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
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
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
You know how we covet our Flipvideo. It seems they are at it again with the Mino, a smaller but slightly more expensive model in black or silver. At a size of 3.9 x 2 x 0.6-inches, it’s 2GB flash can hold up to an hour of video. The four buttons control zoom, audio volume, and video playback. The Mino has built-in integration with AOL Video and MySpace video players, a 2x digital zoom, and a 1.5-inch display. And although we don’t have a problem with ours because our eneloop batteries last for eons, this Flip has included rechargeable batteries that charge by USB, making it well worth the $179.00 price tag.
Read More | Flipvideo Store