Flip gives us a backstage pass!

Flip cameras (and their ilk) make it possible to show the world the behind-the-scenes insights into the moments we really want to know about. I love the low production value which give the real insider feel and a very personal connection to the people and events.

The internet has us glued us to a new tube, and the networks are putting some effort into the ‘new’ media as well. You won’t see this on the ‘real’ TV but if you are like lots of us, you’ll find it online. I notice a tweet this week (one more reason you need to be on Twitter) that Molly Ringwald was on the Today show. Well that’s got my interest as I’m a big fan.

I searched out the show via Google and there it was. The MSNBC page had a big feature with the high budget show clip, but also include the behind the scenes “Ez”video which I’ve included here. Have a look at a big star on the small screen, and I think you’ll fee a much more ‘real’ connection.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

On a brief technical note I will say that the HD format camera used here is chopping off Molly’s head which is why I still preach standard format. When you’re working with flip cams you need to get in close and the HD doesn’t get it as well as the standard formant. Still it works. Gorilla video like this take you much deeper into the real world you want to know about.

Youtube has so much more traffic than the TV networks because of its’ reality view of our world. Television and movies are filmed in laboratories with controlled scripts, makeup teams, and million dollar lights. Our homemade productions with hundred dollars cameras are every bit as entertaining and enjoyable.

Viva la flip!!

flip vs. Kodak Zi8. My test is in.

This little shoot-out was conducted with 3 simple video cameras, and likely the 3 most popular today. The flip Ultra in standard format, the flip mino in HD, and the Kodak Zi8. For this test I shot the Kodak in 1080p mode and the others have only their one options.

The files came off the camera onto an external hard drive and were edited together on a macbook pro’s iMovie. This is a good little editor and standard on macs. the 16:9 format is not native to the flip ultra which produces 4:3 video, but rendered here you get a good looking result in what many call ‘HD’ format.

First lest take a look at the youtube converted flash video..

The standard flip produced an avi file of 13 MB. The flip HP an MP4 at 58 MB, and the Kodak gave me a .mov file of 75MB. Those are big files for a short segment. For this reason I like the standard video best. My computer is very good at processing and editing the standard stuff, but is too weak to handle the HD format. If you have a newer system then you may have no problem here.

I normally edit on my aging PC with Sony Vegas Movie Studio ver. 8, and it will not handle these files, especially the 1080p .mov from the Kodak. For this test i had to use the macbook pro and iMovie. The mac handled the 3 file types and sizes with no complaints.

In watch the raw files it was instantly obvious that the audio from the Zi8 was much better. The built-in mic was used and the 3 cameras were positioned as close as possible, equidistant from me, the subject.

I hope this little experiment is helpful to you. For me it means I’m going to have to work towards another couple of thousand dollars for upgraded hardware and software and a new Kodak. By then some other player is likely to release yet another pocket video camera.

I will also post a mp4 video file here if I can figure out how? I’ll find an EZ way to do it ;-)

The true bottom line is that all of these cameras are just cameras and the real value in video is the content. If you have boring and useless content it doesn’t matter how technically beautiful it is.

Me interesting and/or entertaining and nobody notices the little details.

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