a facility to directly upload to MySpace and YouTube. You can take still photos from your videos. Automatic and on-demand online software updates are available for both the Flip and the Flipshare software. Minimum computer requirements are:
PC - 3.0 GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor, Windows® XP SP2 with 512 MB of RAM or Windows Vista®/Windows 7® with 1 GB of RAM, and USB 2.0 port
MAC®: 1.66 GHz Intel® Core DuoTM or faster processor, 1 GB of RAM, OS X Leopard® 10.5 or Snow Leopard® 10.6, and USB 2.0 port
Official Flip accessories consist of underwater case (about £40), soft pouch (black & silver), USB cables, Power adaptor, battery pack, tripod, HDMI cables and an action tripod. I have also bought a hard case (£10) and a silicon cover (£11) for added protection for my Flip.
I found the Flip USB arm clip really easy to use and the connection seems to be very secure so the arm doesn't feel like it is about to drop off. The screen may not sound very big at 2" (diagonal) but it is big enough to do what it needs to. The video on the camera is clear and easy to see and stays the same way once you have put it onto your computer. All the software, drivers etc are stored inside the Flip so there are no discs to lose. I plugged my Flip into my Vista laptop, a pop up came up, I chose I wanted to install the software and that was it. A few minutes later the software was available for use.
The Flipshare software is extremely easy to use. Along the top you get the normal windows type toolbar consisting of file, edit, view, share, create, playback and help. On the left hand side you get a bar with a list of your films separated in to the month that you uploaded them so it is easy to find the video you want in the future. You can also set up your own files to make finding the correct video even easier. Along the bottom you get a section that tells you if an action is taking place (like a video being transferred from the Flip to the laptop, a video being converted etc), a button to transfer videos from the Flip to the laptop, 3 sharing options and 3 create functions. The rest of the screen is filled up with thumb nails of your videos. There are 3 different options available depending on how big you want these thumb nails to be. I have currently used the email function and the publish videos on the web options. Both of these were really easy as you just drag and drop the video or videos you want to send as an email, type in the email address and click send or drag and drop the videos you want to convert. I have only uploaded videos to Facebook so far so I haven't used the auto upload the MySpace or YouTube options yet. When you want to upload the videos to other websites such as Facebook, Flipshare will convert the videos into .wmv format and puts them into a folder on your desktop which you can name anything you like. The take still photos from your video function is very user friendly as you can stop the video at the desired place and then move frame by frame to get the picture that you want. I did find the photos a little bit fuzzy but they were still viewable. I haven't got around to trying the create movies with titles and music option or the create a DVD of your video function yet but I would imagine that they are just as easy to use. The help section is comprehensive and easy to navigate and the flip website has a fantastic support section if you get stuck with anything. They even have a team of advisors waiting to talk to you via video to help you if you still can't resolve a problem.
When I registered my Flip, I was asked if I wanted a free 2 for 1 family fun days out card sent to me. I don't have children but thought I would say yes as it is free. This card gives 2 for 1 days out at over 200 selected venues such as Flambards, National Seal Sanctuary, paintballing, Royal Marines museum, Camelot theme park and Thomasland (full list available at www.doyouflip.co.co/familyfun). You can use the card as many times as you like until the 31st Dec 2011 and you can even use it to go to the same venue over and over again if you wanted too. The card also entitles you to 1 free lesson in golf, horse riding and football for 5-11 year olds. If you have a family, this card could help you redeem the cost of the Flip without you even realising. It is not redeemable against family tickets or booked parties and you should check with the venue first.
I love my Flip and have it in my pocket now most of the time so I never have to miss out on those golden opportunities. I can't recommend them enough so we have become a 2 Flip family as my 73 year old grandad has bought one after trying my Flip. All of my friends have been impressed with the quality of the videos and the ease of use of the camera. The facility to take still photos would have been an added bonus but I am not greedy.
Not wanting to constantly run down the life of my camera battery by taking and storing video clips I decided to get one of these small hand held video cameras and the Flip Ultra HD was on sale at the time down to £89 which was a good price as I have seen it elsewhere for over the £100 mark.
About the size of a chunky mobile phone it is easy to carry around as it fits easily into my handbag. It has an 8gb memory which gives you two hours of video storage so ideal for taking on a night out however it does have a couple of drawbacks. The zoom is not very good at all, at a recent concert it did not provide a good picture of the band and we were not that far back from the front of the stage.
The picture quality is ok without really being amazing and you do need good light, in poor light it is not great at all.
On the plus side the camera is so easy to operate, it takes about six hours to fully charge and there are only a couple of buttons that you need to use to operate it, the set up is very short, just loading date information and then you are ready to go. You use the flip usb on the side of teh camera to slot into your PC to charge it up and to download your videos so there is no need for seperate cables. It will also take two AA batteries if you exceed the two hour life of the fully charged battery.
It is super easy to use and also to upload your video as well and using the software you can also load them up straight to YouTube if you want. The big plus with this is that it is so easy to use, the big drawback is that it has some limitations with range however it is ideal for catching close up family occasions like present opening at xmas or friends on a night out.
I got this as I had always fancied a camcorder, just because the idea of making my own little videos seemed fun and interesting. Therefore when I saw this HD device on offer for only £170 I grabbed it.
What a great decision that turned out to be, I use it all the time now (just as much as my normal digital camera) and my facebook account has almost as many videos on as photos, which was never the case before.
This Is a great product because it is easy to use, the controls on the side of the product are extremely easy to use and you barely need to glance over the instruction leaflet to get the gist of what you are doing with this.
The video quality is very high, you can capture amazing videos from any distance with this and the results will always be true to the real life situation.
The flip idea is based around the usb port that flips off of the actual camera, this is where everything happens as the device is charged via USB, videos are uploaded and downloaded via USB too. Therefore a computer is completely necessary but as most people have one this isn't going to cause a problem.
A great little aid is that the product accepts normal batteries too, so if you ever run out of charge whilst on a day trip or excursion you can easily buy some batteries and get the camera running again, although the battery life on normal batteries seems to be considerably lower than that of the normal rechargeable battery.
Overall I advise getting this camera, as it is tiny and fits into your pocket and can capture any even in HD. No hassle camcording, it's great right?
I bought our Flip HD for my son to make his own movies on. It's the first video camera I've bought, and there's a bewildering variety on the market.
The Flip appealed after I watched a friend's home movie complete with backing music and professional-looking fades between shots.
It only takes movies, not stills, & it's extremely simple to use: press the central button to record, with up and down buttons for zoom. There's a Play button to watch the results and one with a dustbin icon for deleting, and that's pretty much it.
To edit the movie or to share through email, YouTube etc, the camera connects to the computer via a flip-out USB arm. It's nifty, although a £100-odd camera dangling from our computer tower makes me quite nervous, so it ends up sitting on a stack of books while connected which ain't ideal.
The big drawback is that with this camera you have to use the Flipvideo editing program - it isn't compatible with Windows Movie Maker, FX Home Effects or anything else we've tried. Flipvideo is very limited: it turns out you can ONLY fade your shots in & out, so a fight scene for example with fast-paced editing is impossible.
The simplicity & stunning picture quality means the Flip is a fantastic camera for certain uses, but for serious home movie-makers I'd get one compatible with better editing software.
My memory of my parents using a camcorder was a rather large cumbersome thing that once the tape had been shot we maybe watched it twice however for lots of family events no one could be bothered to get the thing out and carry it around, this is why the Flip Video Ultra HD is so ideal as it is about the size of a mobile phone but a little thicker in the body however it does fit into the pockets of my cargo pants and it is a great little device.
We have the 8gb version and it cost about £119.00 on Amazon thanks to my Dooyoo vouchers. The 8gb of memory gives you two hours of video that can be stored on the camera and it is so easy to operate. All you need to do is pop in the battery, it is partially charged straight out of the box however it will take about six hours to fully charge it from flat to full charge by simply plugging it into your computer via the usb. Th ebattery when fully charged gives you about two hours of filming however it can also take two AA batteries as well for when you are travelling and cannot get to a pc.
It gets the flip tag because the usb attachment is part of the camcorder, you slide a button on the side and it flips out so is ready to plug in flip and there are without the need for a cable however you can buy one if you want to.
All the controls are on the back of the flip with a large red button in teh centre which acts as the command button and then either side of this are teh forward and back buttons and the zoom in and out buttons are top and bottom, you also have a play button and the delete button when you do not want to keep what you have recorded.
It is super easy to use and also to upload your video as well and using the software you can also load them up straight to youtube if you want however I have not tried that yet.
The picture quality is good and this is an excellent little camcorder to carry around to capture those special moments with your kids. I love this device as it is so simple to operate and is a great bit of design.
The Flip Mino is a great camera with features so basic a child could use them. The camera is not much bigger than a great deal of phones, 1.5'' diagonally, so it indeed a quintessential 'Pocket Camcorder.' It has 4GB of memory, but with a 30 frames per second rate and 1280 x 720 resolution, you only get 1 hour of video capacity. Which is fine if you can find a PC, however if you're on holiday you better find a way of uploading them at an internet café and emailing them home, just to make some room for some more videos. This is because all the memory is internal, so you cannot simply replace the memory card like in other camcorders. The battery life is also internal (lithium-Ion rechargeable to be specific) and it can supply 2 hours of battery life when fully charged. And because they now use this battery as opposed to the 2x AA batteries that the Flip Ultra requires they have managed to save about 2 ounces in weight. However once again I find it a lot more practical to have the AA batteries as they can be easily bought anywhere in the world and on the whole last a lot longer. Both in the short run, as the rechargeable battery pack they give you can last 4.5 hours, and in the long run, as rechargeable batteries, if not charged when appropriate, tend to lose a few minutes here an there from their full capabilities. And the battery in the Flip Mino can not be replaced.
There are a grand total of 7 buttons on the front of the Flip. A huge red button, surprisingly enough that is to record and stop. Theres a button that looks a bit like this l>ll, and that is used, as you might have guessed, to play back videos. There's a button that allows you to bin videos, 2 of the buttons are for flicking through the videos when you're playing them back, and the final 2 to zoom in and out. The zoom is pretty weak, only 2x, but at least the quality remains pretty high when you zoom, unlike with the old Flip Ultra. It's a very simple camera on the whole. Hit the power button on the side, and in about 3 seconds by my counting, you are ready to record. Once you've finished recording you just need to flick the switch on the opposite side, a USB port pops out and you can upload all of your videos direct to your computer in .avi format, which works fine on most PCs. It also allows you to upload direct to Youtube, and edit your videos on Movie Maker providing you have the right codec.
The camera has also received a lot of great reviews from various magazines and websites. For instance Camcorderinfo.com and Cnet both called it the best budget camcorder. The Flip website gives you a list of all the shops selling Flip products, including Tesco, PC World, Comet, Currys etc. although not all of the sell the Flip MinoHD. There is a very broad range in prices, from about £115 - £180, so you best look about these shops. But, if you have some patience, you can look on eBay and find them for a lot cheaper. For instance I bought mine, still in its box, for about £55. So just shop around. However if you can't find any cheap versions of the Flip Mino, there are a lot of cameras on the market that are very similar in simplicity and size, although not all the time in quality. For instance the Creative Vado, Aiptek PocketDV, Disgo, Flip Ultra etc. or you can always just get a phone with a camcorder on. I suggest typing some of these names into Youtube and look at some sample videos to see if the quality will suit your needs.
Flip have also released a couple accessories that can go along with the Flip Mino. USB Cables, a tripod, action tripod, power adaptor and a soft pouch. However, although Flip Ultra has had a few extra accessories released, such as the underwater case, you can come around it by looking elsewhere, i.e. Aquapac provide packs that let you film underwater. The Flip Mino also just comes in 2 colors from most major shops, however if you buy from the website you have the option to design your own pattern or upload a photo, and they'll create your Mino accordingly for the same price.
Overall I think the Camcorder is well worth buying for its simplicity and quality of video. I've tried others such as the aiptek, but have found that they tend to have something wrong with them, i.e. microphone. But the Flip seems be sufficient all around, besides battery life. However I only think it's worth it if you can really afford it or find it cheaper than what most of the big shops are selling it for. So if you're like me and my student's wage, £150 might be pretty steep for a pretty basic camera, when you can get always get phones with a very similar camcorder on.
The Flip UltraHD is a brilliant camcorder. It easy to use and it's all inclusive, so you don't need to worry about extra cables or memory cards, it's all built in.
It's fairly light and looks like your standard mobile phone. Anyone can use it as the buttons are big and are laid out in a really simple way.
Massive 8GB storage, allows you to record up to 2 hours of HD material. I've recorded a copious amount of video and still have lots space left.
The battery can be charged via USB. One bad thing about it is that, it can sometimes generate a lot of heat causing the flip to stop charging. The battery life is good and a great thing about the Flip is that if it's not in use it automatically switches off, so you don't need to worry about accidently leaving it on and draining out the battery.
UltraHD allows you to record in 720p. In a well lit area the camcorder is able to produce high quality videos, but in area with little to no light, it's quite appalling. It's a shame that they didn't include a built in light as that would have made filming in the dark possible.
The flip come with built in software which allows you to edit and compose videos with ease. No need to buy any additional software, just record what you want, plug the Flip into an available USB port, and then produce, save or burn your video.
For £129 the HD Flip is a pretty decent camcorder.
Simple to shoot
Simple to share
|Product Description:||Flip Video UltraHD 2hrs - camcorder - internal flash memory|
|Product Type:||Camcorder - 720p - widescreen|
|Media Type:||Internal flash memory|
|Internal Storage:||8 GB flash|
|Sensor Resolution:||0.92 Mpix|
|Lens System:||Lens - f/2.4|
|Focus Adjustment:||Focus free|
|Min Focus Distance:||1.5 m|
|Digital Zoom:||2 x|
|Display:||LCD display - 2"|
|Supported Battery:||1 x AA NiMH rechargeable battery ( included )|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||5.6 cm x 3 cm x 10.8 cm|