12 Fabulous Flip Camera Alternatives For Education… A Must Read!


Welcome to a post dedicated to helping educators find alternatives to that amazing Flip camera. Before reading on, please take a moment to subscribe by RSS or email and join over 15,000 visits a month that follow both this blog and my 21centuryedtech Wiki.  Your subscription and comments mean a lot to me and I also encourage you to follow me on twitter at mjgormans and  pass this post on to a friend. Please continue to return as upcoming posts involve explorations in PBL, student web page evaluation,  STEM, digital curriculum, portable one to one technology, and integrating technology with core standards. But  first let’s explore alternatives to the Flip! Have a great week! – Mike

Enjoy this list of 12  alternatives dedicated to sustaining all of those amazing classroom activities that the Flip Camera has made possible. Ever since the Cisco announcement to discontinue the manufacturing of the Flip on April 12, 2011, I have been researching and creating this list of alternatives. I think you will enjoy and find comfort in knowing that some of your favorite Flip lessons can still be possible… even after your last Flip fails!  I hope you find this information useful. Let explore!

 Fabulous Flip Camera Alternatives For Education

1. The Kodak PlayFull 1080P – Could it be the answer to the Flip void? It is best described as a basic yet attractive  minicamcorder, It captures full HD 1080p movies and will also shoots  5-megapixel stills. The included  Kodak share software is used for  editing videos and sharing on sites like Facebook and Twitter. The PlayFull also has the ability to add effects such as black and white, sepia, high saturation, and ’70s film look capture effects; face tracking; electronic image stabilization; and on-camera editing. Kodak even supplies a flip-out USB connector  for that important direct connection to a computer. This camera is  compatible with SD/SDHC memory cards, has 1 SD/SDHC Slot, and has an internal Memory: 128MB. It is powered by an included Li-ion rechargeable battery. Video modes include MPEG-4 – 1920 x 1080 – 30 fps ¦ MPEG-4 – 1280 x 720 – 60 fps ¦ MPEG-4 – 1280 x 720 – 30 fps ¦ MPEG-4 – 848 x 480 – 30 fps. Camera retails for about   $149.00

2. KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera – Discover another great Flip alternative from Kodak.  This amazing little camera will capture HD quality 1080p video with 16:9 aspect ratio. It has the ability to record  up to 10 hours of HD video with the expandable SD/SDHC card slot that can hold up to 32 GB. Upload by a class of students is possible using the USB connection or an SD card. Possibly the best feature of this camera is the  external microphone jack that lets the user even record in stereo. Allowing for a direct line or cordless mike is a great improvement from using the built in microphone found in the Flip. Features also include  built-in image stabilization,  smart face tracking technology, and slow motion capability. It even allows recording from a distance and playback on a TV  with the optional remote control accessory. Playing back also gets a boost with the included HDMI cable.  Software allows  students to edit and trim videos,  add pictures and music to  videos to make cool mash-ups, and grab still images from video frames. Camera allows for a tripod and is powered by the  KODAK Li-Ion Rechargeable Digital Camera Battery KLIC-7004. The video file formats  include video: H.264 (MOV), AAC LC.While the Zi8 list for $179.00, recent price drops have put it at the $100.00 level.

3. Kodak Playsport – Here is Flip alternative then can even get wet. In fact it can go up to ten feet underwater. It will capture images in 1080p HD.  It even has  built-in image stabilization.  You can share on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter sites with ease. The built-in software and USB cable make editing, uploading, and sending e-mails simple. It will record up to 10 hours of HD video with expandable SD/SDHC card slot (up to 32 GB)[1]. It even allows you to review the highlights with slow motion playback right in the palm of your hand.The included video software allows you to edit and trim videos,  add a voice-over to narrate your footage when editing on a PC, add pictures and music to your videos to make cool mash-ups, and grab and edit still images from video frames to get that perfect shot. It is powered by a KODAK Li-Ion Rechargeable Digital Camera Battery. File formats for video include  H.264 (MOV), AAC LC. Camera retails for about   $149.0

4. Samsung HMX-P300 –  The HMX-P300 is the top end of the portable handheld Samsung video line. Possibly the best feature on this camera is the 3X optical zoom, not always a luxury found on this style of camera . Once this point-and-share camcorder is connected to a PC via the built-in USB arm, videos are upload automatically, saving time with file transfers. In addition, the HMX-P300  will also capture great still photographs, eliminating the need to carry around a separate camera. The Auto Focus and Smart Auto functions  automatically adjust focus and shooting modes according to factors such as color, subject and brightness. This camera also features a unique Record Pause technology, allowing users to take a brief pause in filming before re-starting recording within the same file. The HMX-P300 comes with a rechargeable battery and supports  H.264 files. The LCD screen is 3 inches in size and incorporates touchscreen technology. Check the Samsung  site for  upcoming availability. Retail is set at $199.00.

5. Samsung HMX-P100 – Is very similar to its more expensive and richer featured HMX-P300. For fifty dollars less users will settle for a fixed lens instead of 3X optical zoom. The LCD screen is also smaller at 2.3 inches.y. A  school with a $1200 budget may do better at buying 8 of the 100’s over only 6 of the more expensive 300’s. Not much will be lost… and more students can be served. Check the Samsung  site for  upcoming availability. Retail is set at $149.00.

6. Samsung E10 – This Flip like camera features a 270° Swivel Lens built into the top of the camera that rotates 270° so students can enjoy more flexibility and achieve the perfect angle. This camera feature a 2.7 inch touch screen LCD  and an H.264 recording file format. It also features a handy USB arm built into the bottom of the camcorder so that the user can easily transfer videos to a computer. The Samsung E10 camcorder allows for videos in high definition and still pictures in an amazing 8 megapixels. A rechargeable battery allows for 90 minutes recording time and there is the ability to use a tripod. While Samsung advertises a $179.00 retail price it was recently found on Amazon for $79.

7. Coby CAM5002 High Definition Camcorder – Perhaps the most inexpensive Flip alternative comes from Coby. For somewhere around a half of a hundred dollars your classroom can get into the video recording business. Some of the Coby product highlights include  1280 x 720 HD Recording,  32MB Internal Memory, SD/SDHC Memory Card Slot, 2.0″ LCD, 4x Digital Zoom, HDMI Cable Included, LED Video Light, and muvee Editing Software. My favorite feauture is that it runs on removable batteries which could be a big plus when involving multiple use by various classes.  Recording file formats include M-JPEG and VGA. There is even an LED video light!  Video formats include  AVI (Motion JPEG), HD ( 120×720 @ 30 fps,and VGA (640×480 @ 30 fps). Most common  retail price seems to be around $49.00.

8. Apple iPod Touch – Many school already have this amazing device in their inventory.  The latest iPod Touch even has a video camera with HD capbilities.  Plus, there is an advanced backside illumination sensor which delivers brilliant video in both bright and low-light settings. Students can  edit and share  movies with just a few taps using numerous web services.  Download the iMovie app  for  $4.99.  Incorporating the  Multi-Touch, iMovie lets you combine and edit video clips, make them sparkle with dynamic themes, and add music and photos. Remember, you can  easily sync all the video you shoot on iPod touch back to your Mac or PC.

9. Sony Bloggie Touch –  Perhaps this could be your Flip alternative. It is  quite easy to use. The attractive  Sony Bloggie Touch shoots excellent-quality video at various frame rates. It also  captures great still images. In fact, it’s was the new Editors’ Choice for pocket camcorders at PC Magazine. This compact  camera lets students record anytime, anywhere.It  Uses the MP4 format, 1920×1080 high definition, as well as captures 12.8MP still images. You may be aware that MP4 is optimized for the Web, so you can effortlessly upload your video and pictures to popular photo or video-sharing Web sites like Facebook® or YouTube™.  The Bloggie can record and store up to four hours of high-definition video footage (default setting) to the Bloggie™ Touch camera’s 8GB of built-in flash memory. There is a built-in USB arm that easily flips-out and lets you connect your camera directly to your compatible PC to upload video and/or charge your battery without having to hunt for cables The camera also features steady shot image stabilization and face recognition. There is an included rechargeable internal battery. The recent Sony retail price was $169.00.

10. iPad 2 – Yes, the iPad 2 does have a camera that takes both still and motion pictures. The good is that the video editing software is available as an App. The larger screen real estate allows for easier editing and can even involve a collaborative group of students. Videos can then be shared using a variety of web applications. A down fall may be the difficulty of using a device as large as the iPad to point and shoot your video with.  Also, be careful how you hold it, or you maybe covering the microphone. Bottom line… if you are fortunate enough to have a fleet of iPad 2’s, then put them to use in video production. In fact, you may want to take a look at any tablet or laptop you may be using in a 1 to 1 program. Perhaps there are possibilities you haven’t thought of.

11. Traditional Digital Camera – Don’t forget the traditional digital cameras. While maybe not as portable, there could be a lot of great reasons to incorporate them as your FLIP alternative. Easy uploads to computers or networks using SD cards is just one example. The camera can be used by one group of students while others upload using a card reader. How about the amazing still pictures that those traditional cameras are capable of taking? Many times batteries may include traditional AA… great for recharging batteries while camera is being used with another set of batteries.  Many times you can find a quality camera that will do double the duty of motion picture and still pictures….  at half of the cost!

12. Mobile Phones –  Don’t forget that a lot of students already own a mobile phone and many are capable of capturing video. Take for instance the  iPhone 4 which has capabilities that include  640 x 480 (VGA) and 1280 x 720 (720p). Its advanced backside illumination sensor delivers great-looking video in  bright and low-light settings.  In dark environments, the iPhone allows one to brighten the scene with the built-in LED light. Students can even  perform basic editing using the Camera app. Just drag to select start and end points on a filmstrip. While the  Droid Smart Phones may not have the editing capabilities, they will capture some amazing videos.  Transferring  video clips to another device from the Droid is a breeze. Once a video is captured,just click a link to share it, and choose from a list from various accounts or connections , such as MMS, e-mail, YouTube or Bluetooth.

Thanks for joining me on this post dedicated to helping you find alternative to the Flip Camera. Remember when choosing an alternative for the Flip it is important to consider how the cameras will be used. File formats, method of uploading, and battery type may be very important. Be sure to research, get needed information, and cover your school’s needs.  Please take a moment to subscribe by RSS or email and join over 15,000 visits a month  that follow both this blog and my 21centuryedtech Wiki .  Your subscription and comments mean a lot to me and I also encourage you to follow me on twitter at mjgormans and pass this post on to a friend. Also, remember you can retweet this post below. Remember to return as upcoming posts involve future explorations in PBL, student web page evaluation,  STEM, digital curriculum, portable one to one technology, and integrating technology with core standards.  Keep flipping video into your curriculum …have a great week, and enjoy the journey into the 21st century of learning! – Mike


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25 responses to “12 Fabulous Flip Camera Alternatives For Education… A Must Read!

  1. melissamary

    The Sony Bloggie Touch sounds amazing. I have not heard of this before, but it sounds easy to use and affordable. Thanks for the information!

  2. Pingback: Flip Video Cameras in the classroom « ICT for Teaching & Learning in Falkirk Primary Schools

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  4. Lisa

    Thank you very much for this information, it is exactly what I was looking for!

  5. The use of a flip camera in my classroom has been the single best teaching tool. Students use the cameras to video each other. They teach the content to one another using the camera. The reviews in this article are useful for someone who is thinking of purchasing a camera. They are well worth the money you will spend.

  6. Good “post-Flip” suggestions. I like the Sony Bloggie as well. Especially the models that have the rotating lens head. It’s a super workaround for the Flip type cameras’ lack of a flip-out monitor. Having to hold a Flip type in front of your face to frame up the shot really limits the in-the-action filming. Bloggie’s with a rotating lens lets you do things like hold the camera in the palm of your hand and reach it into a discussion or project group. The flip-out screen alone is also enough to consider stepping up to intro level “real” camcorder. It’s a real difference maker in recording spontaneous video.

  7. Thanks for the read! – Mike

  8. Thanks for link and read! – Mike

  9. Joyce Canfield

    Zi8 – is that the only one of the list with external mic?

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  11. Erin Boyer

    Thank you for the information on the different types of flip cameras available to us! I’m hoping to use a flip camera in my music room so that students can self-assess their performance technique and musicianship skills. This seems like such a wonderful addition to the classroom!!

  12. Pingback: Engaging Classroom Lessons With Simple One Take Video… Flip Your Classroom…Address Common Core…Incorporate PBL | 21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning

  13. Carol

    Thanks for the information. We loved Flip and now that it is gone desperately searching for a replacement. We need a camera that comes with decent video editing software for the computer because we can’t afford to buy the software seperately. Not too impressed with Bloggie after playing with it. Mostly, you have to hold it vertically when doing video. Not a comfortable hold and easy to put finger in front of lens this way. If you hold it vertically, it records in portrait which is long and narrow with black bars on each side when viewed on the computer. I really like the idea of the external mic capability on the Zi8. I am going to check that out. Thanks again for your information

  14. Julie

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the great article on Flip alternatives. I am wondering if you have any new ideas or suggestions. I am in search of 25 devices to use in a training simulation that will be used in business training in 2014.

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