The Flip Mino HD Video Digicam is a small cell-phone sized digital camera that shoots video in excessive definition, information to a 4 GB built-in reminiscence, is available in a vast variety of colours and designs, and outputs to your laptop for straightforward electronic mail and Web sharing. However the query is: Is the Flip Mino HD Video Digicam actually any good… and would I like to recommend it?
I bought the Flip Mino HD (60 minute model) over a yr in the past and have used it for the final 15 months to doc my travels (9 months in Europe) and quite a lot of native occasions and actions (+ 6 months at residence). In that point, I’ve found each the advantages and the drawbacks of this tiny HD digital camera and I’d wish to share my findings with you immediately.
To start with, the digital camera’s primary options…
Weighs solely 3.3 ounces
Claims to be the world’s smallest HD camcorder
Tremendous-slim, super-sleek design that matches into your pocket or your purse
Easy consumer interface options one-touch recording and digital zoom, making HD video simpler and extra enjoyable than ever
Holds 60 minutes of HD-quality video on 4 GB of built-in reminiscence; no tapes or further reminiscence playing cards required
Handy flip-out USB arm plugs immediately into your laptop to launch built-in FlipShareTM software program
Constructed-in FlipShare software program enables you to simply electronic mail movies, edit particular person clips, make customized motion pictures, seize nonetheless photographs from video, and even add video to sharing websites like YouTube and MySpace
Inner Li-ion battery recharges by means of the built-in USB arm when you’re plugged into your laptop
Produces unimaginable HD 720p (1280 x 720 decision at 30 frames per second; 16:9 widescreen) video you’ll have the ability to get pleasure from in your HDTV
Information high-quality H.264 movies that work with most video-playing functions, together with Home windows Media Participant, QuickTime Participant, and iTunes
Watch movies immediately on TV with the included connector cable
Plus, you get on the spot playback, pause, quick ahead, rewind, zoom, and delete capabilities
Why I Purchased This Digicam
I purchased the Flip Mino HD as a result of I used to be going to Europe and needed to have a digital camera that was small, light-weight, sturdy, able to capturing in high-definition, and was simple to edit and add to the Web. In some ways, the digital camera has held as much as all of those expectations – aside from one (which I’ll discuss in a second).
The Digicam Physique
The picture to the left factors out the digital camera’s primary elements, which I’ll now spotlight and focus on under.
The display on the Flip Mino HD is small. Tremendous small infact! It is just 1.5 inches throughout and due to its small measurement, it’s typically occasions troublesome to inform whether or not or not the picture you’re capturing is in body, in focus, and even seen. A bigger display would definitely be good.
That mentioned, the display does a very good job of being seen in each darkish and sunny situations. I’ve by no means had a giant drawback viewing the display whereas out capturing on a sunny day. That is one space the place the display does excell.
The USB port is the digital camera’s important connection between itself and your laptop. The port not solely transfers information between the digital camera and your laptop, however it’s the USB port itself that’s accountable for charging the digital camera. Simply plug the digital camera into your laptop and the digital camera immediately begins charging. This, in fact, is a pleasant characteristic, however it will be good if there have been additionally a option to cost the digital camera with out having to attach it to a pc. For instance, what should you needed to take an prolonged journey and didn’t wish to convey your laptop with you. It positive could be good to have the ability to cost and/or offload the digital camera ultimately with out having to lug round a laptop computer or different such gadget.
The lens on the Flip Mino HD is a hard and fast lens, that means that there actually isn’t a lot to it. The lens is ready to maintain nearly all the things in focus and there’s no option to modify the main target after buying the digital camera. I discovered this out the arduous manner after the primary digital camera I ordered was delivered with a damaged, out of focus, lens. I used to be capable of ship the digital camera again and get a brand new one delivered to me without charge, nevertheless it nonetheless gave me one thing fear about proper from the get-go. That mentioned, the digital camera I now have (the one with the working lens) has by no means had any issues with a shifting focus. General, nevertheless, the lens is weak and I’d like to see one thing with a couple of extra choices to it in future digital camera fashions.
On the backside of the Flip Mino is a tripod mount, which I’m each grateful for and have used lots of of time. Being a solo traveler, it’s the tripod mount on the underside of my cameras that permits me to get in my very own photographs. It is a tiny characteristic, and understandably not one that everybody will use, however for somebody like myself, this can be a characteristic I’m so glad the individuals and Mino determined to incorporate.
Buttons & Controls
On the again of the digital camera are seven (7) buttons that management nearly all the things having to do with the capturing and administration of your movies. The enchantment of the Flip Mino for many individuals is it’s simplicity. There are not any difficult choices, settings, or controls… and many individuals will like this. The process for recording a video with this digital camera is extremely easy: Click on the massive purple button in the midst of the digital camera to begin recording… and click on it once more to cease. Easy is nice! Nonetheless, I’ve discovered the simplicity of this digital camera to be fairly restrictive at occasions.
For instance, the zoom characteristic on the Flip is de facto fairly unhealthy. Whenever you do zoom in, the motion is quick and uneven. On prime of that, the zoom is a digital zoom, that means that once you zoom in, you’re shedding image high quality. And once you zoom out, the motion is as soon as once more arduous to regulate and far too quick. With the ability to management the zoom velocity could be good… and eliminating the digital zoom is an absolute should in my ebook.
Different buttons discovered on the again of the digital camera are for playback, pause, and video enhancing. Sadly, there are not any actual video enhancing options on the digital camera. The one actually choices are to begin, cease, or delete the chosen video information. I typically occasions want there was a quick ahead button, so I might document a video after which watch it again by quick forwarding to the half I’m most focused on seeing – somewhat than having to observe all the video again from the start.
I additionally want there have been a option to make primary video edits from inside the digital camera itself, in order that I might minimize off the start of the video and the tip if wanted. As a result of I journey on my own and have nobody to carry the digital camera for me, I’ll typically occasions set the digital camera up on a tripod, hit the document button, after which run in entrance of the digital camera as quick as I can. This, in fact, produces quite a lot of seconds of video the place there is no such thing as a one on the display… and it turns into fairly apparent that I’m capturing these movies on my own. I want there have been a option to minimize out these few further seconds at first and finish of the video with out having to export all the video file to my laptop, render the video, convey it right into a video enhancing program, edit out these further few seconds, export the video, after which lastly add it to the net. With the ability to make these tiny edits from inside the digital camera would make an enormous distinction and save me hours and hours of time. My digital nonetheless digital camera is able to making these kinds of edits from inside the digital camera itself… so why can’t the Flip do it?
There’s additionally a small speaker on the again of the digital camera. It really works properly and there isn’t way more to say about it. You’ll be able to management the communicate quantity with some primary plus and minus controls.
Different on-camera options embrace an influence button, a spot to mount an arm-strap, and a gap used to attach the Flip Mino HD on to your tv for fast video playback. The digital camera additionally comes with a light-weight, black, fabric cowl, which I occurred to lose within the first three days of proudly owning the digital camera.
Video High quality
The general video high quality of the Flip Mino HD video digital camera is nice – relying on the sunshine situations, the general motion of the digital camera, and your individual means to correctly body your topic. The HD video high quality is great for such a small and primary digital camera… however there are some common issues with the video, which I’d wish to level out now.
Mounted & Standing Nonetheless
When capturing a video that has been propped up on a tripod or is, for essentially the most half, getting used to shoot a nonetheless topic, the video high quality may be fairly glorious. Simply take a look at the completely unedited video under, which I shot whereas in Athens, Greece in September of 2009. The digital camera is on a tripod, not transferring, and the subject material (me) is comparatively nonetheless for a lot of the video.
As you possibly can see, the standard right here is kind of astounding. However now watch the video under, which is a video I shot whereas strolling by means of an old-world bazaar in Skopje, Macedonia.
Hand-Held & Transferring
The video under was shot whereas I used to be strolling by means of a crowd of individuals and avenue distributors. As you possibly can see, the video is kind of shaky and troublesome to observe. I used to be doing my greatest to make the video as clean as potential whereas I walked by means of the mass of individuals, however the finish consequence was fairly disappointing. In the event you look intently, additionally, you will see that when there are moments of mass motion, the video turns into distorted and wavy. That is one thing I’ve famous repeatedly with the Flip Mino and isn’t one thing I’m used to seeing on different high-quality video cameras. Motion, it appears, is the primary enemy of the Flip Mino HD.
Battery & Reminiscence Life
The digital camera’s battery life is nice. I haven’t examined it to see precisely how lengthy it lasts, however that mentioned, I’ve by no means run the battery out whereas capturing. The battery is routinely charged when the digital camera is related to your laptop, so this makes remembering to cost the gadget extremely simple. The digital camera principally remembers to cost itself for you!
As for the digital camera reminiscence, you possibly can document about 60 minutes of HD video to the digital camera’s inner 4-GB reminiscence card. It is a good size of time and I’ve not often wished I had extra time to document to. Nonetheless, there have been occasions when the digital camera stuffed up and I used to be wishing there have been a option to simply change out the reminiscence card with one other – in order that I didn’t should cease and waste an enormous period of time offloading the present content material to my laptop. It could be good should you might merely swap out the prevailing reminiscence card with one other SD-like card, which might then be instantaneously used to seize extra video. My nonetheless digital camera is able to doing this… and it’s a characteristic I’d like to see in future Flip cameras.
Included Software program
The Flip Mino HD comes with some primary video enhancing and administration software program, which I’ve principally ignored. The software program is so extremely primary that it doesn’t meet my wants. It could work for many who know completely nothing about video and primary enhancing software program, however for me the included software program is absolute junk. Not really useful.
Playback, Modifying & Video Conversion
The largest drawback with the Flip HD video digital camera is that with older enhancing software program you could not have the ability to pull the video information immediately from the digital camera into your enhancing program. The MP4 format that the Flip information in shouldn’t be supported by older editions of many video enhancing packages, resembling Vegas or Premiere. With these older variations of software program, you need to convert the video earlier than you possibly can import it into your enhancing software program. It is a unfavorable as a result of 1) it provides an additional step and takes extra time and a pair of) the conversion course of degrades the video high quality – not one thing you need from a a video shot in HD.
That mentioned, newer enhancing software program packages are appropriate with MP4 codecs and with these newer enhancing packages you possibly can merely drag and drop your origional digital camera information straight into the enhancing softare and start slicing up your video as you so want.
Whereas many customers with older items of enhancing software program might blame the Flip cam for not working with their present software program, it’s actually the software program that must be changed – not the digital camera!
The perfect factor concerning the Flip Mino HS is that it’s small, discrete, and simple to make use of. I really like the truth that the digital camera begins charging as quickly as I join it to my laptop and I’m typically occasions amazed at simply how good the standard of this little HD digital camera actually is.
That mentioned, the Flip HD is extremely restricted in its choices and I might like to see some primary options resembling focus, zoom management, and primary in-camera enhancing being added to the gadget in future fashions.
I’d additionally wish to have the choice, very similar to my common nonetheless digital camera does, of having the ability to document to an SD reminiscence card, which I can then pull out and exchange with a brand new card when/if the cardboard even turns into too full.
My total evaluation of the Flip Mino HD video digital camera is that it’s a good little, amateurish digital camera that’s nice for vacationers and residential film makers alike. If you’re proud of easy level and shoot operations and don’t thoughts the typically shaky video that this tiny digital camera produces, then that is one HD digital camera you could very properly get pleasure from. I really like the dimensions of this digital camera and I like the truth that it’s so easy to make use of, however I simply want I had been capable of zoom, focus, and shoot video of transferring objects.
My General Score: 8 out of 10
Product Overview Data: I bought this digital camera myself and have used it for properly over a yr earlier than scripting this assessment. This assessment comprises affiliate hyperlinks to Amazon.com.