Turns out you can get the Pure Digital Flip Video Camera for only $119 for a while at Amazon. I paid $144 just yesterday. Shoot.
I bought this for The Wife's birthday because the babies are always doing something awesome and we have no easy way to capture it. We had a Casio Exilim that did video, but it had too many knobs and buttons for her taste and getting the uncompressed video off the camera with a docking station, USB, more button pushing, not to mention getting it online was non-trivial and not something she was willing to put up with.
Hence, the PureDigital Flip Video Ultra. Cheap, with one major button, minimal moving parts, built in software (the software lives on the camera and autoruns when you plug it in), 60 minutes of recording time and it's purse-sized.
Is there anything wrong with it? Not that I can see. My ONLY beef, and I mean ONLY, is that I can't just plug it into my Xbox, but that's actually a beef with the Xbox!
The Flip does 30fps MP4 video at 640x480 (4:3) and looks great on DVDs. It's a ~4000kbps video bitrate and a 177kbps audio rate. It's best feature? Fantastic exposure control. Low light, bright light, it just looks great.
It has ZERO frills. That means no microphone jack, NO settings (just one setting - awesome) and she immediately knew how to use it. But enough typing, this is a review about a portable video camera, here's a video review!
You'll enjoy using the Flip, it's a STEAL for the price/functionality ratio. The WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) is very high on this product.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.