Top positive review
Get it now while they last - this is the best version of the Flip and the price is right
on June 15, 2011
I've owned at least one of almost every model Flip camcorder since they came out, and I've been very happy with all of them. This one's the best I've used - I bought a couple of them to bring along on a trip I took with other people. The ease of the camcorder meant I could let people (including kids) borrow them and take footage where they liked and when they liked, and it all ended up at good quality.
The video is slightly better than the last generation Mino, and the stabilization is a very nice feature, that improves the quality slightly but noticeably. I have better camcorders, that take better video and have more options. None is as simple as the Flip. Just turn it on, point, and shoot. Then when you're ready, you can trim and upload the footage using the included software, or you can drag the video files into whatever editing program you like (e.g. Windows Movie Maker on Windows or iMovie on a Mac). Some would say that with video capabilities on smart phones these are obsolete - and maybe that's what Cisco thinks and why they decided to discontinue the line. I disagree - since there's something nice about a very simple, dedicated device. Plus, the video quality on this camera easily matches or exceeds that on any phone I've tried, but the sound is superior here.
There's no zoom here - apart from the digital zoom that cuts down on quality. So the thing you have to think with the Flip is that your body is the zoom. You move in closer if you want to zoom. That means that the Flip is best at capturing reality you're a part of, rather than situations you're standing apart from. A party, a gathering of friends, a walk, a baby's first steps, a child's first day at school. Those are the kind of things you might not be ready for with a tripod and a camcorder - and if you pull those out some of the intimacy is lost. You pull one of these out and nothing changes, you're still in the situation, and you can capture it with ease. I'm sad that the Flip line is dying, but that does mean that the price is right for those who get them before they're gone. (At least, right now the price is quite a bit lower than what I paid for this model when it first came out).