Originally Posted by davyo
As an iPhone user (currently have the 3GS, am getting the iPhone 4) I own more than a few of the small HD pockets cams,, (Flips, Vado and Kodak Zi8).
The HD video samples I have seen from the iPhone 4 look pretty darn good,, and like other's Im not really seeing a reason to carry around a Flip after I get the iPhone 4.
The typical "Flip" style camcorders have a slightly better lens/sensor combination than a high-end cellphone like the iPhone 4, the Droids, etc. The difference is not profound, and none of these support optical stabilization, zoom, etc. Of course, most of the modern "Flip" devices (and the clones) will do a 1080/30p capture, while the iPhone (and most other modern smartphones) will do 720p. And even that's questionable... the 720p may be overcompressed compared to the Flip.
Though there's no 720p mode for the Droid yet (the hardware supports it, the CPU/DSP may not be enough to encode it well enough), the SD recording is not only very good, it's considerably better than many consumer DV camcorders. Now, my "pocket video camera" is a Sanyo FH1, which is going to completely blow away any of these on quality, low-light, etc.
But the main premise of these devices (which, for some crazy reason, we still call "phones") is one device: I have phone, internet, photo, video, GPS, game machine, guitar tuner, etc. in one single device. The only reason to carry a "Flip" is exactly this same thing.. you have it when you need it.
So no, the iPhone4 is not in the same class as a real camcorder like the Sanyo, not even comparable to a DV camcorder if zoom is any concern. But neither is a "Flip". Which is why I don't have one, and use the smartphone if I find I need photos or videos and I'm not carrying one of my half-dozen-plus camcorders or still cameras.
Originally Posted by davyo
The folks at "Flip" are probaly freaking out right now
Probably not... the iPhone 4 is really just catching up to a half-dozen other phones. The Nexus One did HD video last year, for example. Most of the new HTC phones do, too... they're all 720p so far, while Flip did push forward to 1080p recently. And they're also kind of a different market... a Flip device is $100-$200. An iPhone is $200-$400... plus another $1700-$2000 over the next two years. If you have an iPhone, you probably don't buy a Flip, but no one buys an iPhone as a replacement for a Flip.
And I don't think HD is the reason, either.. the 3GS, and most other smart phones, have done increasingly better SD video for some while now. If I have a 3GS, I'm not going to buy a Flip either. They've lived with this for awhile.
I think what's got to worry the Flip folks much more if the iPod. Today's iPod Nano does SD video... it's not great, but neither is the Flip. If Apple puts the iPhone 4 video into the next iPod Touch, then all of a sudden you can get an PDA-style iPod for $100-or-so more than a Flip. That, I think, would be their big problem. And no one buying these things is all THAT concerned about video quality.