Steve's Conclusion

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Steve's SnapShot
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  • 720p HD Video Recording
  • Fixed, Low-Light Lens
  • 2-Inch LCD
  • Touch sensitive back with large REC button
  • 8 GB internal memory
  • Stores 2 hours of HD video
  • Built-in USB arm
  • HDMI output
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion battery

Pros
  • Low-Light Lens
  • Smooth Video Playback
  • Incredibly compact and easy to use
  • 2 hours of storage
  • HDMI output
  • Software loaded on camera
Cons
  • No expandable memory slot
  • No optical zoom
  • No Image stabilization
  • No Still image Capture, except for taking a still from a video
Timing Test Results
  • Power up to first video captured = 4.1 seconds
Bottom Line
The ultra-compact MinoHD is a great little HD video camera. Not only is it easy to use, it can be hooked up to any computer thanks to the pop-up USB arm or to any HDTV via the HDMI output on the bottom.
Pick This Up If...
You are looking for an affordable, compact and easy to use High-Definition video camera.
Flip Video's new MinoHD is an ultra compact, 720p, High-Definition video camera. Featuring a fixed lens, 8GB internal memory and an HDMI output, this video-only camera has been made with ease of use and the consumer's budget in mind. There are no shooting options available, meaning that anyone at any time can pick up the camera and start recording. The new MinoHD also offers the ability for you to customize the look of the unit to your desire. You can pick a design or pattern from Flip's site or even upload one of your own images to grace the front of the camera.

This ultra-compact feels very sturdy, giving you the feeling that if it was dropped it would be OK. As with the other Flip Video cameras, the MinoHD is held vertically like a cell phone when in use. On the back, there is only one actual button, the record button. All of the other controls are touch-sensitive points on the back of the camera. While these are unique and fun to use, they are also very easy to touch, which can affect the camera while you are shooting. The most common problem that I had while testing the camera was constantly changing the zoom when I moved my thumb off of the REC button. Framing your videos is easy most of the time with the 2-inch LCD screen, however it was a little tricky to see on a bright sunny day due to its reflective surface.

The Flip MinoHD is a little slow to turn on, taking 4.1 seconds before it is able to start capturing video. Although it takes a little while to start, the video that is captured looks very good. The camera produces bright colors with very smooth playback. The low-light lens allows the camera record top quality video in less than perfect lighting conditions. One thing the camera could use is some type of image stabilization. Since it is so small and mobile, most people will not want to carry a tripod, and you can see how shaky the videos can be when hand-held. The on-board mic is very similar to those found on digicams, and is very sensitive. It picks up all sound around the camera, including background noises that you might not even notice at the time. These include wind, air conditioners, furnaces and anything else that hums or vibrates will show up in your audio. To help avoid this, be careful where you position the camera.

Since there are no shooting or editing options at all available while using the camera, Flip has included their video software bundle directly on the camera. All you have to do is plug the Flip into your computer (Windows and Mac compatible) to install and start using it in just minutes. FlipShare allows you to do several things with your videos like organize, save to your computer, email, upload to the internet or your own personal Flip Channel. You can also do some basic movie editing, allowing you to edit together your own movies, add sound to them and export them to a DVD. Finally you can also capture a snapshot (1280x720 pixels) from any of your videos. The program breaks down the video by frame, letting you save a single still image.

Bottom Line - The Flip MinoHD is an incredibly compact and easy to use HD video camera with very good HD video quality.  The built-in software allows you plug the camera into any Mac or PC and instantly watch and edit your HD movies. It can also be hooked up to any HDTV via the HDMI port on the bottom (optional cable required). With an MSRP of US$229.99, this is a great deal for anyone looking for a simple to use, ultra-compact, basic HD camcorder. For a slightly larger version of the MinoHD for $30 less, check out the Flip Ultra HD.

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.