My Canon video camera stopped working recently. It had a good run, lasting around 6 years, longer than I expect of most electronics with moving parts. Instead of replacing it with another expensive camera, I’ve bought a Flip Video Camcorder that’s about $100 for the model that stores 30 minutes of video and $120 for the 60 minute model.
The camera is about the size of a standard iPod and has a small USB plug that flips out on the side to easily import the movies you take into your computer. It’s light, made entirely of plastic, and comes with a small pouch to protect it from scratches. Their is some capability to zoom, but it’s done digitally, so the results aren’t great. Amazingly, the video is 640x480 pixels which means it’s same as standard definition television. There aren’t any tapes or discs to buy since all the video is stored on flash memory inside the unit.
It’s inexpensive enough and small enough to simply keep with you in your bag. The video is much better than I have recorded from a mobile phone or my digital camera that I use for still photos.
I recently went to see a show by The Loser’s Lounge when they performed a tribute to Fleetwood Mac. I shot some video with the FlipVideo Camera there to show you how the video looks. What you’ll see below is highly compressed because it’s undergone the YouTube process, but it may be enough to persuade you to part with $100 for an easy to use video camera. Come on, you know you want one.
By the way, if you’re on a Mac, check out Perian, the free add-on for QuickTime that I mentioned in an earlier post. I needed it to play the raw files that I downloaded from the camera.