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Summary:

We were intrigued and excited about the addition of a video camera to the iPod nano this week. Apple threw the gauntlet down against the Flip in the battle to get stupidly simple video cameras into the hands of consumers. But how do the two compare […]

We were intrigued and excited about the addition of a video camera to the iPod nano this week. Apple threw the gauntlet down against the Flip in the battle to get stupidly simple video cameras into the hands of consumers. But how do the two compare when used literally side-by-side? We got our hands on the nano to find out.

First, Liz walks you through the basics of the new nano. In a nutshell: odd camera placements ruin the otherwise svelte package that’s perfect for any pocket.

We got the new nano while at our sold-out GigaOM Mobilize conference earlier this week. I always have my Flip on me, so we pressed the two next to each other and shot some outdoor, indoor, quiet, noisy footage. (Note: the audio from this comparison is only from the nano, not from the Flip, mixing the two was getting too complicated in the editing). Overall — the Flip offered a MUCH better picture both indoor and out, providing way more detail in the image. The Flip microphone was also a little more discerning in our test, able to distinguish our subject’s voice in a crowded room much better than the Nano. (Update: I was remiss in pointing out earlier that I was using a Flip Ultra SD.)

  1. Apple should just buy Pure Digital Technologies, LLC.

    Their product line looks like Apple products and Apple could eventually extend their product line and provide more video options for their user base by integrating it into everything from the Iphone to the nano. Just think about an IPhone with the video quality of the Flip Mino HD.

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  2. Well, that might be a bit more difficult since Cisco bought Pure earlier this year.

    http://newteevee.com/2009/03/19/cisco-to-acquire-flip-maker-pure-digital-for-590m/

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  3. good gracious that was a great side-by-side comparison. I was thinking of getting rid of my ipod 2g nano for this new one because of both the radio and the camera but geesh that camera really is not as good as the flip

    just to confirm – that flip is an older model flip non-hd model?

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    1. @Allen – yes, it is a standard-def one Chris bought on Craigslist a couple years back. A few models out of date but it still does the job just fine.

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      1. So the comparison is 2007 tech vs 2009 tech & the 2007 flip still beats the 2009 nano at video?

        Doesn’t say much for the Nano.

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  4. This is useful – very well done comparison video – but really, did anyone expect anything different? The larger size of the Flip obviously means it’s better at taking in light & distinguishing in variations than the Nano.

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  5. Excellent post. I used the video on my iPod nano review.

    iPod nano: Poor Design and Missing Features http://offonatangent.blogspot.com/2009/09/mobile-post-sent-by-stevegarfield-using.html

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    1. Thanks, Steve! So… is there a problem with the camera being on the bottom? :)

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  6. Apple doesn’t care about comparing with Flip. The know the nano sucks but that’s not important. Apple is throwing video along the low end YouTube specs with the ease of iTunes sync.

    http://pestaola.gr/apple-vs-flip/ since this is going to be all Greek to you, the main point is this: YouTube Help > Getting Started: Optimizing your video uploads

    Resolution: Recommended: 1280 x 720 (16×9 HD) and 640 x 480 (4:3 SD)
    Video Codec: H.264, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 preferred
    Aurio Codec: MP3 or AAC preferred

    This is what the iPod nano serves.

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    1. If they don’t care about comparing it to the Flip then they shouldn’t have in their keynote. Doing so was a mistake IMO since most hand-held video cameras purchased in the $150 area are HD now.

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      1. IMHO they mentioned it for creating buzz

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  7. [...] Hands-On: iPod Nano vs. Flip SD [...]

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  8. I have a Flip Mino but still my old Flip from Feb 07 when it was still not called Flip still works like a charm.

    I am happy to see this comparison, no words can say the story among all the Apple-love-hype.

    Now if you can compare the flip with a Zi8, I can sleep easy.

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  9. Nice job, Chris & Liz! I want more of this. :)

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  10. [...] unintuitive. I guess someone wasn’t quite thinking. Any how does it stack up against Flip? Chris and Liz did a side-by-side comparison of the new iPod Nano with Flip SD and are underwhelmed by the new Nano. You can check out their [...]

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