Sunday, January 06, 2008

Cheap, Fast & Easy... "Flip" & "Small Wonder"

Here are two small easy to use camcorders for technophobes and people who like to shoot spontaneously, quick and easy. These machines aren't fancy, don't offer a lot of options and are for making low-resolution (small-screen) videos for sending to friends and family over the internet. They are highly portable, and easy to use. If that is what you want, they may be right for you:

This photo is a front and back view of The Flip camcorder.

Pure Digital Flip Video Camcorder
Pure Digital's latest pocket camcorder lets anyone capture and share video--no technical knowledge or cords required-starting at only $119. While the Flip couldn't be easier to use, you'll want to remember that it's designed for making short, fun videos for posting online, not the birth of your next child.

The white-and-silver Flip is housed in an identical body to the previous-generation Point and Shoot Video Camcorder. It measures 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 inches and weighs only 4.8 ounces. (For more photos of the Flip Video, click here.) It doesn't have any complicated menus or confusing buttons; the lens and microphone are up front, and on the back you'll find a 1.4-inch LCD, three buttons (play, delete, and record), and a four-way navigation pad, which controls the zoom and lets you scroll through recorded clips. When it's time to transfer footage, simply flip out the USB plug on the side and connect it to your PC. Everything you'll need is in the package, including a TV connector and the two AA batteries it runs on.

Using the camcorder couldn't be easier: Turn on the power button and then press the red Record button to start shooting video. When you're done recording, press Record again. Play back your videos on the screen, and if you don't like one, simply press Delete twice. [...]

For more information and links, read the rest of the review. You can see the website for The Flip, which also features more of their newer models and samples of video clips here: Flip Video

RCA also makes a competing device: RCA's Small Wonder. You can find user reviews and purchasing information about both devices on and

I can understand the appeal of such devices, but I think their use is limited. You can't use the footage on a TV screen, your very much confined to a small screen. You don't have any options for adjusting settings. The zoom is very limited. For many people that would be no problem, but ultimately I would like something more. There are many compelling reasons to go with a MiniDV camera, and I will post more on that later.


Walker said...

You're right Chas... This is exactly the sort of thing I thought about buying. But, you know, if I buy a little camcorder thingy, I would want a built in light because lots of times I need it, seeing as though I mostly film karaoke.

Chas said...

The ZR800 has a microphone jack... might be perfect for karaoke.