29 November 2007

Featured find: Flip Video Camcorder

I love watching videos of my kids, but I hate dragging out the video camera. I find that inserting a camera between myself and the experience often turns me off to taking videos in the first place -- which is something I already regret as I watch my kids grow so quickly.

With the rise of simple video-sharing, taking videos and uploading them to the Net shouldn't take a second thought. Which is why I'm enjoying the Flip Video Camcorder. The thing is about the size of a deck of cards, is effortless to use, has a total recording time of 30 or 60 minutes (depending on the model) and has a USB plug on the side so you can pop the videos straight into your computer. It shouldn't replace a full-size video camera -- the sound and image quality isn't as good as with a higher-end camera -- but the $100 price-range is inexpensive enough for you to keep it on hand as a "snapshot" video tool. This would also be a fun gift for any aspiring filmmakers or YouTube stars on your list.

The Flip Video Camcorder is a Featured Find in the Parent Hacks Store.

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Your review is not accurate. Depending on your model, it takes up to 60 minutes of video. I have a 60 minute model and I have taken videos as long as 7 minutes (my 16 month old subject can't last much longer than that, haha).

You can also bring the Flip Video into selected retailers and have the video downloaded and recorded on a DVD so you can watch it on your tv. It works fine for watching it on TV (I've connected my Flip Video directly to the TV), although obviously the quality is not as high as what you would get for a high-end digital video recorder.

*reads manual again*

My second mess-up in two days. Must get more sleep. Thank you, Casey, for pointing this out, and my apologies to all. The unit I was sent to review can hold a total of 30 minutes of video, but other models hold up to 60, and there is no maximum clip length.

Here are detailed specs from the Flip website:

http://theflip.com/products_flip_video_specs.II.shtml

We have this and we LOVE it. I bought it last year at Costco for $80 or so. We take it with us when we travel and make short movies to watch over and over again. It entertains a toddler for hours. Plus, it is nice to upload quick clips for the grandparents.

Anyone who has this know if it's Linux-compatible?

I love my flip video as well! I keep in in my purse and use it all of the time. I think an important point (that might even prompt a post revision) is that that the software is built into the camera - so you can review, download and upload to the internet your videos. AND...REALLY BIG AND...when you are reviewing the video, you can pause it and go through the video frame by frame and press the little camera icon to have a video frame turned into a photo. That is truly a great feature and I have enjoyed taking videos and turning them into photos as well. This is a great holiday gift for grandparents to give to their grandchildren's parents to help them keep in touch.

Love my flip. We wanted a camera we could pack easily into our hiking gear and outing packs, and the flip fits the bill.

We've taken tons of vids. I like to use it as a tool for the kids. We tape them singing songs, or colors of items and make our own learning videos.

We bought the 60min one and it's in my purse constantly.

The funny part is when I'm videoing the kids *like at art class* and the teacher thinks its a camera. *laughs* She said, Are you going to take that picture? jokingly. She laughed when she found out it was a vid cam. Now she has one too!

Warning to Mac users: despite statements I have seen in some descriptions and reviews of the Flip it is NOT easy to use with Macs. It is a pain to convert the video to a format that does not stutter when played on a Mac. Not for the faint of heart.

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