The Flip was never my favorite pocket camcorder. That's partly because it was the darling of everyone else and also because I found more powerful options elsewhere, like the Kodak Zi6 (and then Zi8). Both offer HD video capture, a microphone-in jack and removable media. Flip didn't offer any of that; the Flip team always told me that those features would likely confuse consumers who just wanted to capture video.
Now I realize they were right. In fact more right than any of us had imagined.
A day after Cisco unceremoniously dumped its $590 million purchase in favor of a pure business strategy, Flip owners and even the Flip CEO are busy licking their wounds and wondering exactly what happened. I'll tell you what happened: A device came along that made video capture and sharing even easier than the Flip—end of story.
Flip's demise has to be one of the most spectacular flameouts in recent tech history. When I met with Flip last year (just prior to the launch of the ill-fated Flip SlideHD), Flip had marketshare numbers that looked not only unbeatable, but unstoppable. According to Cisco executives:
- Flip sales grew by 300 percent between 2008 and 2009.
- Flip led the category throughout the 2009 holiday buying season.
- Flip sold more units than Sony, Canon, Kodak, and JVC combined.
- Flip cameras were number nine out of Amazon's top 10 selling products.
- The "Shoot and Share market" grew over 35 percent in 2009 and and Flip's share of that? A whopping 93 percent.
- On CNN's popular iReport user-generated news section, 70 percent of the user-gen video was shot with a Flip.
This was the success story to beat all success stories. And while I complained even then that Cisco wasn't innovating enough with the Flip brand—I wanted a microphone jack and was begging for them to be the first to offer optical zoom—I could not argue with its success.
We love how inexpensive it’s gotten for people to attain the ability to record high definition video, and we think this category is set to explode this holiday season. Based on this, and you know how much we love video, we’ve got to recommend the Kodak Zi8 handheld camera. Why? Well, the Kodak Zi8 records full 1080p HD video at 30 fps, and can also take 5 megapixel still images. It incorporates image stabilization as well, which helps avoid that whole Blair Witch shaky cam effect that none of us enjoy, and in a rare move, it even has a microphone jack so you can connect a nice, high quality audio device, if you so choose.
It’s definitely a great value for such a small device that packs a nice punch. The Kodak Zi8 typically sells for $179, but you can find it on Amazon for a little less than that.
Flip Mino: It isn’t HD, but it’s about $60 cheaper than the Kodak Zi8.
Read More | Kodak Zi8 pocket video camera
Newegg has got the chrome Flip MinoHD pocket video camera on sale for a very acceptable $157. This Flip MinoHD records in 720p, and can hold up to one hour of footage on the 4GB of internal memory. This specific model is a limited edition chrome reflective surface. Take a look at the chrome Flip MinoHD on Newegg to get the savings. Be sure to use promo code “FLIP161”.
As always, you can find all sorts of Newegg promo codes and deals on our forums.
Read More | Flip MinoHD Limited Edition Chrome
It looks like cameras may be coming to the iPod touch and iPod nano lines, if these case designs are any indication. Manufacturers over in Asia are starting to leak case designs for the next refresh of the iPod line-up, which will happen in September more than likely. As you can see, the iPod touch case design includes a hole for a camera that would be at the top-center of the device, right next to the Wi-Fi antenna. On the iPod nano case, which you can see after the break, you’ve got a space for a camera on the top corner.
According to TechCrunch:
One of our sources in Asia say that Apple has placed an order for a massive number of camera modules of the type that they include in the iPhone. These are inexpensive cameras, in the $10 range. And the size of the order, our source says, means they can only be used for one thing - the iPods.
Could Apple be making a play to become to top mobile photo and video recording device manufacturer with the next refresh of the iPod? That just may be the case, and it would be a smart move. With the huge numbers that the iPhone and iPod lines sell, Apple would shoot to the top of services like YouTube and Flickr in terms of which device was used to shoot the media that is uploaded.
As an aside, last year, case designs were leaked that gave away the new form factor of the iPod nano, weeks before it was officially announced by Apple. We can still take this story with a grain of salt, but I think all signs point to “Yes” on this one.
Read More | TechCrunch
Pure Digital has finally and officially acknowledged the existence of the Flip UltraHD and UltraSD mini camcorders, and we felt it best to bring you the full rundown. The Flip UltraHD features 8GB of internal storage and records in 720p. Compared to the Flip MinoHD, the Ultra versions feature a 2-inch screen, compared to the Mino’s 1.5-incher. Our favorite feature, though, is that the FLip Ultra series ships with a rechargeable batery pack, which can be removed and replaced with AA batteries if need be. That, we can appreciate. The UltraHD battery will last you a good three hours, while the UltraSD will go for five—of course, with that one, you give up the whole 720p recording thing. Both feature the now common fold-out USB connector that the Flip cameras are known for.
Read More | Flip UltraHD product page
Flip is offering their Minos for Valentine’s Day in special designs. As we have mentioned many times before, we love our Flip and this is a fine excuse to tell someone that you care while giving him/her a really cool gift. The Mino holds up to 60 minutes of video, is rechargable by USB and has one touch recording. There are dozens of designs to choose from with prices starting at $179.99 for the Mino and $229.99 for the HD model.
Read More | Flip
Pure Digital keeps cranking out those Flip Video cams. This time it is the MinoHD. This one records up to 60 minutes of high definition video with its 4GB memory. It also features a 1.5 anti-glare LCD display and has their new FlipShare software included. The camera is similar to their others with its flip-out USB arm and uploading to YouTube, MySpace, AOL video and email. At a cost of only $229.99, it weighs about 3 ozs. and can be custom designable for an extra charge. According to NPD, the company has sold over 1.5 million cameras since the launch last year. We believe it. We still love ours and never hesitate to tell anyone who will listen.
Read More | The Flip
A few weeks ago, the Flip Mino was unleashed, becoming the first Flip Video camcorder that included a rechargeable internal battery. All Flips before that run on standard AA batteries. The Flip Mino is also a bit smaller than the original Flip Video camera, and the Flip Ultra. At a price of $179, it’s fairly decent. It’s certainly convenient, since it’s so light and has such a small footprint. Check out our Flip Mino unboxing gallery to get a look for yourself.
Read More | Flip Mino unboxing gallery
Gallery: Flip Mino unboxing gallery
Pay attention, wannabe YouTube stars. Flipvideo is an internal flash memory camcorder for those that like simple working gadgets, or those who are simply cheap. With a direct USB connection, it features a 1.5-inch color screen for insta-view, 30 fps video at 640 x 480 VGA resolution, wide range mic, speaker, video out (cable included,) and USB in. Both cameras include work on PC and Mac, and have built-in software to work on your projects. The 30 minute version holds 512 MB at a price of $119.00, while 60 minutes of 1 GB will only set you back only $149.00, and is available online or in retail shops.
Read More | Flip