Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The “Good Enough” Test: Flip vs. Apple iPod Nano

When Apple added a video camera to the iPhone last summer, the digerati declared that Flip, Cisco’s cheap digital video camera line, was dead. When Apple added a video camera to its cheap and tiny iPod nano last week, the digerati heaped dirt on the camcorder’s grave.

You know what? I think the conventional wisdom is right on this one. Take a look at this clever test from NewTeeVee, which compares the nano’s new camera with a Flip Ultra SD.

The good folks at NewTeeVee declare that the Flip’s camera offers a “MUCH better picture,” and since they did the work here I won’t argue with them.

But I don’t think the gap between the two cameras is big enough to help Flip. If you’re really serious about video quality, you’re probably not carrying a Flip to begin with. And given the choice between a video camera that takes a decent picture and one that also lets you listen to music, watch movies and play games…well, that’s a tough sell, even if you’ve got Cisco’s (CSCO) marketing dollars backing you up.

In other words, Apple (AAPL) has passed my “good enough” test. The nano doesn’t do the job as well as a single-use device, but it’s adequate for my needs. The only question for me is whether I spring for a nano now, or hold off in the hopes that the iPod touch line gets a camera sooner than later.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik