Flash memory camcorders

I’m interested in getting my 13 year old son a camcorder for Christmas. He has never really used a camcorder, but has been using the video option on my wifes camera to record youtube video’s with his brothers. I’d like to encourage this, but don’t want to get him something really complicated, as I’m afraid that would discourage him. I would also like to get him something that included some kind of editing software, or need a recommendation on something for him that is also easy to use. So I was looking at something like


a flip video recorder. Has anyone any kind of experience with a camocorder that is based on flash video memory? Or at least the cheaper ones, I see now there are some fairly expensive ones out there.

I’ve not seen these, but I know someone who’s used a Mino (more expensive version of the one you’ve linked) and they reckon image quality is exactly what you’d expect for a very cheap flash camera with a tiny lens - pretty dire. However, it’s incredibly simple to use and basically has software designed for basic editing and uploading to YouTube. Mind you, don’t underestimate his ability to figure out aperture, exposure compensation, shutter speed etc. You might find he wants to upgrade pretty quickly!

The Mino is fine, but if you can get an Ultra for less it’s really not all that much bigger. For a budding filmmaker it should be fine. As for software I’m only really familiar with the Mac offerings, but I hear good things about Sony Vegas on Windows. The entry level version is only around $50.