Flip UltraHD Pocket Camcorder Review

Article Index

Summary & Conclusion

For the most part, we were satisfied with the video and audio quality of footage captured by the Flip UltraHD--as long as we limited ourselves to the level of expectations one would typically have from a $200 camcorder. Higher-end, more-expensive camcorders typically come with better-quality lenses, more image processing features (such as image stabilization), and video that is noticeably less compressed. If you want higher-quality, better looking video, you'll have to pay for it.

Would we use the Flip UltraHD to capture key moments at a friend's wedding? Yes, and in fact, we did. Would we use the Flip UltraHD as the primary source of creating video memories from our own wedding? Not likely--even if we eschewed using a professional videographer and chose to film it ourselves (or more likely, entrusted our camcorder to a friend to film the nuptials), we would likely want to record such an important event with a camcorder capable of capturing higher-quality video.

What the Flip UltraHD offers is an inexpensive and very easy means of recording HD video. It is small and light, making it a great choice when portability is an issue. Two hours of record time should be more than enough for most casual events, and the ability to supplement the rechargeable battery with good old, off-the-shelf AA's could prove to be a lifesaver when you don't have the opportunity or time to recharge the battery.

Some of the issues we ran into are par for the course for inexpensive camcorders, such as lower image quality (when compared to more expensive camcorders), noticeable visual noise under low-light conditions, and not being able to attach an external microphone. The Flip UltraHD's big caveat, though, is its lack of image stabilization, which under some circumstances, can render a video virtually unwatchable. Different people will have different tolerances for the level of image jerkiness they can watch comfortably; some will have steadier hands when recording; and some will be willing to take the extra time to apply their third-party video editing application's image stabilization filters to captured footage.

The Flip UltraHD is available from a wide variety of online and retail sources. We conducted a quick search online and found that most vendors were currently selling the Flip UltraHD camcorder for the MSRP of $199.99.

  • Inexpensive
  • Small and light
  • Two hours of recording time
  • Records in high-defintion (720p)
  • Uses rechargeable batteries or AA batteries

  • Lack of image stabilization can result in shaky-looking video
  • Video captured in low light or with digital zoom results in increased visual noise
  • Cannot be used with an external microphone
  • Built-in USB connection is too short

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