Flip Video Ultra Utica NY

It just got easier to upload to YouTube

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Flip Video Ultra

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‘User-generated content’ websites have revolutionised the way we watch video, but they haven’t had the positive effect on camcorder sales you might expect. So Flip, the company behind the single-use digital camera, decided a new type of camcorder was required. Enter the Flip Video. Latest in the line, and first to hit the UK, is the Ultra.

You could be forgiven for thinking this is a mobile phone, at first glance. It has the same form factor, and is operated with just a few simple buttons. Apart from the 2x digital zoom, there are no settings to configure whatsoever – you just point and shoot. But the Flip Video Ultra has a few innovations which put it ahead of even the latest video-capable camera phones. Chief amongst these is the built-in flip-out USB plug from which it gets its name. The Flip Video Ultra is always ready to connect to a computer, and further enhancing this is the built-in software. Instead of having to load applications from CD or DVD, simply plugging the Flip into a PC will prompt you to load the bundled software, and video codec if required.

Once this is installed, the Flip can get on with its main party piece – uploading straight to YouTube. The software, available for both PC and Mac, also lets you trim your clips and perform some automated editing based on themes. As well as uploading to YouTube, direct support is available for AOL Video, myspacetv.com, and Amazon.com’s video review site. Just choose your website, enter your login and file details, and the video will be uploaded straight from the Flip to the Web.

The Flip shoots video at 640 x 480 and 30 frames/sec, which is ideal for YouTube uploads. But it won’t be so great when creating a DVD for European consumption, as this will use 720 x 576 and 25 frames/sec. Image quality is also a rung lower down the ladder than most camcorders from the mainstream manufacturers. But it’s still reasonable, and low light performance is better than you’d expect for the price. So whilst the Flip isn’t for videomaking enthusiasts, it’s great for its intended task of getting video up online as quickly and easily as possible.


Copyright 2009 Dennis Publishing All Rights Reserved.