Flip UltraHD: Video and Image Quality

October 15, 2010 by Greg McGowan Reads (599)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 7
    • Features
    • 6
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 9
    • Performance
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 7.25
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Video Quality
In continuous bright light, the picture looked great with its full, crisp colors. No complaints about the auto white balance here. Unfortunately, the 720 resolution compromises an otherwise decent picture. Take a look at the skunk’s leg. It’s almost impossible to distinguish from the body thanks to the lower resolution. At 1080, the leg would be easy to identify.

In low light the picture predictably loses its quality, but not nearly as much as it does on other pocket camcorders. Despite image grain and some digital artifacts around the edges of moving bits, the Flip performed nobly with decent color accuracy. Color me impressed!

The on-board mic produces passable sound, meeting the low standard set by previous Flips and other pocket camcorders. There is an external microphone available for the FlipPort connector, so those who want better sound quality now have an option.

Operation and Extras
The UltraHD arrives equipped with a soft carrying bag, attachable wrist strap, and user’s manual. The bag is good for transporting your Flip and offers adequate lens protection. I would have liked to see some kind of lens cover included. Additionally, no cables are shipped with the device, most notably absent is an AC adapter. It’s also worth noting that Kodak and Toshiba include HDMI cables with their pocket camcorders.

The swivel USB port acts as the de-facto means of charging the Flip. Here’s where the missing AC adapter becomes an issue because it would be so much easier to simply plug the Flip into a wall outlet.

The user will also have to come to terms with the absence of a USB extender — an accessory that would make charging a far easier task, especially when surrounding USB ports are occupied.

I was satisfied with the overall performance of the device’s FlipShare software. It installs from the Flip in just a couple of minutes and is both intuitive and useful. With FlipShare, users can play back and organize footage, grab stills, splice video and post videos online and to social networks. The folder structure is a bit convoluted, but overall, it’s a decent piece of software and hands-down better than some of the crapware that ships with other devices.

For those with their own preferred video program, be warned that FlipShare asks to install each time the Flip is plugged into the USB port, even if all you want to do is charge the camcorder.

The Flip shoots MP4 video files, which are easy to drag and drop from the device onto a computer. The file type is common and should play nice with most computers.



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