IT’S EASY TO FLIP OVER FLIP VIDEO
© 2010 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Not since the introduction of VHS have I seen a video product generate so much fun, excitement and practicality. FLIP VIDEO™ is a tiny video camcorder smaller than a pack of cigarettes, housed in a rugged designer case that incorporates up to 8gb of built-in memory. Since its launch in 2007, more than 2 million units have been sold. In mid ’09 a new generation was introduced with many improvements and features resulting in four models: ULTRA SD (standard definition), ULTRA HD (high definition), the Mino HD and the Mino. More recently, the SLIDE HD was introduced featuring a 3” widescreen. All models are tripod mountable. The biggest difference between these models is physical size, display size and recording time.
The 6 oz ULTRA series features a 2”diagonal color LCD screen, very high light sensitivity with automatic low light detection, fixed focus f2.4 optics with electronic 2x digital zoom and a choice of a rechargeable, or double “A” battery source for up to 4.5 hours of use per charge and an optional under water housing for under $50. Recording time is two hours.
The 3.3 oz Mino models are available in two record time options, 60 or 120 minutes, feature a 1.5” diagonal color LCD, internal Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (2 Hr. HD/4 Hr. SD). Optics and light characteristics are very similar to the Ultra series.
Reduced size is the big factor here over the ULTRA.
The new SlideHD records up to 4 hours in HD and features a 3” pop-up color display.
(TIP: A caution, the smaller the size of any camera, the more difficult it becomes to operate and keep steady)
The ULTRA and the Mino record in the MPG4 format making them ideal for use with your MAC, or PC. This also means worldwide television standards are not a factor. The FLIP is so well designed you can easily perform many postproduction tasks with the supplied Flipshare software. A click of an icon allows you to email up to ten minutes, 100mb of video, to Flip’s proprietary web site. The recipient receives a link to your video for easy, fast viewing and the clip remains available for up to 500 views, or ninety days, whichever comes first. These clips may even be edited into a movie with dissolves and music. Other icons include a selection of direct links for uploading to Facebook, YouTube, or your own web site. Stills are a snap. The JPEG photos you can capture using the program’s Snap feature have a resolution of 424 x 318 pixels, with full 24-bit color depth. If that’s not enough you can incorporate FLIP footage into non-FLIP projects. (squared5.com/svideo/mpeg-streamclip-mac.html) Casablanca editors can now feed the flip directly into the project with automatic HD>SD conversion when desired. More information is available at: casablancaexpert.com. Other icons allow you to make video greeting cards, directly make a DVD of your video, or create a flip channel to easily and privately share flip content with any group of people you choose and have Flip email them when you add new content. Naturally, you can also save your clips to your hard drive. Mac/PC editing is possible with the use of conversion software easily available on the web.
Connecting your FLIP to your computer is as easy as pushing a button causing a USB 2 connector to flip out, thus the name FLIP VIDEO™. The supplied NTSC cable for SD models and an optional HDMI™ cable for the HD version accomplish connecting to your TV.
My tests revealed the video quality to be exceptional. In all situations the FLIP outperformed my wildest expectations. I have spoken with a producer of documentaries that used FLIP HD footage as “B” roll and intermixed it with broadcast level HD recordings. Results were outstanding. Network newscasts incorporate FLIP footage as do many commercially available DVD’s. The applications are endless. Available at major retailers and on line. More details at theflip.com.
UPDATE: New models, which are available at retail 9/20/10 include two Flip UltraHD models and two Flip MinoHD models, each of which brings new cosmetics and several new features, including a hardware-based always-on image stabilization system for the first time.
MSRP: FLIP ULTRAHD™ $199.99 – FLIP ULTRA™ $149.99 – FLIP MinoHD™ (2 Hr) $229.99 – FLIP Mino™(1 Hr) $199.99 (1 Hr) $199.00 – SlideHD $279.99
FLIP VIDEO™ is a trademark of Cisco
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Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer.
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