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So SocialSpark my favorite blog earning platform had send me a Flip Ultra HD along with Microsoft Office 2010 for an opp I was working on about OneNote from Microsoft. My old JVC Everio was getting cumbersome and battery wouldn’t last more than 10 minutes anymore so I thought it would be nice to have a Flip Ultra HD.
While I was able to do some video with the Flip Ultra HD I did notice some unique challenges that make it a bit more unwieldy than I would have liked. The primary being the following:
No Wireless Connectivity
You have to manually use a cable to transfer the video’s from your Flip Ultra HD to your computer and the camcorder doesn’t use an external SD card or I could have used an Eye-Fi card for this purpose.
Video Editing Difficult
The Flip Ultra HD is great for raw video that you just want to record and then immediately publish online. The MP4 file will upload to YouTube fine, but if you want to say edit out a few minutes or add blurs to block out some sensitive information you don’t want to share you will have a very hard time. The MP4 video won’t load in Camtasia Studio or any other Editing Software (Pinnacle Sudio…etc) that I can find and you have to convert the MP4 to AVI or WMV so that Windows Movie Maker can edit the file. Even when converted to another format I still could only edit the Flip Ultra video in Windows Movie Maker.
It’s great for point and shoot if you want to publish raw recordings, but not so much if you want to do any sort of real video editing. The Flip software has some features like adding transitions, music…etc but it is horribly slow on my Athlon X2 PC and takes an hour to apply just about any effect.
Cisco Killing the Line
Just read last week that Cisco is dumping the Flip line and won’t be making new ones in the future. They apparently couldn’t compete with iPhone, iPad and other devices with equivalent camcorders built into the phones which made the need for a separate mini camcorder redundant.
This is a shame as I just got mine and was going to use it a bit to do some video blogging if I got around to it.
Though I listed some negatives about the Flip Ultra HD you can’t deny some of its great benefits in that it is really inexpensive, super easy to use and the USB is the device itself (no separate cable). The thing simply records video which comes out slightly better than my $600 JVC Everio did which is amazing considering this little camera was about 1/5th the price.
Overall I don’t dislike the Flip Ultra HD though I really wish it were easier to edit the video files without having to convert them first. Most of all I was happy that SocialSpark provided me one as part of the opp. So really how can I complain when they gave me one.