Pure Digital Flip UltraHD Camcorder Review

by Michael Kwan on July 4, 2009

Included in the Box

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Based on the minimalism that comes with the Flip Video brand, it shouldn’t at all be surprising that Pure Digital maintained the minimalist approach for the contents of the box. In addition to the Flip UltraHD camcorder, you can a wrist strap, some basic instructions, and a protective pouch.

Some accessories that I would have liked to see included in the box would have been a USB extension cable (that USB connector can make for quite some torque on your USB port) and an HDMI cable for video output to your HDTV. Both of these are optional accessories.

First Impressions

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In terms of outward aesthetics, the Flip UltraHD is virtually identical to the Flip Ultra. The screen got a bump and there’s an HDMI port on the side, but that’s about it. You get the same rubberized plastic on the outside, making for a reasonable level of grip on the go.

Personally, I prefer the physical “easy press” buttons of the Flip Ultra over the touch-sensitive buttons of the Flip Mino. The price you pay is substantially added bulk. The Flip UltraHD weighs about twice as much as the Mino and it’s about twice as thick too.

The other tradeoff is that the Flip UltraHD can use regular AA batteries (as well as the included Flip battery pack), whereas the MinoHD must make do with an internal battery. I like the smaller size of the MinoHD, but I prefer the feature list of the UltraHD.

Configuration, Setup, and Options

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The setup process for the Flip UltraHD is remarkably simple. The initial configuration will involve setting the time and date, choosing whether you want indicator sounds, and choosing whether you want the red recording light. That’s it. There are no additional options or settings.

That’s because the Flip line of camcorders is meant to be as simple as possible. You cannot set the white balance, because that is automatic. You cannot set the video quality or compression, because that is fixed. In this way, the camcorders greatest strength can also be one of its greatest weaknesses. The lack of optical zoom is also unfortunate.

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