The Flip video camera is no more. Cisco has decided to stop production to focus on it's enterprise businesses. For me this was unexpected, but not a shock considering the highly competitive mobile video camera environment today.
Flip was my first handheld video camera and I currently own almost all versions of the device. However, its been years since I've taken it with me anywhere to capture video. This is for a few reasons. I now have a video camera on my phone (iPhone 4), which is always with me for capturing spontaneous moments, making it not necessary to carry another device. And, more importantly, over the years I've opted for much sleeker models, starting with the Sony Webbie and most recently the Sony Bloggie.
The specs between the latest Flip and Sony Bloggie are comparable. This makes design and form a deciding factor for me. One of the features that make the Bloggie stand out is the 3.0" touch screen which auto-rotates (landscape vs portrait depending on how you are holding it). Not to mention it is just down right better looking. Do I love the way it feels in my hand? Do people comment on it when I'm using it? Do I record video just to use it?
The design geek in me thinks these things are important.
In my experience, the Sony handheld video cameras are simply more innovative in their design. After thinking it through, it makes sense to me that Cisco is opting out. The space is getting much more competitive and they realize that future development will require much more innovation and design resources to keep up.
Disclosure: I was given the Sony Webbie as part of a blogger program at SXSW in 2009 and recently was also given the Sony Bloggie as part of their most recent blogger program.
Here is an embarassing video of me for the purpose of showing off the video quality of the latest Sony Bloggie Touch.
Catching shrimp at a hibachi restaurant in Palm Desert, CA at DEMO 2011.