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Well, it’s official. I’ve FLIP-ped.  No, I haven’t become a raving lunatic – just a big fan of the FLIP video camera.

A few months ago, I was searching the internet for a durable, low-cost camcorder to document my travels as well as do some video recording for my speeches and other activities related to my work with the Edge Foundation.  I came across this product that people just could not stop raving about.  And when the roar of the crowd gets that loud, I get curious.

The Flip Video camera has lived up to the hype. Small (easily fit in the palm of my hand), sturdy, and – most importantly – simple to use.  Within 5 minutes of opening the box I was already recording video. Yes – it’s really that easy.  And affordable – always important these days.  The various models run from $129 up to $239 for an HD version.

FLIP video camera

Though I like all of the cool features it offers, I am really able to appreciate the FLIP for exactly all the things that it doesn’t have.  Bulky?  No. Buttons you can only press if you take your gloves off?  No. Tiny parts that run the risk of breaking during a less-than-graceful spill? No, none of those either.  And you can capture up to 60 minutes of video.

To get the files from the camera to my PC all I have to do is plug the USB port that flips (!) out from the side of the camera into my PC, and then transfer the files.  And here’s the best part – there is no additional software necessary, it’s all in the camera. The video image is crisp, and even the night footage I shoot turns out great.

Review of the FLIP video camera – Computerworld

With a little basic editing, I am ready to email my videos to friends, family members or colleagues.  The FLIP also comes with a cable that connects to TV, and while the picture quality is a bit grainy, it was perfect for sharing with friends.

I’ve used it in my office to document speeches and interviews, at home for special family events.  (Of course, there are probably a few videos that my family and friends perhaps wish I didn’t take.  But they’re safe for now – at least until I learn the in’s and out’s of uploading videos to You Tube)  The FLIP is portable and rugged enough to take on hikes or include for overseas travel.

Sometimes, the wonderful gadgets we purchase as toys can add a new and positive dimension to our lives that we hadn’t forseen.  With a video camera this easy and fun, I will certainly take the time to capture those important moments with family and friends.  I also want to use it to record the stories of those who have worked to overcome the challenges of ADD and ADHD.  And who knows, I might even join the ranks of the citizen journalists!