Which HD camcorder?

I want to buy myself a consumer level HD camcorder, but I find myself torn between two different models that are almost identically priced.

  1. Flip Ultra HD

Beautiful test videos on Youtube and Vimeo HD with crisp, clear sound.
Small, extreme ease of use.

8 Gig internal Flash memory cannot be expanded upon. (2 hours record time.)
No macro mode

  1. Aiptek A-HD Pro 1080p


Flash memory is expandable.
Macro mode
Included tabletop tripod

Not many HD test videos between YT and Vimeo, and sound/video quality seems to be lower than the Flip on the ones I did find.
Bigger than Flip, not quite as point-and-shoot.

Does anyone here have any experience with these two cameras that could offer me some advice? If I were to go by features alone the Aiptek should be the clear winner, but the test videos for the Flip seem to be of a noticeably better quality in both the video and sound department. Because of this I’m actually leaning much more toward the Flip Ultra HD, but I’m still a bit torn. Any advice is appreciated. :slight_smile:

I just bought a Kodak Zi6. I was also looking at the Flip and several others. The reason I bought it was because it was much cheaper than anything else, it had the most crisp images for the price-range, and it can shoot 720p @60fps. I think the flip is limited to 30 fps max. This might seem like an insignificant thing, but it’s not when you’re talking about these cameras. These little pocket HD camcorders all have one thing in common: Rolling Shutter. It’s the ‘jello’ effect - a result of the way the CMOS works.
Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJozM55HrsM
When you shoot at 60FPS, the effect is minimized because it’s reading the sensor twice as fast. It’s still there, but it’s very much lessened and usually not noticeable unless you’re having a seizure or something.

You can consider that a bonus for the Aiptek, because it can shoot at 60FPS in 720P mode. I don’t believe the Flip can do that. That right there is all I’d need to sell me on the Aiptek.

Of all the cameras I looked into, tho, the Sanyo CG10 would be the one I would buy if I wanted to spend that much cash. It has gotten very nice reviews and the footage I’ve seen out of it is quite good. The rolling shutter is minimal, the colors are great and it has some pretty advanced features for it’s price range, like an adjustable exposure and non-fixed, auto and manual focal length. And I believe it can shoot 10MP stills.

So check that one out as well.

Here’s a video I made with the Kodak, just cause I’m so happy about getting it :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, I just went and picked up a Flip Ultra HD from Best Buy.

I LOVE the simplicity and ease of use; a monkey could use this camera. The lighting in my house is a low-light situation and my test videos came out a bit grainy, but it’s still pretty good considering the lighting conditions. I can’t wait to try it in full light!

I got the Aiptek and couldn’t be happier, it’s easy to use and I can record about 5 hours on a 16 GB SDHC card. The downside is the battery only lasts about 2.5 hours when recording nonstop. But it’s rare that anybody would record for that long anyway.

i don’t know about Kodak in the HD camcoders department, but they certainly sucked at photography… when i took my photography course, most students were complaining that Kodak films were too grainy… later, i bought one of their supposed-to-be decent digital cameras and the quality of the images sucked so bad… the only good thing they ever did was sepia toners and toners in general…

just sharing my experience

My Grandma’s 85th birthday was today, so I got a chance to take my new camera for a test run!

I’ve downloaded all of the video I took to my computer, and I have to say that I’m quite pleased with the quality. The picture is obviously not as sharp and clear as a more expensive camera with a better sensor would be, but one thing that I did find outstanding was the audio. There is practically zero microphone hiss, all sound is very crisp and clear, and the mic can pick up delicate sounds from a good distance away.

The picture outdoors in bright sunlight is exceptional with lots of detail and vibrant colors to be seen. I have no real complaints for a camera at this price level.

Indoors with adequate lighting is very slightly grainy, but still excellent quality.

Indoors in a dimmer room is when the grain starts to be very noticeable.

Night shots using only ambient light are a no-no. Horribly grainy and noisy picture.

Overall I feel like it was $200 dollars well spent. I’ll upload some raw MP4 footage that’s been cut down to a manageable size in a bit. :slight_smile:


Sample Videos: (1280 x 720 @ 30fps, mp4 format. All clips approx. between 10-30 MB. Filmed at my Uncle Dave’s :))

Full Daylight:
Car Trip
Pool Dentist
Sophie Yard

Well Lit Room:
Dom, Clara, & Liz
Evil Steve

Dim Room:
Happy Birthday

Night Pool
Volume Caustic

I just got a Nikon D5000.
Awesome stuff. 720p at 24fps, and a great DLSR into the bargain.

I would suggest not going for a video only camera since digital SLRs are doing video now anyway and (generally) come with better lenses.

I’m pretty happy with my Flip camera so far, and I think it will serve me well for a while.

Eventually I do want to get my dream cam though: A Sony SR-12. Practical dream that is. Fantastical dream would obviously be a Red One. :wink:

I’d go canon if I were you… like a canon VIXIA HG20