Flip Mino vs. Flip Ultra

Mari Silbey —  June 4, 2008

The successor to Pure Digital’s Flip Ultra has now officially been announced. The new Flip Mino is on sale at the company’s site, on Amazon and at Walmart.com.

As a happy owner of the Flip Ultra, I immediately started reviewing the specs to see if I should give in and upgrade. The biggest reason I could find would be to get the improved microphone. Audio quality is the Ultra’s weakest point. But on another issue, I’m very glad to have the earlier Flip version. The Flip Mino has a non-removable lithium ion battery. One of the best things about the Ultra is never having to wait for it to charge. As long as I have a spare set of AA batteries, I have power. Not so with the Mino. That’s a feature I don’t think I’m willing to give up.

As for other changes, the Mino now supports the Mac without additional software, and its USB stick pops out of the top rather than the side which causes my Ultra to block valuable laptop real estate. It looks like the USB stick still comes out of the middle of the Mino, which is a little annoying because it means the bottom of the camera can’t rest flat on a table surface. Fairly minor issue, but I’m a little surprised it wasn’t fixed.

All in all, the fact that the Mino is smaller than the Ultra, has a better mic and directly supports Macs means it will probably be the choice for most newcomers to Flip. For me, I’m happy with my Ultra. In fact, I just bought a new case for it. Pics to come.

26 responses to Flip Mino vs. Flip Ultra

  1. I just got a Flip at work on Monday. Bad timing! I actually don’t mind the rechargeable battery and welcome a smaller form factor. Though. All Things D didn’t seem to care for the touch sensitive buttons over the Ultra’s physical ones. Hopefully some of the software updates will make it into the older models…

  2. Nice comparison. Do you know how it works better with Macs? Did they change the video format/codec? (Unlikely, I know.) Or just improve the built-in software for OSX?

  3. Useful comarison. I’m planning to get flips for fathers in my life and now I know: could be worth getting the Mino for the Mac man, “regulars” for the others.

  4. Yay for direct Mac support! I’ve been interested in one of these for ages, but the Amazon reviews have been a little sketchy where Macs are concerned.

  5. I just bought a ultra on monday, through the mail, is it possible so far to return ultras for a discounted mino?

  6. I would suggest the Ultra to anyone using it near water, only the ultra supports the underwater case

  7. im not sure about the rechargable battery…it is good in both ways…. for the ultra if u dont batteries in the house..ur screwed.. but for the mino.. how do u charge it? by the usb or a charger u plug into an outlet… and on the ultra i had to use my older computer because the usb from the side prevented it from going in fully …

  8. thanks for the write up. does anyone know if there’s any difference in the lens and/or the light response? (i.e. the speed with which the aperture changes…) i ask because i’ve seen the original flip at work and quite liked the smoothness but also lo-fi way it deals with exposure change and want to make sure they haven’t changed this in the newer model….

  9. Do you need lithium batteries with the ulra

  10. hmmm… in a review on amazon dated AFTER this review, the writer lists still present MAC issues… I’ve pasted it below. So WHAT is the real truth? Thank.

    from amazon review:
    haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere and I thought it was important for Mac users to be filled in on the following….

    1. The software that comes with the Flip Video Mino does NOT allow you to stitch multiple clips together to make one movie. Only Windows users can do this.

    2. I was able to get the Flip Video Mino AVI videos to play in iMovie ’08, but not export. When you export the video you get a blank screen with only audio. I had better luck exporting the video from Final Cut Pro.

    3. In case you are interested, the codec that Flip Video Mino uses is the 3ivx codec.

    There are workarounds for the above issues, but it would have been nice if there was a way to combine clips into one movie right out of the box. Hopefully this will be possible in the future with a software update.

    Other then those concerns, its a great product so far and the video quality from the raw AVI file is really impressive.
    I found a site called motionbox that will let you upload the raw AVI files that the Flip Video Mino creates and once uploaded you can do some basic editing and combine multiple movies into one. Doing it this way gives you a much higher quality video then what you get on sites like YouTube.

  11. A great website for sharing flip video is stashspace.com. They specialize in family video and the software is really easy to use. Sharing quality is twice as good as youtube and they offer online video storage. Check them out at http://www.stashspace.com

  12. Do any of these little flash camcorders have an external mic jack?

  13. Why don’t you MAC folks just gets PC’s like the rest of the world? Then you don’t never have these problems. Macs are like the new Betamax….hopefuly will just fade away.

  14. Macs are much more efficient at handling everyday activities. Pcs are more more related and gaming related. They will not fade away because of there amazing features.

  15. Whats better Mino Or Ultra i just wanna use it 2 record riding nd snowboarding stuff like that can any1 give me any adice thanks Kerri :)

  16. Tpunk your knowledge level is what is preventing you from editing in imovie. Go download digital hub and google “video conversion and formats”

  17. Alan,

    macs have superior video editing programs and capabilities, with far less problems, from someone who supports avid systems (although mainly avid protools systems now)

    they break less too.

    Tpunks lack of general knowledge of formats and editing in general is whats stopping him. While you will be stopped by not knowing what the best tools are for the job.

  18. I loved the original Flip. I used it to add portions of video to my DVD ttiles. The quality was really good. I was surprised in fact at it as compared to my regular HD camera. I now have the Flip Mino HD and I’m very much in love with it! I would never go back to the older Flip. The Mino records in HD and it’s perfect for uploading to YouTube when you want to upload something fast. However, if you want to upload true HD to YouTube you do NOT want to use the on board Flip software! Instead you need to render the video out in a compatible format (I use Quicktime) and then upload to YouTube for best HD quality.

  19. Call me MacLover

    anyway

    I have a Mac (the new 13″ Pro)
    Will the Mino Work on mac?
    If not, What is a Good (CHEAP) Vid. Camera (under 150)

    If you find something,
    Twitter me: @staropoligirl
    Polyvore: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/profile?id=553786
    Or Just Reply

    Thanks-
    MacLOVER

    Btw: No im not going to go get a PC, gosh its so annoying and when ever i go on a pc, i get lost (i have had this mac for 4 months!)

    I LOVEEEE IT

  20. Mino or Ultra!?!? Im getting one for x-mas and i need to tell my dad which one is the best but both sound good!!!

  21. Katie, we answered your question here:

    http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2009-11/question-of-the-day-which-flip-video-cam/

    Due to various mic/audio issues and lesser features, we say go with the Kodak Zi8.

  22. I have a mac book pro and a Flip ultra. I have no difficulty editing or exporting in imovie. I am not at all technical, and if I can do it anyone can. My laptop automatically launches iphoto when I connect the flip so I suspect I am not using Flips own software. I think the ultra works great with the mac!

  23. PC can do everything a mac can do and with less fuss, and 1/2 the cost, i compare a mac to the dated amiga 1200 and its video editing.

    As for the flip mino, sound quality Very Good, Video quality Very Good, will be problems when internal battery starts dying, the format is MPEG4 and easily converted to any other format with the right programme, you will have to download the divx codecs for windows media player http://www.xvid.org/Downloads.15.0.html

    I have been vidding a band with my new Mino and was blown away with the sound quality 7mtrs from the drums and speakers, no distortion.

  24. BUYERS BE AWARE. IF PURCHASING THE FLIP ULTRA HD THE BATTERY CHARGING FUNCTION DOES NOT WORK. THERE IS A MAJOR DESIGN FLAW, THE CAMCORDER WILL DISPLAY THE MESSAGE “CHECK BATTERY, CHARGING PAUSED.” ONCE IT BEGINS WORKING IT WILL SOON DISPLAY “IT’S TOO HOT! CHARGING PAUSED” PLEASE GOOGLE AND RESEARCH THESE ERRORS BECAUSE CISCO AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES ARE IGNORING THE FLAW AND CHARGING PEOPLE TO DO AN RMA AND STILL SENDING REPLACEMENT UNITS THAT DO NOT CHARGE.

  25. @Rick… how dare you say pc can do everything that mac can do LOL, I CAN TELL you have no knowledge of computers whatsoever… MAC is a million times better than windows pc! I work at geek squad best buy, and trust me we all recomend mac computers to everyone.

  26. working for geek squad doesn’t qualify you to comment on computer quality lol. Being an experienced tech does of course, but many of them aren’t. GS is known to push products hard, and since Macs cost considerably more, it only makes sense they’d push them.

    However, I do not argue the fact that the Mac platform has survived and many do prefer them. I however much prefer a pc for its compatibility, overwhelming gaming superiority, and cost to performance ratio. I have literally never had a component die in a pc, and I’ve built at least a dozen from the ground up. If you have probems with components dying, get better stuff. You’ll still be spending way less than Mac prices ;)