Webcams vs Flip Video Camcorders

New customers often ask us for camera recommendations.  The questions used to start with,  “Which webcam should I buy?”  Recently that’s changed to,  “Should I buy a webcam or a video camera, and which ones are best?”  The reason for this shift is the emergence of small, easy-to-use mini camcorders.  (We will focus on the popular Flip Video Camcorder in our comparison.)  Gone are the days of lugging around a bulky camcorder.  Today, you can take high-quality video with a device that fits in your pocket.  So, which option is right for your needs?  Let’s discuss the pros and cons of both.

  • convenient – ready to use when you are
  • ideal for stationary videos, video conferencing and video chat – perfect for ‘at your desk’ videos, no stabilization worries
  • excellent for live stream video
  • attaches to monitor – no set-up or tripod required
  • can be embedded in laptops


  • must be connected to a computer to function
  • no mobility
  • embedded webcams often have fewer features and lower video quality

Flip Video Camcorder

  • small, compact, lightweight – easy to carry
  • up to 2 hours of video time – great for events, short films, instructional videos
  • mobile and versatile – take video on-the-go or use a tripod for stationary videos


  • setup involved (if using a tripod)
  • image stabilization – video quality can be reduced if the unit is moved quickly
  • requires an upload – not connected to a computer

As you can see, webcams are great for stationary videos created at your desk.  They are easy to use and require little setup time.  At CoVideo we use Logitech brand webcams, specifically the Pro 9000.  It provides sharp video with autofocus and a quality, built-in microphone.  The Flip camcorder shines in it’s mobility and video recording time.  We use Flips for a variety of ‘location’ style videos, indoors and out.  Both Logitech and Flip offer HD models for high quality videos.  Determine which type of video you want to create and purchase a video camera accordingly.  For some, both a webcam and a Flip make sense and offer the best of both worlds.

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