Can a pocket digital camcorder produce "business-quality" online video? In other words, be what I call, a "bizsumer" camcorder? " The following video is a little test I did using the new Flip Ultra HD camcorder, where I provide some tips on how to get the best image quality out of it, and make up for its poor audio controls.

You've heard of a consumer camcorder, meant for the general population and for consumer use only. You've also heard of a prosumer camcorder, used for a range of professional needs and by professionals and amateurs, but on a modest budget (typically in between the $800 - $2,000 range.) But how about something in between, for those who have a smaller budget and/or need quick video on the spot, and have some kind of business objective with their shoot? This is what I call a " bizsumer" camcorder. Another term could be a calling this a"mini-biz" camcorder - used for a minimum of business purposes or scenarios. That might be the most flattering possibility of how I can describe the potential of the Flip Ultra HD camcorder, released in April for a retail price of just $200, and meant for "the rest of them." ("Them," being the vast, vast majority of people who want to think they can make high-definition video, without the experience or skills of a professional videographer.)

Now granted, I don't think that most consumers will believe that this device is a substitute for a professional camcorder or a videographer, but its fair to consider, can the Flip be suitable for some business purposes? In my video review, I share some common scenarios of how the camcorder might be used for business purposes, and possible "good" scenarios for how to get the best business-like quality of footage. Mind you, I'm not talking "professional" quality, which implies proper training, skill and multiple client experiences. I mean what will at least adequately suit the needs of a business that has to work with a device like this, because we know it's going to be commonly used by enough business people because of its price and ease-of-use.

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Just keep in mind, fellow pros (and online marketers) - there is no ONE standard for what is "business-quality" online video - it really depends on your business objective, and the needs and preferences of your target audience.

  • HDGuru

    With other pocket HD video cameras like the Sony Bloggie Touch ( I am wondering why people would choose the Flips that don't capture photos and only support 720p recording...

  • Clint Bradford

    Professional videographers and broadcasters use teleprompters to make themselves look more professional. I devised a simple, DIY project for my new Flip UltraHD and iPod touch - I call it the Flip 'Prompter. Details at ...

  • steve chessin

    No audio input is a deal-breaker.

  • Ramin

    so what do you recommend for people who want better sound quality? The video quality is more than I need for my purposes, but the sound quality, I'd like it better. Are there any "budget tricks"?

    • Mark Robertson

      I dont believe there are except perhaps doing a little better job anchoring the camera... Unfortunately, they dont have an external mic jack, but that would be a great enhancement.

      Ill tell you that the interview that Larry did with Tubemogul, was done completely with the flip and the audio, though not great, seems to be ok -
      [youtube 8PKXSQwoZF8 youtube]

  • Rick Toone

    So refreshing to hear someone be honest about what's acceptable and what's not. I realize sometimes good enough works but if you can produce better quality why wouldn't you? The flip is great in the right situation but not for everything if you're using video as a brand builder or marketing tool.

  • reelseo

    I totally realize that the quality of the video above is not in HD... Grant will be doing some more in-depth filming and testing of the camera. When I get the files, I'll be sure to show you the high-definition footage then.