So I'm in the market for a new mini-camcorder, and all the buzz is about the new Flip UltraHD. However, I'm not inclined to follow the hype so fast. While walking around my local BestBuy, I decided to check out some of its competition, and one that jumped out at me was the Sony Webbie HD MHS-PM1. Here's how the two stack up for me.
Priced at an average cost of $169, the Sony Webbie HD is a few bucks cheaper than the $199 Flip UltraHD. It also shoots 720p and 1080p HD video, and has a swiveling lens. Not to mention that this model comes in silver, purple and orange. It's also powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery - but it doesn't power via USB cable, which I really detest. Working on the road often, I really prefer to carry around as few cables and chargers as possible. Also, you will need to spring another $15-20 for a 4GB Memory Stick Duo card, since the internal memory only has 12MB (which is good for basically nothing) and there's no memory card included.
As for the Flip UltraHD, though some critics say its a bit over priced, CNET says that this camera produces the "best video we've seen from this type of cheap, YouTube-friendly camcorder," and I think $30-40 is worth it for the best quality. The UltraHD model shoots 720p HD video, has a 2-inch LCD screen and it charges via USB cable. Plus, if you're away from a power source and you need to recharge fast, you can plug in a pair of disposable AA batteries anytime. Furthermore, FlipShare software is compatible with both Mac and Windows machines. While the Webbie is compatible with both Macs and PCs, its Picture Motion Browser software only works with Windows PCs. And while the Flip model only comes in black and white, I'm more inclined to a simple, professional black camcorder.
My final verdict? While the Sony Webbie is a pretty good product, I'm leaning towards the Flip UltraHD based on picture quality, and it's easier to recharge.