Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Flip Cam/RCA Small Wonder

These products have been discussed recently on LM_NET, and I have shied away from even reading them. The reason for this is that I have already requested several Flip Cams for our department. I felt like I looked at them closely, actually handled one last fall at the Internet@School Conference, and read up on them on Internet sites. BUT somehow I missed out on the fact that there was a similar competing product, the RCA Small Wonder camera. I do not particularly like being wrong, and this is especially true when it comes to spending money. Coupled with that was the fact that, as I always do, I just finished a class day with my Instructional Design class for MLS students at Sam Houston State University. I had a nagging fear that I had been too hasty selecting the Flip Cam, due to my eagerness to get my hands on one of these nifty tools. To my credit, I did not ask for one to be ordered for each department member, as we sometimes do with equipment, but rather asked for 2-3 to try them out.

Anyway, I finally gathered my courage and went to a delightful review/comparison of the two products. This great discussion and actual video comparison is offered by the inimitable Jeff Hastings, well known to LM_Netters and EDTECH listserv members. I am so glad that I did take the time to view the short disucssion. Jeff gave a bit of history of both cameras, showed them both to viewers up close and personal, and then showed clips filmed with both cameras under similar circumstances. The results were...not much difference at all! Both cameras performed reasonably well, though I thought the Flip actually did a little better. Of course I was predisposed to like its footage since this was the camera I had already selected. I feel much better! I can breathe a sigh of relief that the cameras I requested will serve us well. In the back of my mind as well, though, is the thought of ordering a RCA also to further compare the two.

Also there was an additional bonus. Jeff Hastings is someone whose postings I have followed for several years, and with whom I have corresponded personally on more than one occasion, is now a real person to me! It was interesting seeing him, hearing his voice, and seeing his snow-covered campus.

Bottom line: If you have ordered or already have either camera, you are using a great little gadget that can see you through any number of Web 2.0 projects. If you are wavering or considering additional camera purchases, If you have neither camera, you should look into these two inexpensive gizmos, both priced under $200. I strongly recommend Jeff's review/video. You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/2pcg9n

1 comment:

  1. We bought several for our campus--I bought two for students to check out from the library. The computer teachers bought about eleven, I think.

    The only thing we have encountered is that they plug in upside down on some of our computers.

    There is an adapter (about $6.00) that allows them to be plugged in right side up. The computer teacher bought these at Wal-Mart.