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Jesse Alexander Helps Us Test Out the Flip HD

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Last week’s NewTeeVee Live show was a lot of fun for many reasons. First, we got to hear from a ton of great speakers like Jesse Alexander, formerly a writer and producer for the hit TV show Heroes. Also, it gave us a chance to put the new Flip MinoHD camera through some high-def paces.

Jesse Alexander at NewTeeVee Live from Chris Albrecht on Vimeo.

Jesse was a great participant for our “Bridging the Gap” panel, and it was something of an Alexander lovefest; the other panelists had nothing but praise for the “transmedia” work Alexander did on Heroes. He’s no longer with the show, but I chatted with him about his next endeavor and how transmedia elements — like supporting web series and graphic novels — will be incorporated into the overall story. The interview was shot using the Flip MinoHD.

Like its predecessors, the Flip MinoHD delivers great functionality in an easy-to-use package. This time though, the device shoots in 720p resolution (check out more specs on the device in our previous coverage). I videotaped different subjects under different conditions throughout the day at the conference, and for the most part was quite pleased.

Getting up and going with the Flip HD was fast and easy, and using it was as intuitive as ever. One drawback was a problem with the earlier Flip Mino non-HD camera, as well: The touch-sensitive controls didn’t always respond and often required repeated pushing before the command was executed.

The Flip does not handle low light very well. When I shot footage backstage it was super noisy. Granted, the dimly-lit hallway wasn’t exactly accommodating to capturing a crisp image, but even when Liz shot a (soon-to-be-posted) interview with Hulu CEO Jason Kilar out in the main lobby, the footage didn’t look that great.

When I talked with Jesse Alexander, I made sure the lighting was better. We had him in a brighter, more naturally-lit part of the lobby, and you can tell the difference. The colors pop and the image is beautifully clear when uploaded as an HD file using Vimeo’s HD uploads (though, because I don’t have a Vimeo Plus account, I don’t have HD embeds, you’ll have to click-through for the full experience).

The Flip has some issues with frame rates if you move the camera around a lot, making the image look fluttery. But for still interviews like the ones I normally do, I don’t think I can go back to the standard non-high-def Flip.