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This Christmas my employer bought each of his employees a FlipVideo by Cisco.

I was thrilled. I had wanted to purchase a handy video recording device but the finances were needed elsewhere. Luckily our boss came through and now I’m sitting here with one of the most versatile and affordable hand held video cameras I’ve run across.

There are several versions of the FlipVideo camera but I will be focusing my review on the UltraHD 4GB FlipVideo.

MY THOUGHTS

I love this camera. One of the most useful and fun gifts I’ve gotten in a long time. Immediately after opening the package and squealing in delight I quickly went to their website and began checking out the accessories. I was excited to find that there were many accessories from wide angled lenses to custom designed covers. I was even more excited to find they had a very affordable underwater housing designed specifically for this camera. For the more serious enthusiasts there is another housing made by Ikelite that’s a bit more expensive but something going on my wish list in the future!

I’m a surfer (or, I try to be) and was immediately struck by how much fun this camera could really be with the right accessories. With underwater housing ordered I was on my way to getting some fun footage of me and my friend catching some waves.

The camera is super easy to use. It’s been stripped of most extra features and boils down the camera to some basic functions. However, these basic functions allow an ease of use without getting too complicated compared to most other cameras I’ve used. A silver button on the side powers on the camera while a large red button on the back starts and stops recording. A play button and a zoom in-zoom out feature are are just about the only other controls on the camera. There is a delete button and a view screen right on the back so you can manage your videos in real time. Very handy.

The USB arm folds right out of the side of the Flip allowing instant access to your videos.

With that in mind, lets discuss the software that comes built into the Flip itself. As soon as you plug it in, the software boots up (or installs) and automatically displays the videos in large playable thumbnails. Nothing elaborate but easy to use. You can create/manage directories and save your videos to your computer. Personally, I only use the software to mange my different directories and in turn use Adobe Premiere Elements 9 to have my fun with the footage.

Here are the basics:

  • Shoot up to 1 hour of amazing HD video on the easy-to-use, pocket-sized UltraHD
  • Press the big red button to start capturing vibrant HD video (720p / 30fps) on the super-simple user interface
  • Comes with 4 GB of built-in memory, letting you capture up to one hour of HD video; no additional memory cards required
  • Power up with the included standard AA batteries. And for even better charge time, try using the Flip Video Ultra Battery Pack sold separately
  • Connect the built-in USB arm to your PC or Mac® to launch pre-loaded FlipShare software
  • Use FlipShare software to organize and edit your videos, capture photos, send video greeting cards and create custom movies
  • Watch your videos on your HDTV by connecting your UltraHD to your HDTV with the Flip Video Cables HDMI™ sold separately
  • Record high-quality H.264 HD videos that are compatible with most video-playing applications, including Windows Media Player, QuickTime Player, and iTunes
  • Video: 16:9 wide screen, HD 720p (1280 x 720) at 30 frames per seconds (fps) progressive scan; recorded as MP4 files
  • “Child Safe” mode to prevent accidental deletions of clips
  • Silent mode for recording in sensitive situations

CONCLUSION

I find that coupled with the underwater housing the camera is quite durable. I’ve taken the liberty of putting the Flip and it’s housing to the test.

Since owning the Flip Video I’ve also had the pleasure of using a goPro Hero camera that allows attachments for just about anything you can image (bikes, surfboards, helmets, chest harnesses just to name a few) with unbelievable 1080p HD video. I have review for that camera coming soon!

Below is some footage taken of my friend here in Folly Beach with both the Flip Video HD (far away shots) and the goPro Hero (board shots). I hope you enjoy! If you have any questions or even more so, suggestions, please let me know! I having a great time experimenting with the two cameras and learning Adobe Premiere Elements 9.

Overall, the Flip video is a great value for the cost (starting at $150) and would recommend to any sports fan looking for a active-friendly video camera.

Enjoy!

Stephen Myers

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