Product Type: Pure digital camcorders
Newest Review: ... Throughout these trials, the camera always performed well and no issues ever showed on the output - some cameras, if shaken or moved vigor... more
The YouTuber's Choice
Pure Digital Flip UltraHD
Member Name: NotMyToothbrush
Pure Digital Flip UltraHD
Advantages: Very reliable, good focus time, HD, cheap
Disadvantages: Fragile flipping USB, AA battery-powered
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.
Summary: If you want an almost disposable camcorder which still has decent output, this is the one for you!
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