Don’t flip for the Flip

Not the FlipSome times I think what is hip and cool is not always right for school. The latest trendsetting gadgets are Flip Video’s digital camcorders. It seems like everyone is in love with the Flip. These little camcorders fit in your pocket and have a handy flip out USB connector so you can transfer your movies with ease.

I think the Flip camcorders are a little overhyped. It might be a great little camcorder to carry in your pocket for a night out on the town but we’re not sending our students to shoot video in the clubs. If you’re looking to just record short video clips, many affordable digital cameras can do the job and you’ll be able to use that camera to take great still images too. Here are a few reasons why I don’t flip for the Flip:

  • No removable battery: Yes, you can recharge it but when the Flip’s non-replaceable battery stops holding it’s charge you’re finished. School shelling out money for the Flip might think twice if they knew the Flip’s days are numbered. (UPDATE: Flip’s older model- the Ultra– uses AA batteries)
  • Missing expandable memory: Need more memory? Too bad. Flip’s memory is also non-replaceable. I want a camera that you can pop memory cards in and out of.  Then you can have students record video, take out their card for editing and pass the camera on to the next group so they can start recording with another memory card while the other group is editing.
  • Too expensive: starting at $150 and going up and over $200, the Flips are too expensive for their limited set of features. Instead, spend your money on a digital camera that also does video or you might want to consider spending $300 on a real digital camcorder.

If you must have a camcorder with the flip-out USB feature, check out the Kodak Zi6. This camcorder is slightly bigger but it has an expandable memory slot and macro mode. It’s powered by standard rechargeable AA batteries and it comes with a free charger. The Zi6 is a little cheaper too.

Check out these video reviews to see how the Zi6 compares to the Flip models.

3 thoughts to “Don’t flip for the Flip”

  1. I bought an RCA small wonder. Replaceable batteries, expandable memory, and under $100. Don’t know if the quality is th esame. But for a three inch box playback on a computer screen it is fine.

  2. I own a Flip Mino and – yes it’s expensive – but compared to other flash drive cameras, it’s off the charts in ease of use and function for what I need it for.
    I thought about all your excuses to NOT get one:
    1) If you need more time, get another camera with a HDD and/or tape. Your not getting a camera like this to get quality archive video.
    2) By the time the battery is bad, the tech will be better for another up-grade. Pass it off to your kids or donate to your church youth group/non-profit. (it’s actually nicer for them to have something new … something to think about).
    3) Price – you pay for what you get. I bought on-line using CNET for a filter to get the cheapest price. Yup – a little pricey – but then, I think of #1, and I think I made a good choice.

    This is a great site! Thanks for doing this!

  3. Why even bother with your school buying these tools when our students will soon have them in their pockets on a day to day basis? Apple is now selling a iPod nano with a built in camera and microphone for video. Over the next five years you can expect future iPods and their competitors to follow suit. With our tech-savvy students receiving these over the holidays and beyond – we’ll be asking our students to bring their “toys” into the classroom to train them to use them as tools.

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