Monday, January 12, 2009

Poll: What Kind of Videos do You Want?

Now that I have a Flip video camera, I've been thinking of how to best use it. I posted a poll which anyone can vote on in the right, or use the comments. So far I've been leaning toward just using my Flip for interviews and events, but I'd really like to use it more often. Videos can be great. So I've been trying to think of some regular features I could do. If anyone has any good ideas, I'd be glad to take them into consideration, but even just answering the poll question helps. Thanks!


amanda said...

As a newbie, can you tell me why you decided this was the best product? What happens when you've exceeded 60 minutes? Is there a memory card you can exchange? How do you transfer to computer and internet?
Don't make fun! I'm a grandma whose grandchildren have gotten me this far.

Ryan said...

No, that's a good question. I really investigated all the different options because I don't have lots of cash floating around and wanted to make sure I got the right one.

The most important thing was feedback. I have had at least two people I know who have really preached the Flip, saying that it takes great you-tube styled videos, with great sound and ease of use. The feedback ratings on Amazon and Best are also stratospheric. So I knew it was a reliable product that did what it was supposed to do well before I ever bought it.

Beyond that, I wanted something small, simple and good for blogs/youtube. (It doubt it would be good on a big screen TV, but there is a new HD Flip model, so that may be a better fit.)

The 60 minutes isn't a big hindrance. There aren't any memory cards, but you can plug it into the computer and quickly download (and edit) your films. In general, people's attention spans aren't very long anyway, so it's good to edit yourself anyway and make sure you're filming the important stuff. You can delete videos easily from the Flip itself if you decide you don't like a particular shoot and need to clear space.

So, to sum it up, it's mind-numbingly simple, only costs $130 for the Ultra, fits easily in your pocket and produces video that looks and sounds great. I kind of feel like it's the Honda Civic of cars - even though it costs less than other models, its quality is still just as high... they don't save cash on building a crappy engine, they just built a smaller one (in this case, videos good for computers or small tvs, not 60" plasma screens).

Joe said...

Allow me, Ryan. (i spend a great deal of time in the electronics department at my work)

Amanda, the advantage to the flip is the simplicity. All you do if press a button on the Flip and a jack comes out allowing you to plug the actual camera into your computer to download the movie. The movie quality is good for the price of the camera and it's very easy to use.

As far as other pocket sized cameras, it depends on what you want. Sony and Aiptek both put out quality mini-camcorders that not only take movies, but also take pretty high quality pictures. Aiptek (and pretty much all non-sony products sans the flip) use SD cards for replaceable memory. This allows you to take movies in excess of the 60 minutes allowed by the Flip, depending on the memory capacity of the memory card you insert in the product. Sony uses a card called a pro-duo memory stick. Sony insists on its products having its own form of memory card for the save of monopolizing the market on cards for people who buy Sony stuff, but generic pro-duo sticks are making their way around.

The pictures you take with these cameras are pretty good. They use digital as opposed to optical zoom, so if you want the best quality pics, you'd be better off getting a nice camera.

As far as transference to the internet, the Aiptek camera is youtube-ready, along with the flip. The format they save movies in is perfect for internet usage. Sony is also good for this. Kodak also puts out mini camcorders, but they tend to be more expensive than the rest without a difference in quality to really warrant the price difference.

All of these mini camcorders are small enough to fit in a purse or a coat pocket. Prices range anywhere from 70 dollars from the lowest end models to over 150-200 for ones that shoot in High Definition.

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