Flip MinoHD Review… And Yes, We Haz Them

Flip MinoHD - Designer print
So a few weeks ago I started offering the Flip Mino in a small, tucked away section of OffLine.

I wrote a review of my test model Flip Mino which I intended to post here as part of a big “reveal” that OffLineTshirts had something very un-t-shirt-like.

And then the Flip MinoHD came out and I ordered one. I then proceeded to play with it instead of writing a review. Perhaps I wanted to keep it all to myself, to be the ONLY one with a truly pocket sized HD camcorder, especially with my rocking Asian Print inspired design on it…

But then I remembered I’m supposed to be a shopkeeper and also sell these things to complete strangers :P

So here we go.

A Flip MinoHD, what is it? It’s a compact camcorder. Like the Flip Mino (non HD) it weighs a mere 3.3 ounces, is small and thin, is dead simple to use, takes great sound, and has a tripod mount. It can also take up to 60 minutes of video and has a rechargeable battery which you charge via the built in USB arm which “flips” out of the camcorder so you can plug it into a Mac or PC. So take all that and add HD to the package and you get a big “Wow!” from me and anyone else looking for an affordable and truly portable device. I’m telling you, when I did my original write up of the Flip Mino I thought to myself, “I’m writing too many good things!” And then I thought, “I know what’s lacking, I wish they had an HD version.”

And now they do. And I do. And so can you. Do.

And because I think I did a good job of writing my review for the Flip Mino, I’m going to paste it here now (and keep in mind that the HD version has even better video quality):

When my Flip arrived I was immediately impressed. First it was because of the nice packaging, then it was because of how nice the print of my design came out (this was my test Mino) then about how light and slim this camcorder is!

When I got around to turning the thing on (I did look at the Quick Start guide but stopped reading after seeing Step 1 was push the power button and step 2 was push the big red Record/Stop Recording button) I was impressed with the video and sound quality. I also liked the screen well enough even though when I first saw pictures of it I worried it would be too small. The fact that the touch sensitive button icons lit up was also a nice surprise.

This thing passes my Treo in video quality, the camera does a good job of adjusting for different light situations. The sound is also excellent, far better than on my phone or even on my point and shoot camera!

The ease of shooting (love that big red button) was a nice change even though I didn’t find it too hard to shoot video with my camera phone, it was one more added step to push to get to video shooting.

I’m going to be talking a lot more about comparing this to a camera phone because I see those as the main competitor for the Flip.

Flip Mino vs Camera Phones

Both are small and portable. The Flip differs though in that it is a mere 3.3 ounces in weight. Much lighter than my Treo 755p at 5.6 ounces and also still lighter than an iPhone at 4.7 ounces. You may not think the difference in the numbers is that great but while the other phones brag that you can put them in your shirt pocket, if you really did so it would drag your pocket down.

In contrast I put this in my knit shirt pocket and forgot it was there (which for a girl is not a good thing as it makes for an, ahem, unusual shape).

I already mentioned video quality, but I’ll say it again here, it wins over my Treo. I don’t own an iPhone but I’d say strictly regarding resolution it is even with that BUT it wins over both in terms of handling low light and changing light situations.

It also beats them in sound quality. I think a big reason for that is that it has a multidirectional microphone that does not have to serve double duty as a phone sound receiver and thus can be positioned more optimally which lets it pick up sound better. The inner workings (which I am not privy to) I’m guessing are also of high quality as audio did not sound tinny or scratchy at all, even when I recorded music played from a car stereo while the car was being driven (I was a passenger).

Another advantage the Flip has over cameraphones is that is has a standard tripod mount, it’s a sturdy metal one as well (though since the Flip is so lightweight, Pure Digital could have easily went the cheaper route and gone with a plastic mount). When I used my cameraphone for video I always had to hold it up, which made for shaky video (and I still suffer from that sometimes) HOWEVER I now have the option of using any number of small lightweight tripod options so I can set up the Flip and leave it to get in the video myself, or just set it up to give my arm (and viewers) a rest from shaky video.

I just gotta say that this little camcorder was a nice surprise.

Sample of HD Video:

Flip Mino HD from Jefferson Graham on Vimeo.

See my Flip MinoHDs here.

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