The Gadget: The Flip MinoHD, the most recognisable name in pocket camcorder’s HD camera, it shoots 720p video on 4GB of built-in memory.
The Price: $US230
The Verdict: Once again, Flip has done a respectable job of bringing dead simple, high quality video recording to the masses. The MinoHD is light on features—no macro shooting, still picture taking, or video quality options—but it makes up for these shortcomings by its ease of use. The memory and battery are both built-in, and are sufficiently sized to take a day’s worth of video without filling up or going dead. The touch-sensitive buttons are more responsive than the original Mino, making zoom and playback a snap. Even the new editing software on the Flip, usually included on camcorders like this as an afterthought, is great, and you can make a YouTube-level video complete with background music and credits in just a few clicks.
The video quality on the MinoHD is decent. Well-lit areas look good, but places with low-light are noisy and not as clean as the Zi6. The video gets choppy while panning, a problem shared with Kodak’s cam, but most things shot on the device will likely be single-angle clips of people getting punched in the nuts or popping zits, so this shouldn’t be much of an issue.
For comparison’s sake, here’s a clip I shot in low-light on the Zi6, the current cream of the HD crop. It’s much clearer than the MinoHD, and close-up focus looks nice. Sound quality is pretty comparable between the two.
Still, the price tag is a bit steep for such a small set of features. More serious aspiring viral video stars will miss options like recording in VGA to increase space, or a macro switch for close up shots. Also, the screen is so small that its difficult to see what you’re recording, which is necessary when the video is in 720p. All in all, the MinoHD is a super simple, solid quality, if a little pricey camcorder that will have you sharing videos in no time.[Flip]