Technology has really progressed since I was a kid. My parents used to have a video camera that was as big as a suitcase that my dad would have to hoist up onto his shoulder to use. Most birthday parties and holiday events were captured by setting up that ginormous camera on a tripod to catch one wide shot of the whole room, because it was the easiest way to do it without breaking your back.
Not anymore. As technology has moved along, so have those big clunkers of cameras. Then we entered the digital age, and everything became more compact, even our computers! It should be no surprise then, that someone would eventually make a very small and convenient to use video camera.
I recently had the opportunity to review the “Flip Ultra” digital video camera — a product that the New York Times recently said was “One of the most significant electronic products of the year” and I agree! I can see why so many people LOVE it. I took it from the box to recording something in under 2 minutes, no exaggeration. I kept checking the box to make sure I didn’t miss anything. It came with minimal literature (who really reads that stuff anyway?) which just proves that it really is dummy-proof.
Now, I should warn you that these videos aren’t intended to be extremely high-quality. They are meant to be the type of video that you upload to YouTube or (as I did) email to your friends. If you are looking for really high quality video, then you should turn to a regular video camera and not use the Flip. But, I think that for what most of us are looking for, the Flip is perfect. When we received the Flip Ultra, Little AG had just started walking, and our family members who live hundreds of miles away were just itching to see her walk. So I took her to a park and let her go, while I recorded it on the Flip Ultra. When I got home, I just “flipped” up the USB connect that is built into the Flip and plugged it into my MacBook. I didn’t have to preinstall any software before I plugged it in — the Flip Ultra has the software that I needed installed on the camera itself. When I plugged it into one of my USB ports, the Flip Ultra installed everything that I needed for me. It was so easy — I think that even the computer illiterate could figure it out.
You can also edit your videos with ease once they are downloaded onto your computer, and it even gives you the option to capture still images from your videos. I love that you can edit your movies and add music to make your own little video montage — what a fun way to preserve your memories.
The Flip Ultra is really fast, smart little camera. The size of a bar of soap, it has the capability to start recording within 3 seconds of power up. It holds 60 minutes of video in it’s digital memory and runs on 2 double A batteries (with a pretty decent battery life, it seems — I’m still using the same two batteries that came with the camera). The color screen on the back allows you to watch video playback quickly, because you scroll through entire videos with one click. If you don’t like one of the videos that you have recorded, you can quickly and easily delete it — much like using a digital camera.
I received a Flip Ultra in Pink, and it’s a darker pink, so it doesn’t bother hubby much to use it either. I like that you can choose the color of your Flip Ultra — so that you can carry a camera that matches your personality. Besides pink, they come in white, green, orange, and black. It also came with a wrist strap and a soft velour storage pouch.