Flip Video Camera Key Features - dummies

Flip Video Camera Key Features

By Joe Hutsko, Drew Davidson

Each Flip Video camera is built with particular features and specifications, such as a flip-out USB connector and easy-to-use control buttons. Some Flip models have many of these features in common, and other models might not have them all.

Flip Video cameras include features like the following:

  • A video camera and microphone for recording video and audio saved in video files on your Flip camera’s built-in memory.

  • An LCD display that acts as a

    • Live viewfinder to show you what you’re capturing when you press the Record button so you can properly frame what you’re shooting.

    • Playback display so you can watch videos recorded and saved on your Flip, or existing video files copied from your computer to your Flip.

  • Control buttons for turning your Flip on and off, recording video, controlling video you watch on the Flip’s display, zooming in and out, increasing and decreasing playback volume, and deleting video files you don’t want to save.

    In the case of the SlideHD, these “buttons” aren’t actual physical buttons you push, but rather simulated buttons that appear on the 3-inch touchscreen when the screen is closed. The buttons disappear when you slide up the screen to view videos you recorded and saved with your SlideHD.

  • A USB connector that “flips” out at the press of a latch, so you can plug the connector into your Mac or Windows computer to copy files between your Flip and your PC. The USB connector also charges the Flip when plugged into a computer or an optional AC charger adapter.

  • Preloaded FlipShare installation software for Windows and Mac computers, so you can install the FlipShare program on almost any computer you plug your Flip into.

While these specs describe Flip cameras as a brand, individual models have more specialized options, such as

  • Memory capacity and estimated number of minutes of video you can record and save (4GB, 8GB, or 16GB of memory to capture 60, 120, and 240 minutes of video, respectively)

  • Camera resolution, which is the level/quality of the video footage: standard-definition (SD) 640 x 480 pixels (px) on the Ultra, and HD 1280 x 720 px on all other models

  • Display screen diagonal size and resolution, for viewing live video that you’re recording or watching video that you’ve recorded and saved

    Display screens range in size from 1.5 inches and 176 x 132 px to 3 inches and 400 x 240 px.

  • Microphone type (stereo versus mono)

  • Built-in speaker (stereo speakers on SlideHD only)

  • Headphone jack (SlideHD only)

  • Battery capacity and type (2-hour internal battery for SlideHD, Mino, and MinoHD models versus a 2.5–4.5-hour, replaceable, rechargeable battery pack for Ultra and UltraHD models)

  • Tripod mount

  • Other video-related specs include

    • Video sensor type

    • Light sensor type

    • Video performance processor

    • Frame rate (30 frames per second for all models)

    • Bit rate

    • Video format (H.264 video compression, AAC audio compression, and MP4 file format for all models)

    • White balance/exposure (automatic white balance and black level calibration; automatic exposure control with dynamic exposure compensation for all models)

    • Lens type

    • Aperture

    • Zoom (smooth multistep 2x digital for all models)

Understanding Flip model technical specifications and how they benefit — or if they’re absent, don’t contribute to — your Flip experience can help you determine what your current Flip can do, or what a new Flip you’re thinking about buying can give you.