Review: Flip UltraHD is Best of its Kind


I've been using the Flip UltraHD for a little over a week and I've been thoroughly impressed. While this portable camcorder is simple and easy to use, it is also quite powerful. I gotta say that this video camera makes me want to take it everywhere.

Why I think you'll love it too:

  • flipultrahd_socialnerdia_aSimplicity: The trademark flip-out USB connector makes it easy to charge and easy to import. Straight to the point user interface. 3 main buttons (big red one to record, side buttons to play and delete). Incredibly intuitive so you can quickly browse through your recordings and import to your computer.

  • Size: Pocket-sized and lightweight with 8 GB of built-in memory.

  • Speed: You can turn it on as soon as you put in the AA-size NiMH rechargeable batteries it comes with (can also run on standard AAs). Very fast boot-up and response times.

  • Cool factor: The camera looks and feels cool. You feel proud when you pull this baby out.

  • Quality: With 720p (1,280x720) high-definition video, the Ultra HD looks great on its small LCD screen or a huge HD TV. It shoots beautifully, even in low-light. Oh and, it sounds great too.

  • Convenience: HDMI output. FlipShare software is built-in and works with PCs or Mac. Good enough for quick edits and a few fun extras (easily upload to YouTube, impress your girl with a video greeting card, and trim video files).

  • Fun: This camera lets you be fun and spontaneous, and so far for me, people have been more than willing to let me record them. Not sure if that's because of the camera or because of me, but either way, it's pretty fun :)


A few drawbacks:

  • No image stabilization. Looks a bit shaky. Highly recommend you get a monopod/tripod to reduce this.

  • Zoom is smooth but could be better.

  • No expandable storage-slot. Not good if you need to record over 2 hours.

  • Who wants to upload anything to MySpace anymore? How about some Facebook Connect or Twitter integration instead next time around?

  • Mini-HDMI connectors only. HDMI cable not included. Would prefer to pay a little more and get it included, but I guess it would make the box bigger.

  • Batteries don't last very long.

  • You will still need Adobe Premiere, iMovie or other video software if you really want to edit.

  • Does not come in socialnerdia-ish purple color (props to the Sony Webbie for going purple).


The bottom line:

  • The Flip UltraHD is an easy and fun to use portable camcorder that stands out amidst a category that the original Flip (by Pure Digital Techologies, recently acquired by Cisco) created. The camera creates vibrant recordings that look and sound great. Even though there is no image stabilization, the other drawbacks are minor. When compared to HD portables by Sony, Kodak, and others, as well as the Flip MinoHD, this camcorder is the best of its kind.

  • Sample Video: See a video we made: "Video: Why I / You / We Tweet."

  • Another Sample Video: See a video that was recorded in 2 mins, edited in 2 more, and uploaded to YouTube using FlipShare in a couple more: "Choripan + Cupcake Test the Flip UltraHD."

  • Some photos and screenshots:


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Copyright © Esteban Contreras. All rights reserved.