Archive for July, 2010


The Flip Camera: Small, Convenient, and Easy To Use

Last month, I was at the mall when I saw some security guards tackling a woman with a baby in one arm and a purse stuffed with clothing on her other arm.   At that moment, I wished I had my Sony Cybershot camera with me.  I never thought I’d see  a struggle in front of my eyes.

What I do know is two things; that video of the security guards and woman could have come in handy on a story on shoplifting, and I should have had a Flip camera in my purse.

Most of us will try to use the best video camera we can on a story, but in a pinch—a Flip camera is not a bad tool to have in your bag.  There are several versions of this small camera, including the Flip Ultra HD that costs about $200.

It’s easy to use, because you press a button and you’re recording.   It’s very convenient when you need to upload your video right away, because it has a flip out USB connector.  You can plug your Flip camera right into your laptop. Yes, it’s that easy. 

You can also buy an underwater case for your Flip camera.  This is great if you want to take shots in a pool.  I bet it would come in handy right now for those reporters covering the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.   

I found this video blog by a citizen journalist who uses a Flip camera for her reports.  It’s an excellent tutorial:FreeVlog

http://dev.freevlog.org/

Here are some basics on the Flip:

FLIP ULTRA

-Fits in your pocket

-Records about 2 hours of video on 4GB

-Uses double A batteries

-Any standard tripod can be used with Flip

-Also has microphone

FLIP ULTRA HD

-Fits in your pocket

-Captures about 2 hours of HD video on 8GB built-in memory

-It comes with rechargeable AA battery pack

-Also has a microphone

-Any standard tripod can fit the tripod mount

Search YouTube for more tutorials on the Flip camera.  Good Luck!

Rebecca Aguilar is a freelance multimedia reporter in Dallas.  She has 29 years of news experience and has been awarded numerous awards, including several Emmy awards.  She’s also on the board of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.  Rebecca conducts reporting workshops around the country (Finding Sources and Stories, Networking, Live Shots, Getting the Best Interview, Writing to Video, and The Basics Of Multimedia.) She can be contacted at aguilar.thereporter@yahoo.com.

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