Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas goodies: Flip Ultra HD

I must have been a good lad this year, as once again, Santa left some techno goodness under the tree for me.

I'm now the lucky owner of a Flip Ultra HD 8GB pocket video recorder. It's a marvellous, and very simple piece of video recorder gadgetry. Smaller (but about twice as thick) as my iPhone 4 - bearing in mind the iPhone is the "world's thinnest smartphone", there's really not much to this recorder. You turn it on, press the big red button and it records. To stop, press the big red button again!

To upload video, just "flip" out in-built USB adapter, whereupon on first connection you get the chance to install the Flip software (to Mac or PC), and off you go.

The only other two buttons on the device (other than the on/off and big red button) are a review and delete button. The settings are basic - language, whether you want sound on button press, the red recording light to show etc).

It runs on the inbuilt battery, which is removable, and replaceable by 3x AAA's. The 8GB holds about 2 hours worth of the HD video it records. Note that it doesn't take stills.

You wouldn't want to record an epic on it - or even anything overly lengthy. It's ideal for short clips which you might want to email, upload to YouTube of embed on a site.

The Flip software is pretty basic, but does allow you to do some pretty limited editing and movie creation. You van of course import it into any video editing suite that you may have that supports it's native MP4 file format.

It complements my Samsung FD30 perfectly. If I want longer scenes, with bigger zoom (the Flip has a pretty limited and digital only zoom) and fancy effects (which I never use), then the Sammy gets the nod. If it's quick clips and I don't want to lug my Samsung around (which is slightly smaller than a can of coke anyway) then the Flip will do the business.

Why have this and the iPhone that records HD video as well? The iPhone's definitely a good backup and is with me all the time, but for longer clips the Flip is easier to hold, is easy to upload, holds 2 hours without me worrying about either space or battery life on the iPhone.

It's beauty is it's pocket-ability and the high quality of the video you get. It's a far, far cry from the cumbersome handled recorders of some time ago.

I love it!

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