Along with the recent announcement that struggling tech company Cisco would be cutting hundreds of jobs came news that the Flip cam is not long for this world. Production for one of the world’s most popular pocket camcorders will halt and Cisco will redirect itself away from consumer electronics.
It’s a sad day whenever a popular device is killed off. That said, we’re still not entirely sold on the idea of a mini camcorder: Most people who love cameras enough will likely want a more capable devices with full manual operations, and those who just want to shoot video on the fly are probably content to use their phones. Nonetheless, these pocket-sized movie-making machines have found a niche audience, and now Flip Cam devotees and new consumers alike will have to look elsewhere for their next purchase. Here’s a quick breakdown of those future options.
Sony Bloggie – $129.99 to $249.99
There’s a Bloggie for everyone: Touch, 3D, dual cameras. Whatever your wants or needs from the pocket camcorder in your life, Sony’s line likely has you covered. You can choose between a capacitive touchscreen, two LCD lenses for self-recording, 3D capability, or just go simple with the original. The camcorders will run for 2 to 4 hours (depending on which you choose) and all shoot 1080p video.
Kodak Zi8 – $179.95
The Zi8 doesn’t have any gimmicky bells and whistles, but it does two things very well: Recording 1080p HD video and fitting in small spaces. It isn’t as slim as some, but it’s definitely still pocket-able. It records up to 10 hours worth of video and even comes with an external microphone jack for any serious audio needs. The SD card slot is also an added bonus.
Veho Muvi Atom Micro Camcorder – $129.99
You’ll be hard-pressed to find anything more pocket friendly than the Veho Muvi Atom Micro Camcorder. It’s so tiny it’ll be swimming in your shirt pocket. The world’s smallest high resolution camcorder measures in at less than 2 inches tall but manages to pack enough punch in there to be useful. It can record for 45 minutes nonstop, comes with 2GB micro SD cards, and can shoot stills at 1280 x 960.
Panasonic TA1 – $169.95
The TA1 may seem like your average pocket camcorder, and it does have some very average specs that speak to this. It has a 2-inch LCD display, built-in USB arm, shoots at 5.33-megapixels, and records at full HD. All fine specs for a mini camcorder, but its real selling point is the ability to use the TA1 as a webcam and mic. It comes with Skype built in, and without any hassle or additional setup will attach to your computer for international video chat capabilities. If you’re in the market for a new pocket camcorder and a webcam, the TA1 will kill two birds with one stone.
RCA EZ3000 – $129.99
The EZ3000 is a step toward a more professional product, but won’t eat up too much space. It’s slim, with a two-inch LCD display, and you can film in HD or defer to Web quality to save storage space. To make it Internet-friendly, the device comes with direct YouTube uploading. To share elsewhere (Facebook, Vimeo), the EZ3000’s memory manager software does the trick. All those socially-apt features make it fun, but it’s got some impressive specs too: It records in HD for up to five hours (40 in “Web quality”), shoots stills at 12 megapixels, and records video at 1080p.
Samsung HMX-E10 – $249
Don’t be fooled by the E10’s phone-like shape, it’s all camcorder on the inside. The device has a 2.7-inch LCD with a swivel lens that can rotate 270 degrees to capture hard-to-shoot angles. This flexibility also makes it increasingly easy for self-portraits. It records in full HD and (okay, we lied) has some smartphone familiarity with its touchscreen operations. It has a built-in USB arm for easy upload, and for creativity comes with artsy filters for added effects, as well as panorama mode and an F2.2 “Bright Lens” for shooting in poor lighting.
GE DV1 – $129.99
The DV1 records in 1080p HD, comes with built-in USB arm, and includes features like HDMI output, face detection, and image stabilization. We know, all pretty standard specs. But the DV1 specializes in tough cam capabilities and is shockproof and waterproof. It will shoot for approximately 30 minutes nonstop and includes scene settings for underwater as well as above ground use.