Cisco Launches First Flip Video Camcorder With Internal LCD: Flip SlideHD

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News Posted: Wed, Apr 14 2010 12:39 PM
It still seems kind of unusual to think that Cisco now owns a camcorder company, but this week the company introduced the newest in the Flip Video line, the Flip SlideHD. It's certainly an all-new take on the pocket camcorder form factor, as it looks more like a Motorola Backflip than a typical pistol-grip camera.

This new camcorder allows for up to 4 hours of HD video to be captured (or 12 hours of SD content), and rather than making users offload it to a PC before viewing, the SlideHD has an internal 3" LCD that allows for instant playback. It's also a touch panel, so navigating through menus should be easy as well. Also, it's loaded with the same FlipShare software that comes on the other Flip devices, which makes uploading videos to social networks and the like quite simple.



It's available right now for $279.99, which is definitely approaching "real camcorder" territory. Will the added screen convince you to buy in, or is this still too rich for your blood?

Flip SlideHD Product Specifications:

  • Color: White/Silver and Personalized
  • Recording Time:  Up to four hours
  • Storage Time: Up to 12 Hours
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Screen: 3-inch wide transflective touch screen
  • Video Resolution: High Definition; 1280x720 (30fps)
  • Video Format: H.264, MP4
  • Battery: Internal Li-ion rechargeable
  • Battery Life: Up to two hours
  • TV Output: HDMI Widescreen
  • Zoom:  2x digital
  • Audio: Stereo speakers, headset jack

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I don't think that this is entering the real camcorder rage yet, maybe for the price but not for the functionality and accessories. The touchscreen is the best thing going for this particular model, as with lack of buttons allow for more internal space, which is either taken up by the touchscreen technology or is utilized in some other way.

The reason that it's not in real camcorder territory yet is because of its similarities to the other Flip and Flip HD camcorder models. It's small, portable, and easy to use, which is great for many people. But it doesn't quite have the actual recording power that "real" camcorders sort.

For instance, it only has a 2x digital zoom, the audio port is way to small to really record anything spectacular. I don't think this camcorder has lighting settings on there either.

But there are some good things about this camera that I would definitely consider worth the use. It is user friendly as I stated above, but it also has an Mp4 video format at 1280x720 resolution, which is pretty good considering mp4's usually pose a better quality format than .wmv or .mov.

Another thing is the memory, it's not a lot of memory, but it's enough for 4 hours of HD content which is pretty significant.

I can see this product used mainly as a family camcorder. Specifically for those families who just had a baby and they want to record every moment with their child. This device is easy enough to use to get good quality videos uploaded onto a computer and burned onto a DVD.

Perhaps it could also be a video bloggers best friend. They could have cheap and good quality video resolution, but they would most likely have to record their voice using an audio program on their PC to get clear and vivid sound.

It's just like a Flip, but it has a touchscreen, that will be the selling point I think.

Nice writeup Ray.

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RyuGTX replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 7:32 PM

Anyone see anything wrong here???

They put a lot of nice features in it. Great! HD shooting and longer shooting times. Thumbs up! But the battery life is only 2 hours!!!

 

My roommate is a huge fan of these devices and he was raging about this all day.

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I really think it's because of the touchscreen that has been added into it. Ryu

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This really has some nice features!

Kinda has a 1980's Japan feel to it as well :)

The battery life seems OK to me. Unless you are out there trying to make the next desperado, I don't see it to be that much of an issue. Well it will probably make a day at Disney kinda frustrating. Yeah come to think of it, we just need to start buying all Apple batteries and start putting them in devices with the features we want.

At that price, I feel I would want at least 1080p. Especially if there is fixed focus with 2Xd and low battery life. I do like that it has an HDMI out, and a headphone jack. I wondered about the H264 video being converted on the home PC. Yet when I looked on their website, I found something very interesting. The software is already loaded in the unit so you can edit on any system. At least that way no one has to worry about having an editor that Can handle H264 files. Although another concern is that in order to get photos, you have to go in and capture from the video single frames? That should just be a software issue, hopefully they can correct that.

I agree with marius, this will make a good family camcorder, we all need to remember that first diaper mess in HD :P On the other hand this might be good for people like location scouts. They could use something handy like this, that is able to edit on the fly with better resolutions so you don't erase the wrong shots. They can also instantly upload the video to their producers without all the conversion hassles.

I am impressed and would like something like this. My only issue is the price? I know the optics are there and even webcams are going HD. At close to the cost of a PS3, kinda doesn't seem like much for the money. My 10mp Olympus shoots video as well in a good all around sense. So if I needed HD for movies, then I would have to go with something more suited for those needs and not the size.

Yet, this is going to be great for all those backyard MonkShots and piano kitties for the viral world :)

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digitaldd replied on Thu, Apr 15 2010 2:31 PM

This would be way cool if it doubled as a personal media player. And could playback other media formats besides from the camera specific ones.

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RyuGTX replied on Thu, Apr 15 2010 3:53 PM

Marius Malek:

I really think it's because of the touchscreen that has been added into it. Ryu

 

My comment didn't go through....

 

Anyways, it probably is because of the touch screen. But what good is it touting a 4 hour HD recording time or 12 hour SD recording time when the battery life is only good for 2 hours. Excuse me, but up to 2 hours according to their specs. And we all know what that means when it says "up to X hours." Sad

 

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sp12 replied on Sat, Apr 17 2010 10:16 PM

I agree with you there, it seems almost stupid. I hope they offer a battery pack or something :( Perhaps you could disable the screen, or at least tone down the backlight, to save energy.

This is a niche product, but at least its cool :) If it were me I'd just go for an actual camcorder, but still.

 

Edit: When did cisco start making camcorders?

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RyuGTX replied on Sun, Apr 18 2010 5:31 AM

sp12:

I agree with you there, it seems almost stupid. I hope they offer a battery pack or something :( Perhaps you could disable the screen, or at least tone down the backlight, to save energy.

This is a niche product, but at least its cool :) If it were me I'd just go for an actual camcorder, but still.

 

Edit: When did cisco start making camcorders?

 

The battery pack would have to attach onto it as the battery isn't removable (like the Sony PS3 controller). Also, PR guys in big companies know how to use their words. How many times have you seen the phrase "lasts up to x hours" and really gotten that amount? Think of all those laptops and their claims. They are saying that in the best case scenario, that is the amount of battery life one may be able to achieve in one charge. I'm assuming that same thing applies here as well. It would be nice if I am proven wrong.

 

As for Cisco making camcorders... In March 2009, Cisco bought a company called Pure Digital Technologies who are the makers of the Flip camcorder. The buyout was $590 million.

 

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