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The Flip Video Camcorder - A Perfect Gift For Your Child

Nov 18, 2007
Looking for that perfect holiday gift idea for your child? Or maybe that elusive birthday gift that makes them jump with joy? I don't know about you, but I'm tired of giving my kids a new toy that they soon forget about. Well, I found a great gift idea that your child will love! It's called the "Flip Video" camcorder by Pure Digital Technologies Inc.

The Flip Video can record 60 minutes of color video at 640 x 480 resolution that is stored on its 1GB of internal memory. This means you won't have to purchase new videotapes after 60 minutes of recording. With typical MiniDV camcorder tapes costing as much as $5.00 each, you'll quickly see the benefits of having internal memory storage. Plus, the satisfaction of knowing that your child won't lose or break these expensive tapes is just an added bonus.

The Flip Video camcorder was designed with the novice camcorder user in mind. Pure Digital claims that "it's so easy a child can use it". Oh boy; are they right! Weighing in at only 4.8 ounces and measuring 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 inches, this small wonder is capable of going anywhere you go. It can easily slip into a pant pocket or be tossed into your kids' book bag. Although a little small, its 1 " color display is a good size for a camcorder with such petite dimensions. What really makes this camcorder so special is its simplicity. It has only four buttons and a directional pad.

Here's a quick rundown of the Flip Video buttons:

1) Power Button- Pressing down on it for two seconds turns the unit on. Same goes for turning the camera off.

2) Play Button- Pressing the play button begins playback of the previously recorded video.

3) Delete Button - When pressed, you will be asked if you'd like to delete the previously recorded video. Press the button one more time to delete or the Play button to back out.

4) Record Button- This is the red button in the center of the directional pad. Click it once to begin recording. Click it again to stop. I told you it was easy!

5) Directional Pad- While recording, you can push up on the directional pad to utilize its 2X zoom or press down to zoom out. While in video playback mode, pressing left and right on the pad will cycle through the videos that are stored on the camera. Find the video you're looking for and either press play to watch it or press delete to remove it from the cameras internal memory. **Note** Once you delete the video, you cannot retrieve it again for viewing. So be careful and make sure you select the correct video for deletion.

To watch a movie on a traditional camcorder, you have to break out the output cables that came with the camcorder, plug them into the camera, find the input jacks on your TV, plug in the cables and tune your TV to the proper input channel. As you can see, it's not that easy. The Flip Video is the complete opposite. Just push down the little switch located on the side of the camera and "FLIP!" out comes the USB Connector. Plug the camera into any open USB port on your computer and watch the Flip Video open up the software that's already stored on the camera. That's it! Without the need to install software on your computer, you can immediately begin enjoying the movies you recorded. The Flip Video does come with a cable that enables you to plug the camera in to a TV just like a conventional digital camcorder. This accessory comes in handy when showing your videos to large group of people.

Here's a list of features you'll find on the Flip Video software:

1) Watch Videos- You can select any video that you recorded and watch it on your computers monitor.

2) Delete Videos- You can delete selected videos that are stored on the camera. Just highlight the video and click delete.

3) Save Videos- You have the options of saving to your computers hard drive or saving for email distribution. When you select the email option, the camera will automatically compress the video down to a smaller size. This comes in handy because most email accounts have size restrictions that do not allow large files to be accepted.

4) Make a Movie- You can piece together any movie that's stored on the camera, add your own music and pick out a movie style. Click 'Make Mix' and the software will do the rest. It's a nice way to make a compilation of your favorite video clips.

5) Email and Publish Videos- This is without question my favorite feature. You can email a private video to a friend or loved one. All you have to do is click 'Share Greeting', select an eCard design that the video will embed itself into, enter an email address and message to the recipient. Once you click ok, the software will convert the video to a smaller file size that is suitable for emailing. The recipient will receive an email with the eCard. All they have to do is click the card to watch the video. I can't say enough about this wonderful feature! As an added bonus, you can also upload your videos to YouTube or AOL Videos for the whole world to see! All it takes is one click! With the YouTube revolution going on, your kids will LOVE this feature.

The video quality produced by the Flip Video is quit amazing for its price. Don't get me wrong; you cannot compare a Flip video to one captured with a full-featured MiniDV or HD camcorder that can cost over $1,000. I like to compare the Flip Video to what a very good digital camera can produce when shooting in movie mode. I own a Canon SD800IS digital camera that costs over $300 and I can honestly say the Flip Video takes better videos.

I saved the best feature for last and that's the price. You can purchase a 60 Minute Flip Video camcorder for under $120! If you feel $120 is a little too steep, you can always opt for the 30-minute model that costs roughly $89. I just gave my son the Flip Video for his fifth birthday and he absolutely loves it! Watching him run around the house taking videos of our family is priceless! Plus, when your little one is recording, you get to see the world from their point of view, which is really something special.

At this point, I'm sure you're tired of hearing me rave about how great this little camcorder is. Well check out what the experts had to say about the Flip Video! Business Week was quoted as saying "A Sweet and Simple Camcorder". The Detroit Free Press said "Amazingly High Quality Video" and the Wall Street Journal wrote "Startlingly good video, Indoors and Outside". Pure Digital recently released the Flip Video "Ultra" with an enhanced feature set that looks to be even better than the original. The price tag is $40 more but I'm sure it's worth it.

The bottom line is if you really want to surprise your kid with a great gift, you can't do any better than the Flip Video camcorder. It will make your whole family smile!
About the Author
K.J. Brown is an experienced article writer based out of New York City. He has written over 100 informative articles regarding consumer electronics. For more information on the Flip Video and the Flip Video Ultra, you can visit http://www.flipvideoultra.com
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