Sunday, May 16, 2010
Flip Video Camcorder
Not long ago my sister gave me a surprise gift. It was not my birthday or anniversary or even a holiday of any sort. She gave me a Flip Ultra HD Camcorder. Wow! She thought it would be useful for our family and for Baby Dipper, and it has already been used for both. I am really, really enjoying my Flip!
Before our twin girls were born in 2004, we made sure we had a video camera so that we could capture all of those darling moments that bombard you continuously as a new parent. After much research, we ended up buying a camcorder that used Mini-DV tapes.
So now after 5 years of filming the girls and later our twin boys using these Mini DV tapes, I have a drawer FULL of little tapes that are just sitting there. We don't have time to watch them or even figure out how to copy them over to an electronic file so that if something were to happen to the tapes themselves we would still have all of the videos from them. What to do about all of those tiny tapes?
I try to be responsible about the things that cannot be replaced. My mom and I swap jump drives with all of our digital family photos at the end of each month, thus ensuring that there are copies at two different locations, so that if one of our computers dies or one of our houses burns down, we still have a copy at the other house. In addition to having an external drive to back up my computer, my parents and I also keep a backup of our important computer files at the other's house for the same reason. On that same vein, for photos made before the digital age, Mom and I swapped negatives for all of the 35mm photos we each have. I have a huge box of her negatives in one of our closets that is all of the photos she and Dad took of my siblings and me while growing up. She keeps the prints at her house and I keep the negatives here. Opposite for my prints and negatives - photo albums here, negatives at my parents' house. Pretty smart, huh?
But these little tapes... You can probably tell that this problem has bothered me for quite some time, but that no effort has been put into solving it. One day I will get my act together and record all of those tapes in digital files that we can easily keep copies of in multiple locations. Dad actually just recently got busy digitizing his VHS tapes from long ago, so maybe his software can be used to digitize the Mini DV tapes.
The good news is, though, that as of last month I can very easily download every video I make right to my computer! The Flip camcorder is completely self-sufficient. When you first plug it into your computer, it leads you through the set-up for the FlipShare software, which is amazingly easy to use. You can even edit your films and put them together to make movies with titles and music. When it is plugged into your computer's USB port it also charges the Flip's battery!
AND, it is SO very easy to share videos with friends, family, and business associates as needed. The videos can be uploaded to Facebook, web sites, blogs, etc. I'll even upload one here so you can see how easy it is to do. That's Carlton (in light blue) and Franklin (dark blue) running and shrieking in the light rain and a puddle.
My point in all of this is that I'm quite pleased with the Flip and really don't have any complaints about it so far. It has been mostly for personal use so far, but I did use it to film myself (don't you hate doing that?!?!) for a contest I entered for Baby Dipper.
Flip offers several different versions of their camcorders. Some are smaller, some are HD, and some have longer recording times than others. There is a new one called Slide HD that, yes, slides open so that you can replay your films on a 3-inch screen. Flip Video camcorders come in a variety of colors and there are quite a few accessories that go with them. I would say that if you are looking for a small, easy-to-use camcorder, the Flip should at least be on your list of cameras to consider. They range in price from $149 to $279 and are eligible for Free Super-Saver Shipping on Amazon.com. You can also find them in stores and on the Flip Video web site.