Flip Ultra camera £99

Portable and practical video recorder

BikeRadar score 4/5

Want to capture some video on the trail or on your commute without risking your phone or a full-size video camera? The Flip Ultra is the size of a mobile phone and can take up to an hour of full colour video and sound recorded direct to its internal flash memory. 

When you’ve shot the action you can watch it back in three ways: on the 528x132 pixel, 1.5in (diagonal) TFT screen; press a button on the side of the camera which flicks out its internal USB connector for direct download; or connect the camera direct to your TV for instant playback. 

Full editing software is included and cutting together short movies is easy. We’ve used the Flip extensively and have been impressed with its simplicity and clarity. 

Power comes from two AA batteries and we got almost three hours of recording and much more of playback from them. An HD version of the camera is out in the US, and is due in the UK soon.

There are a few niggles. The camera mount works, but is a fiddle to make secure. The 2x zoom works well, but isn’t as powerful as it could be, and the camera isn’t that well sealed, so we don’t recommend use in wet conditions.

The other key issue is the way the camera stands upright on the handlebar mount, meaning the lens is as far away from the mount as it could be, amplifying any vibration. The picture is still clear, but had the camera been designed to be used horizontally rather than vertically it would have coped much better. 

Despite these problems, the Flip Ultra is still a great way to capture video on the hoof without risking your phone or more expensive camera equipment, and it fits into your hydration pack. 

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