Everything has a toucscreen these days, and the new Flip camera is no exception. The Flip SlideHD is now officially out after numerous leaks ruined the surprise. The camera's 3-inch touchscreen lets users scroll through videos without the need for traditional buttons. The screen takes up most of the back of the device when closed, and the button used to start recording is actually on the touchscreen. It slides up and allows the camera to be set down for video viewing.
The FlipHD can reportedly record up to four hours of HD video, or 12 hours of standard def. The HD video is 720p (1280x720), but it does do 30fps. But don't expect to film much of that video in one sitting, the FlipHD can record for about 2 hours on a charge. The battery is a non-removable li-ion that charges over USB.
At $279 it's a tough sell in a world where many smartphones have very able video cameras. With the Flip UltraHD priced $50 lower, can the touchscreen on the SlideHD attract users?
With the original MinoHD, we were impressed with Flip Video’s ability to pack 720p video into a truly pocket-size cam. But we nonetheless wished the product offered a bit more, such as more recording time, HDMI support, and a bigger screen.
Those are three of the top improvements Flip Video made to its new MinoHD 8GB. Recording time has doubled from the original’s one hour, a mini HDMI connector lets you play your videos on a large high-def display, and the device’s screen now pushes two inches, up from the postage stamp–size 1.5 inches in the original MinoHD. The transflective screen isn’t just bigger, either; it also increases pixel count from the original’s 528x132 resolution to 960x240. Side by side, it’s obvious that the new screen is a major improvement.
If you don’t mind dealing with miniDV tape, the Canon HV20 is a fine choice. However, we prefer having nonlinear random access to shots, rather than rolling through an anachronistic tape to find a shot. We also don’t care for the cheap, plastic feel of this unit or its “advanced accessory shoe” cover that pops off with little provocation. But the HV20’s HDV format is a lot easier to edit, with that same familiar, comfortable workflow you get with DV tape: Capture clips on the PC via a FireWire port and then you’re off and editing without a lot of annoying steps in between.
It seems that most people would want to use a high-def video recorder to document their growing families or Star Wars action-figure collections, but can a case be made for purchasing a low-res camera? At 640x480, the Flip Video’s resolution isn’t VideoCD low, but you won’t stun your family when you proudly display your movies on a 60-inch, 1080p set.
We described Samsung’s SC-X105L Sports Cam as being “perfect for capturing your best Jackass moments” when we reviewed it in January 2006. Oregon Scientific’s ATC-1000 could be that little camera’s even littler brother.