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.
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
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