Flip MinoHD 8GB pocket camcorder
Flip MinoHD 8GB review: an HD pocket camcorder for bloggers and casual shooters
- Exceptionally user-friendly, sleek and compact design, good video performance in optimum lighting
- No memory card slot, undersized display, annoying USB connector
The Flip MinoHD 8GB isn't the best pocket camcorder on the market. Nevertheless, it provides good video for the asking price and is very user-friendly for beginners.
Price$ 279.95 (AUD)
The Flip MinoHD 8GB is a flash memory–based pocket camcorder aimed at bloggers and casual videographers. Highlights include 720p recording, image stabilisation, a HDMI port and inbuilt editing software.
Having single-handedly spawned the whole 'pocket cam' craze, the Flip brand has enjoyed a respectable lineage. Without it, there would be no Creative Vado, no Sony Bloggie and no Kodak Zi8. (Hell, even the new Apple iPod Touch owes it a debt.) Unfortunately, we can't help but feel this latest iteration of the Flip MinoHD is outclassed by some of its fresher-faced rivals. The lack of removable flash memory and its diminutive LCD screen are especially irksome. Nonetheless, it remains a reliable and beginner-friendly camcorder that's capable of taking great-looking video. It's just not the best in its class.
Flip MinoHD: Design and functionality
As befits a pocket camcorder the Flip MinoHD is a highly portable device, measuring just 100x50x15mm and weighing under 100g. It's smaller than most compact stills cameras, but slightly larger than a mobile phone. The standard black version is reasonably stylish in an understated way, though we much prefer the brushed metal finish of the Sony Bloggie Touch MHS-TS20. Thankfully, those after a 'louder' design can choose from a range of colourful skins on the Flip Video Web site.
The Flip MinoHD comes in a variety of styles
When it comes to operation, the Flip MinoHD attempts to keep things as simple as possible. There are eight buttons on the device, but only two of these are used during recording. This is a point-and-shoot camera in the purest sense: the only things you have to worry about are the record button and the zoom. If you want your moviemaking endeavours to be as fuss-free as possible, the Flip MinoHD is the camcorder to own.
One of the drawbacks of the Flip MinoHD is the size of its LCD display. It's surprisingly tiny, which can make framing and previewing shots unduly difficult. This is especially noticeable when compared to the Sony Bloggie Touch, which boasts a screen that is around three times larger.
Flip MinoHD LCD display vs. Sony Bloggie Touch
Flip MinoHD: Performance
The Flip MinoHD shoots video at a maximum resolution of 720p, instead of the more common (and superior) Full HD. This may sound like a significant flaw on paper, but in reality the difference in video quality is pretty negligible — especially if you're uploading your clips to Facebook or YouTube. Still, it would have been nice to have a 1080p option for HDTV playback and the like.
To test the Flip MinoHD's video performance, we shot footage in a variety of lighting conditions and previewed the results on our high-definition PC monitor. In our optimum lighting shots, the Flip MinoHD produced exceptionally sharp and pristine video. However, the camera's 1/4.5in CMOS sensor began to struggle in moderate lighting, with image noise muddying the picture significantly. Like most pocket cams, the Flip MinoHD requires plenty of sunlight to produce flawless video. On the plus side, the integration of a new-and-improved image stabiliser helped to keep our footage steady during testing.
Curiously, the Flip MinoHD does not have a stills mode; a feature that practically every camcorder on the market offers. In other words, you'll need to keep your camera or mobile phone on hand for those impromptu Facebook snaps.
Flip MinoHD: Storage and conclusion
Unlike most pocket camcorders, the Flip MinoHD 8GB does not come with a memory card slot for hybrid recordings. This means you're stuck with the 8GB of inbuilt storage, which will net you around two hours of HD video. We think this is a serious oversight on Cisco's behalf (who wants to transfer their footage to a PC every two hours?) By contrast, the Sony Bloggie Touch MHS-TS20 supports both Memory Sticks and SDHC cards, which boosts the potential storage space by 64GB.
Flip MinoHD USB arm
Compounding matters further is the fold-out USB arm. It's far too short and unwieldy for our liking, especially when using a desktop PC. Unfortunately, the lack of removable memory means it's the only way to export video.
For our money, the Sony Bloggie Touch MHS-TS20 offers better overal value than the Flip MinoHD. However, if you're looking for a point-and-shoot camcorder that is incredibly easy to use, this affordable pocket cam is pretty hard to beat.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Facebook adds Apple TV and Chromecast support as video push ramps up
- Remocam review: This security camera can control your home appliances
- Logitech's C922 webcam is the revered C920's vastly upgraded successor
- Jump the line for the newest Chromecast features with Google's new preview program
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- CCApplication PackagerVIC
- CCMid-level Java Developer / Programmer (Contract) Finance CBDNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- CCDevOps Lead - Agile/AWSVIC
- CCIT Risk Specialist (Assurance) - TelcoVIC
- FTBI Tech Lead l Informatica ETL , Microstrategy, Big Data TechnologiesNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst Finance & Lending - Brisbane Based RoleVIC
- TPWeb DeveloperSA
- FTIT Procurement AdvisorQLD
- FTMid Level Infrastructure Project ManagerVIC
- FTTechnical Content CoordinatorVIC
- FTLinux EngineerNSW
- CCPeoplesoft SpecialistACT
- TPNetwork Security OfficerVIC
- CCJava Developer/ Guidewire DevelopersQLD
- CCFIS Connex Developer (Brisbane Based)Other
- TPProject Manager - EnterpriseACT
- FTTechnical Consultant/Systems AnalystQLD
- FTInformation / Data Quality AnalystNSW
- FTiOS DeveloperNSW
- FTJava DeveloperSA
- CCSystems EngineerQLD
- CCSenior Engineer - Finance PackagesQLD
- FTFull Stack Web Developer - UI/UX - .NET or JAVANSW