Usability is perhaps the most-often effed up feature of modern electronics, and backcountry adventures will point out the lack of intelligent design faster than most activities. Swimming against the tide is the Flip Video series of camcorders from Pure Digital, which carry the KISS principle – Keep it Simple for Simpletons like me – to a sublime extreme.
The Flip is an idiot-proof camcorder that is small, reliable and captures good low-resolution video that can be uploaded to YouTube and other video-sharing services with a single click. The Flip stores video on internal flash memory: 1GB and 2GB for 30 and 60 minutes respectively. Here’s how it works: (1) turn it on; (2) press record, and (3) flip out the internal USB connector and connect it to your PC (sorry, no Mac compatibility). The software installs automatically from the device. It’s so simple even a sport climber can use it.
The Flip Ultra takes two AA batteries, weighs 5oz., has a 1.5 inch transflective TFT LCD viewing screen on the back, a tripod mount, and has a plethora – yes, a plethora I say – of accessories available for various
pornographic adventurous activities. The software can automatically add effects and edit footage, or you can bring the Flip to various drug store chains (Rite-Aid, CVS, etc.) and for $13 they’ll burn a DVD for you. For day-use low-res video it doesn’t get any better than this.