Flip Video Ultra 

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Flip is not an expletive but rather a nice handheld camcorder that costs less than £100. The most important points are that the quality is superb and it is extremely easy to use and transfer or watch the output.
Flip Video Ultra - black showing flip-out USB connector
click to enlarge

The Flip Video Ultra is 10.5x5.5x3cm and weights only 140grams. It comes in four colours, mine is a creamy white with orange sides.

It is powered by two 'AA' batteries (supplied) and it's internal memory can record an hours action. It comes with a drawstring bag and a wrist strap. There is a folded card for the instructions and delving in the box will find the leads to connect the Flip Video to your TV.

A quick tour round the unit, the right side has the on/off slider. The left side has the connection point for the TV lead as well as a pop out USB connector. The base has a tripod screw and slider to open the front where the two 'AA' batteries are inserted.

This leaves the back, a small TFT shows what you are looking at either capturing or viewing. Below this a play button on the left and a delete button on the right with the ubiquitous five position joystick control in between. That's everything.

So when you open the box insert the two 'AA' batteries and turn it on, when you are ready to capture something press the red centre button on the joystick and you are capturing video. Press the red button again and it stops capturing that is it.

To replay on the unit press the play button and it starts playing the latest captured item on the 3x2.4cm TFT screen. Press the play button for longer and it will play all the clips you have on the unit.

Images are captured in MPEG4 VGA. Now most mobile phones can capture in VGA but the quality will be terrible if displayed on a TV, I am sure we have all seen sequences shown on news programs that were shot on a mobile. Without any exaggeration playing back these images via the lead on a TV look every bit as good a quality as a normal TV program.

In rough terms one minute of video takes around 28MB of space on the unit and as stated there is enough room on the 2GB of internal memory to store an hour. It also produces good output in low light something that mobile phone cameras are poor at.

The USB connector allows images to be transferred to a PC. On first connection software is transferred to the PC. This is also easy to use.

You can transfer video to the PC, transfer it for sending by email in this case it is condensed to around 4MB per minute. It's not a good idea to send movies any larger as a number of ISP's have a file size limit. It is also possible to send just a link so that anyone with that link can view the images over the Internet.

Flip Video Ultra - rear showing display and controls
click to enlarge

Files can be edited to keep just the good bits and even stitch bits together in a compilation. It is even possible to capture a still image from a movie or attach music to any item by uploading MP3 files. Sound quality is also good so speech can also be captured with the video.

This is a superb piece of kit and capturing movies has never been easier. The other colours available are Black, White, and White and Pink.

Quality is superb, even in the 1/7 size it sends in emails or viewed full screen on a TV

It is really as easy as Record, Connect, Share. The box says Windows XP SP2 with 512MB and Vista with 2GB. It is also stated to work on MACS. I used it successfully on a system With Windows XP SP1 and 384MB of RAM.

Doing my Internet searches found the Flip Video Ultra at a best price of £99.48 including free delivery from the first link below. Certainly well worth a 'highly commended'

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Comment by Miki, Dec 14, 2008 3:30

Its a nice item, i like it.


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