The best gadget I stole in 2008

Maryam wanted a video camera. She asked her friends and they recommended the FlipCam. She thought it was safe from me. She got an ugly one (orange and white) just to make it very unlikely that I’d steal it. After all, if it isn’t an Apple product, or cool and black, it probably was safe from her geeky husband, right?

But I tried it out one day and found that it gave me a lot better quality that my Nokia cell phone with Qik.

Since that day I haven’t given it back. All the recent videos on my Kyte video channel are done with it.

So, now she wants it back. Hah, I think I’ll buy her one of the new HD ones. And me too.

One tip: you MUST use a monopod (which is what I’m doing) or a tripod with this. It is too small to hold steady otherwise.

Why do I love it? It uses AA batteries so I can either use rechargeables or, if those are dead, some of the AA’s in the freezer.

It has a little USB plug that swings out the side. It works with any computer. So, if I take video of my friends’ cute babies, I can give them that video right there. Oh, and the video works with Kyte, YouTube, Viddler, Facebook, and a bunch of other services too. No reformatting or work needed.

Hope a bunch of you find one of these under your Christmas tree.

One problem? The local BestBuy is sold out of the HD versions so you might need to buy them online.

Mike Arrington is talking about his experiences with the Flip and other small HD cameras on his Twitter account. For me, it might be ugly, but it is the best thing I’ve stolen from Maryam all year.

Comments

  1. I have been debating about getting a Flip since I use the camcorder feature on my point-and-shoot digital camera. But, since the HD Flips came out, I think I’m going to give them a try. I know everyone that tries them loves them. Maybe I even got one for Christmas…we shall see. :)

  2. I have been debating about getting a Flip since I use the camcorder feature on my point-and-shoot digital camera. But, since the HD Flips came out, I think I’m going to give them a try. I know everyone that tries them loves them. Maybe I even got one for Christmas…we shall see. :)

  3. Robert, take a look at the Kodak Zi6 before you buy the Flip Mino HD. The Zi6 uses AA batteries instead of the Mino HD’s built-in rechargeable, has a larger screen, and records to SD flash media – all for less money.

  4. Robert, take a look at the Kodak Zi6 before you buy the Flip Mino HD. The Zi6 uses AA batteries instead of the Mino HD’s built-in rechargeable, has a larger screen, and records to SD flash media – all for less money.

  5. I have been asking myself for a long time why you, Robert ,and all the other people shoot videos with Nokia’s phones? Ok, they stream online but quality sucks and sound is not that good… And now Flip! Why not just buy 720p Sanyo camcorder because they’re small enough to fit your pocket, handy, quality is superior and Vimeo upload is a nobrainer. No online streaming but quality beats the hell out of your current solutions. Cost is over 200 dollars in US, those mount as USB mass storage devices, uses SDHC cards and changing battery is easy (no AA support thou).

    Keep up the good work but change to better cameras for personal work :)

  6. I have been asking myself for a long time why you, Robert ,and all the other people shoot videos with Nokia’s phones? Ok, they stream online but quality sucks and sound is not that good… And now Flip! Why not just buy 720p Sanyo camcorder because they’re small enough to fit your pocket, handy, quality is superior and Vimeo upload is a nobrainer. No online streaming but quality beats the hell out of your current solutions. Cost is over 200 dollars in US, those mount as USB mass storage devices, uses SDHC cards and changing battery is easy (no AA support thou).

    Keep up the good work but change to better cameras for personal work :)

  7. Definitely was my favorite gadget of the year, now surpassed totally IMHO by the new Kodak Zi6
    Incredible device, full HD, batteries plus a free recharger for around $180.
    Quality is real good plus has all the bits and pieces associated with the Flip, free software is a tad better too.
    Definitely going to do more videos in 2009.

  8. Definitely was my favorite gadget of the year, now surpassed totally IMHO by the new Kodak Zi6
    Incredible device, full HD, batteries plus a free recharger for around $180.
    Quality is real good plus has all the bits and pieces associated with the Flip, free software is a tad better too.
    Definitely going to do more videos in 2009.

  9. Quality looks good, but what did you use for a mic on these interviews? I don’t think the flip has an option for an external mic, unless this has changed.

  10. Quality looks good, but what did you use for a mic on these interviews? I don’t think the flip has an option for an external mic, unless this has changed.

  11. Your timing is great, Robert, as I’m planning to enter the audio/video scene (somewhere, something) in 2009. Looking for advice on the best affordable gadgets in lieu of this Logitech Quickcam…

  12. Your timing is great, Robert, as I’m planning to enter the audio/video scene (somewhere, something) in 2009. Looking for advice on the best affordable gadgets in lieu of this Logitech Quickcam…

  13. Just bought the Flip Mino two weeks ago. Regretting that I didn’t buy the HD. But these little guys really do pack a punch.

    @Soren The mic on the Flip Mino is actually really good. I can stand 1.5 meters away and it’ll pick up my indoor voice just fine.

    And I call myself a geek *discreetly puts his batteries in the freezer*

  14. Just bought the Flip Mino two weeks ago. Regretting that I didn’t buy the HD. But these little guys really do pack a punch.

    @Soren The mic on the Flip Mino is actually really good. I can stand 1.5 meters away and it’ll pick up my indoor voice just fine.

    And I call myself a geek *discreetly puts his batteries in the freezer*

  15. Everyone recommending the Kodak – thing with Kodaks is, they’re not, not, NOT known for longevity. Yes, they are undoubtedly the easiest cameras/camcorders to *learn how to use*, but if it doesn’t last you more than a year, what’s the point?

  16. Everyone recommending the Kodak – thing with Kodaks is, they’re not, not, NOT known for longevity. Yes, they are undoubtedly the easiest cameras/camcorders to *learn how to use*, but if it doesn’t last you more than a year, what’s the point?

  17. The Flip Ultra is still the best pocket camcorder. Each Flip since the Ultra has been a downgrade because they don’t use replaceable AA’s. Also, from what I read the mic on the Ultra is better than the newer Flips, and the lens has a wider angle on the Ultra than the newer Flips.

    The Kodak ZI8 is an interesting competitor, but from what I’ve read its low light performance is not as good, and its mic is not as good.

  18. The Flip Ultra is still the best pocket camcorder. Each Flip since the Ultra has been a downgrade because they don’t use replaceable AA’s. Also, from what I read the mic on the Ultra is better than the newer Flips, and the lens has a wider angle on the Ultra than the newer Flips.

    The Kodak ZI8 is an interesting competitor, but from what I’ve read its low light performance is not as good, and its mic is not as good.

  19. I guess I’m going to have to try out shooting video with a little tripod. I’m happy with the FlipCams as long as I’m in a well-lit environment. If I’m inside and the light is low, it doesn’t seem to pick things up very well. I’m also quite interested to see the quality of the HD vids it produces.

    Thanks for your lil’ review…

  20. I guess I’m going to have to try out shooting video with a little tripod. I’m happy with the FlipCams as long as I’m in a well-lit environment. If I’m inside and the light is low, it doesn’t seem to pick things up very well. I’m also quite interested to see the quality of the HD vids it produces.

    Thanks for your lil’ review…

  21. I got my first Flip in Sept 2007 – have recorded everything from conference keynotes to Grandchild’s first Christmas and daughter’s graduation at U of Washington (she earned PhD) and every video segment was clear and audible. Never had a tripod – seem to have a steadier hand than I thought. And now I have 4 Flip Ultras that are in the hands of hospital staff who are telling the stories of their success. Yes, this is the best gadget if you have to steal one.

  22. I got my first Flip in Sept 2007 – have recorded everything from conference keynotes to Grandchild’s first Christmas and daughter’s graduation at U of Washington (she earned PhD) and every video segment was clear and audible. Never had a tripod – seem to have a steadier hand than I thought. And now I have 4 Flip Ultras that are in the hands of hospital staff who are telling the stories of their success. Yes, this is the best gadget if you have to steal one.