My husband gave me The Flip a couple of months ago for an anniversary present. While not exactly a romantic gift, it was the perfect present for me since I’m not a diamonds and pearls kind of woman. He decided to buy the HD Flip, rather than the SD version, although it’s certainly not true HD or in the same league as my Sony EX-1. But it’s still a pretty amazing little video camera, shooting in the 16×9 pixel aspect ratio. It can record up to one hour of footage, which can be downloaded easily by plugging it into the USB connection on your computer. It also downloads its own software that enables you to email your videos as well as edit them. The editing part is quite limited, but nevertheless it enables you to link clips together.
I’ve played with it a couple of times, but hadn’t really put it to the test until our recent trip to Costa Rica. I’m a firm believer in choosing the right tool for the right situation and in this case decided to use the Flip when we took a canopy tour of a cloud forest. I had never “zip lined” before, but I did know that taking a big camera – still or video – would not be an option because I would need both hands on the zip line. At the same time I knew that I wanted to capture the motion experience of zipping through the trees high above the canopy of the forest.
The Flip was the perfect camera. It was small, light, and easy to use and could capture the sound and feeling of the experience. And that it did. Check out this video – zipping through the trees and also this video of my husband coming in for a landing. Mind you the “execution” of the video was shaky and because the camera is so small – there is a challenge with holding it steady – especially when multitasking or just trying to stay “on” the platform high in the trees. However, I could not have captured this footage with my “real” HD camera and the video from the Flip was good enough to yield a few seconds of footage that could be imported into a “movie” and give a viewer the vicarious thrill of gliding over the trees.
More importantly, it allowed me to enjoy the experience, as well as record it. That’s not always possible when bogged down by equipment and technology. I certainly wouldn’t recommend this camera as an all-purpose video camera. But because it’s small, light and portable, I always have it with me, wherever I go. I never know what surprises may come my way, and when they do present themselves to me – I’m ready for action.