I originally purchased my Flip video camera because of the portability of the hand-held device and just to have on hand for unexpected events that would be nice to have video recorded. If there was a planned event, I would use my mini-DV camcorder. Mini-DV camcorders have various parts that are prone to wear and tear (i.e. inserting the mini-tapes) or had additional accessories that cause wear and tear (i.e. the use of the fire-wire cable). The Flip camcorder does not use external tapes to record on and has a USB connection as part of the hardware. After going through 2 camcorders (each half working), I use the Flip as my sole camcorder. My particular Flip (older version) uses two AA batteries (I choose to use rechargeable batteries). It can also be placed on a tripod. Once I record, I just flip out the USB part of it and connect it to my Mac. I simply just drag the video file onto my desktop and manipulate it from there. I keep the camera in the cloth bag that came with it. Thumbs up for the Flip.