Flip UltraHD Camcorder
Annie Oh rates this 3.5/5
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Flip UltraHD Camcorder Review From: Cisco

Pros
Easy to use; video quality is excellent.

Cons
Too basic to serve as anything other than a point-and-shoot camcorder.

Verdict
If you want a basic camcorder that records excellent video, make this your first buy.

Does the Flip UltraHD Camcorder Stack Up to the Competition?

Though it's Cisco's first full-sized Flip camcorder (source: About.com), don't confuse it with the full-featured camcorders in the $200 price range--it's a pocket camcorder, and doesn't venture outside of this label. Because of this, it lacks a lot of features found in full-fledged camcorder brands, and therefore performs best as a basic point-and-shoot camera. Here is my review.


Design

Most pocket camcorders thrive best on being as compact as possible; the Flip UltraHD Camcorder is about as pocket-sized as you can get, measuring as big as a wallet and weighing in at around 6 ounces. It's not the lightest pocket camcorder by any means, but it's pocket-sized, making it easy to carry around and use.


As for its design as a pocket camcorder, there's nothing special about the Flip UltraHD. The interface is very sleek and smooth to the touch; there are few controls on here, and this is because the camera itself has few features. For easy uploading of videos to the computer, it also comes with a built-in USB cable, making it easy to plug in should the need arise. You'll only find a few buttons on this camera, and it's easy to understand what they do--the big red button is for recording, whereas the other buttons turn on the camcorder, scrolling through photos, and playing previously-recorded videos. There are no options to adjust the contrast, brightness, or color of videos--this camcorder is purely a point-and-shoot camera, so options are limited. If you want more features, you're going to have to upgrade to a full-sized camcorder and sacrifice on size (and price).


Overall, this is a basic, compact pocket camcorder with little differentiating it from the competition; little even differentiates it from Cisco's other pocket camcorders, including the Flip MinoHD.


Operation

Because this is a pocket camcorder, opearability is simple here--you can record, and then record some more, or look at previously recorded videos, but that's about all you can do on this camcorder. Brightness or saturation levels cannot be adjusted, so if low light is a problem, you'll have to create your own light source to make the video brightness satisfactory. On an upside, the Flip UltraHD performs remarkably well in low light conditions, never blurring or becoming grainy even while shooting indoors or in low visibility. This is something its competitors have not been able to improve, so the Flip UltraHD excels here.


Otherwise, your options for using this camera are limited--about the only feature on this camera is the ability to zoom in, and even that is far from passable, only containing 2x digital zoom. To compare, most budget-priced camcorder scan zoom in on objects 10 times greater, and some of these camcorders are cheaper than the Flip UltraHD.


Video Sharing and Uploading

Luckily there's no need to fumble with equipment or programs when it comes to uploading videos--something that novice camcorder users should find pleasing. Uploading videos is as simple as plugging the USB cable to the computer; you then select the videos you want to transfer to your hard drive. The camcorder also comes with built-in FlipShare software, which also makes it easier to organize and find videos. For Youtubers, the FlipShare software also comes with a direct upload to Youtube feature.


Customer Reviews
"Overall I think this is the best Flip Camera out on the market. I like this one better than the Mino because of the touch screen controls. Sometimes pressing the touch screen controls on the Mino will cause the camera to shake." - N. Farrell
"This is a powerful, easy-to-use, fairly cheap video camera; it records @ 1280 x 720, 60 FPS, and can hold about two full hours of video at that capacity. It fits neatly in a shirt pocket and is pretty much ideal for recording anything that doesn't need to be professionally produced film, from home movies to recording interviews." - T. Simons
"I wavered between giving this three or four stars, but settled on four because it delivers what it promises in spades: EASY to use, high quality video recording in a small package. If I could, I would give a 3.5. There's a BIG "but" though: The caveat here is that this is now a single-purpose, niche product, whose single purpose can be found on a number of different devices, from DSLR's, to point and shoot cameras, to smartphones (and probably non smart phones)." - B. Edwards
Pros
  • Simple to record and upload videos
  • No complicated menus
  • Cheap camcorder

Cons 
  • Lacks far too many features
  • Is extremely basic
  • Zoom feature is poor at best
Verdict

Although features are sorely lacking with this video camera, it does one thing best: Deliver excellent video quality. Count on this to be the best point-and-shoot camera for the budget-savvy.
Date Reviewed: May 28, 2012, 6:47 pm
Reviewed by Annie Oh
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