Camcorders are must-have items today. They’re perfect for recording your kid’s first communion, or your daughter’s graduation, and just about any occasion. Hand-held video cameras are a staple in most homes today, as you can instantly shoot videos, record special events, as well as upload the videos online on the Worldwide web. Pure Digital is a company that became famous for launching its unique array of YouTube friendly point and shoot mini camcorders.
Though the company was recently absorbed by tech giant Cisco Systems this year, it has launched a new, upgraded model of its famous Ultra camcorder. The more-improved version, aptly-named the Flip UltraHD Camcorder, is great at shooting high-definition videos at 720p or 1,280 x 720. If you’re the type who doesn’t feel the need for recording or shooting more than two hours of high definition videos often, then this mini-camcorder should be one truly cost-effective choice.
Improved Features of The Flip UltraHD Camcorder
The Flip UltraHD Camcorder on the outside doesn’t look as different as its early version. However, for die-hard techies, there are definitely major differences that stand out.
First, the new camcorder’s translucent LCD screen on the back is larger, and measures 2 inches. The Flip UltraHD Camcorder’s control buttons are also much bigger, allowing for easier control, as they have a rubberized, matte design, which is great for easily gripping and taking hold of the gadget.
The Flip UltraHD Camcorder also weighs around 6.1 ounces, as compared to 3.3 ounces for the MinoHd, which means that buyers will surely get a much-bigger and heavier camcorder.
However, the new Ultra version is still as pocket-friendly as ever. The new device’s batteries allow for easy charging. It has a set of AA-sized NiMH rechargeable batteries, and you can charge these by connecting the gadget to your computer’s USB port. Standard backup batteries are also available, but are separately sold, and the backup batteries are much heavier than the ones you’ll find on the MinoHD. On the outside, the Flip UltraHD Camcorder surely looks just like the earlier Ultra versions.
The gadget’s front, bottom and back are made from rubberized plastic, while the side, as well as the USB connector, are made from metal. The device’s controls are the same as earlier versions, but it actually has real buttons, and the tiny bulges that are found on the MinoHD.
Beneath the device’s 2-inch LCD screen is a 4-way directional pad, which surrounds a red Record button, and pressing on the directional pad allows you to navigate on your recorded images and videos, and pressing down will allow you to zoom on your shots. These improved operational controls make it simpler, and more relaxing, to control and operate the Flip UltraHD Camcorder.
Great Video Quality For An Affordable Camcorder
The Flip UltraHD Camcorder’s video quality is also impressive, and is considered by tech industry experts as probably the best from the range of affordable Web-friendly camcorders.
Video quality is generally saturated and sharp, when you’re doing outdoor shots, and relatively bright and clear even in low light, and free from blurring or noise.
The audio quality is loud and clear as well. While this affordable camcorder still cannot keep in touch with the high-end high-definition camcorders, all you need to do to achieve good video output and quality, is to hold it firmly, keep it motionless while you’re shooting.
Overall, video quality has improved as compared to earlier versions, and the videos are also smoother and quite sharper, and the colors are more accurate and appreciable. While the improvements and add-ons are slight, these are truly noticeable, and should make shooting videos much easier.
The camcorder’s designers have finally found a way to refine the art of processing videos, and although there may be times when actual video output may be jittery or shaky, especially if your hands are cranky and not at ease, the overall quality would still be great, especially for camcorders of this size and price range.
Improved Internal Memory Space
The Flip UltraHD Camcorder has the ability to shoot 720p high-definition videos, which are encoded at MPEG 4, H.264 compressed, and runs at 30 frames per second (fps).
The gadget’s designers have installed an 8 GB memory, which enables the user to record around two hours of vides, which should be more than ample time for those who like to shoot a lot of videos, and are always on vacation or business trips. What’s disheartening is that the device lacks a memory slot; nevertheless, you should bring along a laptop computer with you when traveling, so that you can transfer your videos to the PC, and free-up the camcorder’s memory.
Shooting And Uploading Videos Is A Breeze
With the Flip UltraHD Camcorder, shooting your very own videos, and uploading or transferring them to the Internet, or on YouTube to be specific, should be a breeze. The gadget’s creators have truly brought simplicity to transferring or uploading videos to the Web.
Users simply push the gadget’s big red button to play and record videos, as well play them back. The gadget also has a software package that allows users to pull still from their videos, and this feature is built-in the unit. What’s extra nice is that this camcorder’s software blends perfectly with Windows and Mac operating systems. It also affords users basic but enhanced editing features, at the same time also be able to import videos into other video-editing packages, such as the Apple iMove.
The camcorder’s zoom functions have also been enhanced. Although it still retains a 2x digital zoom function, it’s considered to be the smoothest and quickest zoom function among pocket camcorders. This enhanced zoom function allows users to enjoy getting noise-free and extra sharp images.
Unique High-Definition TV-Friendly Enhancements
The Flip UltraHD Camcorder has also a yummy bunch of add-ons that make shooting videos more professional-looking and more fun as well. The Flip UltraHD Camcorder is probably the first camcorder from Flip to have direct-to HDTV features, because it’s equipped with a HDMI-out port, to connect to you HD TV sets. However, you need to buy your on cable, because the UlraHD package doesn’t include the HDMI cable, but it includes two rechargeable A-size batteries, a soft carrying pouch and a wrist strap.
Includes Software For Managing & Editing Your Video Clips
While the Flip UltraHD Camcorder is quite heavier than its predecessor, it surely tops the early version, especially when it comes to smoothly recording videos.
Another pretty add-on is the inclusion of the Flipshare software, which should help users in editing and managing their video clips, as well as making easier for them to upload these to YouTube. What’s also nice is that when you plug the device’s USB connector into a Windows X, Vista, or Mac OS x 10.4, the PC will then instantly launch the Flipshare software.
This Mini-camcorder Tops The Competition in Ease Of Use
While this high-definition mini-camcorder’s price may range from $159 to $199, it isn’t cheap, and won’t also be the slimmest or sexiest-looking gadget of its variety. However, there’s one aspect that makes it a notch above the rest, and will surely make the competition tumble over and raise their hands in defeat, and it’s the gadget’s ease-of-use.
This enhanced version costs 50 dollars more the first Ultra, and the device’s battery set-up is more improved, albeit a little heavier and would definitely add more weight.
Based on my initial observations, this camcorder should top its class. The Flip UltraHD Camcorder was wider-angle lenses than the MinoHD, although one competitor, the Creative Vado HD still leads in the wide-angle category, Flip’s mini-camcorder is able to defend itself and stamp its class, despite the minor bumps and inconveniences.
Overall, the camcorder’s design is pretty enhanced and stylish, and it definitely has a lower price as compared to other high-end camcorders. This gadget should be a better and more affordable performer, thanks to its sharper images, rechargeable and replaceable battery, HDMI support and connectivity, as well as an improved memory capacity.
|Flip UltraHD Video Camera – Black, 8 GB, 2 Hours (2nd Generation)||
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|Flip Video UltraHD 120 Minutes Camcorder, Black||
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