This award will be no surprise to long-term SMUGgles (especially those who have completed Blogging 130), but the Chancellor’s Choice award for low-cost video cameras goes to: The Flip.
Among its Advantages:
Strong video quality, particularly in relatively low-light conditions.
Speed. Using a camera with miniDV or other tape, you have to play the tape to feed into your computer for digitizing, which takes just as long as the original shoot did. The Flip, by contrast, creates a digital file directly and saves to its memory card, and with the built-in USB connector that flips out (hence the name), you can transfer the video file to your computer for editing and/or upload to YouTube, Facebook or another video sharing service within seconds after shooting.
Simplicity. It’s literally a point and shoot device, with a single red button to start and stop recording. So easy, even a caveman… (er…uh…sorry guys)
Savings. Ranging from about $70 for 30 minute standard definition to $230 or so for an hour of HD, these cameras are quite affordable. (More details on that below.) I’ve purchased miniDV cameras previously for $400 or so, and for many uses the Flip quality is just as good.
Situational (OK…that’s stretching the alliteration too far.) There’s an old saying in video that you can’t edit what you don’t shoot. Because the Flip fits easily in your pocket, purse or laptop bag, you can have it with you in virtually any situation. This enables you to catch those moments you’d miss if you had to remember to bring your video camera bag. I carry my Flip almost everywhere I go.
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