Technology Tuesday – The Results and The Review

Okay, first of all, thanks to everyone who entered the contest!! Due to a couple glitches with the commenting system – and just some general comments in the fray – I went through and listed out all the names.

The following people were submitted in the drawing and I really want to thank you for all of your great vlogging examples!

ultra

ultra

Mark Warren, Eric Miltsch, Mocha, Rahsheen, jennydecki, Karl, Adrienne, James from Babyspot, Liz, Tara, Tina, Kelly, Roger Gauthier, Geekazine, Connie, Mark Warren, Brian Bonn, BunnyB, Rob White, Dario Salvelli, melitami, Kevin T, CalifMom, Deb On The Rocks, Banana Lee Fishbones, TSM_Oregon, Seeker65, Freerangemom, Chris Shouse, Home Biss, RobGuy, Suzanne B, tixrus, Mama to 3 Boys and a VLA Biz Too, CanCan, Naomi, brandy3,  Go Annie, Angela Penny

So I know you want to know right now who won… but I’m kind of evil.  I’m going to give you the $2 review of the Flip Ultra first, now that I’ve had a chance to play with it a bit!  (Yes, yes, I know you can scroll down to see who won first, but you can’t blame a gal for trying!)

The Flip Ultra – A User Review

Okay, I have to admit, it’s a cute and sexy little video camera.  This isn’t your big, old wrist-bending video camera that lines the soccer fields and recital stages all across the country.  This is a ‘wow… is that a video camera? It fits in your pocket? How’s the quality? Really? It must cost a fortune then… really? wow’ camera.

The Good

  • It’s small – it will fit in your coat pocket, your purse, your backpack, your diaper bag, your laptop bag.
  • It’s lightweight – your wrist won’t get tired holding this up – it weighs about the same as the average smart phone or PDA
  • The picture is surprisingly crisp and clear – after seeing grainy resolution and fuzzy focus from cell phones and video footage captured with the average digital camera, the resolution and clarity of the Flip Ultra was a pleasant discovery
  • The sound quality is surprisingly good – again, the average video camera isn’t exactly high quality on sound unless you are willing to shell out a fair penny, the sound quality of the Flip Ultra is good even in noisier environments.
  • It’s easy to use – this is a video camera that you can hand to any passer-by and have him/her push-the-red-button-and-go without any confusing extra buttons or lengthy explanations. Push up to zoom in, push down to down to zoom out.  Red button starts and stops.  It takes a couple of minutes for anyone to learn how to use.  Including my 5 year old who wants her own now.
  • Widgets – it comes with connector cables that let you plug it right into any TV with an S-video jack, so you can play the footage back right away on a big screen.  You don’t have to download, reformat, burn a DVD and put it in the player to show Grandma the footage of the kids opening presents.  Just plug it in and go.
  • Best of All? The Flip Ultra is incredibly affordable. Retailing at $149 or less (there are some seriously good deals out there right now!) it’s less expensive than most cellphones.  It’s certainly less expensive than the heavier, bulkier, now-collecting-dust-on-my-shelf video camera I bought a few years ago when my kidlet was younger.  Both GeekDaddy and I are fans.

The Bad

  • Stability - okay, I’m being honest… I don’t have the steadiest filming hand.  Some of the test footage that I shot made GeekDaddy and I a little seasick when played back on anything larger than the tiny screen on the back.  We discovered that GeekDaddy’s footage was a little less prone to “shaky cam” but it’s hard to keep it steady for longer footage.  Yes, it can be put on any standard tripod, but that kind of defeats the point of portability.
  • Lighting – Not much you can do if the lighting isn’t good.  While it handles low light situations fairly well if they are consistently lit, it’s not very adept at dealing with mixed-lighting situations.  Going in and out of shadows is a bad idea, and there’s nothing you can do to manually adjust for low-light.

The Questionable

  • Software Glitches – The Flip Ultra comes with its own software.  In theory, you install it and go. From that point forward every time you plug the camera into a USB port, it’s supposed to run the built in software that lets you do basic editing, save files, delete files and play them.  This worked GREAT on my little black one.  It didn’t work at all on a different Flip Ultra camera (purchased in July) even plugged into my laptop.  Despite uninstalling and redownloading and reinstalling the ‘updated’ software, it never ran successfully on one camera, but always ran on my new one.  Was the other camera damaged? Perhaps, but that’s why it’s under questionable.

All in all though, I have to say – this is an excellent little camera.  I’d recommend it to just about anyone, especially given how affordable it is.  So I’m fairly sure that the winner of this contest is going to have as much fun with this as I am.

It seems only fair to announce this using a video, so I’m going to link the announcement from 12seconds.com (tried to embed it, but WP was having none of that…argh.)

Again, thanks everyone for entering, the list above was posted in the order the names were in my spreadsheet (1 entry per person, no matter how many comments you posted!) and the winner is…

Winner Flip Cam Contest on 12seconds.tv

Email me your mailing info at Lucretia AT Geekmommy DOT net and I’ll get it out to you this week!

See you tomorrow!

~ by Lucretia on August 26, 2008.

5 Responses to “Technology Tuesday – The Results and The Review”

  1. Hey Lucretia, thanks for doing this.

    I have a question about the camera. Do you have to use the software that comes with the camera? Does it store it in some type of proprietary format on the camera?

    I promise I’ll only try to post this once this time. Curse you Akismet!

  2. Sorry you didn’t win this time Mark!! But you don’t have to use the software – you can access the drive directly and transfer files if you’d rather.
    They’re in .AVI format on the camera itself.

    And Akismet likes you now, I told it you were friendly, not to bite! :)

  3. This was an exciting giveaway! I don’t know why you didn’t get more contest trolls cmming by to enter.

  4. congrats to the winner.

  5. Congrats to the winner. and if for some reason she fails to claim it you can always send it to me.

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