Introducing the Flip Video Ultra Series, the world's simplest camcorder. It lets you capture the everyday moments that happen anywhere and share them with friends and family everywhere. So now, shooting video is as easy as taking a picture. And sharing is as easy as turning on your computer. Shoot Anything. Share Everything.
Recording Media: Flash Memory
LCD Screen Size: 1.5 in
Video Resolution: 640 x 480 (VGA)
Interface Type: 1 x USB, 1 x Video Out
Camcorder Type: Pocket Camcorder
Product Title: Flip Video F260W Digital Camcorder - 1.5" LCD - CMOS
Manufacturer: Flip Video
Power Score: 3.8 | 8 Reviews
Product Type: Pocket Camcorder
Image Sensor: CMOS
Image Sensor Quantity: 1
Image Sensor Size: 1/4"
Digital Zoom: 2x
Recording Media: Flash Memory
Video Capture Format: AVI, MPEG-4
Maximum Video Capture Resolution: 640 x 480 (VGA)
Minimum Lux Rating: 2
LCD Screen Size: 1.5 in
Interface Connection: 1 x USB, 1 x Video Out
Flash Memory Capacity: 2 GB
Power Source: AA
Battery Life: 2.5 hour(s)
Height: 4.17 in
Width: 2.16 in
Depth: 1.25 in
Weight: 3.3 oz
Dimensions: 4.17" Height x 2.16" Width x 1.25" Depth
Warranty Information: 90 Day Limited Warranty
URL: Manufacturer Link
Frequency Band: Tripod Mount Built-in speaker Built-in wide range microphone Pure Digital DVD processing Built-in flip-out USB arm Power Saver (Auto Shut-Down) Snap Still Photo From Video (VGA still photo) 8 Buttons: Power, Play, Delete, Record and 4 way navigation
Product Model: F260W
Product Series: Ultra
Brand Name: Flip Video
Maximum Frame Rate: 30 fps
Front Camera: Flip Video
Product Reviews (8)
Not Yet Flippin' Out for the Flip
Strengths: Built-in USB connection; good compression; software caters mainly to computer novices; compatible with underwater housing
Weakness: Must support camcorder's weight if your computer is too tall or else USB ports could be damaged; software caters mainly to computer novices; compression makes video difficult to edit
I listed some strengths and weaknesses as the same because well, it depends on what kind of user you are! If you are relatively low-tech, just comfortable with surfing the web and checking e-mail, then the ease of use factor on this device will be nice. However, if you are on the computer a lot and are comfortable with photo and video editing, then the "ease of use" of the software included is...
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I listed some strengths and weaknesses as the same because well, it depends on what kind of user you are!
If you are relatively low-tech, just comfortable with surfing the web and checking e-mail, then the ease of use factor on this device will be nice. However, if you are on the computer a lot and are comfortable with photo and video editing, then the "ease of use" of the software included is actually a little insulting, haha. Flip keeps emphasizing the "ease of use" - yes, the record button is just a red button you press to start and stop, and there's only zoom in, zoom out (digital zoom only), playback, delete - but on the other hand it's a bit limited (I would have liked to see choices in selecting different resolutions of video). The built-in USB is handy but c'mon, to hook up your digital camera is just a matter of attaching a cable from camera to computer. It's more of a convenience thing that the USB arm is built-in that really a reason to say it's super easy to use.
So anyway, I do want to talk about the video quality on this device. At 640x480, it's good enough for regular TVs. A lot of digital cameras can also do 640x480 video nowadays, but the thing that makes the Flip a bit better is the compression of the videos onto the device. It uses an MPEG-4 / H.264 compression on the videos (darned if I know what those terms really mean), which results in much smaller files. Using a Canon SD1100 in 640x480 movie mode at 30fps, a 21-second movie file is 39.8 MB (would be about 120 MB for one minute). Using the Flip (the settings are the same and are not adjustable), a 24-second movie file is 10.4 MB (would be about 25 MB for one minute). Nowadays, hard drive space is cheap, but when you start messing with video, it just fills up before you know it!
Now, on the flipside (haha, no pun intended): I am a video-editing enthusiast, and I have had more trouble with editing the Flip video than with the video off the Canon. Not sure if anyone else has encountered this also. I had trouble in Windows Movie Maker as well as in Adobe Premiere Pro 2. Perhaps it is this same space-saving compression that makes editing difficult.
This Flip Ultra is advertised as having 2GB, or being able to hold 1 hr of video. I set it up and had it shoot at a wall for nearly 2 hours while I chatted on the phone and did miscellaneous chores. So the actual time you can record definitely varies with the type of content you are shooting.
I like how it has a standard tripod mount. This makes it handy to film yourself. Would've been nice if there was some flip-out screen, but more moving parts does mean more potential to break them, so I can see why they just kept it simple.
The Ultra is also the only one of the Flip Video family that has a compatible underwater housing. The housing can be had for under $50, which is a pretty good deal considering that the Canon SD1100 underwater housing runs for around $200. The Canon SD1100 housing has better depth ratings, but still, for shallow water stuff, this isn't bad at all. I'll probably be doing some snorkeling later this year so I wanted to take this along with me.
All in all, I'm feeling a bit neutral towards the Flip. The video quality in low light is pretty good, the compression of the video helps saves space, and I can get an underwater housing for it for cheap, but ... I have a compact Canon camera that on land, does alright in the video category also, just takes up more disk space. And when you're looking at these types of budget camcorders, you're not expecting high quality video. You're paying for the compact size. So why did I pay to get an extra device that does almost the same thing as my compact camera? I'm not sure. Maybe after my cruise I'll be selling my Flip and its underwater housing. Unless I flip out about some other feature I still haven't discovered.
By ihatepink - Aug 28, 2008
Flip Video Ultra 60 min
Strengths: compact; lightweight; good audio and indoor lighting
Weakness: weak zoom capability
Flip is an easy-to-use video camcorder. It's small enough to carry in a pocket. It picks up high-quality video and audio. Videos are recorded as AVI files. The playback is crisp and clear, even in low-lighting. Fun to use and unobtrusive. Buttons are easy to find and use. Also nice is the folding USB connection. It's out of the way until you need to connect to computer to download the videos. It...
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Flip is an easy-to-use video camcorder. It's small enough to carry in a pocket. It picks up high-quality video and audio. Videos are recorded as AVI files. The playback is crisp and clear, even in low-lighting. Fun to use and unobtrusive. Buttons are easy to find and use. Also nice is the folding USB connection. It's out of the way until you need to connect to computer to download the videos. It uses AA batteries and battery life is excellent, especially if use Energizer Lithium batteries like they suggest. Overall its a great little gadget for quick recordings without the hassle of setting up the camera on record mode or using a bulky camcorder.
By JTL - Jul 28, 2008
Flip Video Camera not totally Mac compatible
Strengths: Small, compact, no cards or tapes, few buttons, easy to use
Weakness: Does not work with some Mac programs, iMovie08 & QT7.4.5
My MAC Updater downloaded the new QT 7.4.5 on 5 Apr 2008. I have been making movies in iMovie, and then posting them to YouTube. In the beginning I uploaded the movies as MOV files but soon discovered AVI files (larger file and longer time to upload) had more clarity when viewed on YouTube. Once the new QT 7.4.5 downloaded all my AVI files had picture, but no sound! I downloaded the Perian...
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My MAC Updater downloaded the new QT 7.4.5 on 5 Apr 2008. I have been making movies in iMovie, and then posting them to YouTube. In the beginning I uploaded the movies as MOV files but soon discovered AVI files (larger file and longer time to upload) had more clarity when viewed on YouTube. Once the new QT 7.4.5 downloaded all my AVI files had picture, but no sound! I downloaded the Perian component as posted in QT discussions. The sound returned to the AVI files. However, when I Exported an AVI movie from iMovie the picture quality was worse than the MOV movie. There is something wrong with the new QT 7.4.5 when working with AVI, my AVI movies look terrible. These AVI files were all downloaded from my Ultra Flip Video camera with Flip’s codec 3vix. Flip is aware of this problem and acknowledged it last Friday. Flip says Apple is aware of the problem.
My MAC PowerPc G4 has performed well in the past two months when working with the Flip Video camera. So, at Flip Video’s suggestion I upgraded the operating system to OS 10.5 from OS 10.4.11. Flip Video says their camera works with OS 10.5. Once OS 10.5 was uploaded I soon discovered that iMovie 08 would not operate on my PowerPc G4, 1.86 MHz. The speed requirement for iMovie 08 is 1.9 GHz.
At this point of “spinning my wheels for nearly a month” with this Flip Video camera, I decided to purchase a new iMac. On May 2, 2008, I walked out of the Apple Store in Walnut Creek with the new iMac 20-inch: 2.66GHz. Now the Flip video camera should work and all my video problems solved. However, this was not to be.
When I attempted to Import Flip Video AVI and MOV files into iMovie 08 the files were “grayed out” and would not Import. None of my previous Flip Video files would Import. I tried making new Flip Video movies, they also would not Import into iMovie 08.
At another Apple Store, the tech suggested I download the previous version of iMovie HD. I did this and with hours of working through the different Export options I was able to create movies to post again on youTube. However, the picture quality of the newer iMovies has never approached the quality of my last post before QT 7.4.5 downloaded. Remember my problems started with QT 7.4.5. Well, my new iMac came with QT 7.4.1, I have not Uploaded QT 7.4.5 and won’t until Flip Video fixes this problem.
Examples of my Flip Video movies can be viewed on youTube at: sffoggydays. The last video with excellent picture quality was posted 6 Apr 2008 titled “A Day at the San Francisco Zoo, Chapter Nine, L-Taravel Ride to BART.” This video was made in iMovie and Exported before QT 7.4.5 downloaded. All the youTube Flip Videos made after 6 Apr 2008 have poor picture quality.
It is time for Flip Video camera to stop “passing the buck” to Apple. When manufactures of operating system such as Apple and Microsoft create newer and upgraded systems, it is the responsibility of the manufactures of applications to redo their programs for operating on the new systems. Here is where Flip Video is not accepting this responsibility to Mac users of their camera. The Flip Video application/codex/drivers need to be updated in order to fix the following problems:
- No sound on AVI files in QT 7.4.5
- No Import of AVI and MOV files in iMovie 08
- Poor picture quality for youTube in Export of iMovie HD
I like my Flip Video camera, want to continue making movies for youTube, and recommending the camera to others. The Flip Video camera people need to fix these problems for Mac users. 26 May 2008.
Here is the Flip Video email response on 27 May 2008:
Thank you for your response.
We are not authorized to support third party applications, which is why we do not provide specific instructions regarding iMovie or any other third party application. We only support the Flip and the Flip program, while offering suggestions regarding other programs.
The Apple website also offers Perian as a workaround regarding audio on the Tiger operating system with the latest QuickTime. The latest QuickTime upgrade didn’t allow for audio playback of AVI files, which is why Perian is now offered as a work around by us and by Apple.
It seems as though you are able to playback your videos, as well as use them in outside applications. If this is not the case, and you are having issues using your Flip video or your Flip video program, feel free to contact us further.
Pure Digital Technologies, Inc.
By sffoggydays - Jun 3, 2008
A handy item to keep around
Strengths: Light weight, simple to use
Weakness: Battery life, zoom capability, filming in dim lighting
We purchased this camera in November 2007 and have used it several times. (NOTE: While we've taken a lot of video, we haven't tried to e-mail or upload the video files to YouTube.) The image quality is about what you'd expect for a $150 camcorder. Not great, but not horrible. However, we noticed the zoom feature is very limited, as it appears there is no digital zoom capability. Also, filming in...
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We purchased this camera in November 2007 and have used it several times. (NOTE: While we've taken a lot of video, we haven't tried to e-mail or upload the video files to YouTube.)
The image quality is about what you'd expect for a $150 camcorder. Not great, but not horrible. However, we noticed the zoom feature is very limited, as it appears there is no digital zoom capability. Also, filming in dim light is very bad. So we now use this camera for mainly outdoors and nearby shooting.
Also, the camcorder uses 2 AA batteries and we went through the original set rather quickly. So, we'd recommend using rechargable batteries to save money.
Overall, this is a handy camcorder to keep nearby when you want to shoot video (and it's definitely better than any cell phone or PDA that we've seen to date).
By jldcpa - Jan 3, 2008
You'll Flip For this Camcorder
Strengths: Really easy to use and operate. Perfect for quick movies and the entire family to enjoy!
Weakness: No zoom, but the pluses out do the negative.
We enjoyed everything about this camera. It's great not to have to charge the battery when you're traveling. If you run low, you can stop in any store that sells batteries and you're good to go! Easy downloading and filming make this a must have item.
By cfranklinremax - Dec 29, 2007