Thursday, August 27, 2009

Flip Capture: Fire In The Sky

I bought a Flip Ultra Camcorder to document the Sooner T.E.A Party. For a $150 digital camcorder it is pretty cool. I have encountered a few little issues but it is a great little camera for outings, trips, parties, vacations and those types of things.

Last night a front came through so I took it out and sat the little tripod on the porch bistro table. I was hoping that I could grab a lightning bolt. Just turned it on and walked away. It will record for two hours. I ending up just recording a few shorter sequences as the light show intensified.

What I think is cool is that the first time you USB it to the computer it sets up its editing program. I learned that in Snapshot capture there is a nice little tool that scrolls through every frame. When frame comes up that you want a still of just hit a button and that image goes into a queue of thumbnails. Once you have what you want hit a button and it creates a folder like August 2009 and saves the .jpp's there.

It is a sensitive camera and I was able to grab shots of my cats eating on the porch at night with only the porch light on. However, when I maxed its ability I can see that the sudden change from darkness to intense light leaves an artifact on the image. This shot was taken shortly before midnight. So can see the dark area at the top where, I assume, the sensors are trying to adjust:

I was able to capture a good sequence of a lightning bolt and its thunder.

This little thing is a good bang for the buck.


nanc said...

new toys are so much fun! our son's new little dell notebook has the cam built right in - HOW DOES IT KNOW?!?

i bought my little olympus fe-115 a couple of years ago and JUST figured out how to turn the flash off when we went to hot august nights in branson a couple of weeks ago...yeah, i'm a techtard...

IOpian said...

I have a new Toshiba low dollar laptop and it has that camera too. Actually not too bad.

I was amazed this Flip captured those lightning bolts. At 30 frames a second that take about 6 frames of it which happened in 1/5 of a second.

My next experiment is to put it on the back porch and let it record the sunrise for two hours. Bring it into the editor then speed it up.