A couple of days ago, I got my hands on a Flip Mino video recorder. The Flip is by a company called Pure Digital. This model, the Mino, is the 3rd generation of the Flip camera family. I did an unboxing, put up some sample videos to show the quality, as well as a text review. I am having some issues getting my videos posted in 100% original quality, so these might not show the true quality.
Pure Digital has defiantly taken notes from Apple on packaging. Below are some photos from the unboxing of the Flip Mino:
The first thing you notice about the Flip when you pull it out of the box is how small it actually is. It stands 3.94″ tall, about 1.97″ wide, and only 0.63″ deep. This thing is tiny, it is smaller than my cell phone, and my iPod. The design is pretty basic, on the front you have a mic, and the camera lens. On the left side is the power on/off button and lanyard hole. On the back is a 1.5″ (528 x 132) LCD screen, 6 touch sensitive buttons (volume up/down, directional left/right, a play/pause button, and a trash button) and finally, a big red record button. On the right side is the flip out USB switch and TV out plug. On the top is the actual flip out USB. Finally, on the bottom of the Flip Mino is the device information and a standard tripod mount. Also, it comes in 2 60 minute (2GB) model, Black and White.
I personally am very surprised by the quality of the Flip Mino. It records in 640 x 480 at 30 frames a second. Most of the video I saw shot with a Flip before my purchase was flash encoded video on YouTube and Viddler. These sites don’t show the true quality of the camera. I was very impressed at how crisp and clear the raw video that comes out of the Flip actually was.
The size can not be beat, I carry this thing with me everywhere. I can not even tell it is on my pocket. It also has a nice function where it shuts off after 5 minutes of no activity. This has come in handy because I know I have put it in my pocket a few times while it was still turned on. The sound quality is quite good, it features a mic in both the front and rear of the camera so when you are talking from behind the camera it comes though in the audio very well. In my quick test video below I did a test on the speakers and how well they hold up with wind. I found that the front speakers do great with the wind when pointed directly into the source of the wind. You will also see a quick video I shot at night under only street light to see how it handles low light. I was very impressed with the results of both test.
The Tripod mount is great, I found that it looked a little out of place on my full size tripod that I use with my DSLR, but it worked great with my GorillaPod tripod which is a table top tripod.
The ONLY PROBLEM I have had with the camera so far is the lack of any kind of stabilization functionality. The camera picks up ever little shaking motion. I found this to be a big problem in the beginning, but I have since trained my hands to be more steady when recording.
Overall, I m very happy with the product, I found it on sale at Amazon for $155.95 so I could not resist. I am very happy with it and like I said earlier I carry it everywhere so hopefully sometime I can capture one of those moments most people wish they had a video camera for.
Amazon Special: Flip Mino $145.84
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Official Site: http://www.theflip.com/products_flip_mino.shtml#scene=sceneMain