I want to push the Society of American Florists (SAF) from a primarily photo oriented publishing shop to video. SAF will certainly not abandon photos altogether but video is it when it comes to providing a richer media experience especially when delivering content via social media.
My mind was made up after attending the DigitalNow Conference a few months ago when uber geek Amber MacArthur provided me with some great tips (on stage no less) on how to better leverage several SAF Convention events to promote SAF's brand to the masses (member and non) via YouTube, Facebook, et al. The events I have in mind are the annual Outstanding Varieties Competition and Sylvia Cup Design Competition.
In essence, every year, SAF selects the No. 1 Flower and the No. 1 Designer in America! The photos from these events have always been top notch and dramatic but still static. And if you're a fan of Iron Chef, apply those concepts to the Sylvia Cup Design competition. So it's almost a crime not to capture this annual floral feast on film.
I'll cut to the chase, I went with the Flip UltraHD for $199 rather than the Sony Webbie HD Series or Creative's Vado. Here are my reasons.
Video Quality. After reading copious reviews from several sources for all cameras, including CNET, PCMag, I was narrowed down the three options to two - the Flip and Vado. Almost all reviewers slammed the Sony Webbie HD for the less than stellar video quality, which quite honestly shocked me since I've always relied on Sony because of consistent video quality. But many of the samples I viewed online confirmed this opinion.
Finally, I went with the Flip because the Flipshare software. You can run it on a Mac (great for me!) or PC, which enables me to hand it to anyone on staff. The process was extremely simple, you press the lever on the Flip to release the USB extension, plug it in which then automatically launches Flipshare. Once you download all the movies you've taken, you can upload your movies to your YouTube account in about three clicks.
In addition, I found that the Mac sees the Flip as an external drive. You can download the clips manually and import them into iMovie if you'd like more editing capability and Final Cut Express or Pro if you're a video ninja.
For my floral industry friends, check out the August 2009 edition of Society of American Florists' Floral Management Magazine on how you can create a channel and use the Flip to market your talents to the world. For my association tweeps and peeps, check out the August 2009 edition of TechnoScope for the same but couched in our non-profit association flavor.
Check out a video sample I captured during a recent trip to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. The day was a bit overcast but I was taking a fast moving object aka the spectacular Griffon roller coaster splashing through water.