Cheap Camcorder Showdown: Creative Vado Vs. Flip Ultra (Vado Looks Better, Flip Shoots Better)

Illustration for article titled Cheap Camcorder Showdown: Creative Vado Vs. Flip Ultra (Vado Looks Better, Flip Shoots Better)

On paper, Creative's Vado might outclass and out-spec the wildly successful Flip Ultra camcorder it very liberally (like crazy, PETA liberal) takes its cues from, but what about in the real world? Laptop Mag tosses 'em together and finds that while the Vado outpaces the older Flip most respects—it's cheaper, slimmer, more attractive and has a better layout and bigger LCD—the Flip wins where it counts: video quality.

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The Flip Ultra's clips were "clearer and more detailed across the board," while the Vado tended to overexpose and had problems capturing details. Overall winner: Flip, despite costing about $30 more. If the size issue is still pushing you toward the Vado, wait a couple weeks, since it looks like the Flip smaller and tartier pretty soon. [Laptop Mag]

DISCUSSION

DeadWriter
DeadWriter

Quick audio analyses (really not fair considering the conditions). The recordings are not in true stereo.

Both cameras showed a DC offset that was identical. This could be caused by the amplifier circuit or by something in the editing software or in the compression algorithm used for the audio.

Floor noise: The real test would be to clip the mic and record a bit of audio. Instead I used the blank bits from the Panda scene with out the audio removed. Winner Vado -16.6db noise and Ultra at -27.6 or if there in nearly zero floor noise that makes the Ultra the winner because it has a more sensitive mic. In the end let's just say it is a push with out better testing.

This really is a poor test, but the Vado v.s. Flip, the Flip seems the better. Random sound samples averaged between 5 and 9.7dB louder for the Flip. Of course there is variation all over the place. I also removed all the pops (outliers). The overall sampling range was higher for the Flip.

I was going to write about the frequency range found in the first two recordings, then my applications just quit. So, let me just say the Flip looks to have a wider ranger, with significantly more headroom.

Why am I wasting my time on this.... Listen to the videos, make your own decision. But really, a separate set of audio tests should be done.