By Karen Vazquez
When I had my first baby almost 6 years ago, my husband came home one day with a new, $1300 Sony video recorder. In theory, it was great - it captured the moving pictures on these little mini-DVDs. We'd never miss a moment! We'd have great montages of our kids as they grow! Happy ending, right? Well, not so much. Turns out that the Sony software didn't get along with our Windows OS, resulting in the awesome movies we captured being stuck on those cute little DVDs...a known bug preventing the files from being transferred to the computer. Since then, I've had a bad taste in my mouth about buying a new movie camera. Since we stopped taking videos with the Sony - too frustrating - my husband has been itching to get another video camera. He was hell-bent on getting an HD one, to work out our shiny new HD TV. I decided to ask Flip if I could borrow a Flip for review, and test it out before buying (disclosure: I didn't pay for the Flip; it was in my possession for 3 weeks.They agreed, and I was so excited when that little camera came in the mail.
They sent me a white Ultra HD Flip. It is pretty small - it fits easily in my purse and is slightly bigger than a deck of cards. There are literally four buttons on it - Power, Record, Trash, and Play. The camera was unbelievably easy to use. Because of its small size, my initial movies came out a bit shaky, but once I realized what was happening I started to stabilize my arm and the images were steady. The real test came when it was time to download the movies to my computer. The Flip has a little USB connector that flips out of the side of the camera...you plug the camera into the USB port and it automatically downloads the software and drivers required. I didn't find the software user interface to be as intuitive as the camera itself, but it didn't take me too long to figure out how to download the movies. Within 15 minutes of plugging the camera in, the $199 Flip had functionally surpassed the $1300 Sony (in my experience). The movies were safely on my computer's hard drive.
Karen is a freelance writer and stay at home mom who tries to get out of the house with 3 boys (ages 4, 2, and newborn). When not breaking up fights over cars and trains, she blogs at NYC Moms Blog (www.nycmomsblog.com). With career experience in marketing, fashion, and publishing, she enjoys product review assignments that enable her to voice her often strong opinions in a socially acceptable manner.