"It has too many limitations IMO"2.5 starson by weslemos
Pros: - Size (It's very portable)
- HD is cool
- Super easy to use
- MP4 video format is good
Cons: - Slow to charge
- Sub par video quality
- Software is extremely limited
- It doesn't feel too sturdy
- No lens cover
- Zoom is no good
- It can't capture directly to a computer
Summary: I've purchased several camcorders over the past years. I still think that the future of filming for the average user will be with a hand held flash memory product like this. Right now most of what I use are MiniDV camcorders and I think it would be unfair to compare them to this Flip camera since their video quality is definitely better.
In comparing this to my Canon PowerShot, I still would pick the PowerShot but they are comparable in many aspects.
Here are some highlights that I've come up with in regards to this camera:
- The battery charges via USB. That's good and bad. It's good because it's convenient. It's bad since it takes a long time to fully charge and you can't use your camera while it's charging.
- Transfer could be faster. If for some reason you're interested in filming an event that is a bit longer than the capacity on your camera it's not a quick process to transfer the video to your computer. I own the 120 min HD version and to transfer a full 120 min to my computer takes about 20 min. The transfer rate that I get is around 4MB/Sec. When I transfer using external HDs I usually get somewhere from 13MB/sec to 25MB/sec.
- It doesn't take pictures. I guess the people at Flip were trying to make this simple and straight forward, but I still think that the ability to take a quick picture is a good feature to have.
- The software that comes with the camera is pretty useless IMO. If you've used any video software you will not be interested in using this one.
- The picture while filming in the LCD looks better than what it does for real. When I was filming for the first times in low light, I was looking in the LCD and I was super impressed thinking that it was filming great because things still seems bright and defined. When I transfered the videos to my computer, I noticed that this wasn't the case and that the videos were actually pretty dark and very grainy.
- No instant capture. Again, I know this was intentional, but it really would be convenient if you could hook this up to your computer and have it be recognized as a video device. It would allow you to use other applications to record your video and it wouldn't have disk space or battery life limitations like it does.
- The mic is pretty good. It's very directional so it will really pick up well what's in front of it, and the sounds behind it will be much fainter. So if you are used to narrating while you are filming something, take that into consideration since your voice will be very faint since you're behind the mic.
- Does it really need a "Flip" usb device? I'd be happy with just a mini usb slot on it. The flip out usb stick is attractive but does take up a lot of space for a device which is trying to be as portable as possible. The flip out usb stick is short and if you are trying to plug it into your laptop for example, and you have something else plugged in, you're not going to have an easy time. I already have started taking around an extension usbchord with me to make sure I don't have problems with plugging it in harder to get to places.
- I bought a black Flip that had a rubbery type finish on it. Grease marks from your fingers will quickly appear all over your camera. I don't know really how to solve this one, but I don't feel like I have this problem with any of my other small electronics.
- FYI on the video size: 1.5 hours of very basic filming (I just left it filming the wall) took up about 3.2 GB. I'm not sure if the battery gave out or not, but it did just stop filming on it's own after 1.5 hours even though it still had enough space on it to film another full hour at least. (when filming motionless targets, you'll get more footage than advertised).
- There are NO VIDEO SETTINGS. The only settings you have are the date, if you want it to beep or not, and if you want the red light to come on when you are recording. I just assumed that I could film in something like 800X600 or something less than the full HD mode, but that's not an option.
- The Zoom was very weak. I'm guessing it's about a 2 times digital zoom. So you'll need to make sure that you're right up close to whatever you want to film with this camera.
- It only has HMDI out. If you like HDMI, than that's great, if you like other video formats, you'll need a converter and those aren't cheap.
- I wish it had a lens cover.
So those are my thoughts for now at least. In the end I wouldn't recommend this product and I'd probably suggest a real camcorder or even a digital camera like a Canon power shot that had HD if that's what you wanted.