Other than that, the Mino HD incorporates a regular tripod mount on the bottom, which will be particularly handy for securing it to a car or bike for action shots. Naturally there’s no accessory shoe, microphone input or headphone jack – the target market would never use them anyway. However, the LCD is tiny, with a 1.5in diagonal, and as it has a 4:3 aspect the 16:9 video preview only fills part of it. So you really don’t see very much of what you’re shooting.
Although we never expect camcorders in this class to compete with mainstream models in terms of image quality, we have been mildly surprised at how well most of them perform. The Mino HD continues this trend. You don’t get image stabilisation, there are clear signs of compression artefacts and bright areas easily blow out, but colours are reasonably faithful in good lighting, and there’s an acceptable amount of detail.
Most impressive is how the Mino HD copes with low light. In our all-important test of a room lit only by a 100W ceiling bulb, the Mino HD shot footage you might actually be able to use, unlike many cheap camcorders. Toshiba’s Camileo P30, for example, failed dismally in this respect.
Since this is a pocket Internet camcorder, however, the ease with which you can put your video online is a major selling point, and here Flip just about maintains its crown. As before, a full-sized USB plug pops out of the device at the flick of a switch – from which the brand name ‘Flip’ is derived. The entire bundled software suite resides onboard, and installation starts automatically when you plug the Mino HD in for the first time. So, in theory, you can upload your videos from any PC – although, in practice, only if the owner of the PC lets you install the software.