FlipCam user experience

First impression of this small video camera was how simple it looked. A good sized screen for such a small device and a big red button for starting and stopping record.

The picture quality is excellent although there is no zoom function. There are no settings to adjust either which makes the FlipCam that much simpler to use.

However the audio quality is not good. I filmed a quick sequence while I spoken behind the camera and my subject spoke in front of it. Listening back on FlipCam, the sound seems OK, I can hear both voices fine. But once I got the video file onto my computer, the levels were actually really bad. I can only assume the FlipCam is boosting the sound when it plays from the device.

There is no mic input for you to use an external mic either.

Editing the video at first glance seems a great selling point, especially when the nearest rivals do not have editing available. However, once you go into the editing function you soon find that editing video on the FlipCam is actually only top and tailing the clip. You can’t cut bits out or trim sections from a long clip. You would need a real piece of editing software to do anything useful editing. Perhaps that what the rivals assume you would do anyway.

I also had problems getting the video file from the FlipCam onto my computer. This could be the rather odd nature of the computer I was using, so this needs further investigation.

To sum up, the FlipCam offers great video picture quality but the audio quality lets it done. And don’t be swayed by the fact you can edit you video. You will want to edit with a better application than a top-and-tailer.

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About shazmagill

I work as a Senior Technical Demonstrator and Lecturer in digital storytelling at Cardiff School of Journalism, Cardiff University. I teach and support any tools necessary for our students to function as journalists or media practitioners. This means anything from audio recording techniques, video editing, photography and print and mobile publishing. I have recently completed MA in Arts Practice (Fine Art) at the University of South Wales exploring the subjective and objective view and community storytelling through art of the Rhondda valley.
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