Flip Video, Vimeo, and iMovie '08: A Great Combination

I recently made an impulse buy at BestBuy and picked up a Flip video camera. I didn't have high expectations as the price point was pretty low ($150 for the premium, 60 minute one). I am happy to say that I have been very impressed and it quickly replaced my Sony MiniDV camera for a number of reasons:

  • No tapes. Simply flip out the USB connector and plug into your computer to start copying video files.
  • Great quality. It rivals the quality of my MiniDV. I can't tell the difference in video quality although I technically know that it is not as good due to the compression codec used to store the file, versus raw DV. The audio quality actually seems to be better on the Flip.
  • Simple Batteries. Takes two AA batteries. No proprietary chargers or expensive batteries.
  • Portability. It fits in my pocket (or my wife's purse). Means more chances for capturing video.
  • Inexpensive. At $150, I don't feel the need to be ultra careful with it as replacing it wouldn't be the end of the world. In fact, I am considering getting another just to have in multiple places.

Pulling those video clips down to my hard drive, I run them through iSquint, to convert to H264s for editing in iMovie (would be nice if iMovie and Flip would work something out so that iMovie would support the codec that Flip is using, or visa versa). Pulling into iMovie 08 is very simple and quick. Throwing together videos with titles and music (iMovie comes with a decent collection of royalty free clips to use) is pretty easy for a non-professional editor like myself (Final Cut Pro just scares me).

Now sharing those finished clips with friends and family works great going through Vimeo. The user experience is key, at least for me, on this site. It reminds me of when I first discovered Flickr and feeling I would get when using that photography hosting service. It created a sensation in me that made me want to take more pictures so I could upload and share. It's much the same with Vimeo -- I find myself wanting to create another clip so that I can interact with the site.

Here are some samples of my first videos going through these products/services:

Running at Green Hills Mall from Patrick Altman on Vimeo.

A Few of Clare's Words from Patrick Altman on Vimeo.