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Flip UltraHD

Digital Videocam

Summer: beach, barbeque, swimming. These are activities in which many of us will be partaking over the next few months. Capturing the fun in pictures and videos have just been made easier by Flip with their new UltraHD camcorder and underwater case.

We were one of the first reviewers of PureDigital’s One Time Use camcorder back in 2006. The One-Time-Use concept was an interesting business idea. The concern at the time was, would the average consumer be savvy enough to deal with digital video on their computer? As it turns out, the answer was a huge “YES.” So, Pure Digital started making more sophisticated models and selling direct to the end-user. The Flip was their break-through product and a winner for Pure Digital. Cisco acquired the company in the Fall of 2009 and ramped up the Flip Video product offerings. With five different models in the line up, the pocket-size camcorder has come quite a way since we first looked at them four years ago.

The UltraHD is Flip’s second low cost HD camcorder. We looked at Flip’s first HD camcorder, the MiniHD, over a year ago. When we first saw these little camcorders, we did not think their quality would be as astounding as they are. While it is true that these pocket camcorders cannot go feature-for-feature with the more expensive units, they do produce videos of comparable quality. The Flip wins on being more portable, less complicated to use, and with the underwater case…splash-proof!

Here are some of the main features of the Flip UltraHD camcorder:

  • 1/4.5″ HD CMOS Sensor 2.2 µm pixels (1280 x 720 resolution)
  • Fixed Focus (1.5m to infinity)
  • f/2.4 (fast lens for great results in low-light environments)
  • 4.25″ x 2.19″ x 1.17″ and less than 6 oz
  • Built-in speaker and stereo mic, tripod mount
  • 2″ LCD, 320 x 240
  • HDMI™ (Mini HDMI) port and integrated USB connector

The Flip UltraHD comes with a set of NiMH rechargeable batteries, but is designed to work with any AA-size power cells. This is a great feature for those not traveling with a laptop or want to pack as lightly as possible. The choice of using AA batteries is an excellent one as AAs are found all over the world.

When we reviewed the Flip MinoHD last year we suggested that an OtterBox1000 was a great accessory for the unit should users wanted to keep it protected in transport. Flip Video has gone further for the UltraHD and has created an affordable underwater housing for the camcorder.

The case is clear and made out of polycarbonate. The main seal runs the entire perimeter of the case and is secured by the cam action of the knob at the top of the case. The housing is spec’ed to be water-tight down to depths of 30 feet. The back panel has buttons to access all of the controls on the camcorder.

Unlike other cases, the Flip video housing enables the user to have access to all of the camcorder’s functionalities while encased. While the case was designed for under water use, it will protect the UltraHD from other hazards (mud, sand, snow, etc…). So if you want to take a video camera on a canoe trip, whale watching, or boat ride under Niagra Falls, you may now do so without worry. The one thing this case does not have is a tripod mount. This means that you can’t use something like a gorilla tripod to attach it to the mast of a windsurfer or the handle of a dirt bike.

We are looking forward to taking the UltraHD out for its FirstUse. Whether you are heading to the backyard pool, the local beach, or some place more exotic, this Flip UltraHD and waterproof case will let you bring back the action in HD.

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