Thursday, May 1, 2008

Flip Video: How is it?

I bought a Flip Video (the 60-minute version) about six weeks ago. My observations:

Good quality video and audio for everyday use and for basic e-Learning apps, but certainly not to compare even with most consumer-grade camcorders. Better than most cell phone video, however. Be sure that you are shooting in a place with enough light: this is not a night-vision camera.

Controls are very basic. Holding camera steady while zooming in or out takes practice. On my camera, the red button is tricky -- hard to stop recording, takes several presses of the button, which is frustrating and also makes for more camera shake.

Editing software does not function on a Mac. Works well on a PC, though it is pretty basic. You can upload to your Mac easily, however. The instructions for converting the video to QuickTime format are pretty confusing, and I still have trouble -- the manual is not much help.

Files are very large, with no way to compress them unless you use third-party software. This means upload times to YouTube can be quite long, ditto for emailing your videos.

I overspent. Considering that most of what I've shot so far has been 1- to 3-minute segments, and I am never far from my PC or my MacBook, I could have saved myself $70 and bought the 30-minute Flip.

Bottom line: The Flip is a nice little camera, just don't expect too much from it. (My cell phone actually makes videos that are as good or better, but of course my phone cost about twice what the Flip did, so it better be good!) Good for interviews, getting video of expert performance/needs assessment examples, plus all the usual informal and family video opportunities. Think of it as being the early 21st century version of the Brownie box camera.

No comments: