Flip Video Slide HD – Review

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I like Flip’s products a great deal. I bought the original Flip and loved it. I loved the on-board software that let you edit and share videos as soon as you plugged it into a computer. And because the software was on the device it didn’t matter what computer I plugged into.

I then got to review the Flip Mino and the Flip HD Ultra. Each got better and better. Then came the iPhone 3GS. It shot video. No, it wasn’t HiDef video but it did the job and, thanks to an assortment of apps and the ability to upload on the go the iPhone (and other similar smart phones) posed a serious challenge to the Flip. I couldn’t help wonder what Flip would do to stay competitive. Then Cisco bought Flip and it seemed that it might be “game on”. What would the next Flips have? Wifi connectivity? Onboard editing? Who know… Well now we do and it looks like Cisco and Flip have gone in the direction of trying to make the Flip HD more useful on the go.

How so… well first it can shoot up to 4 hours of HD video. Second it can HOLD up to 12 hours of video, snapshots, movies and Flip Channels. Third, it has a widescreen screen that slides up to make viewing easier.

Let’s take a look…


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From Flip Video…
•    Simple to shoot: records up to 4 hours in stunning HD
•    Watch instantly with the slide-up full widescreen
•    Holds up to 12 hours of videos, snapshots, movies, and Flip Channels?
•    Create private Flip Channels to share your videos with groups of family and friends??
•    SlideHD is the world’s best shoot and show camcorder
•    Shoot up to four hours of incredible HD video on the portable SlideHD
(Full feature list can be found at the end of the post)

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What’s In The Box-

  • Flip Video SlideHD Camcorder with built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery
  • Soft protective case
  • Wrist strap
  • User Guide  download now?

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Internal Memory:16GB (4 hours)

Screen Size:3.0″ Transflective Touch Screen

Screen Resolution:400 x 240 pixels

Video Resolution:1280 x 720

Frame Rate:30 frames per second (constant frame rate progressive scan)

Video Bitrate:8.8Mbps (average – auto adaptive algorithm)

Video Format:H.264 video compression, AAC audio compression, saves as MP4 file

Lens Type:Fixed Focus (1.5m to infinity)

Aperture:f/2.4 (fast lens for great results in low-light environments)

Zoom:Smooth multi-step 2x digital

Interface:8 Touch-Sensitive Buttons (Power, Play, Delete, Record and 4 way navigation), Touch slide strip (to quickly scroll through videos)

Dimensions:4.13″ x 2.17″ x 0.98″ (H x W x D)

PC Connection:Built-in flip-out USB arm (up to 2.0 USB speed)

TV Out:HDMI™ Mini Connector. Standard HDMI™ cables sold separately

Battery Life:Rechargeable lithium ion battery, charges on both USB and Flip Video power adapter.

Tripod Mount:Yes

Operating Systems:Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 Mac OSX Min. Requirements:(PC) 3.0 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or faster processor, Windows XP SP2 with 512 MB of RAM, Vista or Windows 7 with 1 GB of RAM, and USB 2.0 port (Mac) 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster processor, 1 GB of RAM, OS X, Leopard 10.5 or Snow Leopard 10.6, and USB 2.0 port

Software:Pre-loaded FlipShare™ software for instant viewing, editing, one-click emailing, and online sharing: Browse, playback, organize and archive your videos Create movies with video clips, music and titles Edit clips and create still-image snapshots from video Instantly upload to Facebook™, MySpace™, YouTube™ and other video sharing sites Share your videos privately using attachment-free emails or greetings cards (free and unlimited video sharing) Create private Flip Channels to share your videos with groups of family and friends

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Impressions-

From the front the Flip Slide HD looks totally familiar. There is the fixed lens, the microphones and… a logo.  That’s one of the things that initially drew me to the Flip. It is simple to use. Period. End of discussion.

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On one side there is the power button at the top, a loop for a lanyard at the bottom and… no that’s it.

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On the other side is the release button for the USB charging. Pull back on it and…

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…out comes the USB connector. I love that there are no need for cables. Again, that is the brilliance of the Flip- simplicity.

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On the bottom is a headphone jack (perfect since this Flip is intended for both creating AND consuming content), a tripod mount (perfect for a GorillaPod) and an HDMI port for output to a larger screen.

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A neat little feature is the ability to design your own Flip using the company’s “Design Your Own” templates. There are a host of images from which to choose or you can do your own thing.

In all, the Flip Slide HD is a simple, device that lets you quickly and easily shoot video just like the flips that came before it.

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But while the back may initially look familiar to anyone who has used a Flip video camera in the past thanks to the obvious Flip controls, these controls are virtual and the entire back is a screen.

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When used as a video camera the upper portion of the screen is the view to see what you are shooting and the lower portion is the controls.

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Ultimately what matter is the quality of the video you can shoot. As this example will show, the Flip still has a huge leg up on a device like the iPhone. Add in the 4 hours of recording time and there is still a good argument to be made for having both.

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I like the $279 Flip Slide HD a great deal as a pocketable video camera. I just couldn’t get my head around using it as a device for viewing video and that is the point of the Slide functionality. Still, the UltraHD only shoots 2 hours of video and has an MSRP of $199 and the MinoHD also shoots 2 hours of HD video and it has an MSRP of $229. So one way to think about this device is that for $50 more than the MinoHD you double the time available for video. That is a good deal in itself, even if you never use the “Slide” feature to watch or share video. And if you do end up using it… all the better.

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The Flip Slide HD has an MSRP of $279.99 and can be ordered direct from Flip or found at a variety of retailers..

What I Like-

Familiar Flip design, easy to use, on board software is easy to use, shoots good quality video, shoots up to 4 hours of HD video. That is double the time the other Flip models can handle.

What Needs Improvement-

On board software is largely unchanged, on-screen buttons a bit harder to use than on other models, flip-up video screen and playback feels a bit like a gimmick to me (but the core functionality does not suffer as a result so it is okay), no way to wirelessly upload video, no image stabilization

Full Details From Flip Video

From Flip Video…
•    Simple to shoot: records up to 4 hours in stunning HD
•    Watch instantly with the slide-up full widescreen
•    Holds up to 12 hours of videos, snapshots, movies, and Flip Channels?
•    Create private Flip Channels to share your videos with groups of family and friends??
•    SlideHD is the world’s best shoot and show camcorder
•    Shoot up to four hours of incredible HD video on the portable SlideHD
•    Press the big red button on the sleek touchscreen to start capturing high-quality HD video
•    Slide open the 3″ widescreen to show your favorite videos instantly to friends and family
•    Store up to 12 hours of videos and photos in Space Saver format (using FlipShare software), so you can take your favorite Flip Video content with you wherever you go
•    Connect the built-in USB arm to your PC or Mac to launch pre-loaded FlipShare software
•    Use FlipShare software to organize and edit your videos, capture photos, and create custom movies
•    Share videos privately using FlipShare’s attachment-free email or by creating Flip Channels; share publicly with direct video uploads to Facebook™, MySpace™, YouTube™ and other sites
•    Watch your videos on your HDTV by connecting your SlideHD to your TV with the Flip Video HDMI™ Cable (sold separately)
•    Plug in headphones (not included) to enjoy your videos on Flip SlideHD in any setting
•    Recharge the internal Lithium-Ion battery by connecting SlideHD’s USB arm to your computer (or by using the Flip Video Power Adapter – sold separately)
•    Record high-quality H.264 HD videos that are compatible with most video-playing applications, including Windows Media Player, QuickTime Player, and iTunes
•    Video: 16:9 widescreen, HD 720p (1280 x 720) at 30 frames per seconds (fps) progressive scan; recorded as MP4 files
•    Included in package: Flip SlideHD Camcorder, wrist strap, soft protective case, User Guide
•    “Child Safe” mode to prevent accidental deletions of clips
•    Silent mode for recording in sensitive situations
•    Tripod mount fits any standard tripod
•    Pre-loaded FlipShare™ software for instant viewing, editing, one-click emailing, and online sharing:
•    Browse, playback, organize and archive your videos
•    Create movies with video clips, music and titles
•    Edit clips and capture photos from video
•    Use Space Saver format to store up to 12 hours of videos and content on your SlideHD
•    Instantly upload to Facebook™, MySpace™, YouTube™ and other video sharing sites
•    Share your videos privately using attachment-free emails or greetings cards (free and unlimited video sharing)

About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

3 Comments on "Flip Video Slide HD – Review"

  1. RT @geardiary: Flip Video Slide HD – Review http://bit.ly/9VVcLm

  2. Nice review. I was considering getting one of these to upgrade from the HD, but it looks like there’s not much improvement aside from the slide feature. I don’t think I would use that enough to warrant getting it. Agree with you that updates to software would be nice.