Cisco Flip Mino HD 8GB video camera
Image stabilisation, at last
Review Appearing in its second-generation guise in March this year, the Flip Mino HD received a few refinements, the most obvious being the larger 2in screen and an 8GB version allowing for up to two hours of video recording. Yet this popular pocket video camera has always lacked image stabilisation, that is, until now.
Cisco's Flip Mino HD: simple by design, effective in action
Both the Mino HD and the UltraHD have been upgraded with this feature, long-awaited by Flip fans. As with other Flip cams with the HD moniker, the 720p HD video is captured in MP4 format using the H.264 codec but it’s now at 50fps in PAL territories (60fps NTSC), up from 30fps.
The 4GB (one hour) Mino HD sports fashionable, metallic finish, the matt black version signifies it’s the revised 8GB model. The on/off button at the side falls neatly under the thumb. Give it a firm press and let go and it’s ready to shoot in a couple of seconds.
On the control surface, the Flip Mino HD has just one big, hard to miss, red button for recording video clips. If you hold this as it powers up you get the setup options for language, time, bleeps and recording light.
Surrounding the red button are illuminated touch-sensitive keys. The forward/backward controls scroll through existing clips or move along the timeline during playback. Use the +/- keys to operate the zoom when recording or vary the playback sound level. Just below the display are two slightly recessed buttons for playing and deleting files.
A big red button does the business, with touch-sensitive controls for digital zoom and other features
The screen itself is a big improvement compared to the earlier style models. Bright and crisp, it looks great and, appears a good deal more scratch resistant than others I’ve tried, such as the Sony Bloggie. It also comes with a soft cloth bag, which helps sustain its good looks and is certainly better than nothing, considering that it’s £30 for Sony’s Bloggie pouch.
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... Get the Kodak Zi8. It's come down in price to just over a hundred pounds, has expandable storage (SDHC), replaceable battery so you can carry a charged spare around, image stabilization and a macro mode. Oh, and external mic socket.
Because an iPod Touch is a music player
Fair point, why not get an iPod. Well, as the old saying goes, it's horses for courses. The iPod is a great music player, it has more memory and greater battery life but it lacks a digital zoom, image stabilisation, a more sensibly placed lens, the "flip" USB connector and inbuilt editing software [although iMovie and even Windows Movie Maker are better] but the real killer - from my perspective, is the tripod mount.
Even using a little Gorilla tripod delivers great stable images
re: A smartphone etc.
"Plus not all of us want to buy Apple products. Some of us use our own decison making when purchasing such products rather than follow the excitable herd."
Arguably, buying a Flip would be following the herd - it's seen as the market leader, but isn't actually the best.
bluest.one mentioned most of the advantages of the Zi8 over the Flip models, but didn't mention the most important - better quality footage. It's cheaper too - you can pick a Zi8 for around £100. By all means, use your own decision making abilities, but if you think the Flip is the best option, I would advise letting others make their own decisions.
If someone already has a phone capable of taking decent footage, then it's unlikely that they really need to to buy an extra gadget to cart around, which was the point Michael C was making. iPhones aren't the only smartphone with decent video recording, after all.
A smartphone etc. thats shoots HD........
....that also needs a £30 month+ contract etc.
No thanks. I'll take the Flip.
Done and dusted.
Plus not all of us want to buy Apple products. Some of us use our own decison making when purchasing such products rather than follow the excitable herd.
My non-HD camcorder has a 30GB HDD and I fill it before I can sync it often. At full res, non HD, it stores 9 hours. 8GB storing 2hours in HD? in what format and with what compression? My iPhone does HD too, and with 32GB of storage I can fill that thing up damned quick. No HD camcorder should have less than 32GB unless it has SDXC card slots in addition to internal storage.
Great, it's pocket sized. I'd rather have an iPhone in my pocket and a real camcorder in a bag. A pocket camcorder can at best be marginally better than a phone. A slightly less convenient hand camcorder not only has a far superior lens (and filter attachments supporting industry standard add-ons), but also has better storage, more features, better file format controls, and more. Very little of what I'd ever shoot with a shaky hand device is going to be much better one a flip than a phone. A handheld full camcorder is a bit more stable to start with, is easier to hold for longer shoots, has far better stability management in the lens, and is easily mounted to any tripod/mono-pod.
If it was $199, maybe, if it had 16-32GB of ram.... vs an iPod or any smartphone that shoots in HD? no.