371 of 391 people found the following review helpful
Hard to recommend with so many gadgets w/video in market now
, October 27, 2010
This review is from: Flip UltraHD Video Camera - Black, 8 GB, 2 Hours (3rd Generation) (Camera)
I wavered between giving this three or four stars, but settled on four because it delivers what it promises in spades: EASY to use, high quality video recording in a small package. If I could, I would give a 3.5. There's a BIG "but" though:
The caveat here is that this is now a single-purpose, niche product, whose single purpose can be found on a number of different devices, from DSLR's, to point and shoot cameras, to smartphones (and probably non smart phones). You would be hard pressed to find even the lowliest point and shoot digital camera that doesn't record 720p video these days.
The one differentiator here is that this Flip shoots video at 60 frames per second, which is great if you are mostly going to be shooting outdoors, in bright light (because you SHOULD get smoother looking action, although most people can't see the difference). But it can actually be a disadvantage (vs the more standard 24 or 30fps) when shooting in lower light situations. I found this to be true as I compared several gadgets of mine (iPhone 4, Canon S95 digital camera, Canon HV30 HD camcorder), shooting the same indoors scene.
Just hard to recommend that anyone buy this today, knowing that almost every digicam on the market does 720p video now (and several of the new gen point and shoots do 1080p!) I shot the same scene (outdoors, but in very cloudy conditions) with my iPhone 4 and the Flip. The iPhone's video was slightly less contrasty, and a little more shaky looking due to no optical image stabilization like the Flip has. BUT at least I could focus on certain areas with the iPhone. With the Flip, I have no way to focus on a particular object, which is tough. I would bet MOST people would not be able to tell much of a difference in the picture quality between the two (unless you were watching them side by side, and even then, was difficult to determine a clear winner)
When these Flips first came out, they were a standout product because video in digicams was horrible at that time, and either nonexistent or poor on cel phones, but times have changed. For $200,today, you can buy an iPhone 4, or a point and shoot Sony digicam with a CMOS, low light sensor, that will shoot better video, plus you get the primary functions of those devices to boot. The video is just gravy.
- Svelte, easy to carry and handle, outside black soft touch material very nice
- Good to very good video quality
- SO easy to use and hook up to another device for viewing the results.
- optical image stabilization works surprisingly well considering form factor, weight and small size of the Flip
- 60 fps great for outdoors/good light shooting
- Hard to justify price when you can get at least as good video in other devices that do more than just video
- No ability to focus
- I wish the lens had more protection, or even a built in lens cap/cover. Note it does include a soft case, but I mean something like you see on most camcorders these days.
- Not great in low light due to 60fps recording (at least give the option to switch to something slower for low light situations?)
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