There are some internal differences, too. The sensor is the same 2.2-megapixel, 1/4.5in CMOS one found in the previous MinoHD, but the image processing that goes with it has been updated to the 3.5 version of the Flip Video Engine. This is the same as is used in the larger UltraHD model, which offered marginally better performance than the first-generation MinoHD in our testing.
The amount of onboard storage has been doubled as well, from 4GB to 8GB. Footage is still recorded at 720p resolution and 30 frames per second, with no other options, so this doubles the duration available to two hours. For most activities, this will be more than adequate, since the battery is rated to last two hours as well.
One area that hasn’t changed is the range of camcorder features, or lack thereof. About the only configuration worth mentioning is the digital zoom, and being digital it’s hardly worth mentioning either. However, the minimum focal distance of the fixed lens now goes down to 80cm, so you can record things from a closer proximity than before.
Pocket internet camcorders have regularly surprised us with their low-light shooting abilities, and the MinoHD’s large 1/4.5in CMOS sensor promises similar results. It can still pick up a decent picture in quite poor illumination, and actually outperforms the lower-end of the mainstream HD camcorder market, where models typically use smaller sensors despite offering more features.
Performance in more brightly lit conditions is less of a revelation, however, and here the lack of features is a little more telling. For example, high contrast is not dealt with well, particularly brightly backlit subjects. With no compensation option, a subject shot against a bright background will come out dark, and there will be nothing you can do about it. Similarly, there’s no way of dealing with scenes with an abnormal level of light or dark areas, such as beaches or landscapes.