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Wednesday, 25 July, 2007

The Flip Video Camera

Last night's post about the rainstorm, featured my very first YouTube upload. I used a cheap Flip video camera, which I picked up at Costco for $89. It stores 30-minutes of video. You can then play the videos on a the build-in LCD, on a TV, or upload them to your PC. Included software makes it very easy to combine video clips and upload them to YouTube.

The camera is definitely of the no-frills variety. You have no control whatsoever (except for the 2x zoom). The quality is OK when viewed on TV or a computer monitor, but it suffers significantly when it's converted to the YouTube format. It operates on two AA batteries, and there is no AC adaptor. To connect it to a computer (PC or Mac), press a button and a USB plug pops out of the side. The built-in microphone isn't very sensitive, so you need to be pretty close if the audio is important. Also, there is no way to mount it on a tripod.

The videos are in MPEG-4 format, saved in a AVI file. It uses a proprietary codec, so if you send an AVI file to someone else, whey won't be able to view it. You can, however, convert it to a WMV file (which they probably can view).

All in all, it's a very adequate solution for $89. They also sell a version that can store 60 minutes of video.