As we collectively gear up for the holidays, product purchase inquiries have started rolling in. Katie asks:
Flip rocked the CE world with the success of their reasonably priced and dead simple digital video cams (and software). So impressed was Cisco, that they acquired Pure Digital, the company behind Flip, for a lofty $590 million earlier this year.
I’m hoping Katie is inquiring about the HD Mino and Ultra Flip cams. As there’s no way I can recommend the SD models — functionality duplicated in nearly every digital still camera (and the iPhone 3GS). In fact, for some time I’ve been eyeing the waterproof Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 still camera which also shoots 720p HD video and I’m currently evaluating the 720p-capable Sony DSC-WX1 digital cam.
But for those, like Katie, intent on a relatively simple, inexpensive, dedicated video camera I’d say go with the Kodak Zi8 ($180 MSRP). Unlike the Flip competition, the 1080p Zi8 provides a macro recording mode, incorporates some basic image stabilization, and effectively offers unlimited storage by utilizing SD cards (BYOM). And then there’s the larger 2.5″ LCD. I also happen to think Kodak’s current cam lineup is sharper looking than Flip’s, and the Zi8 is offered in three colors (black, raspberry, blue) for those who care.