Product Review: Page (1) of 1 - 05/01/09

Flip video delivers new Flip UltraHD

Little camcorders get bigger all over

By Ko Maruyama

Pure Digital Technologies, Inc. has emerged from its recent acquisition by  Cisco Systems with a brand-new product which deftly changes the landscape of pocket HD camcorders.

The Ultra HD  in many ways is like it's predecessor, the Flip. The small camera easily fits into a shirt pocket, or purse, it shoots a HD video image HD -- 1280x720, and has an easy to use button interface on the back of the upright camera. However, there are many features that set this camera apart from its previous version, and any of the other competitors' offerings.

It's just as easy to use as previous versions - my daughter decided that she'd help me with my review.  Her take on the previous Flip camera was that it had a cool, silver bracelet that made sure you wouldn't drop it.  Now she's interested in documentary shooting and nature photography.





The software that comes with the Flip Share includes a default setting for uploading to your YouTube account.  Unfortnuately, the compression that YouTube puts on the video completely corrupts the quality that you get from the camera's generated mp4 file.  (download the mp4 file here: HD bougainvillea movie)




As we had in previous versions of the camera, the Flip Ultra HD comes with Flip Share software, which makes it very easy to download, edit, and even post to e-mail or video sharing sites.


The new Flip Ultra HD Comes with double the capacity found in  the HD version of the Flip Mino. While the two hours of storage is a fantastic addition to the camera, the constant use -- recording, playing, deleting, rerecording, playing again, and presenting -- for two hours of video, it is a drain on the power source for the little camera. Ingeniously, the company has created a brand-new AA battery that can be recharged through the camera's built in USB connection. If, in the event you cannot get to a USB charging device, you can use AA batteries to power the camera.

Because this camera is designed specifically for output to new HD monitors, it is equipped with an HDMI out, for you to supply the cable. Of course, you can also -- as most people probably will -- download the videos straight to your computer or television server through the USB arm which tucks neatly inside the unit (as it did before). The one modification in this version is that the USB arm now comes out of the side of the camera, rather than from the top.



The screen size may seem like a simple upgrade to some, but the ability to see the subject in the LCD back, displayed on the 2 inch viewing area, is really a big advantage over other cameras of the size.
A bonus feature more important to some than others:


Pure Digital Technologies, Inc. also offers the Flip Ultra camcorder which shoots in 640x480  resolution, and lists for only $149 US. However, I would not be able to recommend this over the $199 HD version. While it does cost slightly more than the standard version, the lower version only supports a sub NTSC video size, does not come with the rechargeable AA battery pack, and only goes out to a monitor via composite video cables (which I believe may be included, but that is hardly reason to pass up the $199 version which gives you so much more).

This is a great new product that allows you to not only have a pocket HD video recording device, but one that has a rechargeable battery and can also utilize standard AA batteries, shoot for two hours of HD video (720p), provide simple editing tools, and be a fantastic and easy to use introduction to storytelling through video images.  It is easily the must-have camera for your summer vacation fun movies. You can purchase the camera online or check it out in more than 10,000 retail locations including Best Buy. The camera is also available in Canada and the UK.

The Flip ULTRA and ULTRA HD don't seem to be offered with custom skins yet.  There are a few different colors you can choose from - - but the rubberized ULTRA HD is elegant enough for any occasion.

You can find out more about Pure Digital Technologies, Inc., and its many different products by visiting the Flip video website: www.theflip.com.

Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.

Related Keywords:review, flip video, flip ultra hd, flip ultra, video camera, camcorder, pocket cam corder

Source:Ko Maruyama. All Rights Reserved
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