The Bottom Line
Parents looking for an affordable, everyday video camera can't do better than the Flip Ultra digital camcorder, the video equivalent of a point-and-click camera. This simple, lightweight camera captures up to an hour of clips and makes it a snap to record and work with video.
I found the Flip Ultra easier to operate than its sleeker, smaller sibling, the Mino, which is almost too tiny. One exception is the difficulty I had turning off the record button.
Video experts will mourn the lack of a memory card; you're limited to the on-board memory. But for shutterbug moms, the Flip Ultra does the trick at the right price.
- Lightweight and small enough to fit in your pocket or purse
- Easy to use controls and editing software that's pre-loaded on the camcorder
- USB arm plugs into your computer for file transfer and automatic download of software
- High quality video for such a small camera
- Less expensive than the Flip Mino or traditional digital video cameras
- Limited to the amount of memory on the unit; no memory card option
- No advanced video recording features
- Poor recording quality when using zoom
- Difficult to stop recording without shifting your grip
- Pocket digital camcorder in white and black; the 2 GB model also comes in orange and pink
- You choose either 2 GB (1 hour) or 1 GB (30 minutes) of on-board memory
- Runs on AA batteries
- Connects to computer through a USB arm for file transfer and automatic software download
- No-glare, 1.5" display screen
- Instant playback and delete
- Built-in tripod mount
- Onboard software allows editing, uploading and emailing of videos
- You can capture still pictures from the video you recorded
Guide Review - Review of the Flip Video Ultra Digital Pocket Camcorder
The Flip Ultra video camera is a terrific choice for moms who are forever missing precious moments because the camcorder is too bulky to take along. You can slip the Flip Ultra camcorder into your pocket or purse for everyday use.
The biggest draw of the Flip Ultra is ease of use. You can take it out of the box and immediately record. You can also hand it to a friend to record you and your kids, just as with a point-and-shoot still camera.
The software is also simple, and automatically downloads when the camera is connected to a computer via the USB arm. No losing installation disks or proprietary cables! You can upload to YouTube or other sites, create movies and email videos to friends and family.
Unlike the Flip Mino, the Ultra runs on AA batteries. That can be a plus -- no searching for a laptop to charge your camcorder or proprietary batteries.
I was pleasantly surprised with the clear, crisp recordings by the Flip Ultra. They were just as good as the higher-priced Flip Mino, and superior to the RCA Pocket Camcorder.
One exception is the zoom feature, which yielded grainy, jittery video. I'd recommend simply walking closer to your subject.
Lowest Price in Class
The Flip Ultra does so much for a decent price; there's not much reason to get a Flip Mino instead. It can be a bit bulky to carry in a pants pocket, but if you're on a budget this is the best pocket camcorder for you.