Digital Video under $100.

By Brian Boyko
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

This is the Flip Video, and it’s a digital video camera perfect for short YouTube clips and video blogging.

Flip 1 Flip 2

It records Xvid video at 640×480 – and the recording quality is pretty decent. There’s two models – one that records (roughly) 30 minutes, and another that records (roughly) a full hour. It also connects via USB 2.0 – and works with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

It’s not upgradable or expandable. No external mic port, no fancy features (even the zoom is limited to 2x) and you’re limited to the flash memory installed in the thing when you get it. That said, at its price point, it’s perfect for keeping in your pocket and whipping out whenever you need a quick video. It’s the video answer to the “point and shoot” digital camera. (I wish I had this when I was covering Vegas).

As a reporter, I often find myself in situations where I wish I had my video camera. Now I often do. See a cop beating someone up? Whip out the camera. See a wardrobe malfunction? Whip out the camera. Like my voice recorder and digital still camera, the Flip has been put on my “invaluable” list of reporter’s tools.

And of course, since it’s easy to get video off of the camera, you can just do your video casting by placing the Flip Video on a table and going at it. Don’t like it? It’s fully digital, so you can just delete it and do another take.

The Flip Video retails for $120 and $150 for the 30 and 60 minute models, respectively, but I was able to pick up my 30 minute model up at Costco for $90.