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Making a YouTube Movie on the Flip Mino HD

The Flip


When we saw Ralph Morang’s short film on YouTube, we asked him to tell us how it got there. We think this is a great way to get news about historic sites and events into the public eye. It’s fast, affordable, easy to absorb. It was just a lazy day aboard the gundalow, but now anyone can experience this event first hand through this mini-documentary.



This spring, I was shooting some photos for a client and noticed the marketing director had a device that I thought was a cell phone. But it had no keypad. She was shooting video with it. Then she showed me how a USB connection flips out of the camera and plugs into a computer for downloading and editing.

Aboard the gundalow Capt. Edward H. Adams

The thing was so small, I figured, that the quality must be terrible, like cell phone video. So, back at headquarters, I had to do some research. Pure Digital Technologies makes the Flip video camera. Four models, the Ultra and Ultra HD, Mino and Mino HD.

I bought the Mino HD (high-definition video in something the size of the remote control of some cameras). And at about the same time, Molly Bolster of the Gundalow Company in Portsmouth, NH, was asking about improving PR.

The Gundalow Company, operates the Capt. Edward H. Adams, a replica of an eighteenth-century shallow-draft barge-like cargo vessel. The Adams is used like a floating classroom to teach the maritime history and ecology of the Piscataqua region of Maine and New Hampshire.


The Adams is hauled around the Piscataqua basin by a towboat, since using the sail or sweeps to make a trip would take forever, and is against current Coast Guard regulations. I thought I’d try out the Flip camera on one trip. The Adams was towed from winter berth in York Harbor, Maine, to Kittery Point, Maine.

The Flip is so small that your heartbeat can make it shake. Panning can cause nausea. Panning on a boat – bleah, urp. The screen is small, only 1.5," and it is very hard to see in daylight. I shot with a two-handed stance and composed the shots by guesswork.

The Flip Mino HD shoots an hour of video. There is a power switch and a button for recording. With power ON, the Flip is on standby. but shuts off after a few minutes. Confirming whether or not you in the RECORD mode is difficult since it is hard to see. I was not recording several times when I thought I was, and at other times I shot the inside of my pocket. There is a zoom feature, but it is only digital, not optical.

Gundalow video by Ralph Morang

Experience with other simple video cameras taught me that the only good sound is recorded within a few feet of the source. I shot two talking heads and otherwise just shot what was going on.

I also took some still photos. In journalism, a photographer shooting video is called a "platypus," something that is not completely one thing nor the other, neither fish nor fowl, photographer or videotgrapher. It is hard to concentrate on both. As a result, I took fewer photos on that trip than I usually would.

Back at the computer, I plugged the Flip into the USB port, and the built-in software opened automatically. With the software, you can view each shot and do simple editing. The files are easily imported into iMovie, which I used for editing.

The sound needed a lot of work, but probably no more than that from any consumer-grade camera. The image is very good, even on a large-screen monitor. The Gundalow Company liked the video and uses it for marketing.

I carry the Flip in my camera bag now, in case Elvis lands his UFO in front of me.Having the camera makes me realize that almost anything can be shot and made into an interesting five-minute video. I am morphing into a platypus; go to YouTube and stay tuned.

By Ralph Morang
New England Photo
Ralph Morang is an award-winning photographer based in Portsmouth, NH

Gundalow by Ralph MOrang

On the gundalow by Ralph MOrang


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Friday, February 23, 2018 
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