Yesterday we posted on the two new video camera’s from Pure Digital. The new Flip Ultra and UltraHD.
Today a review unit arrived. It is a definite step up from the Flip units I have used before, and yet it retains the small size, ease of use and reasonable price. Let’s take a look.
The new Flip Ultra and UltraHD camcorders set a new standard for convenient and affordable video capture. Both new models offer a full two hours of recording capacity, a bright two-inch transflective screen for no-glare viewing even in direct sunlight, and an innovative AA rechargeable battery pack that can be conveniently recharged through the camera’s built-in USB arm. Like all Flip Video camcorders, the new Ultra line is pre-loaded with FlipShareTM, the on-board software that leads consumers seamlessly through the process of organizing, editing and sharing videos. Consumers simply plug the built-in USB arm directly into any Mac or PC to begin sharing their videos immediately.
• Colors: Black, White (with chrome trim)
• Video Resolution: High Definition, 1280 x 720
• Records: 2 hours (8 GB built-in memory)
• Screen: 2 inch – transflective (anti-glare)
• Batteries: 2 x AA (rechargeable AA battery pack included)
• TV Output: Widescreen with HDMITM output
• Zoom: 2 x Digital
Having owned two Flip video cameras previously, the unit’s packaging was quite familiar. When you first open the box the camera is sitting right there. Below it are the accessories… few as they are. In addition to the camera, there is a wrist strap, a quick start guide and a now familiar flip bag, which offers a bit of scratch protection for those times when the camera is tossed in a bag. There is also a rechargeable battery since, unlike the Flip Mino I have been using, the UltraHD’s battery is removable AND you can use standard AA batteries in a pinch.
The front of the camera houses the fixed lens and microphone.
The left side has the power button.
The right side houses the flip our USB arm and… the HDMI port!
The back has a nice big preview screen. While I don’t mind the small screen on the Mino, this larger screen makes a huge difference! The controls are also familiar if you have ever used a Flip Video camera. There is a “Play” button, a “Trash” button and a four-way directional button for Volume Up/Down and Zoom In/Out. In the center is the record button.
The bottom houses a Tripod mounting hole.
The great things about the Flip series of digital cameras is their small size and ease of use. None of that changes with the UltraHD.
It is noticeably larger and heavier than the Mino, but it is still small and light from any other perspective.
The UltraHD maintains the same control structure and ease of use as the prior cameras in the series, but the UltraHD has physical buttons unlike the Mino’s which are mostly touch-based. I happen to like the physical controls on the UltraHD over the Mino’s touch controls. While the touch controls look sleeker, the physical buttons make it much easier to control and less likely that I will hit the wrong button. (This is something I HAVE done on the Mino.
I loved the fact that when I plugged the UltraHD in, it popped up the same FlipShare software and simply added the new videos to the ones already on my computer. There was no need to update or upgrade my software or account. This means that if two or three people in a household each have Flip camera, even different models, they can all use the same software and save videos together.
I also did something I have never done. I took a video shot with the Mino and one shot with the UltraHD and used the software to do some quick editing. The process was exactly the same for both videos. I was able to edit, add a sound track, and add titles to both. I was then able to merge the two videos into one. Although the options for what I could actually DO with the videos was limited, it worked very well.
All this noted however the question remains- Is the UltraHD worth the extra money and additional size and weight? I’ll let you decide for myself. This video has a quick movie from both.
Having just used both this morning my answer… YES. I like this camera a good deal and think the size/weight trade-off is well worth it.
What I like-
Small, light and easy to use
Ability to use AA batteries if the rechargeable dies and you can’t find a plug
Decent image quality
Good price for what you get
What Needs Improvement-
Larger and heavier than the Mino
No image stabilization
Chrome trim is a fingerprint magnet
Software offers only limited editing options
The Flip Ultra is priced at just $149.99, while the Flip UltraHD sells for $199.99. For details and to purchase, visit the Pure Digital site.