People have been asking what camera I used to record my Rockledge Rumble video.
Well, I am using the Flip Ultra (first generation) for recording my trail running adventures. My model has approximate 60 minutes of record time, is fairly small, fairly inexpensive, and very simple to use. No tapes to mess with, everything is stored in memory on the unit and can easily transferred to your computer for as simple or complex of post processing as you desire.
The front contains the obvious lens and also microphone (just to the right of the lens). The backside contains the display and simple controls (Record, Play, digital zoom, delete clip(garbage can), and menu navigation. You also can see the small speaker just above the display to be able to hear the audio during video playback on the Flip.
This side profile shows the hidden USB port to connect to your computer and TV-out jack. The bottom image shows a tripod mount and the battery cover lock.
Here you can see where the batteries are stored and the sliding power switch.
Of course this device is not as powerful of a digital recorder as larger, more expensive units. Zoom capabilities are minimal (2x digital) and the memory is not expandable. But it is what it is and I have been happy with it for my purposes (running and some quick random family clips).
FlipShare: Easy Post Processing
Basic organization and video creation can be done with the included FlipShare software. It is definitely not a high-end tool but you can easily organize, edit (clip video segments), create snapshots, add music. It also includes some little apps to make it easy to upload to youtube, create an e-card, and burn to DVD.
I used it for the Rockledge Rumble ’09 video.
You can also easily export your video clips and import into your preferred video editor if you wish to do more things with the overall production of the video.
The Current Flip Models
The current Flip line-up includes the second generation Ultra series and the Mino series.
A few noteworthy Ultra series features:
- Two models: Flip Ultra (left picture) and Flip UltraHD (right picture: Creates HD widescreen format video).
- Recording Time: Up to 2 hours of recording time (versus my one hour).
- The UltraHD model comes stardard with a Flip rechargeable NiMH battery pack. Recharging occurs through the USB or an optional Power Adapter (quicker recharge time). The non-HD Ultra comes with a standard set of Alkaline batteries. Of course, you could already own a set of AA NiMH batteries that could be used as well.
- Battery life (using NiMH batteries): Ultra – up to 4.5 hours. UltraHD – up to 2.5 hours.
- File Size: The UltraHD video file sizes will be larger than the Ultra for the same amount of record time. (possibly double) The UltraHD comes with 8 GB of RAM and the Ultra with 4 GB. (Both are 120 minute units.)
- Similar buttons and style as my Flip up above. One change I did notice was the power switch is now a stationary button on the side versus a sliding switch.
- Colors (someone might care): The Ultra comes in four colors (white, yellow, pink, black) and the UltraHD two colors (black/white).
- Current Cost: Low (ultra) to mid (ultrahd) $100s.
A few noteworthy Mino series features:
- Smaller size: As the name implies, the Mino is a slightly smaller version of the Ultra series. (.25 inches shorter in height, ~.50 inches reduced in depth, ~.24 inches shorter in width)
- Three models currently available: Mino (60 min) (left picture), MinoHD (60 min HD widescreen format) (center picture), and MinoHD (120 min HD widescreen format) (right picture).
- Controls: The mino series uses touch sensitive capacitive buttons. (similar to an iPod) Picture below.
- Power Source: Internal Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery. Replacement only available through Flip support.
- Battery Life: Mino – up to 4 hours. MinoHDs – up to 2 hours.
- More flair: These models have a variety of “skins” to choose from. One is shown in the MinoHD picture up above.
- Current Cost: $100 (mino) to low $200s (minohd 120 min).
You can look at the full specs breakdown of the two series on the Flip specs page.
How to Carry:
Since I wasn’t wearing any type of waist pack to carry water, I used a stretchy fitness iPod carrier that attaches around the waist. We already had this at home and it worked well.
Basically, if you have a bit of storage area in which you could carry a small camera, you could mostly likely carry the flip in that same space.
If you are looking to add another dimension while capturing your ultrarunning adventures, a fairly small and easy to use camcorder is a fun little toy.
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
Posted on 24 Nov 2009
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