Customer Review

1,399 of 1,441 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Flip once again so far...., September 22, 2010
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This review is from: Flip UltraHD Video Camera - Black, 8 GB, 2 Hours (3rd Generation) (Camera)
This review is very similar to the review that I gave for the Flip Slid HD when it first came out. (Please see that review also...)

I have been a Flip camera user since they released the first gen. Flip Mino HD (not the new metallic model). I loved the camera. For what I needed it for it was everything I wanted. I soon became addicted to the Flip cameras and needed to purchase the newest one every time they came out.

I currently own the Flip Mino HD (1st gen) Flip Ultra HD (2nd Gen) Flip Slide HD, and now the Flip Ultra HD (3rd Gen with Flip Port). I also own a Canon GL2 and Vixia 30 video cameras and a Canon Xi digital SLR.

I got home from school on Tuesday and found my brand new Flip Ultra HD waiting for me. I had about 20 minutes to open the package, look and set up the features (time, date, etc.) before I had to leave for marching band rehearsal. During rehearsal I did some test shooting and I was very impressed with the quality of this camera, but I was worried about a few features.

I was reluctant at first to purchase this camera because of the 60fps feature. I did own a Kodak Zi8 and the 720p 60fps setting didn't not import into Final Cut Pro. I had to take it into compressor or some other software and change the file extension in order for Final Cut Pro to import it. Of course this causes a decrease in quality.

I was also reluctant because of the image stabilization feature. When image stabilization is added to a camera (of this size) video quality usually suffers. I know flips can be very shaky if you do not have a well trained hand. After a few hours a playing you will figure out the right movements that the camera can incorporate so your video will not come out shaky.

I don't use my Flip Slide HD because of the omni directional microphone. I can not record loud situations because the microphone distorts. This is my biggest fault with the Slide HD. I was a little concerned with the new Flip Ultra HD that it would have the same problem even though it uses a different microphone, but what really sold me on this new Flip was the accessories and the FLIP PORT.

Right off the bat I noticed all of the new accessories that they are pushing for the Flips, the aquapacks, the igo chargers, and my favorite is the magnetic Bower Wide Angel Lens. Flip and Cisco have finally started listening to its customers, but what put it over the top for me was Blue Microphones. Blue Microphones makes vintage and out of this world recording, studio, usb microphones. I own one of their USB Microphones called the Snow Ball and the quality of that microphone is amazing. When I found out that Blue Microphones was making a microphone (mikey) for the new Flip to be used with the new Flip Port, I purchased mine right away.

So the Review...

The Ultra HD has always been my favorite because of its size. I think the bigger it is the better control you will have and the less shaky video you will produce. The new Ultra HD is smaller, but not that much. It feels good in your hands. The controls and the screen are in the same place. It is a nice fit in your hand.

I was very shocked at how well the image stabilization worked. If you have used a flip before this one you know that the slightest movement will create shaky video. You can tell that this one has image stabilization. It still can produce shaky video but it might take a big jolt to do it.

The 60 fps was great. It was much clearer video and with the image stabilization it made everything much smoother and clearer in the view finder, even in low light situations. I did check when I got home and the 60fps does import right into Final Cut Pro for editing without any compression. (Probably cause the videos are in MP4 format)

Overall I think this is the best Flip Camera out on the market. I like this one better than the Mino because of the touch screen controls. Sometimes pressing the touch screen controls on the Mino will cause the camera to shake.

I hope this review was helpful. Please feel free to leave comments or questions.

See my comparison of my Flip Cameras below.

Flip Mino HD - Good Microphone (2nd out of all of them), doesn't have as wide as a shooting angle as the Ultra's. Very small in the hand, at times hard to control.

Flip Ultra HD (2nd Gen) - Good Microphone (3rd out of all of them) Wide Angle for shooting, Feels good in the hand, sturdy, wont break if dropped. Double A batteries only last a few hours, rechargeable battery pack has short life span. Unit can get hot when charging - may even shut down.

Flip Slide HD - Poor Microphone (in loud situations) - its omni directional so it picks up all around the Flip not just in the front like the others. (4th out of all of them) Touch controls are better than the Flip Mino, however this has no hard buttons. The Slide does have the largest storage capacity and is second in video quality only to the new Flip Ultra HD.

Flip Ultra HD (3rd Gen Flip Port) - Widest Angle for shooting, feels the best in the hand, has the Best Microphone and currently I believe has the best video quality. This also is the only unit that has the new Flip Port.

Thanks

Nick
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Comments

Tracked by 13 customers

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Showing 61-70 of 71 posts in this discussion
Posted on Nov 29, 2011 7:05:10 AM PST
Hi Nick and thanks for your stellar review! I've been thinking about purchasing a Flip camera for a long time and am now convinced this is the one I should buy. I, too, love Blue Microphones and appreciate your detail in that part of the review as well as all the comprehensive information.

Thanks for a fantastic, well-written review!

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 8:38:33 PM PST
ShewiseOne says:
Nick, Thank you soooo much for your detailed compare/contrast. Very helpful. And then to go further and answer so many more specific questions from people. Kudos. I REALLY APPRECIATED reading the questions/responses too. Very very helpful. Thanks again. Merry Christmas!!

Posted on Jan 31, 2012 8:21:49 PM PST
ms. kruger says:
this is totally out of the subject but i am in a payson high school marching band ^_^

Posted on May 21, 2012 10:59:10 AM PDT
Where can I purchase the Blue Microphone (mikey) for my Flip HD? I have the 3rd Gen. 8GB model with the flipport on the bottom. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 5:44:12 AM PDT
N. Farrell says:
Eyez Wide Open they never released the Blue Microphone as I stated in previous posts because Cisco decided to stop making the Flip so Blue decided to kill the Microphone. Would have been a pretty awesome accessory.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 11:04:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 4, 2012 11:04:30 PM PDT
Hello N. Farrell, first off, as all the others who posted here have mentioned, I want to thank you for such a comprehensive review. I also have a question....I had a first generation Flip, which I loved but has finally broke on me. Since Cisco has discontinued the Flip, I am now looking to purchase the 3rd generation here on Amazon, but am worried about sound since I mostly use the Flip for live music recordings (which always came out unbelievably great on my Flip in comparison with my point and shot Nikon camera). You mentioned sound distortion being one of your concerns when contemplating your buy and you did say 3rd generation is best...I guess I am still concerned when it comes to live horns/loud bass...would you say 3rd generation is still best out of all the Flips? Was contemplating buying the same Flip I had before...but if 3rd is best for live music which is what I use it for, then I will spend the extra money...it'll be worth it. Thanks in advance...G. Torres

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2012 5:24:54 AM PDT
N. Farrell says:
Well after a lot of testing I have found out some interesting things.

1. The Flip Mino 3rd Generation will try to cut back the microphone when there is a loud noise. I am constantly around drumlines (since that is my job) and I have found that this Flip will not get the job done. There is a lot of quality loss.

2. The Flip Ultra 3rd Generation has some distorting qualities if you are up close. If I know I am going to be shoot at a distance and don't need to shoot on my Canon XA10 then I will use this one all day long.

3. The Flip Mino 1st Generation doesn't have quality issues and will not pull back the microphone when loud noise happens. The only problem with this is that it is a mono track which is placed on both channels so I only get one audio track when I bring it into Final Cut Pro.

4. The Flip Ultra 2nd Generation has a great microphone but I don't use this one as much because it doesn't have the image stabilization as the 3rd Generation does. There is not sound quality lost far away or up close and it records into stereo tracks.

This is my opinion.
I hope that helps.

Nick

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2012 1:44:26 PM PDT
Rima Montoya says:
Hi Nick. You've helped so many people since you started posting in 2010! Thank you! I need to get a recording device within the next 10 days and need your expert advice and recommendation. I will use the video recording device for indoor, low-light settings: sitting down scenarios for both interviews and acoustic guitar performances in theaters. Soft sounds and very little movement, so i don't need any image stabilizer.
Here's what i wish the device to have: 1. Excellent mic capacity and recording. 2. Excellent focus in low light. 3. USB port (for PC). 4. Long battery life. 5. Minimum of 2 hour reliable continuous recording. 6. User friendly.
A million thanks for your sound advice!
Best to you. --Rima

Posted on Jul 10, 2012 2:05:32 PM PDT
I am wondering about the low-light shooting capability. I had a 2nd gen Flip UltraHD that got stolen, and I am looking to replace that camera. The image stabilization feature on the 3rd gen would be nice, but a large majority of the vids I take are in low light (indoors, nighttime, toddler). The 2nd gen was good enough, but I've heard some people say that the increased frame rate on the 3rd gen makes the quality in low light much worse. Any thoughts?

Posted on Jun 20, 2013 9:22:48 AM PDT
Hi Nick.