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News

Review – Flip MinoHD

Flip’s original line of Ultra and Mino camcorders quickly established themselves as the iconic pocket video devices, so how does its long-awaited HD successor fair.

Screen shot 2009-10-14 at 14.40.59

Flip’s original line of Ultra and Mino camcorders quickly established themselves as the iconic pocket video devices, so how does its long-awaited HD successor fair.

Price: £169.99
Available From: http://flipvideo.co.uk

The original Flip Mino camcorder revolutionised the way many people shot video. It dragged the focus away from resolution and quality and instead concentrated on being the camcorder you always have with you. Perfectly pocket-sized, quick to power up, tape-free and supremely easy to operate, it proved the old adage that the only good camera is the one you have with you. It did all this and still managed to deliver more than reasonable results with great video alongside audio recording that seemed to focus more on voices and less on background distractions. Now the good news is that none of this has changed with Flip’s entry into the latest technological obsession – HD. The MinoHD looks, feels and operates almost exactly like the original – in fact, the only visible difference is a subtle shift from chrome to gun-metal grey for a few of the external features (plus the availability of an all-chrome version instead of the original white). On the inside however there’s one big change; the Flip now records in 720p HD. But then this gives rise to an interesting debate for a camcorder that has traditionally set the standard for accessibility over pristine quality – are those extra pixels worth it? There’s little doubt that the quality of HD footage shot on a high-end camcorder can be jaw-dropping, but when you cram that kind of technology into a pocket-sized package there are going to be compromises, and if you’re expecting Blu-ray quality from the Flip you’re going to be disappointed. That said, the picture quality is still great, movement is captured reasonably well and the camera does a great job at quickly compensating for changes in light and focus. This is a great purchase for a first-time Flip buyer, but if you already own one of the earlier models you might be better off waiting to see how the technology matures.

Pros Same great package and ease of use from Flip, with the bonus of a larger, clearer picture
Cons Battery life is halved from the original Mino, while the improvement in video quality is slightly disappointing

Verdict: Three out of five stars
★★★

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