Your Flip Support
Using your flip video is very easy but you may have a couple of glitches depending on your program. The information presented below does not in any way cover all of the glitches you might encounter. There will be links below to guide you to more detailed information or support. You can also download the free program, FlipShare. This way you are sure to get the latest program updates and your downloaded program will work on your operating system.

Powering the Camera

The basic Flip camera operates on two AA batteries, which can be accessed by sliding the latch on the bottom of the camera to the unlock position, then sliding the front piece of the camera down and off. Be sure to have extra AA batteries on hand in case the need arises.

More advanced Flip cameras, including the high-definition Flip MinoHD and UltraHD, recharge automatically while the camera is docked in the USB port of your computer. A wall charger also can be used, which will fully charge the batteries in a shorter time.

Basic Pointers

  • Turn it on and off using the gray switch on the side.
  • Record by pressing the red button once.
  • Stop by pressing the red button twice.
  • Review video by pressing the arrow icon to the left of the red button.
  • Delete video by pressing the trash can symbol to the right of the red button. * On the HD Flip cams, you have to say “Yes” to delete a video. The play/pause button is the “Yes” button.
  • Zoom in by pressing the plus sign above the red button.
  • Zoom out by pressing the minus sign below the red button.
  • Go forward or backward through video clips by pressing the arrows on either side of the red button.
  • Download video by flipping out the USB connector on the side of the camera and plugging it into the USB port on your computer.

The original Flip camera and MinoHD use a 1.5-inch screen and have 60 minutes of recording time. The UltraHD has a 2-inch screen and two hours of recording time.
Turn the camera off when not in use using the power button you used to turn it on.

Tips for Shooting

In most cases – unless you’re recording a meeting or event -- limit length to 1:30 minutes or briefer. That makes for easier downloading and tighter bites. As you’re shooting, look for a moment that seems like a natural stopping point. Cutting the clip off at the right time helps in the editing process.

Avoid unnecessary and fast pan shots. Instead, stay with an image and let the action move through the scene you are taping. When panning a scene, hold the camera steady and move it very slowly. Keep the subject in focus. In all cases, keep the camera steady as much as possible and avoid jerky movements. Bracing your elbow with your non-shooting hand, or keeping your “shooting elbow” close to your body, can help steady the camera. A tripod, sold separately, can also keep the camera stationary.

Avoid using the zoom feature unless necessary. The digital zoom will result in loss of image resolution. Though magnified, the image has less quality than what you would get from a camera with an optical telephoto zoom. Instead of zooming, stay at the wide part of the lens and move your whole body closer to the subject. This will also make the image more stable.

In an interview setting, be as close to the person as possible for the camera microphone to sound good. This means you do not use the zoom on the camera but you hold the camera and stand close to the interviewee for the recording.

Adjust for ambient noise. Make sure the sound around you is not distracting. In particular, try to stay away from or minimize your exposure to street noise or lots of talking. If you cannot get away from intrusive background sound, then make sure to include the source of noise in the shot behind your interviewee. That way, the image explains where the extra noise is coming from. This makes the distraction more acceptable to the viewer.

Avoid high-contrast scenes as much as possible. Dark shadows will go black in the transfer, and shadows across someone’s face will not transfer well. Try to put your interview subject in even light so their face is in an even light level throughout. Also avoid backgrounds behind the subject that are too bright or too dark, since this will increase the image contrast and make the image hard to see on the Web. If you are inside a building, try to avoid bright walls behind a dark-skinned person when doing interviews or b-roll. The contrast could be too extreme. Also avoid the fluorescent flicker of lights on the wall behind someone, particularly overseas, where the electrical power is a different voltage and produces a light flicker with cameras set for United States electrical current settings.

What to Shoot

Remember, less is more if you plan your shots and the interview ahead of time. You can do your interview first and then take what you heard and decide what cutaway shots (b-roll) to get. Always try to cover a scene with a wider cover shot for location identification, and then go in to get close-ups, which give the viewer an intimate feel for the setting and the action.

An effective use of the camera is to record a standup of someone relating an anecdote or explaining something that is happening in the background.

Before you begin shooting, coach the person to think for a moment about what they are going to say – and who the audience is. Tell her or him to stay within a specific time limit -- 1 minute is good. That limit will help them focus their thoughts and keep their comments to the point. Once you turn the camera on, the first thing the person should do in a standup situation is say who they are – “Hi, this is Jane Doe and I am a in Anytown, Arkansas.”

Direct your camera in such a way that your subject doesn’t fill the frame, and the viewer can get a sense of place from the background.

Downloading

Flip the USB button on the left side of the camera when the lens is not facing you. Notice the USB plug pops out. Plug the USB plug into your USB port on your computer. Your computer & your camera will automatically start communicating and will download your movies.
Before you do anything, check over your equipment thoroughly. If any piece of equipment is missing, please notify personnel at the Auburn University Libraries Media & Digital Resource Lab immediately.

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Denise C Baker
LS504 Class Assignment V
October 25, 2010
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