Flip Mino HD
Back in November 08, I reviewed the Flip Mino, the small handheld camera that shot 640 x 480 video on to its internal flash memory. Great for short videos at decent quality which fits in your pocket.
Since then, the creators of the Flip range has launched the HD version and it arrived in the UK just a few weeks ago. Capable of recording up to 1 hour of video at 1280 x 720 resolution (720p) at 30 frames per second, the Flip Mino just got a little bit more interesting.
The design is left untouched from the original, featuring a glossy black exterior and big bright red button on the front. The only difference that I could see was the addition of the HD moniker by the side of the mino badge. You’ll also get the same tiny 1.5-inch screen which obviously won’t do the video any justice. You do however get a set of video leads to connect the camera straight in to your TV set, or just ‘flip’ out the USB connector and plug it straight in to your computer. Software as before is included on the camera for basic viewing and editing for both Windows and Mac as well as the ability for easy upload to your YouTube, MySpace and AOL Video accounts.
If you’re looking to do further editing or want to add it in to your iLife Media Library, you’ll be pleased to find that the camera formats are all compatible with iPhoto and iMovie for instant viewing and editing.
Apart from mobile phone cameras, I’ve not come across anything else that really rivals the quality, portability and instant access that the Flip Mino HD offers. The HD quality is excellent in low light conditions and is self adapting during the bright outdoors. One problem which remains from the previous generation of Flip cameras is video stabilisation. You have to have quite a steady hand whilst recording, or your video ends up jumping all over the place. I hope future models will incorporate either optical or digital stabilisation. Otherwise you can resort to software stabilisation in movie editing applications like iMovie ’09 on the Mac.
The Flip Mino HD is available for about £170 from most reputable online retailers. Amazon.co.uk at the time of writing this review are selling it for £159.99 with free shipping.