I love watching videos of my kids, but I hate dragging out the video camera. I find that inserting a camera between myself and the experience often turns me off to taking videos in the first place — which is something I already regret as I watch my kids grow so quickly.
With the rise of simple video-sharing, taking videos and uploading them to the Net shouldn’t take a second thought. Which is why I’m enjoying the Flip Video Camcorder. The thing is about the size of a deck of cards, is effortless to use, has a total recording time of 30 or 60 minutes (depending on the model) and has a USB plug on the side so you can pop the videos straight into your computer. It shouldn’t replace a full-size video camera — the sound and image quality isn’t as good as with a higher-end camera — but the $100 price-range is inexpensive enough for you to keep it on hand as a “snapshot” video tool. This would also be a fun gift for any aspiring filmmakers or YouTube stars on your list.