General Question

pallen123's avatar

Is anyone familiar with the Flip UltraHD camcorder?

Asked by pallen123 (1511 points ) January 3rd, 2010

Specifically I’m wondering whether it’s a good camcorder for recording video of my wife—destined for YouTube. We probably need to hook up an external microphone and I don’t know if the Flip has a connection for this. Also, we may want to do some chromakey on the background. Any reason why this camera isn’t suitable for chromakey?

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6 Answers

grumpyfish's avatar

The flip UltraHD is a good pocket camcorder. I have one (here’s a video I shot with it—http://vimeo.com/7707267 ).

There is no external microphone, but the mic is surprisingly good.

No reason you couldn’t do chromakey with it, although unless your lighting is really bright (daylight-level) there is some noise on the pixel level, so your chroma-grab will need to be fairly tolerant of that.

deni's avatar

YES! its very cool and handy and easy to use. get one.

pallen123's avatar

Thanks @grumpyfish. An issue is that I rigged up a teleprompter for her, so the camcorder will be sitting behind a piece of glass—that’s why I’m thinking I’ll need an external mic. The video you shared, seems a little choppy at points. Do you think that’s the player or something besides the captured video?

grumpyfish's avatar

@pallen123 Probably the player—I don’t get skips in the same places watching it twice =)

I can send you some straight-off-the-camera video files if you want (PM me your e-mail and I’ll send you a link), and I have some tripod-shot stuff that’ll probably be more meaningful to what you’re looking for.

The teleprompter is going to be a problem, and yeah, you’ll want an external mic. However, you could also record the audio separately and use the (then crappy) audio on the camera to sync it up. That is, you’ll have low-quality audio because of the glass, but it’ll give you a timing signal. Doing 6-channel recordings with three 2-channel DAT recorders we just had someone clap once at the start of the recordings to get us a sync signal—this is what the “clappers” on movies are for—they get you a visual & audio sync.

sndfreQ's avatar

I have another suggestion (or two) for you to consider:

If you use a clapboard or other visual to sync audio, you could record it separately to a computer if you have one in the same room. With a USB-Mic, you could eek out the higher resolution audio and do a lapel (sp?) mic, and then route that into a USB Audio Interface, then record into an app like Audacity, or directly into your NLE (whatever you’re editing on). Then, you can sync the audio in post-production, after bringing in the video into your editor.

Another option is getting a dedicated audio recorder to simultaneously record the audio feed. Zoom makes some pretty nice ones that are low-cost and high quality. If you go this route (“dual system” as it’s referred to in the industry), then make sure the formats are the same and the sample rate and bit depth match, or else you’ll have sync problems when you go to edit.

That may be more than you’re willing to do though, but I think that’s the only option if you want to go with the Flip.

Another really interesting option is to stay Standard Definition but go with a higher-end audio solution. I recently researched and recommended the Zoom Q3

to someone who was planning on doing podcasting. The audio is superior to the audio on the Flip, and for static videography (stationary where you’re not doing a whole bunch of moving video) then you don’t necessarily need HD, especially if the distribution is going to be on the internet (not broadcasting on TV or DVD distribution). If you YouTube Zoom Q3 you’ll see some demo videos that people have recorded, where the video is not bad, but the difference in audio is night and day.

john11236's avatar

Hey sndfreQ, I have a Flip Ultra HD from 2009. Nice vids but the sound lacks as everyone notices. I’ve been looking at the Zoom Q3 and the audio is great. Do you think the formats would match sample rate and bit depth. Mostly for recording friend’s bands just with greater audio. Have you ever used the Flip and a digi audio recorder at a club or rehearsal and had to hold both in a crowd? LOL Might have to try them in a combo Thanks

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