Monday, August 23, 2010

Flip it; Flipt it Good (the story first)

I had read about this tiny camcorders before... But I didn't think they were available for sale in my country so I let the thought of getting one fade in its own time.  This was last year.

Necessity is the mother of all things, though. A few months ago I started coordinating and taking a course on sign language in the school I teach at the university. At some point along the course, I realized something was missing. The teacher was great. The material she designed herself was amazing, but we needed something else to practice. A visual  reference, to put it some way, to practice each sign we learned in class. We started to notice as the vocabulary grow we could easily forget the signs from one week to another since it was a one-week-class session. We only had the handouts with pictures to review  the signs. It was easy when you were learning things like "mother", "father", "cat" , but when it came to learning the "numbers" (ordinals and cardinals) things got pretty tough!

So all of a sudden, I remembered my readings on this tiny camcorders and thought they would be really helpful to add this much needed visual element to our sign language course. 

Next thing  I told my teacher, Aymara Hernández, and classmates about it . They loved the idea!
I didn't give it much thought on brands since I had already read about the Flip video camcorder so I went for it. I visited their site; read reviews; checked if it was available in my country (luckily it was); watched video quality in some Youtube samples. By chance, Ian James had started tweeting his recordings with a Flip video camcorder making my decision final to purchase it.

To make this first part of my post short, after purchasing my Flip video I  instantly noticed  how easy and comfy it is to carry it everywhere as opposed to carrying a, say, handycam. Easy to plug into my  PC or laptop to download videos. It has got this "USB  arm" similar to a flash drive. For educational purposes, the quality of the videos is really good. The software is very easy to use. You can get snap shots from the videos (if your hand hadn't been that shaky). You can also easily upload videos to Youtube, Facebook, My Space and some other sites. Downsize? You need a decent light so the video won't come out dark (This one recorded by Ian doesn't look that bad, though) and never, ever record horizontally (If you have and don't know what to do some solutions in my next post). The screen might be bit small, but you can always zoom in. Btw, Ian James suggests using a tripod with telescopic legs. Great idea! This will help you avoid recording shaky images and ,of course, the result will be way much better. Next post: Flip it; Flipt it Good (recording and editing).

Here's my own sample. I recorded this about two weeks ago. It's my niece´s pet.





Here's a snapshot. The quality is also OK (if your hand is not that shaky):



2 comments:

yasencion said...

I got one (not the same brand, but RCA) as a present and I really think they are amazing!. They are easy to use, video quality is OK and snapshot quality too. In my case, the only bad thing is that it is not compatible with Macs so I download my videos in my husband's laptop and then upload them in Youtube.

Miguel said...

Hey Yuly! It is really comfy to carry this tiny thing in your bag. I recorded 57 short videos in about an hour. The editing & uploading were a breeze except for those I recorded with the screen horizontally.;)

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