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THe Flip

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Video production is exploding and sites such as You Tube are driving the market.
Pure Digital Technologies CEO Jonathan Kaplan had a simple idea: Video cameras were too hard to use. Last year, this 6-year-old San Francisco-based company introduced a $129 point-and-shoot-style camcorder, initially sold just at Target stores. Recently, the company unveiled the revamped successor to its first video camera which has allowed Pure Digital to quietly snag major market share from rivals Sony, Panasonic and Canon.
Meet The Family – Life Now Has A Play Button
Pure Digital’s Flip Video is currently the No.1 best-selling video camera at Amazon and Target.com. Selling for $119 and $149, the new Flip Video Ultra touts improved video resolution, a better microphone and a slot for a tripod. The Flip comes in two flavors: 30-minute or 60-minute and it’s also available in five colors: orange, red, green, white and black.
Pure Digital has sold over 350,000 camcorders and predicts sales will top 1 million by early next year. It’s not just added distribution that will enable them to triple sales in just a few months, it’s also better exposure in stores as Wal-Mart and Costco have agreed to give Flip merchandising space. Pure Digital’s first product was a one-time-use digital still camera that you had drop off at a photo finisher (mostly drugstores) equipped to process the images. Many of those early customers requested a camera they could own — which led to the development of the Flip.Convenience Trumps Quality
Not that the Flip will appeal to your inner Spielberg. It shoots video the same way digital cameras do, using the image sensor to transform pictures into video. The quality is generally described as good, but not as good as a Mini-DV or a DVD camcorder.
At first glance, the new and old Flip look remarkably similar. Both are made of plastic, but the new version touts a higher-grade material and a sleeker, more contemporary feel. One noticeable improvement: a bigger and brighter LCD preview screen. On the earlier version, one of the complaints was that seeing anything on the screen in bright sunlight was virtually impossible.Pure Digital is having an easy time reaching low-end or entry level consumers, because most manufacturers don’t care about that market; companies like Panasonic emphasize high-definition and better video quality. Paul Ryder, vice president of consumer electronics for Amazon, says the Flip struck a chord with Amazon’s audience. “Online, the customers tell the story about how easy the camera is to use,” he says. “That really helps sell it.” In refreshing the camera, the engineers kept it simple. Most companies have a tendency to throw more and more into the product for new versions and then it gets more complicated to use. The Flip is still simple to use and the audio and video quality is improved. For everyday use, it’s a great camera at a reasonable price. Expect the price to come down as distribution goes up – this could be a great holiday gift this year.Check it out: The Flip

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