Top positive review
126 people found this helpful
Best Portable Video Camera EVER! (And possibly an alien).
on 9 January 2011
I have wanted a portable video camera for ages, so when I finally decided to buy one, I spent hours (days, actually), researching the best one to buy. I can assure you, I looked at every review, every test I could find for every camera that fit the 'portable' heading. This is the one I chose. And I am over the moon happy.
First of all, the size and ease of this camera have to be huge advantages. People use mine and go: "how does it work?". "Just press the big red button," I say. Lots of other cameras do offer different settings and menus, which started to lead me towards them, but in actuality, when I'm out and about and something interesting's happening, I grab my flip and within three seconds I'm recording in the best setting it knows. If it offered different settings, I can't say I'd change it, because the one it has is incredible.
There was just one other factor that was preventing me from clicking the buy button on this. Most other cameras now have 1080p, which is a higher HD setting (more pixels and that), whereas the flip is only 720. BUT, I use but in the good sense here, 1080p actually makes videos a nuisance to upload or send anywhere, because it takes much longer. PLUS, the flip 3rd gen is using 50fps (frames per second), which is actually where the better image is coming in. There's little difference with the 1080, because of this faster frame. So I was back to the flip.
Now, if you've done any research, you'll probably know that the kodak zi8 or playsport is the camera really competing with the flip right now. If you watch video comparisons side by side, the kodak looks brighter and clearer. BUT (I'm using it again), the kodak has a terrible shake issue. A surgeon could hold it and it'll still shake like an earthquake's taking place. So that somewhat ruins the clear picture, not to mention giving you horrendous motion sickness within a few seconds. ALSO, the flip has much better image quality in the dark anyway. The kodak only stands a chance when outside in bright sunshine. And let's be honest, how often in England are we filming outside in clear, bright sunshine? So now the flip was up two: it's shake stabilisation is actually amazing (because it works!) and it was the best camera I could find for filming inside. Which is when you're probably going to be using it most.
There were smaller factors influencing me about the flip too. Its size is brilliant. It really can fit in your pocket and is a joy to hold. It's one of the few cameras that can stand up alone (which for some reason really drew me in). If you want to put it on a side and film yourself, it can do that. Its flip out USB port is so handy too. I originally thought I'd prefer a cable, but I have no idea why now. You can plug the flip into any computer because the software's in it (you're out at a friends, need the video you've just taken? Plug it into their computer and off you go). I'm using a mac and the height fits almost perfectly so that the flip is supported by the desk or table when plugged in. And while you're sorting your videos out, it's charging itself back up so it's ready to go again! It's like a little alien trying to please you all the time. And it takes batteries!
I takes less than three seconds to turn on. Sound from the front and behind (I actually filmed a pantomime on it and you could hear every word) is crystal clear, to go with the bright, clear picture. You can take pictures off the footage too, which I've found look better than conventional photos (no cheesy grins and composure in a video!). The software is great for organising, but I am using the mac's iMovie to edit, but I expect window users could use movie maker (do you still use that?) or something, as the videos are so easy to import. It doesn't get dirty. Mine has yet to have a scratch. The black part is slightly rubbery, so it has grip, plus scratch and dirt control. The case is less shiny than the 2nd gen, so it doesn't smudge or scratch either.
I take mine everywhere. In my pocket, in my bag, I'm ready to film. You can turn the recording light off so no one knows you're doing it (hehe) or wander around vlogging. We're actually using mine to make our video year book with, so it's definitely high quality stuff, even from unbiased people who don't own one.
If you want a portable camera, you want this one. The 3rd gen is THE one to beat. Buy a Flip Ultra 3 Alien today. You'll love it.