I've seen adverts for these around, so I thought I'd get one and try it out. Not that I actually *need* a new video camera, oh no. I have one that uses tape and one that doesn't. I have one on my iPod. Do I use these? Nope. The one that uses tape uses tape, and as a result it's quite large and bulky. The one that doesn't use tape is rather better, but it's still not what you'd call small. So I've seen people talking about the Flip range and thought I'd try one out. You check out their site if you're interested. The one that I got is a black 8GB HD one. It's about 6 ounces and roughly the same size as a cigarette packet if you squished it a bit smaller and made it longer. It has a start button to start recording, which toggles into a stop recording. No pause. There's a simple zoom in and zoom out - these are buttons, rather than touchscreen, and that's just about it! I took a short video, and here it is - I'm in it for a few moments, so steel yourself..
I thought the quality was reasonable, but nothing special. The zoom isn't what I was hoping for and if you try and view video in full screen it does look a little bit blocky and pixilated. You can't actually do much with the video itself - chop it a bit, add in opening/end credits and that's about it.
The downloading was simple though - you flip out a USB arm and slot it into your computer. This does leave the unit dangling around though, which I didn't like, and this also makes the connection slightly unreliable in my opinion. However, the software kicks in, downloads reasonably quickly and then lets you top/tail and uploading to a YouTube account was a snip.
I'm not convinced about the battery - there have been lots of complaints about the rechargable batteries (2 AA battery pack size) not working properly, and I had mine sitting charging in the computer for hours. I got a full green bar, plugged it back in again and got an indication it was almost out of power, which isn't impressing me greatly.
I'm not particularly enthusiastic about it; it's the kind of thing worth having in a handbag or oversized pockets if you think there's a chance you'll want to video something, and I reckon it would be fine for some voxpop stuff but if you can only have one video camera, I'd be inclined to save up for something better to be honest.