One Of Your Biggest Issues With “Flip” Style Cameras Solved!

One of the biggest issues my students always tell me about with “Flip” style cameras (Flip Ultra HD, Kodak Zi8 and other similar cameras), is that you can’t see the viewfinder while recording yourself… unless you have super bionic powers and can see around corners! While I don’t have super bionic powers, I think I’ve stumbled upon a pretty neat little solution (the whole thing actually came to me inside a dream… believe it or not!) for the Flip video camera viewfinder fix.

Using the solution inside today’s video is powerful, yet very effective. It’s a great solution because:

  • It’s super easy to implement
  • It should only take you about 10 – 20 minutes to create
  • It will only cost you around 10 bucks – or even less!
  • And it will make your life much easier while recording videos!

Perhaps you’ve also had this very same issue that I’ve identified inside today’s video, and you may even have found your own solution? If so, please leave your comment. Or just leave your comment in any case if you think this is a cool little solution to make your camera a whole lot more useful!

Stay visible…

Gideon Shalwick

PS: Of course this solution works with ANY camera that does not have the flip’able viewfinder thingee… I use it on my Canon T2i 550D camera (the camera I used for recording this whole video) – works fantastic! Also, let me know what you think about this Flip video camera viewfinder fix ok?

Transcript of Today’s Video

Click Here To Read The Transcript

Right click here to download today’s video to your computer

About Gideon Shalwick

Gideon Shalwick is a YouTube and video marketing expert, and has figured out how to get a TON of attention using online video (with one YouTube channel reaching 10 million views!), and today, he's built a following of over 100,000 people for his business ventures, and 60,000+ people on this very blog, where he shares some of his most powerful video marketing strategies.

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186 Responses to One Of Your Biggest Issues With “Flip” Style Cameras Solved!

  1. [..YouTube..] I have two solutions. 1. For field use, stick a small mirror to the front of the camera just below the lens with two sided foam tape. 2. For home use, run the video out to your television.

    I bought a 13″ color TV for $5 just for this. With the U.S. gone digital and everyone buying HD flat screens you can buy a used portable tv for next to nothing. Check garage sales, ask your friends.

    • Hi Fender:

      How would you hook the camera up to the TV? What type of TV would you need to have. I have a 14 inch color on my kitchen table. Am clueless if it would work with your solution. I bought it about 5 years or so ago, so it is not that old – not digital, runs with the cable box now.



  2. [..YouTube..] Great idea!

  3. [..YouTube..] Fun stuff! Thanks for sharing this… =)

    I don’t use those cameras but I can see where this works for other types of cameras.

  4. [..YouTube..] Very clever…I wish more people filmed using tripods. Love the mirror idea…

  5. Good idea, but as an alternative for those that don’t want to make something. I went to Aldi (supermarket chain) and picked up a simple flip HD camera for around $100 which had a rotating view finder. As long as you’ve got good lighting it’s fine. Of course you’ll need to get an external voice recorder since the audio is aweful. Make sure it records in 128kbps MP3 format, I bought a cheap one that records at 32kpbs and playing back my latest show the sound is terrible. I’ll be getting a Sony ICDUX200FP as Gideon recommends.


    • Gideon Shalwick

      Oh I have to see a picture of this one… Is it an actual Flip Ultra HD camera? Or just another brand but with the rotating viewfinder?


  6. Hi Gideon. Thanks for all your free resources. I’ve been studying and implementing. I have a couple challenges though. I’ve been using youtube keyword search, placing URL in my video and using annotations – my videos aren’t doing too well yet. Am I doing something wrong, or do I have to wait for it to breathe first (everythign has been set up a week ago, blog, channel, twitter etc).

    Then also, I’ve installed the genko youtube comments plugin into my WP blog but they aren’t coming through. Right now I’m putting the url of the vid into my ‘custom field box’ using the youtubevidid option. Am I doing it right or what am I doing wrong?

    Your help would be much appreciated.

    • Gideon Shalwick

      Hey ivin

      One week is a very short time to start getting amazing results… in anything!

      I suggest you keep going for a little longer and keep on using my growth strategies to help grow your views, traffic and optins.

      Also, very importantly, make sure you provide great value with your videos. Value spreads.

      And for the Genki plugin, instead of using the whole URL, try just using the YouTube ID code for your video – it’s the code after the equal sign at the end…

      That should do the job.


      • Thank Gideon, I really appreciate it. ‘I’ll keeeeeeep hoooldin’ on…’

  7. Interesting hack! I love stuff like this and cover a lot of it on my website! :)

  8. Awesome solution. I was also thinking to put bicycle mirror on the tripod. But Gideon your solution is even better.

  9. That’s pretty clever, Gideon, nice invention :)

    Also I didn’t know that the T2i was able to autofocus while recording video, it looks like your DSLR autofocuses on the mirror when you point it at the mirror and then on the Flip when you point it at the Flip. My Nikon D5000 doesn’t autofocus in video mode :(

    • Gideon Shalwick

      Thanks Klaus!

      Nope… not autofocus there – it was all done by hand!

      Was pretty easy though with my “nifty fifty” lens set to manual.


      • I actually thought about whether or not you might have done it manually but it looked to me as if it was autofocus – maybe you’re just *that* good with your 50mm :)

        • Gideon Shalwick

          Lol! It was my first ever “action” video with my Canon T2i 550D!

          So, I guess not such a bad result after all!



  10. I Love this idea, Gideon. Thanks so much for sharing it. I’ve been recording my videos in front of a mirror that hangs on the wall so I could see the back of my flip, but this will give me much more flexibility in where I record my videos.

    Thanks for the awesome tip!

  11. Jason Gazaway

    Hey Gideon :)

    Quick question about the Canon T2i 550D (Canon rebel EOS?)… Is it the 18mp? Very good quality for under $1k :) Looking to start doing some video blogging and wanting similar quality to yours. Always was impressed with your videos/presentations :)

    Shoot me an email bud… Need to catch up!

    Take care,

    • Gideon Shalwick

      Ah your alive!!!

      Hey Jason – been trying to get in touch with you for AGES!

      Yeah it’s the Canon Rebel EOS – that’s how they brand it in the USA.

      Not sure how to tell if it’s the 18mp… but it sounds about right. It’s this one here:

      Are you still on Skype?


      • Jason Gazaway

        LOL, yes still alive… boy do I have a story for you though 😉

        I hopped on Skype last night to chat with you and sent you a message. I’ll most likely be on today. Shoot me a message bud!


  12. That is bloody beautiful, Gideon! I love that it came to you in a dream; how amazing are the workings of the creative mind?

    By the way, I thought I was going to have to buy a new camera until I discovered that my digital still camera records video as well. It’ll do me fine until I have the spare funds to buy a Flip or something similar.

    Video blogging, here I come!

    • Gideon Shalwick

      Awesome stuff Linnet! Your digital still camera should still give you great results – and now with this cool new solution for the viewfinder, you’ll be all set!

      And yes, I am still amazed at how the creative mind works – I should sleep more often 😉


  13. It is like I was watching an episode of McGyver. “get be some tape, a shaving mirror and a tin foil roll….poof….a monitor.” Good stuff.

    • Gideon Shalwick

      LOL! That’s EXACTLY what I was thinking as I was preparing for the video LOL!

      Good call!


      PS: Secretly I’ve always wanted to be like McGyver… just kidding!

  14. remco

    Ok, let me share my experience. 3 Weeks ago I did an interview in an hotel with somebody sitting on the couch. I thought I was in the screen, but afterwards realized that I wasn’t!!
    With the next interview I just asked somebody to look for me, and it went perfect. This solution is something for at home, if you are not too far from the flipcam. I don’t think it works outdoors, or if you are more than 12ft from the camera (with lapel mic ofcourse)

  15. Brilliant idea! I’ve been wishing there was a way to do this for ages.
    PS is there a way to use an external mic. with a flip cam?

  16. Rick

    Weren’t you an engineer of sorts in your previous (to internet marketing) life?? Just kidding of course!!

    • Gideon Shalwick


      I never actually practiced as an engineer, but I do have an Electrical & Electronic Engineering Honours degree and also a Master in Engineering Management. But I don’t use those skills any longer – that was from a “previous” life :)


  17. Gideon, Being a guy,that ,say its a field Job,theres always something,that you forgt,I dont care if you bring the entire shop, theres always that 1 thing!
    But,Great Idea,as we have had to make due, well what im trying to say,is Im Disapointed that you didnt use Duct tape!! Heck,a skilled craftsman,might not be able to do a Video like You,But can build a House,or Condo complex with Duct tape!,LOL!!!!! Thanks,Jack- Sorry just could not resist! a little fun!, Dont even ask how many rolls of Duct tape are in the trucks,cars,shop,kitchen drawers!!!

    • Gideon Shalwick

      I did consider Duct Tape Jack – but the ones I looked at weren’t the “rippable” ones. So I just went Gaffa instead…


    • Well,Gideon, after welding in 97 degree heat all day,Looks Like a lot of good Old McGyververs out there,!!!!!
      I swear,and Ill find it,some one gave me as a gag for christmas,a Book(all cartoons) on Duct tape,,BTW,, I did see a Pair if sissors there, so no need for Rippleple,,Sorry ,Heat got me,and alot of follow ups I see,Good Job! as allways,,One question,did they look at you funny checking out the mirrors,or did you just grab one and run,mumbling,Yep,this is what she wanted, Works every time,LOL!!!!!!!! Jack

  18. Hey Gideon,
    I just had to pipe in here. When I was looking for a small, inexpensive video cam about 2 years ago, I was about to buy the Flip when someone pointed me towards the “RCA Small Wonder.”
    The video quality may not be quite as good (I don’t know) but it does have a led viewfinder that swings out to the side if desired with the display facing toward the subject (you) if you need to to film yourself.
    I just looked and it’s about 80 bucks on Amazon. I haven’t done a great deal with it but, the videos I have recorded seem good to me, especially if I use the “HQ” setting.
    Hope this is helpful.

  19. I had the same problem with my Flip. My solution was to spend £50 (80USD) on a Toshiba Camileo P10 HD camcorder which does come with a flip screen that also handily autorotates.

  20. This is a great tip! One of the reasons I don’t do very many videos is because it’s such a pain trying to (1) find someone that can record for me, (2) it’s too time consuming trying to get myself situated just right so that I’m centered and not cutting off the top or bottom of my head. I can’t wait to get myself rigged up like this! What an easy but genius idea! Thanks for sharing Gideon.

  21. I just wanted to say thank you. Also to comment that you have created a really good vibe on this page with others sharing their own tips.

  22. I’ve been using a sanyo xacti hd2000 for about a year now and it has the twistable display. But now with the canon rebel t2i (it’s an EOS 550D) i found it impossible to focus myself and get “inside the frame” easily. This tip is just awesome.

    Here is a tip though…

    Once you are in focus and everything, move the mirror away to avoid distractions. You’ll sometimes find yourself moving your eyes away of the lens when you review your footage.

    Not cool. You want to always “look into the eye” of your viewer.

    I’ve learned this from shooting vlogs with my xacti.

    Once again, great tip Gideon, I blogged it here: 😉


  23. Rebecca

    Just out the top of my head I’m thinking you could also use a wardrobe mirror, or place a large mirror on a shelf behind the flip. Of course that all depends if the camera is in the right place for the shoot, but this is the quickest way I think without having to attach anything to the flip and tripod. Just an extra idea!
    Brilliant stuff Gideon – keep up the fantastic work!

  24. [..YouTube..] Gideon, I dubb you a redneck!!! BTW, that’s a complement coming from Montana, USA! You are very wise and efficient!!! I love your ingenuity and free-flow idea!!!!!!

  25. Hani Mourra

    Brilliant solution Gideon! I love the home made affordable video solutions. I have one here for lighting that costs around the same:

    Thanks again for sharing!


  26. I Love it! You’re like the MacGuyver of Flip cameras. Keep sharing the awesome tips. Thanks – Gideon

  27. Hi Gideon,

    Great solution to a vexing issue, thank you. I came up with a similar fix for my Flip set up.

    I have a table-top tripod but still got a great result using a rotating cosmetics mirror set up behind the camera, with both the camera AND the mirror set up on stacks of books and both sitting in a north facing window with the camera facing a chair.

    It took a little tweaking of book heights and mirror angles (and this was my first ever attempt with captions and editing) but I’m quite proud of my final result:

    Again, thanks for all your stellar advice.

    • Gideon Shalwick

      Wow it looks GREAT! I like the gray scale – makes it look nice and artistic!


  28. Thanks for sharing, Gideon! Simple solution to an annoying problem. But hey, does your wife know what you’ve done to her mirror? 😉

    I love that I can hear your baby cooing in the background. Welcome to the world of munchkin noises 😀

    • Gideon Shalwick


      Nah I got the mirror from the local shop.

      And yeah, those munchkin noises are inevitable :)


      • Tim

        Hi Gideon,

        Great stuff as always,


        If your recording yourself with the Flip/or Other such camera, how do you handle starting and stopping the video recording? Do you just edit out those parts later ? Also when you use the Sony ICM VoiceRecorder you mentioned earlier do turn the sound down on your Flip and then “drag and drop” that audio portion into your editing software?

        Thanks again for your tips

  29. [..YouTube..] @donnainmt I only have the first flip camera that came out but I’m pretty sure this will work for the rest. If the portable tv doesn’t have audio/video in you will need to use a RF converter. Camera video out – RF converter – VHF in on TV. On a Sony Webbie HD (my current camera) the viewfinder goes blank but is displayed to the tv.

  30. Ugh, forgot to add that my challenge now is doing this when I’m outdoors. I’d love to shoot more videos in the park, like Fran Kerr.

  31. [..YouTube..] Thanks for sharing this tip :)

  32. [..YouTube..] Seriously – seven and half minutes to say “Use a mirror on a stick”!

  33. Hi Gideon – I went on Lexi’s Webinar when you were a guest and learned so much from you. Thanks! I love this video and how you have created an affordable and fun solution! – and I also love that it came to you in a dream.
    Thanks for sharing it!

  34. Brad Keating

    Great Idea!
    Do you have any tips on using teleprompter’s? Perhaps some makes and models you may recommend. I really don’t like having to look to the side of the camera as it is quite obvious and less professional.


  35. Hi Gideon,

    My Flip UltraHD just arrived last Friday and one thing I realized was that I can’t see myself while shooting, so I had to place the camera infront of the PC monitor which acts as my mirror. Outdoors, I just had to extend my arm and guess where the lens is pointing to. It takes a bit of practice.

    I went to Staples yesterday and had a look at the Sony Bloggie which had a rotating LCD viewer. Wish the Flip had this but of course that won’t happen.

    Thanks for the tip!


  36. [..YouTube..] I love you. No homo.

  37. Thanks for the really simple tip, Gideon! Quite ingenious! I’ve done recording with our Flip and had to scrap it because I couldn’t see my head was chopped off. Good stuff.

  38. Hi Gideon,

    Great solution to what can be a real problem and frustration… I love it! Simple, affordable and very clever :) Great work – thank you for posting!

  39. [..YouTube..] Very creative and cool solution. Thanks.

  40. Gideon, you make me laugh !!!!

    I was asking myself the same question yesterday and lo and behold I
    get your e-mail the next morning. I don’t believe in coincidence’s, so thanks
    very much for listening to my thought waves and giving me a solution
    to my challenge.


    P.S: What program do you use for your pop up lead capture page?

    • Gideon Shalwick

      Hey John!

      I’ glad I could put a smile on your face!

      Your thoughts must have entered my dreams at some point to add to the “inspiration”!


      For the pop up lead generation capture page, I’m using Popup Domination. You can get it here:

      (Affiliate link)

      Talk soon!


  41. Giles

    The Sony Bloggie camcorder has a rotating lens which makes it perfect for self-filming.

    • Gideon Shalwick

      Hey Giles

      Quick question – have you used the Sony Bloggie on a Mac by any chance? And if so, does it work?


      • Giles

        I don’t own a Sony Bloggie. I have been researching different cameras before I buy one. I think I will buy the Kodak Zi8 mainly because of the external mic jack. I really enjoy your videos. Thanks.

  42. Great simple solution Gideon. I was thinking about connecting a TV to AV out but this is a whole lot easier to move. I think it may even be better than a dedicated camera monitor. No wires.

  43. Gideon, great idea.

    Now, do you have any ideas on how to create a proper background for your videos. Mine is a wall with a bookshelf that doesn’t look too professional. Is buying a screen the best idea? What color works best?

  44. FX


    Sorry to ask such a rookie question, but when you are constructing a website, how do you build a panel similar to this one (primarily for video blogging) with the playback panel followed by a convenient application for submitting and posting comments.

  45. Thanks a lot. I like the way you used the cardboard tube to make it adjustable and portable!

  46. Brilliant as usual. I love the “alley cat” approach you use: quick, effective and cheap! With your help I’m making huge progress on my videos. Watch this space for the big reveal in late September.

  47. Using a magnified mirror? Brilliant! That will make filming SO much easier.
    Thanks for the excellent tip 😉

  48. Great idea. What is that handle on the back called? It looks more like just a handle. My tripod has an adjusting handle, I’m wondering if that might work. The problem I am having with that same Kodak camera is getting the sound to match the picture. What am I doing wrong?

  49. Gideon, thanks for the DIY tip.
    What about using a TV Out cable connected to PC? That’s like a minute’s setup and almost all camera comes with a TV Out Cable in box.

    • Gideon Shalwick

      That’s a great solution too Abhik, but it’s not so portable, and there are cables can you trip over :)

      My little solution is very light and portable, which means you can take it anywhere with you, and record anywhere with ease :)


      • Hey Gideon,

        Your solution is very creative and portable. I wonder how it came to you.

        Coming up with something like that is not something that happens often to me. I’d have to wrack my brains for long hours.

        Maybe you can whip up creative solutions like this in minutes.

        In any case it’s great that you are freely sharing it. Thank you.


        • Gideon Shalwick

          The solution came to me in a dream… no kidding!


  50. That’s a pretty slick solution, Gideon. I think another way that would work is to record in front of a wall with a mirror attached to it like hanging a picture at the same height as the camera. The tripod may block the view a little but people should still see the screen though. Otherwise, people could find two poles, and attached a mirror to it so it becomes portable and adjustable.

  51. Gideon,

    Great video. When you are outside shooting videos, do you take your McGyver’d mirror out? Also, can you recommend some good camera’s (outside the z8/flip) that may be a little more expensive that are good for video blogging?


  52. FenderGibsonWashburn

    I have two solutions. 1. For field use, stick a small mirror to the front
    of the camera just below the lens with two sided foam tape. 2. For home
    use, run the video out to your television. I bought a 13″ color TV for $5
    just for this. With the U.S. gone digital and everyone buying HD flat
    screens you can buy a used portable tv for next to nothing. Check garage
    sales, ask your friends.

  53. If you’re looking at a new camera then perhaps one with two LCD screens would be in order. I’ve been quite tempted by it as I often take videos on the go while I’m riding my bicycle.

    The Samsung ST550 is one example. Here’s a review of it at DPS:

  54. Thanks Gideon

    Fantastic timing, I was just shooting a video to update my website just yesterday, and was having trouble with my EOS 550D.

    One of the biggest issues I have is with the focus, I want to have the great depth of field that can be achieved, but keeping myself crisp and clear is the hardest thing on my own.

    I see you were focusing in and out on your video, were you using the manual focus to achieve this, as I get a terrible motor noise if I try using the auto focus.

    Thanks Gideon, love your stuff.


    • Gideon Shalwick

      Hey Steve

      Yes, I just did it manually for this video (during the action part).

      But when I am just recording myself, I use the little RC-6 remove control – that allows me to focus, and also start and stop recording. So, combining the tip inside the video on this page with using the remote, you really don’t need a camera person any longer!


      • Thanks for that info Gideon,

        I went and purchased an RC-6 Remote Control from a camera store in Brunswick Street today for only $43, what a bargain, I love it!

        Thanks so much for your input and your great info, I will be certainly making sure that I keep a watchful eye on your content from here on in. Your great information is helping structure my business and many of my clients with a better more powerful web presence.

        I will be updating my website in the coming months utilising your techniques, I’ll make sure to let you know when it is all done.

        Thanks again Gideon


  55. Jay Grissom

    Fun stuff! Thanks for sharing this… =) I don’t use those cameras but I
    can see where this works for other types of cameras.

  56. As always, very good video, Gideon. I bought the T2i a month ago and am trying to figure out how to shoot in manual mode for hd videos like yours. How are you using the remote to focus if you are shooting in manual mode? Any tips on learning the various adjustments needed to shoot manual would be highly appreciated. I love the quality of the videos the T2i makes.


  57. Erik R

    Great little technique Gideon. Definitely beats the current method I’ve been using. Which is…

    1) place a something on the ground to mark where to stand.
    2) Shoot a test video to see how I’m lined up.
    3) Play back the video and watch it.
    4) Adjust the mark accordingly.
    5) If it is good, jump back in front of the camera and hope it works.

    I think the mirror will be much better.


  58. Ericsurf6

    Very clever…I wish more people filmed using tripods. Love the mirror

  59. donnainmt

    Gideon, I dubb you a redneck!!! BTW, that’s a complement coming from
    Montana, USA! You are very wise and efficient!!! I love your ingenuity and
    free-flow idea!!!!!!

  60. Alex Kashko

    Sometimes low tech gives the best solution.

    Well done.

  61. [..YouTube..] I only have the first flip camera that came out but I’m pretty sure this will work for the rest. If the portable tv doesn’t have audio/video in you will need to use a RF converter. Camera video out – RF converter – VHF in on TV. On a Sony Webbie HD (my current camera) the viewfinder goes blank but is displayed to the tv.

  62. FenderGibsonWashburn

    I only have the first flip camera that came out but I’m pretty sure this will work for the rest. If the portable tv doesn’t have audio/video in you will need to use a RF converter. Camera video out – RF converter – VHF in on TV. On a Sony Webbie HD (my current camera) the viewfinder goes blank but is displayed to the tv.

  63. Gideon:
    A million thanks. I have been putting off making Flip recordings and you have solved the problem. By the by, in one of my books, I do talk about athletes and scientists who “dream” a solution.
    Thank you for joining their ranks./ Rita Watson

  64. harounkola

    Thanks for sharing this tip :)

  65. [..YouTube..] Nice tip Gideon….always thinking…upstairs for thinking…downstairs for dancing. Have a great day..

  66. whollyheathan

    Seriously – seven and half minutes to say “Use a mirror on a stick”!

  67. Hi Gideon,
    I like your solution to the problem of not being able to see the viewfinder while recording. It’s a powerfully simple and elegant way to solve the situation that took creativity to figure out. I will have to keep your tip in mind when I purchase my flip camera for my blog. Keep the videos coming. You are a spring well of information.
    Rick Resch

  68. MichaelDadona

    Very creative and cool solution. Thanks.

  69. Chris

    Hey Gideon,

    Great stuff… really like the tips. I remember when the Flip first came out. One of it’s competitors at the time was the RCA Small Wonder. Very similar to the flip, but less expensive and has the reversible viewfinder. I choose the the RCA over the Flip because it was easier to record myself. You can check them out here…

    Another option is the Zoom Q3. This small camcorder was designed to record live music so it has far superior audio recording capabilities than the RCA, Flip or Kodak. The Zoom Q3 is not HD quality, but a great choice for certain applications. Check the Q3 out here…

    All the best,


  70. [..YouTube..] Very nice tips – I have a zi8 as a matter of fact, so this is very useful to me!

  71. My husband came up with this solution for me a few weeks ago. I said “duh!” I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of something so simple.

    Like the idea of your little one though – time to go shopping! Fantastic tip!

  72. Gideon, One question, Nothing to do with your great teaching tips,which I think i can speak for a few,or alot!! Thank YOU!!!!!!!
    Did you ever expect the feedback on the Mirror trick,,?????? PS,Im still looking for my Jumbo Duct Tape Book, I know i saw it and it was at least 500 pages,LOL!!!!!!!!,Have a good one,were getting ready for EARL!!!!! Bunker down!, Jack

  73. Wow, This is awesome!
    Planning on adding videos to my blog soon :)

  74. [..YouTube..] Fun hack! Thanks for sharing.

  75. online4xtrader

    Nice tip Gideon….always thinking…upstairs for thinking…downstairs for dancing. Have a great day..

  76. Thank you, Gideon. My husband was tired of playing Steven Spielberg!

  77. Hi Gideon,

    How do you set up the lower third titles at the bottom of your videos. I am at the apple store and I cannot find it on imovie. Do you use final cut or screenflow?

    Thanks for your help.


    • Gideon Shalwick

      Hey Jeff – I do all the text inside ScreenFlow – really simple and straight forward in there…


      • I defintely agree with Gideon on this…ScreenFlow makes it all too easy to add nice looking lower thirds (or any text for that matter). I use it religiously.

        For those of your who are PC users, there is a very affordable yet powerful video editing package called Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD. It words well with most flip-type cameras. I put together a short video tutorial on it here:


  78. Catherine Hol

    Hi Gideon – just wondering about the T2i 550D … is it as easy to edit as the Flip camera? Could it be used for rapid video blogging?

    • Gideon Shalwick

      Hey Catherine

      It’s just as easy to get the files onto your computer and to edit them yes.

      However, it’s much more complicated to operate than the Flip style cameras. So, there is a pretty big learning curve with it.

      And also, it has a 12 minute recording limit, which can be an issue if you want to record longer videos. But of course, for just YouTube, it’s fine.

      And also, the files are much bigger than with the Flip style cameras.


  79. That is good Gideon. I use a mirror when doing my video’s, however I don’t think anyone know where I do them, someday maybe I’ll confess.

    You did and view with a gal a while back that does video’s like 3 times a week. Loved that email and it sure gave me the incentive to start doing them. My PC however lost that email and if you could resend it that would be greatly appreciated. I may have to try your mirror way rather than mine. Might work out better.

    Thanks again Gideon for the great tips.

  80. LearnGuitarGuru

    Very nice tips – I have a zi8 as a matter of fact, so this is very useful to me!

  81. Joe

    Fantastic solution for a hard problem….Keep up your free tips, your guide is great in helping us acheive better results.

  82. theedgeva

    Fun hack! Thanks for sharing.

  83. Glenn

    Great idea Gideon! Along the way you have shared many great ideas – practical, quality, yet inexpensive to implement. Well done, as always. Thank you.

  84. Great tip, Gideon. Had this problem just the other day when filming my new blogger tips video, and kept having to move my camera and rearrange because I didn’t like the background. I think I have all the components already!

  85. [..YouTube..] LOL. Save yourself the construction and use a Sony Bloggie.

  86. Mark

    Hey Gideon,

    Great tips! Set it up with my girlfriend’s mirror in 5 minutes:)

    I find it especially useful to adjust the focus, which i think it’s the most difficult job in a one-man video shooting.


  87. Gideon, Again, Love all the new little tips you put up,BUTTTTTTTTT
    I think ,Now im only a welding shop owner,looking to break into IM!,,Maybe you should have a new title for this question,Tip, How did you do it before,and to Mark on top of me,,whats going to happen when your GF looks for her Mirror?LOL, Jack, Just having some fun! But sure did bring up a HOT topic,,all comes down to that 7 dollar remote! Hold On, I think Kodak is calling on the other line with a offer I cant refuse,!!LOL

  88. acid42

    LOL. Save yourself the construction and use a Sony Bloggie.

  89. If you already have an HDTV, you should be able to run an HDMI cable from the Flip camera to the TV and adjust your positioning based on the image on the TV. Granted, this does have less flexibility in that you would have to be in the same room as the TV.

  90. Pete B.

    I use a Flip style Kodak Zi8 to make guitar lesson vids.
    Instead of using a mirror to monitor myself, I use my old Video Cassette Recorder on a separate tripod.
    I get the Zi8 aimed at the area where I will be standing, then I focus the old camcorder (set to Camera-mode, on Stand-by) on the Zi8 screen, and monitor that on the large TV in the room (this works great for my purpose).
    I need to monitor the close-ups of my fingers on the guitar neck to make sure I stay in view.
    Pete B.
    Portland Oregon

  91. Ron Ruggles

    Hmmm – Home made & Handy!

  92. Love this. I have a canon t2i and had hard time looking on the screen while self shooting. Thanks for the great post. I will use this method from now on.
    Malnad Studios
    Austin, Tx

  93. Since I am new to videos and I have a flip camera I have been fighting with this a lot. Thank you for the solution.

    Josh Bulloc
    Kansas City, MO
    How can I help?

  94. [..YouTube..] Great Solution Gideon!!! Very Useful & Very Easy =D

    Awesome Job!!!

  95. Tsunamikronos

    Great Solution Gideon!!! Very Useful & Very Easy =D

    Awesome Job!!!

  96. This is a really cool trick, thanks for sharing this Gideon. I wish I had thought of this before!

  97. Very good and funny, surely by the time you get up and down a few times to set the mirror up in the right position you could have set up the camera, can you not connect these cameras to a screen or TV? I can with mine via a USB adapter

    • Gideon Shalwick

      Yes you can connect it to a TV, but then it becomes really hard to move around…


  98. That’s all very ingenious, but it’s only really a temporary work around – if you’re serious about video then you should be upgrading to get yourself the right camera that has the turn-around screen and audio socket – and keep the Flip for the entry level stuff it was designed for.

  99. David

    cool! Thanks so much for the tip!

  100. Fantastic video, Gideon.

    I saw your website like two days ago, for the fist time, and I just LOVE it! I was wondering what you have there in your tripod handle… what is that Sony device anyway? Thanks for sharing.



  101. [..YouTube..] Nice tip!

  102. Nice to see an answer to a problem that many are having. I have been shooting with an older style Sony, non HD where you can see the screen, it flips.
    But I have decide to upgrade to a Sony Bloggie as it solves this problem the lens rotates.
    I have seen a wide variety of comments about the Bloggie, but hay its quiet cheap for what you get.
    Happy Blogging
    Marty Ware
    The SEO DAD

  103. [..YouTube..] Nice tip!

  104. trakAxPC

    Nice tip!

  105. [..YouTube..] Ha! Really good idea!

  106. Joel

    Hi Gideon,

    Excellent stuff you offer! I had a question though. Is there any way to establish connectivity to your laptop using the Zi8 and produce a live video feed? That way you could just spin your laptop around to see yourself while recording.

    Thanks for all your info!

    • Gideon Shalwick

      Hey Joel

      As far as I know… no that is not possible. Any camera with a firewire connection should be able to do it though.


  107. RCSuperPowers

    Ha! Really good idea!

  108. Precious! Love your videos. Very clear instructions and easy to follow. Keep up the good work!

  109. Awesome info as usual…

    Thanks for all you do!


  110. [..YouTube..] The Kodak is much better than the Flip. I would trade my Flip Ultra for one any day of the week.

  111. Gideon, thank you for the great tips and tricks! Could you please share what kind of tripod you’re using? I’m in the market.

    • Gideon Shalwick

      It’s a tripod from Sony. It’s one of the better ones – it cost me around $150, but it comes with nice features like being able to rotate the handle for example, and also a very nice and smooth swivel action.


  112. poolboyinla

    The Kodak is much better than the Flip. I would trade my Flip Ultra for one any day of the week.

  113. [..YouTube..] Damn I wish my tripod handle didn’t point downwards :c

  114. ElliotExplicit

    Damn I wish my tripod handle didn’t point downwards :c

  115. Great video Gideon! I was actually trying to figure out how to start shooting videos at my office without a camera person (my wife usually).

    Now, all I need to do is figure out how to get good light in my office without bringing in a huge light box- any suggestions?



  116. Hi Gideon, thanks for the info! I recently created my first video (boy did it have issues you just addressed) to enter in Maria Andros’ contest, boo hoo, didn’t win. Anyway a few days later I discovered you…downloaded your Rapid Video Blogging Report…who needs to be a Protégé!

  117. [..YouTube..] Way to go Gideon! I was just thinking about this the other day. My solution is to position the camera in front of my chair and then get up, hit record, sit back down, say a few words, get back up, preview the recording, make adjustments, sit back down, and repeat this until I get it right. Can you say you’re solution is WAY easier! ; ) Thanks for the affordable alternative.


  119. Levit Bront

    WOW!! That’s creativity in action! Congratulations! …and thanks for sharing.

  120. [..YouTube..] What camera do you use?????

  121. Savannah26889

    What camera do you use?????

  122. Awesome!
    Now I’m gonna be able to see me BEAUTIFUL face while recording… Now I’m gonna be SO happy that my audience is gonna notice it and spread the word… So my following is gonna grow, the number of leads is gonna sky rocket (2,000% more of conversion rate), they all will want to buy and I will become the most famous Internet marketer in the history of human kind… And all this thanks to a 3-buck mirror!

    Thank you Gideon!
    I owe you my fame :-)

    P.S. Hey! if Gideon can invent while dreaming, so can I.

  123. Josh

    Could you recommenced a better camera and voice recorder for those of us who want to invest a little more.

    Maybe put a resources link so we can see what you recommend.

    Thanks for all the great info.

  124. good idea ….

  125. Gideon,

    I really thought I was going to see something more advanced but I guess this works like a charm! I had a few ideas that involved mirrors (is there any other way?) LOL but thank you for making this when I was barely trying to figure out how to do it. 😉

  126. Awsome idea! Thanks!

  127. Hi Gideon. A simple solution I am experimenting with is using an iPhone 4 where you can flip the image around so you can see your face as you are recording. A tripod mount like the Glif ( with an adaptor cable for the iPhone to plug in a lapel mic, and you’re done. In terms of quality of video, how does the iPhone 4 compare with a Flip or Zi8? On it seems that it’s just as good (720p, 30 fps). Add to that the iMovie app for on-screen editing of the movie footage on your iPhone, and that could be a handy (portable) way to go? Your thoughts? P.S. I just saw on that the front facing camera (to see yourself as your record) is VGA quality. Good enough quality in your view?

    • Gideon Shalwick

      Hey Michael

      From what I’ve seen, the iPhone’s video quality does not quite match the video quality of the Flip Ultra HD and Kodak Zi8. You can especially see the difference in lower light conditions. But really, only the trained eye can spot it and most people wont even realize the difference.

      So, I reckon what you’ve suggested is a great mobile solution. Another cool solution now of course is also the new iPad 2 which comes with 2 cameras, as well as the nice iMovie editing software. Paul Colligen showed his results to me a couple of weeks ago, and it looked impressive.

      Such an exciting industry to be in cos the tools just keep on getting better and better, more affordable, and easier to use!

      Thanks for the nice alternative!


  128. poochie576

    what camera do you use to record videos?

  129. Gideon,

    That is very cool my friend. I had to quit using my flip once it stopped transferring videos through the built in USB port. My new Canon HD video has the viewfinder that flips around so no longer have to worry about this issue but I shall definitely send people I know with the flip to this page. Have a great one my friend..
    Paul Butler

  130. NitsanPictures

    nice hehe

  131. naterade21

    green screen maybe or who knows lol

  132. Simple, cheap and effective. Just what I need!

    Thanks Gideon,


  133. sem unção essa pamela.

  134. Sinedicion13

    Thank you (: And greetings from Ancud-Chile.

  135. EdoHDpro

    can you be more stupid. !

  136. BMLarson93

    Cool idea! but I am not sure you needed have a video this long to explain this.

  137. [..YouTube..] @DudeVlogger if you light a white wall correctly it will look like a pure white backdrop.

  138. clayericksonpro

    if you light a white wall correctly it will look like a pure white backdrop.

  139. [..YouTube..] @MrGregSwift … haha… that was my solution as well… and this is way easier :-)

  140. offlinerockstar

    … haha… that was my solution as well… and this is way easier :-)

  141. offlinerockstar

    Thanks for sharing this and really appreciate it. This will save me so much time. I was about to through my zi8 away and just go back to using my HV30 so I could use the flip out viewfinder. But hate having to wait and convert the format etc…

    Love the zi8 and just dragging and dropping it onto my iMac and be done with it.

    Thanks again.

  142. thecreativelady

    Gideon, I have been searching for a solution since I first got my Nikon D3100 that doesn’t have a flip screen! You should see me tearing all the tin foil off my roll to make this thing. Thanks for this video.

  143. hamsterpoop

    skip the bullshit, info starts at 1:45
    dumbest solution ever… this video could have been 30 seconds long…

  144. JonoTano



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