If you're looking for a camcorder that offers quality, is easy to handle and has a USB attached so you don't have to mess around with finding cables, then the " Ultra Series Flip Video Camcorder" is made just for you.
Smartphones have the capability these days to shoot some great quality video, but if you don't have one, don't want one, or a good one is simply out of your budget, you might like to purchase one of these Flip camcorders to suit your video making needs. This model is getting on in age a bit now (it came out in 2008), so you can pick them up for a good price and used ones are on Amazon for around £40 - £70.
This model comes stored with 2GB of memory, so no need to mess around with tapes, and holds 60 minutes of video in total. Video is recorded at 640x480 resolution.
The product comes in a well-sized box that safely protects the item inside. Open the top and you'll see two holes for your finger and thumb to pull out the inner box. On the inner box you then open the cardboard doors to be greeted with the camcorder. Once you take this out, there is another hole that allows you to lift out the inner box to reveal another section that houses the accessories.
In total, the box contains the Camcorder, TV connector cable, wrist strap, soft carrying case, two AA batteries, and an instruction booklet. The extras are well-made and durable. I make use of the wrist strap that comes attached to the camcorder as I tend to drop things. The more expensive an item, the more I drop it. So the wrist strap is much appreciated.
The camcorder measurements are 1.2" x 2.2" x 4.2" and it's fairly light so it can fit easily into your pocket when out and about. What I love about the Flip camcorder is that it is so simple to use. I can give it to my Grandad with minimum instructions and he manages to shoot something. He doesn't generally get on well with these things so that speaks volumes.
If you want to use a tripod with this, there is a hole on the underside of the product to mount your tripod and film under more stable conditions. The microphone is in-built and can pick up sound clearly within 12 feet. The batteries are easy to change. Just slide a latch to unlock and remove the panel, then put in two AA batteries like you've been doing with products for decades.
Once you're ready, just slide the latch of the side to power up the camcorder, then point it at something you want to film. You can view it in the 1.5" screen on the product to measure it up and then just hit the big red button to record. On the centre control, up and down adjusts the zoom in and out. Press the red button again to stop, and then watch your recording by pressing the play button. You can access your other clips by press left or right, and if there are any you don't want, just press the trash can button. You will be asked if you're sure, which helps avoid you accidentally hitting the button and deleting your masterpieces.
On the other side to the off/on control, there is the USB arm that flips up, allowing you to plug it into your computer so you can transfer all your videos. The videos come in MP4 file format, which keeps the file size small, and you edit them and upload to youtube or wherever you wish. If you want to view it on your TV straight from the camcorder, make use of the TV connector cable which comes included, switch your TV to the correct channel and use the camcorder controls to direct what you want to view.
Overall, the simplicity of this product is what won me over. It's so easy to pick up and use, then as quick as you've filmed something, use the USB to connect it to the computer to edit the file. On this model, the resolution isn't the greatest at 640x480, but Flip offer better more expensive products to suit your requirements with the same great style and simplicity.
From more technical information, please click the 'Technical Details' tab for this product.
Even in this day and age, some people just arn't comfortable or familiar with the more 'complex' of technology products on the market in the UK. Often the very young and very old members of society find devices like the Panasonic Lumix range for instance difficult to use and understand - but more and more of these people are being introduced to products which they personally WANT to use and get involved with. Every market will be capitalised eventually, and this particular one is no exception.
The 'Pure Digital Flip Video Ultra Series F260' is a device my mother was bought for her birthday last May, but is a product I seem to have had more use out of since that fateful date. It is not that my mum has found the device too difficult to use or understand, I think it's more to do with the lack of passion or interest she has in filming or photgraphing the world around her. But what have Pure done to attempt to tempt in my mothers interest?
- The aesthetics of the device are designed to promote simplicity and fun. Her pariticular model is bright pink around the edges and the buttons are large, round and simple. The camera lense on the back is 'funky' and fits with the aura of the device in general. Similarly, the 'Flip Video' logo tag at the bottom right of the back panel is fun, inviting and uncomplicated.
- Having just eight clearly labelled buttons and a flip out USB connector, there arn't many who wouldn't find this device easy to use and operate. Turning it on via the power button of the left side panel, the 'Flip Video' logo appears on screen with a caption at the bottom saying 'press red to set-up' - who couldn't follow that instruction.
And when you do come to set up the device (which is largely set up for you anyway), you follow simple instructions regarding brightness, contrast and storage which anyone could understand.
- Capturing images and videos is done at the touch of a button. Press red to record, press red to stop, press the bin icon to bin, press the storage icon to store. Press the play button to play your stored footage on-screen, use the arrows to scroll through other footage... SIMPLE.
- Loading images and videos onto a computer is done via the USB connector mentioned earlier. After finding the device in 'My Computer' or equivelent, open up the file and look through the stored items. Copy them onto your computer and proceed to do as you wish with them. This is so simple and easy to do, and it also teaches first-timers how you find other devices connected to your PC - on the same 'My Computer' list.
- Once your ready to sit watching the videos on the computer, you can get a clear taste of what the picture quality is really like. One downside to the device its self is that the screen is rather small which can make for difficult back-viewing on site, but on a PC you realise the quality is very good indeed. the developers have made this product less about the level of pixels and more about the use of fantastic colour vibrancy and contrast to create a good image.
The product does have some down falls which add to the small screen it utlises. For instance, the weight of the device is quite high for such a small item. With companies packing this kind of quality into small phones which have more features, you would have thought they could keep the weight and size of this product down. However, I agree that the size of the product is more suited to ts target audience - i.e. theres less chance of it being dropped by loss of grip. The buttons do feel quite flimsy at times too, but besides these minor negatives, the product is excellent.
Overall I have found few disadvantages to this device. It suits those who need a simple, easy to upload device and is perfect for family holiday footage, birthday parties and Christmas festivities. It is durable, so youngsters can be permitted to have a go, and it's affordable.
Received this as a Christmas present as I had been using the video facility on my mobile phone but found it limited in terms of resolution/picture quality as well as recording time (that mobile has a limit of 45 seconds per video)
The Flip Ultra is a 'quick and easy' point and shoot video camera and the emphasis throughout is on ease of use and simplicity. As such, it is very straightforward to simply switch on and begin using to record video - up to 2 hours (the camera has an on-screen display showing how long is left in the memory capacity). The memory is a "flash" type (ie... internal memory - not a memory card) and the videos are stored in .mp4 format.
There are a few options that can be set which mostly relate to choices for the camera itself such as language set up and whether the light should display when recording, etc. I would have appreciated a few more features such as manual white balance adjustment for different types of lighting - yes these can be edited afterwards but it would be nice to be able to change this (and preview it) on the camera.
The picture quality and resolution was reasonable - definitely not 'high end' but a reasonable quality
The stored videos can be played back on the camera screen - the interface for doing this is very straightforward (basically just 'Play' button and then cursor left and right to choose a video!) ... it does not seem to have (or I couldn't find) a facility to fast forward/rewind through the video, it is either playing or not. Also for example if there are 20 videos stored on it, it seems you need to scroll through 1, 2, 3 etc... 20 which is OK if there are only a small number of videos on it but may be more difficult with a larger number of videos.
The video time can be apportioned any way you want (up to the 2 hr limit) so for example, several videos of a few seconds/minutes each, or longer videos. This is subject to battery life for which you can either use AA batteries or use the separate rechargeable (Li-ion) battery pack which can be bought separately. If using the rechargeable pack, it is recharged by connecting the USB 'arm' of the camera to a computer.
Considering its size the audio quality was reasonably good (in playback and also once imported to computer).
To get the videos off the player and onto the computer, the Flip Ultra contains some software already on it which allows videos to be viewed and uploaded to various sites such as YouTube. For Windows and Mac this is therefore a very easy way of working with the videos. As a Linux user (Ubuntu) myself I did not use this software but instead accessed the videos directly when connected to USB.
The USB 'arm' itself flips outwards from the side of the unit (shown in the picture) and is a handy way to access it - seems quite robust but if kids are using the unit it seems like it could eventually be broken if they are careless. However in normal use it doesn't look like it will break easily.