What is a Flip Camera?

A Flip camera is a small video camera that records HD video onto an internal hard drive. As of this year, all of the Flip video camera models record their video clips as MP4 files with a resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels using the H.264 codec. The cameras are shaped like a rectangle and are very small, which makes it easy to transport this camera in a backpack, pocket book and even your pocket. Thanks to it's size, you can always carry a Flip camera with you so that you're always ready to capture life's special moments in high quality video.

A Pure Point and Shoot Video Camera

Flip cameras are point and shoot video cameras that are extremely simple to use. The menu navigation system is not very advanced and the camera automatically adjusts for exposure and focus. It is interesting to note that while the camera is capable of zooming, it does not perform an optical zoom. It instead employs a digital zoom which simply just blows up your video in the camera at a sacrifice to resolution. Flip cameras have a built in microphone that automatically captures audio when video is being shot. The audio is digitized using the AAC compression.

Transferring Video to Your Computer

All Flip video cameras do not have SD memory card slots. Instead, digital video is transferred from the camera to your computer through a built in USB connection. There is no need to use a cable. Every Flip camera that is sold contains the required video player and codec software as a program inside the camera rather than having it on an external CD ROM disc. That means that you can install the Flip software to your computer just by physically connecting the camera. 

Connecting the Camcorder to Your Television

Not all users wish to watch their videos on their computer. Some people like to connect their camcorder to a television so that they can see what they shot on a larger screen. As of September 2010, all Flip video cameras can be connected to HD televisions through a HDMI cable. The cable can be purchased directly from the Flip website.

The Models

There are several different Flip camera models that one can purchase. Each model is categorized as either a 1hr (hour) or 2hr version. This refers to the total length of the videos recorded that can be stored on the camera's internal hard drive. One hour cameras have a 4GB hard drive and 2hr camera have an 8GB hard drive.

The most basic model one can purchase is the UltraHD 1hr. It is priced at $149.99 and is powered by two AA batteries. It does not have image stabilization, but the UltraHD 2hr does. This flip camera can be purchased for $199.99 and includes a rechargeable battery pack.  

The next model up is the MinoHD. The 1hr version sells for $179.99 and the 2hr  sells for $229.99. Both feature image stabilization and rechargeable battery packs. 

The highest end model that you can buy is the Slide HD. What sets this $229.99 camera apart from the rest is that it can capture up to four hours of video on its 16GB hard drive.