This article could also be entitled “The Rise and Fall of the Flip Cam”. For, as quickly as Cisco said goodbye to its camera department in spring of this year, which it had only acquired two years previous (for a lot of money), companies accepted the viewpoint that consumer (HD!) video recorders can only provide very specialised – and as such, only occasionally suitable – material in the business environment.
For me, the strength of these small, wonder devices lies solely in the fact that you can film with them almost without being seen. Capturing current events spontaneously from the heart of the action: this is the domain of flip cams and consorts. The targeted use of images and sound captured in this way in corporate videos can help to create authenticity and believability. Flip cams, iPhones and similar devices are, then, completely suitable for use in the corporate video environment – as sources for parts of a company film, but never as the only piece of production equipment. For the trade-off in image and sound quality when using one of these cameras is massive: it is impossible to shoot long, shake-free takes due to the lack of image stabiliser, the low camera weight and the lack of a stand (the tripod head would be three times larger than the size of the actual camera!) Another major disadvantage: the built-in microphones are not suitable for interviews and there are generally no connection options for professional microphones.
However, as soon as you can somehow find a way to work with a tripod or with an external microphone (and you always do this if you need professional results), the advantages of flip cams and similar devices disappear: you cannot film unnoticed and in the heart of the action anymore.
Mini camcorders increase the ways of creating emotional, authentic and, above all, spontaneously filmed video material in a unique way. However, mini cameras are not suitable for completely replacing professional video teams.