Canon has announced an inexpensive and compact HD camcorder aimed at bloggers and social media types. Basically, if you like to point video cameras at yourself and then upload those videos to the Internet, this is the camera for you.
Core specs include a 12.8-megapixel HS CMOS image sensor mated to an f/2.8 fish eye lens and Canon's DIGIC 4 image processor. HS stands for "High Sensitivity", so the VIXIA Mini should perform well even in low-lighting conditions. The 2.7-inch tilting and swiveling touch screen LCD (230K dots) should make grabbing high or low angle action shots a breeze.
The CMOS image sensor means you're going to be able to capture Full HD 1920 x 1080p videos. In Wide Mode, the fish eye lens has a 160 degree FOV (field of view) for video; 170 degrees FOV for stills. There's also an option for Close Mode, which zooms in and crops to 1920 x 1440 resolution video. The camcorder includes a built-in stereo microphone, which has a number of Audio Scene Selects Modes design to enhance things like speech or music, and reduce road noise.
Back over on the video side of things, Special Scene Modes like Food & Fashion, Sports, and Macro "provide users with advanced presets to help capture impressive images even under difficult shooting conditions to prevent over/under exposure." There's also Slow Motion -- 1/4x (VGA) and 1/2x (720p) -- and 4x or 2x Fast Motion. If overly stylized or customized video isn't your thing, no worries. The VIXIA Mini includes Canon's Smart Auto mode, which automatically selects one of 38 presets that best matches your current shooting conditions. See, even Mom can do it.
If you don't have entire production crew to assist with your video blog, the VIXIA Mia has a fold-out stand which can tilt the camera upwards up to 60 degrees from horizontal.
Built-in Wi-Fi allows you to directly share stills and Full HD videos on social media sites like Facebook and YouTube. You can also send files directly to your PC. Another option is to use a smartphone's internet connection to load stills or video from anywhere -- simply add the free Canon Movie Uploader app to your iOS or Android device. Finally, there's a Live Streaming feature, via Canon's free CameraAccess2, which allows you to see VIXIA's live video feed (and control the camcorder yourself) from your iOS or Android smartphone.
Canon VIXIA Mini Features
- 12.8-megapixel HS CMOS image sensor
- DIGIC 4 image processor
- f/2.8 fish eye lens
- 160 degree VIDEO field of view in video
- 170 degree STILL picture field of view
- Full 1920x1080p HD Video
- Built-in Stereo Microphone
- Audio Scene Selects Modes
- Wide Mode
- Close Mode
- Special Scene Modes
- Food & Fashion
- Slow Motion
- Fast Motion
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Share videos on Facebook and YouTube
- Send files directly to your PC
- Canon Movie Uploader app
- Share videos from anywhere using your iOS or Android Smartphone
- Live Stream via the Canon CameraAccess2 app
- control the VIXIA Mini from your iOS or Android Smartphone
- Built-in Adjustable Stand (tilts up to 60 degrees).
- MicroSD card slot
Canon's VIXIA Mini will start shipping in September (2013), in black or white, with a $299 MSRP.
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