Ever since my Canon TX 1 began acting up after it was knocked from my hands by a Miami-Dade Metrorail security guard, I’ve been in the market for a new pocket-size high definition video-camera.
Especially now that they’ve become so affordable.
I paid $500 for the TX 1 in 2007 when it was first introduced. Today, you can buy a pocket-size high-definition video camera for $100.
This, my friends, is revolutionary.
Two weeks ago, I bought a Flip UltraHD (4 GB) at Costco for $100 after a $20 instant rebate. The camera normally retails for $150 at regular stores.
But I ended up cracking the lens by mistake after my first project. Not really sure how it cracked, perhaps because I stuck it in my pocket against my keys.
But I returned it to Costco to get a new one and instead I purchased a Sony Bloggie MHS-TS20 (8 GB) for $169. I figured I would get twice the capacity for an additional $69. This also came with a $20 rebate so Costco normally sells it for $189 and it probably goes for much more in other stores.
The rebates expire on Dec. 31.
But once I realized the limitations of the Bloggie, I returned to Costco and purchased another Flip.
Both cameras are restricted to their hard drive space. There is no slot for a memory card, which can be either a convenience or an inconvenience, depending on how you look at it. For me, it’s probably a convenience because I tend to lose memory cards.
The Flip is a very simple camera to use. It doesn’t try to be fancy, but it shoots very high-quality video and records good audio. It’s a little bulkier than the Bloggie, but nothing too bulky that it can’t fit in your pants pocket comfortably.
The Flip records at 720p, which is perfect for the internet. The Bloggie records at 1080p, which sounds great on paper, but tends to bog down editing and take up more space on your computer.
The main problem I had with the Bloggie was that it requires one to hold it horizontally to record horizontal (or landscape) video, which has been the norm ever since the introduction of film.
If you hold it vertically, which is the way a video camera should be held, it records vertically, meaning you will get two black lines on both sides of the video.
But Sony placed the tripod mount at the bottom of the vertical end, indicating that they expect us to shoot it this way.
The Flip, on the other hand, shoots in landscape mode while holding it vertically, which is the only logical way for one of these cameras to be designed.
Furthermore, the Bloggie had a hard time focusing in a low-light setting as you will see in the above video. And when it did focus, the image was darker than the Flip, which didn’t really have an issue focusing in low-light situations.
So I’m going to return the Bloggie and keep the Flip. And I’ll see if I can make it out of Costco without buying another brand to test out.