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October 12, 2007, 12:11 PM

"To get ready for that day, Iíve already purchased a Flip Video Camcorder, which Amazon has been pushing for use on customer reviews and is now selling for $100 or less. This beauty and other devices like it are going to blow the lid off online video. In ease of use and quality of output, it is nothing less than a revelation.

If youíre already handy with a conventional camcorder, forget everything you know. This thing has just four controls: a red on-off button, a play button, a delete button, and a circular direction pointer. Thereís no manual, and you hardly even have to read the quick card that comes with it. Super simple.

The camcorder has a built-in USB plug, and the camcorder itself acts as an external USB drive. Its editing software is on the camcorder itself. You can run it from there, or just pull the AVI files onto your computer for editing with other software. Thereís no tape, no discs, nothing but flash memory. Neat!

But what truly amazed me was that the output of a test video viewed on my computer was superior to anything Iíd been able to get from my $500 Panasonic. I finally figured out the reason. The DV format that most camcorders record in is aimed at television viewing."
When you convert it for computer viewing, thereís a big hit in quality. My Flip camcorder, on the other hand, was recording right to VGA. Whatís more, after exporting its video from QuickTime with DivX compression, I saw hardly any deterioration at all from the original file, whereas similar procedures had nearly ruined my previous videos. "

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