PHOENIX - In any retail store you’ll find a huge selection of pocket digital camcorders.
These are camcorders that record to memory instead of tapes and fit in your pocket. Despite the wide selection, Flip Video (now owned by Cisco) was one of the first and continues to be one of the best. Their newest camera is the Flip UltraHD 8GB.
The UltraHD 8GB looks a lot like previous Flip models, especially the Flip UltraHD 4GB. The new 8GB model records 2 hours of video, twice as much as the 4GB model. It has the standard Flip buttons on the back which include a record button, a directional keypad, a play button and a delete button. The on-screen interface hasn’t changed much either, if you’ve used a Flip camera before you’ll be right at home. Of course, the flip out USB port on the side of the camera is here as well, hence the name of the brand, Flip. The new model has gone on a diet too, it's thinner than the 4GB model.
The $50 price difference between the two models gives you more than just extra memory. First, there’s a new port on the bottom of the camera called the FlipPort. This will be used for future accessories including better microphones, extended batteries and video projectors. These accessories are starting to trickle out, expect to see more as we get closer to the holiday season.
Second, this new Flip model records video at 60 frames per second, twice that of previous models. This means video will be smoother. You may not notice it right out of the gate but expect better video of high-speed events, like sports. The 8GB model also includes a rechargeable battery pack. I love that you can use the battery pack or pull it out and pop in three AA batteries. This is a great option when you're out and about and can't recharge but need more juice.
Finally, Flip added image stabilization to this new model.
The stabilization feature is a huge addition. It’s something that the Flip line has needed for a while. These cameras are so small that it’s hard to keep a super steady shot. Check out my video story above to see a real life test. It works quite well but don’t expect any miracles here, it can only fix so much shaking.
Bottom line, you’ll spend more for a Flip camera than a comparable camera from one of their competitors. It’s money well spent. You get a camera that is super simple to use (geeks may not like the lack of options), records amazing 720p HD video and adds a few new features that make the $200 price worth it. Skip the UltraHD 4GB model, the 8GB's higher price tag is worth it.
The Flip UltraHD 8GB is available right now for $200.
Check out a sample video shot with the Flip UltraHD 8GB.
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