PureDigital Flip Ultra Video Camera - Flip Ultra Specs and FlipShare

Article Index
PureDigital Flip Ultra Video Camera
Flip Ultra Specs and FlipShare
Setup and Usingthe Flip Ultra

Features and Specs of the Flip Ultra:

The Flip Ultra series feature 4GB of memory and come in several colors including black, white, yellow and pink.  It has a 2.0" screen with a nice high resolution of 960x240 - a vast improvement over the Flip Mino's screen of 1.5" and 528x132.  The Flip Ultra produces 640x480 video using a 1/4" VGA CMOS sensor and has low light detection.  It features the Flip Video Engine 3.5 for compression and shoots at 30 frames per second.  Typical video is 4.0Mbps and it compresses everything using the H.264 video compression with AAC audio compression in the MP4 file format.  The lens is a nice bright f2.4 and has a fixed focus with a smooth digital-only zoom.

Flip Screen
Flip Screen

I'm amazed at the battery life of the Flip Ultra.  It uses a standard pair of "AA" batteries and can record for up to 4.5hours on a charge.  There is an optional rechargeable battery pack available, but I think that standard alkaline or rechargeable batteries will work fine for most people.

Both my wife and I really like the simple buttons on the back of this camera as well as how fast it is to power on and record.  The stated time is less than four seconds, but it honestly seems faster than that.  Because you don't have to spin up a hard drive or focus and zoom, you're ready to go much faster than other traditional video cameras.  All Flip cameras have a built-in USB arm as well as a built-in speaker for reviewing your video clips.  The Ultra series has a stereo microphone to boot.

 

FlipShare Software:

I believe that one of the big features of the Flip Ultra camera is the FlipShare software.  We live in a connected world but often it's not simple to share video clips and images with your friends.  Traditional cameras require that you offload the video onto your computer, use some third-party software in order to compress the video then you can upload it to YouTube, MySpace or just email it.  The FlipShare software takes care of pretty much everything and even gives you basic video editing all within four clicks or less.

 FlipShare Main
FlipShare Main

 

FlipShare is sort of like the Picasa for your Flip videos.  It organizes and indexes all of your videos and you can display them with details or just as thumbnails.  I prefer the view shown above as it give me more info on the length, size and date taken more easily.  The Flip Ultra doesn't take pictures all by itself, but the software allows you to snag a video still from your footage.  This is easier than performing a print-screen from your favorite media player for sure, but the picture quality isn't impressive at a mere 640x480 on the 1/4" sensor.

 Image Capture
Image Capture
 Online Uploads
Online Uploads

 

As mentioned previously, the ability to take a clip of video, or compile a video from several clips and upload them to YouTube or other sites is very simple with the FlipShare software.  Once you set up your account it is a two-click process and your video will be uploaded.


Creating a Movie or a DVD is also very simple - a four step process.  First, you'll want to grab the video clips you want in the final product.  Next, you can add titles, credits and even pimp out Flip by including them.  I'm glad to see that this box is unchecked by default.  Step 3 involves background music and you have a few choices - including your own MP3s.  Finally, you put a name on it and press "Create Movie".  If you are burning a DVD you'll have to use other software in order to encode it to play in a regular DVD player.  The FlipShare software just outputs a video file.  VSO-Software's ConvertXDVD does an excellent job of finishing the project by a simple drag-and-drop.  It's nice to see that one of the save options of your created masterpiece is in fact the Flip Ultra camera.  One major drawback is that it wasn't able to create a DVD all by itself.

 Create Movie - Step 1
Create Movie - Step 1
Create Movie - Step 2
Create Movie - Step 2
   
 Create Movie - Step 3
Create Movie - Step 3
 Create Movie - Step 4
Create Movie - Step 4

 

On the last page we'll cover a bit of setup as well as usage and final video quality of the Flip Ultra.