I was pretty impressed with the 640x480 resolution image from the $149 camera, until I ran across the AIPTEK A-HD 720P digital camcorder (see http://www.aiptek.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=R-AHDB&Category_Code=DC1&Store_Code=AS) which retails at $159.99 (as low as $139.99 refurbished). While the A-HD 720P doesn’t have a snappy name (like Flip Video Ultra), it does provide high definition (HD) video recording (1280x720 using H.264 video compression) and is also an 8 megapixel still image camera and media player all rolled into one. The video you capture can be played on a high definition TV, standard TV, PC or Mac (cables are included) and enables you to record direct from a TV set as well. Some of the other significant differences include a rechargeable 1000mA Li-ion battery good for about 4 hours of recording (the Flip Video Ultra uses 2 AA batteries that give you approximately 2 hours of recording time) and the ability to use up to an 8GB SD card (the Flip Video Ultra’s memory is not expandable). The bad news is that the A-HD 720P does not come with an SD memory card, so you must buy one or you don’t have sufficient memory to record video (it comes with only 6MB internal memory). So effectively, the cost of the camcorder is $12 to $30 more than it seems. The following chart indicates how much video recording time or how many images you can store based on the SD card size and the resolution of the images/video you capture.
One negative to the A-HD 720P is it’s a bit heavier than the 5.2 oz Flip Video Ultra (can’t find an exact weight in the specs).
Prices listed above are list and can be “beat” at http://www.amazon.com/ and other vendors. There are accessories available for both camcorders (tripods, and so on). Either choice is a giant step forward in miniaturization and price reduction.