The Flip Ultra doesn’t have the highest technical specification of a camcorder - its resolution is a relatively modest 640 x 480, which is a little below the DVD-quality of a standard definition camcorder. However, the Flip’s real strength is its sheer simplicity. There are no complex menus or settings to worry about – you just turn it on and press the big red Record button, and then use the built-in USB connector to transfer your clips onto your computer. It has 2GB of internal memory that can store about one hour of video, and it will last for about two hours with two AA batteries. And it’s nice to see that the bundled software for uploading videos to YouTube works with both Macs and PCs.
Oregon Scientific ActionCam ATC3K
As the name implies, the ActionCam is specifically designed for manly outdoor activities, such as cycling and snowboarding. It’s water-resistant, and includes a mounting kit that lets you fix it to a crash-helmet or the handlebars of a bike. The ActionCam has a resolution of 640 x 480, so it won’t match the image quality of a more expensive DVD-quality camcorder, but you’re not likely to quibble about that as you go hurtling downhill at 80mph on your mountain bike. It doesn’t include a memory card, although Oregon will provide an optional 4GB card for an extra £10. The bundled software is meant to be compatible with both Macs and PCs, but it’s cunningly stored on a mini-CD that won’t fit into the slot-loading CD drives.
Reg Rating 65%
More Info Oregon Scientific
Next page: Panasonic HDC-SD9
Bundled memory? No thanks
Nice set of reviews, but it's strange that you place such value on built-in or bundled memory. Surely most people own memory cards already? I don't want the price of my gadgets being pushed up by unwanted integrated memory. The kind of pathetically small cards that are typically included just end up left in a drawer anyway, replaced with whatever size of memory card is currently offering the best value for money (e.g. 16GB at the moment).
Re: Panasonic HDC-SD9 (Jolyon Ralph)
You also forgot the other bad things about this camera:
- SD card can not be read by PC, so you need to read it through the camera attached via USB
- in order to access the camera over usb, you are forced to attach it to external power. No accessing usb while on batteries. Yes, silly isn't it?
- the tripod thread seems incompatible with my tripod (which works fine with all my other cameras)
Apart from that, I have to note that Nero8 (Nero vision) handles the recordings perfectly.
Dont forget your phone
Many phones can take video as well as or even better than the lower end of this round-up, & have a colour screen thrown it. You are much more likely to remember to carry your phone than a camcorder, so if you want to be able to capture youtube moments learn how to use it...
I have a Tony Hawk helmet cam as I didnt want to strap my phone to my head when snowboarding! However, it is dreadful - 320x240 res @ something like 15fps, monstrous battery consumption & doesnt work with rechargable batteries. And the battery compartment is actually too tight for the batteries - I have to peel the graphics off them to get them to fit! I think I'll flog it on ebay to someone who hasnt read this post!