I am interested in purchasing flip videos for our school. Anyone have them, use them? Are they as easy to use as advertised? How is the quality?You can use them for podcasting? What model do you have? Any problems with them? Would you recommend spending the money? Do you have any samples of projects where you used the flip videos?

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I bought 15 of them for an after school video class I teach.. Actually I bought 15 RCA small wonder versions after buying 3 flips and testing them. I liked the RCA version because it had a place to add SD cards, a tripod mount and a flip out lcd screen to make it easy for the kids to point the camera at themselves and see the monitor at the same time.

They are as easy to use as advertised. All my kids 8 years and up figure them out quickly.
One problem is that the camera on button turns on too easily. It can accidently turn on in your pocket, purse, backpack.
I let the kids take them home and use them during the whole 10 week course. I got all of them back and not even one damaged or broken one. They are simple and durable.

This camera works very well in available indoor lighting. The zoom is worthless as it seriously degrades (pixelates) the video. That said, this camera is then best for close distances of 2-6 feet. You will get good audio and good clear video at those distances.

I shot part of a tutorial on how to do reverse video with MovieMaker on youtube with the RCA camera. The video is 5:24 and the RCA shot part starts at 4:57. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGE6pe-1s-I.

Since I own both the FLIP and the RCA, I can say that the video is for all intents and purposes the same quality.
Hi, We have been using them for a couple of months now. They are awesome. Very, very easy to use. The video quality is good, not a great deal of zoom available though, and the sound quality is excellent really.

I have done a couple of lessons with various social studies/geography classes where I have dropped a Flip in front of each group and asked them to produce a video outlining a given skill by the end of the lesson. Without any help regarding the device, they have all managed to work it out.

An example:
http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=pLZXHb2QVuM

Some suggestions:
1. I would recommend getting a supply of rechargable batteries and a good recharger.
2. It is much easier if students create videos in one take, as dealing with several files from several groups can get confusing and messy.
3. make it a rule (if multiple teachers will use them) that people should expect all files to be deleted by the next user, as they can get clogged up with old files that people are unsure about deleting.

Philip Cranston
Katikati College
http://blog.kkc.school.nz/mrcranston
I purchased about 10 of them for my school. They work very well for small simple stuff. Here are some apple specific compatibility issues:
They require too much power to be plugged into the spare usb port of an apple keyboard, and the location of the usb ports on the back of an iMac are awkwardly situated for use with this camera. The orientation of the port requires that the camera be inverted and held up by the plug. Definitely require a usb extender.
They shoot AVI video. The latest quicktime iteration has a bug in it that disables audio playback on AVI files. The only fix that I have found is to install a third party Quicktime component to the Mac in question (Perian, http://perian.org). This would hold true for most flash-media based video cameras, not just the flip.
I haven't bothered with the Flip's built-in video editing software for the mac. Just copy the files from the camera to a local folder on the computer, then drag them from that folder into the clips pane of an open iMovie project.
With iMovie 09 are the same issues occurring?
Our Dance teacher uses flip videos with her students, They record choreography they are working on, and post it to the dance department Ning. The flip videos have worked well and the students find it easy to post the videos on the Ning.
Can you share a link to that Dance Ning??
My school has been using them for two years and one of our local school districts has gotten heavily into them. They're great. The quality is a lot better than one would expect and I like the fact that they're inexpensive enough that if a kid drops one and it breaks, it won't break my budget to replace it. We have 6 of the original 30 minute models. Spend the money! Your students will love them.
Do these record to standard AVI files or are they copy-protected somehow? I use a DV camera for all my school projects and it is a PAIN to import the video each the time. I found that most hard drive cameras encode to a non-standard AVI so you can't just drag the file, you still have to do a full transfer.

Basically, I'm wondering if it is easy to pull the videos off of these as it is a picture of a digital camera. If so, I'll definitely pick one up.
Yep. Easy as.
Its very easy to transfer files off a flip camera. The cameras come with their own software, but I don't bother using it, just drag and drop as if I was using a digital camera. I've used the camera for video clips that I've then used within powerpoint presentations. They're a breeze to use. As long as you're within 4 feet or so you get good quality video and audio.
The Rca and Flips record to a version of the XVID codec called 3ivx. They inlcude the codec installer with the camera. Once installed on windows, you can play the files with Media player or Windows Movie Maker. You can easily drag or copy and paste the avi movie files from the cameras to windows.
It is good and very easy. You can view a couple examples I shot with mine (just got it) and post to my website. I think they would be great in school. Wouldn't work for everything, but certainly would work for ost projects kids do in classes.

http://www.cyndidannerkuhn.info/CDK/Movies.html

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