Pure Digital Technologies Flip Mino HD review
Pure Digital Technologies pioneered mobile phone-style pocket video cameras, and its Mino is still the smallest, most pocketable we’ve come across. That hasn’t changed with this HD version – it’s identical physically and just as lovable.
You can slip this camera into all but the tightest of jeans pockets without a problem and, as with every Flip camera we’ve reviewed it’s simplicity itself to use: just whip it out, turn it on, hit the red button on the rear to record and you’re away.
The big difference this time around should be obvious from the title of this review. It records in HD instead of the 640 x 480 resolution of the original. As with other HD pocket video cameras it’s only 720p (saved in H.264 MP4 format), but at least the memory allocation has been improved from 2GB to 4GB which is good for an hour of HD footage.
Alas, those are the only upgrades. You might think that to complement the HD recording an HDMI output would have been added – you’d be wrong. You might also have justifiably expected an increase in screen size – again you’d be disappointed. The fact that the screen is transflective (handy in bright sunlight) is some compensation but we’d have liked a bit more real estate than the tiny 1.5in diagonal offers.
It’s clearly not the best equipped pocket video camera around, particularly in light of Toshiba’s Camileo P30, but this doesn’t seem to matter too much when it comes to the business of using the camera and playing around with the results. That’s because the Flip Mino HD produces excellent footage, regardless of the resolution. Its automatic white balance and colour reproduction is excellent, focus from the fixed lens is sharp and it’s usable in low light as well.
And let’s not forget that, also unlike the Camileo P30, the Flip Mino HD has its viewing and editing software built in. This is not quite as snappy or elegant as Creative’s on-board software, but is straightforward to use nonetheless, with simple options for editing clips, uploading to video sites such as YouTube, burning DVDs and also sending video via email.
If you can live without the HDMI connectivity and the zoom lens, the Flip Video comes in ahead of the competition. Where the Creative Vado HD is dear at £173 exc VAT and the Camileo P30’s quality lets it down, the Mino manages to hit a lower price of £147 and produces better quality footage than either. That price is still a little high for our tastes, but for now this little camera is the best HD pocket video camera around.
|Camcorder HD standard||720p|
|Camcorder maximum video resolution||1280 x 720|
|Camcorder recording format||H.264 (MP4)|
|Camera optical zoom range||N/A|
|Camera optical image stabilisation||no|
|Electronic image stabilisation?||no|
|Number of sensors||1|
|Internal mic type||Mono|
|External mic socket?||no|
|Dimensions||50 x 16 x 100mm (WDH)|
|Camcorder internal storage type||Flash memory|
|Memory card support||None|
|Composite video output?||yes|
|Component video output?||no|