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Flip Video Mino - Flip Video Mino

By James Morris



Our Score:


In terms of camcorder features, the Mino is as limited as the Ultra. The real buttons have been replaced with touch-sensitive ones, but there are precious few new abilities. You can pause and fast forward when playing back, which you couldn't on the Ultra. But the only settings available are changing the data and time, plus whether the device makes noises when you press buttons. The 2x digital zoom is the only configuration you can alter during shooting. There is no manual focusing, no aperture and shutter, not even scene modes to think about.

The biggest revelation with the Flip Video Ultra was how well it performed in low light - although this isn't such a surprise considering the fairly large 1/4in CMOS. The Mino, with an identical sensor, performs just as well. In optimal lighting conditions, the image isn't exactly pin-sharp, particularly if you're getting used to HD camcorders, and bright colour graduations tend to run into each other, losing distinction. But overall the results are far beyond what you would expect for a camcorder in this price range, beating camera phones and most digital cameras hands down.

Drop the light levels further, and the Flip Mino impresses still further. In the average living room, lit by one or two ceiling lights, the Mino still retains plenty of colour and shoots bright-looking video. This is a key ability, as a lot of family events will take place in these kinds of lighting conditions - exactly the sort of shooting this camcorder is aimed at. In this respect, the Mino actually outperforms budget big-name camcorders costing twice the price. However, drop the lighting further and the image does begin to darken. Few camcorders produce an image worth using in the equivalent of candle light, with the exception of Canon's recent HD models, so this isn't a particularly damning failure

The slightly smaller form factor means the Mino will only focus to 1m rather than 80cm. However, in practice we found that shots closer than a few metres looked quite blurry, thanks to the fixed lens. So macro shots are not its forte either.

Rok Krznar

October 25, 2008, 6:53 pm

"The 1.5in TFT is the same, too, offering 528 x 132 pixels."

Surely you meant 128x132 or something in that range.

Just my 10 pence.

Geoff Richards

October 25, 2008, 7:46 pm

Hi Rob,

The full specs are here: http://www.theflip.com/stor...

That says "528 x 132 pixels" but I agree with you that it's a curious claim. I recall that sometimes (don't ask me why) but TFT resolution width is counted via the sub-pixel and thus are 3x their true value. That would give us 176 x 132 in this case, which makes far more sense - it's a 4:3 ratio afterall.

James Morris

October 25, 2008, 9:03 pm

Yes, the review simply quotes the specs stated by Flip - not something you can test without a good microscope and a lot of patience, after all!

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