March 20, 2008

Flipping out about the flip

A few weeks ago the Flip Video Ultra camcorder came to my attention and I became obsessed with wanting one. I read all the reviews on Amazon and the information on their site and knew it would be perfect for a blogger to have due to its easy USB video upload and purse fitting size. It also comes in pink, which really was the straw on this camel’s back. Plus, the attractive relatively cheap price of $142 on Amazon was very enticing too. After some legwork though I was able to get Pure Digital Technologies to send me a 60 minute Flip Ultra in black to review. I received it two days ago and have been playing with it ever since.

About the size of the original iPods, but lighter and with similar intuitive controls, this camcorder is super easy to use. I hate reading directions, in fact I never do (much to Raphael’s chagrin). Basically if I can’t figure out how to use a product without directions, then I’m not a fan. It was easy putting in their double A batteries and turning it on and setting the date and time. My first using the device was yesterday at the happy hour on unsuspecting PopBytes author (see post below). Then, I went home popped up the USB tab and uploaded the video. The application and software loaded immediately, no CD or work on my part. Then I had options to edit the video, add sound, effects and/or upload it directly to YouTube, MySpace Video and AOL. The file size was a lot clearer in its full version, but when I chose to publish the video to the web it automatically converted it into a file size that was only 1MB, so a smaller format to upload and share. However, once you resize it to for web use, the quality goes down a bit. If you want to preserve the original higher quality you can do that and load it onto a DVD or use their DVD service, where you bring the file to to an authorized Pure Digital retailer (CVS, Rite Aid, Longs, etc.) for custom DVDs

It also records up to 60 or 30 minutes of video depending on which model you buy, and no tapes or memory cards are required since the memory and storage is automatically in the device. You can also capture still photos too and besides pink the flip comes in orange, black or white.

BUT how is this different then my Cannon Power Shot camera with video though? Well, it is better looking (yes, I’m a sucker for that) and for video it’s really easy for me to use and edit and upload video for my blog. I also hope it will help me to record more videos without getting out my bulkier camcorder either like I did two years ago at the Tribeca Film Festival red carpets. With the flip I’d have everything in one and could upload video that night to my blog and other sites. I also like that it records high quality video and web video depending on what I need it for. The only negative is that the zoom isn't that powerful, so this is more for up close handheld shots.

So now I’m going to buy the pink version and get the water proof case accessory for some snorkel shots on my honeymoon trip to Hawaii (note to self: You really need to start booking and planning that btw, 6 months to go). Here's a quick video I did of the flip boxing and of my desk at work.


  1. You are going to LOVE this gadget. Soooo easy to use.

  2. I'm sold. I really want one! I think I saw this on Oprah once and thought it was the coolest thing how you just flip out the USB plug and voila! I didn't know they were so inexpensive, either. Great review!

  3. Good review, Tara. Wish I owned the company that makes these.

    Now if they can just make a cell phone that's that simple.

  4. I was introduced to the Flip Camera last fall. My work made sure we all had one so we could document observations while we are out traveling for different projects. They're pretty cool. And they make uploading to your computer SUPER easy.

  5. I just found out about this gadget yesterday-- and it really looks handy. It is on my wish list.

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