Ever since my Canon TX 1 was knocked from my hand by an overly aggressive security on the Miami-Dade Metrorail, it’s never been the same.
It tends to stop recording within a minute of me shooting video, forcing me to press the record button again, where it takes several long seconds to begin recording again.
And once it gets into that pattern, it just continues turning off within a minute of recording. I can turn the camera off and take out the battery and memory card and put them all back inside and it still the same.
Other times, it record just fine as if nothing had happened. The camera, unfortunately, cannot be fully depended on.
And that is unfortunate because I really like the TX1, which cost me $500 about three years ago when it hit the market as a compact high-definition camera.
This is my American Express camera, the one I never leave home without.
I also have a Canon HG 10, which is not pocket compact, so I only use that for professional assignments.
And now that the TX 1 is so unpredictable, I’ve been depending on my iPhone as a back-up as I did during our recent federal courthouse escapade and as I did in the moments after the Metrorail security guard knocked the TX1 about of my hand and pocketed it.
But the iPhone does not have image stabilization and it is just not a comfortable camera to hold for videography.
So this weekend, I bought a Flip Ultra HD camera for $100 at Costco. The camera is listed at $150 on the company’s website and Costco has it listed for $125, but now they are offering a $25 instant rebate, so I jumped on it to see how it would compare to my TX1.
While it doesn’t have the sturdiness, the control options and the optical zoom of the TX1 – which is now selling for more than $700 since it was discontinued in 2008 – the Flip UltraHD seems to have the same, if not better, image quality in its 720 p videos.
And it picks up decent audio, but not as good as the TX1 which has an extremely sensitive microphone.
I was on assignment yesterday for Miami Beach 411 and shot the following video of what we called the Croqueta Crawl solely on the Flip Camera, which limits me to 4 GB to its hard drive. I recorded an hour of footage and used about five minutes of that footage for my video.
I’m happy with the video, but now there have been at least two people who recommended other cameras to me that might be better, including the Sanyo Xacti VPC-E2, which is water resistant, and Kodak Zi8, which has a microphone jack.
Which compact video camera do you use and what’s your feedback on it?
Check out the video below. Read the story and see my photos here.