Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions to take more pictures and video of your children? You certainly don’t want to miss the baby and toddler years. They are gone too fast.
I struggled quite a bit with our camcorder decision before our son was born. I wanted something small and easy, and something that takes a high quality picture. I chose a traditional hard-disk camcorder, and I’m afraid I might have made the wrong decision after using the Flip Ultra HD (which was sent to me by Flip to try out for this review). I made my decision based on the zoom capability, and while I’m sure that our camcorder with the zoom will get used throughout the lives of our kids – but the Flip will get used a LOT more. A lot.
The Flip Ultra HD is a small (think point-and-shoot size!) video camera that is incredibly simple to use and shoots in amazing HD video. It sounds impossible, but it’s true. By simple, I mean that my 10-year old could have probably taken it out of the box and gotten it to work – wheras I spent hours with my more traditional camcorder near tears because my infants first bath was only playing audio when I uploaded it (don’t worry, I got it fixed. The bath is safe.) There isn’t even a software disk that comes with the camera – all of the software is right there, inside!
Just a few easy to understand buttons!
The Flip has a total of 8 buttons – Power, Record, Play, Delete, and four directional arrows. That’s it. You cannot screw this up. Pick it up, turn it on, point it at whatever you want to record, and hit the big red button.Push it again to stop. Want to see what you recorded? Push play. I know, you were confused. Its 8GB internal hard drive will record up to two hours of HD video. Honestly, if you’re keeping more than two hours of video without uploading, then you’re making your job much harder than it has to be. It’s easier to keep your movies organized if you upload more often. Plus, you won’t have to worry about losing anything should your camera be damaged or stolen.
To upload your video, just pull out the USB arm, and plug it into your computer. The Flip Share program will open up right away and allow you to browse, playback, organize and archive your videos, and create movies with video clips, music, and titles. You can even grab still images from your videos. It is really so, so easy. If you plug your Flip into someone else’s computer it only leaves a small FlipShare file that is easy to find and easy to delete if desired.
With the small exception of the zoom capability, this has everything the average user could want in a video camera, and it even includes a 2x digital zoom to try to overcome that detraction. The HD picture is beautiful and the sound comes out clear. There is even a mini-HDMI Output so you can connect the Flip directly to your HD TV.
Is this tiny camera missing some features from more expensive and traditional video cameras? Probably. Which ones? I don’t know, because I don’t care to use them. I suppose all those buttons on my other camcorder that I never bothered to learn to use.
It fits in the side pocket of my diaper bag, and I can pull it out at a moments notice to capture whatever insane cuteness is going on at the moment. Within a few minutes I can have the video on You Tube or in an email ready to share. What more do I need?
For more info or to find out where to buy: Please see theflip.com.