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I bought this camcorder for shooting some holiday or YouTube videos. I do not record videos very often so this rather cheap camcorder should be enough, you can find it for a price around £110 up to £150 online
Design & Features
The chassis of the camcorder is really slim, it does not take much space which is nice especially when you are traveling.
One of the features of the camcorder is the one-touch video uploading to YouTube and AOL, which many cheap digital cameras offer as well. So this is not an outstanding feature, I think.
On the front, there are backlit control buttons with the red record button in the middle. The connecting works both with Mac and Windows
The Mino's picture quality is nice, may be not the best but is way better than I expected it to be.
As to the sound quality, the Mino is also much better than many digital cameras. The sound is clear, only when you record at locations with much noise around you, the sound gets a bit fizzy und unclear.
In general, the usage is really easy. One understands the whole handling at first sight.
I think it's a worthy camcorder, the price is okay (regarding the videoand sound quality). However, the memory should be larger than 2GB.
I'm a bit of a ludite when it comes to gadgets, so wanted a very simple camcorder that I could slip into my handbag and which wasn't too pricey. I looked at some reviews, which were all very favourable, but the price swung it for me, as it was cheap enough not to be too distressing if it was relegated to the back of the cupboard. The Flip Mino has been an absolute gem. It's sleek, small (mobile phone size) and so simple to use. Pop the flick out connector (no bits to lose) into the USB drive of your computer - the software is preprogrammed and takes a couple of minutes to be recognised. The Flip has one red record button .....and thats it. Simples. (You can zoom in and out and replay/delete easily too). There is 60 minutes of recording time, which is ample and downloading the footage is a matter of popping it back into the USB drive. The editing software is a bit basic, you can fade clips together and add music, title and credits and save stills from the footage but thats about it.( A major feature is the ease of sharing clips on Facebook, but I've not used this). This is a fantastic first camcorder for the novice, very simple, compact and lightweight, the only downside is the amount of memory the films take up when storing them on your PC.
My last encounter with a video camera consisted of lugging something the size of a small brick around, and having to buy an especially small tape to put inside. As you can seel, this was evidently some time ago, so when I found out that I had to do some video recording as part of my job, I was vaguely alarmed.
To my surprise, the piece of equipment that I was given was not much bigger than my mobile phone; I had been introduced to the wonderful world of digital photography in the shape of the Flip Mino Video Camera ... and I was hooked!
As part of my teaching, I had to divide the class up into five groups, present them with their recording task, give them a camera, and get them all back into class with a 10 minute documentary filmed - all within an hour and a half. There was little time for explanation.
The Flip camera that I used measured 100 x 50 x 16mm - absolutely tiny compared to my imaginings. It feels sturdy in the hand and has a robust, shiny black exterior casing.
The front of the camera contains only the lens; on the back a few simple buttons to operate the camera. A small silver ridged button on the side switches the camera on and off, and a slightly larger button moves downwards to flip the USB connection out of the side.
The operating buttons are very simple. There are only seven; a very large red button that starts and stops the recording process with a simple depression. Two backlit touch buttons containing right and left arrow symbols sit to either side of this large red button and allow you to control the skip forward and backward functions during viewing. Above the red button are three further buttons. The first has the easily identifiable symbol of a PLAY button, the second has a PLUS symbol, and can be used to control zoom and volume during playback; the third is the familiar BIN symbol from any compute desktop. Underneath the red recording button is a MINUS symbol, which has similar functions to the PLUS button.
The viewing frame is displayed in a small colour screen just above the record button. This screen measures 3cm by 2 cm and is surrounded to right and left by small speakers.
~~Ease of Use~~
I found the cameras completely intuitive to use, so when I presented them to my class I assumed that as teenagers they would have no trouble at all. As part of the lesson plan, I instructed them to become familiar with all the functions of the camera so that they could film, stop filming, zoom in and out, and delete shots with confidence. On average it took them two minutes to become completely familiar with the camera.
As you switch it on, the display screen activates to display your shooting frame. A message at the top says READY, and at the bottom a TIME LEFT message counts down from 60.00 minutes. The Flip that I used had a 2GB memory, and a one hour recording time.
The battery symbol is to the right of the time left, so that you can easily measure how much shooting time remains.
Pressing the large red button to start recording, all of these distracting symbols disappear. Instead, a simple red counter appears in the top left hand corner of the screen. This counts the seconds that you have spent recording that particular shot. If you stop filming and shoot another image, the counter returns to zero. So in other words, you end up with a series of short shots of varying lengths. These can easily be joined together once you upload your images, and I will explain this later.
If you do not like the shot, pressing the BIN symbol will give you the option of deleting the video - either deleting one shot or all the shots. Selection and deletion instructions are given on screen , and you use a combination of left and right arrows, together with the BIN symbol.
Zooming in and out during shots is easy, using the PLUS and MINUS symbols above and below the Recording button. This is easily done during recording, as you do not have to keep the recording button depressed for operation. One press starts the procedure, and a second press turns the camera off. The right and left arrows on either side of the RECORDING button also allow you to scroll quickly through all of the shots you have taken, either to delete or to watch.
To play back the shot that you have just taken, press the PLAY button, this will play the shot on the small screen and while you are watching you can increase or decrease the playback sound by pressing the plus or minus buttons.
The camera automatically switches itself off if not used for 2 minutes, saving valuable battery time.
My cameras came with a soft black carrying case, a wrist strap and some connectors to play the videos on a TV screen. They were well packaged in a hard black Flip camera box with an instruction manual.
~~Saving and Sharing the video~~
Downloading the videos to my computer was just as easy as shooting. Pushing down the switch, I flipped the USB connector out from the side of the camera and plugged it into my laptop. I now could either view the Flip camera via My Computer (and then either copy and paste the files to wherever I want, or play them via Windows Media Player), or I could use the FlipShare camera software that automatically loads when I plug in the Flip USB.
The FlipShare software couldn't be easier to use. As you plug in the USB, a FlipShare welcome screen appears on the laptop with all the shots that have been saved on that particular camera. I can then either select them all, or I can select specific shots, in the same way as shots on a still camera are displayed. I can play each shot individually; I can play all of them consecutively; I can send them via email; I can save them to my computer; or I can publish them to the web. All with one click of the mouse, using the very clear instruction Icons at the bottom of the page.
It really is as easy as that. Hovering over the icons on the FlipShare software brings up explanations of what each function does, and even the most technologically confused person could perform the task easily.
As long as the USB remains plugged into the laptop, it is charging, and I have found that my cameras are back to being fully charged during the time I have taken to download the videos.
I really love these little cameras, and I have firmly put one on my Christmas list for next year! My students learnt how to use them in a matter of minutes, as did I. Downloading the videos was incredibly easy.
The camera is small enough to fit in my handbag or pocket very easily, and it is robust enough to be carried around for that spontaneous moment.
The only negative comment I have is the sound quality - if you stand too far away from the subject, it is difficult to hear speech - instead all of the closer sounds seem amplified, such as coughs, chatter, squeaking doors. This is a very minor complaint and by standing around 2 meters away or closer these problems can be eliminated.
The model I was using has now been upgraded to an HD version with image stabilisation techology. I felt very happy with the images that were produced on the older version and would certainly go for the cheaper, non-HD model if I were to buy now.
I borrowed a set of five flip cameras from the college library, but a quick google for the prices reveals that they are on sale for as little as £62.
Well I'm not really a person into gadgets and the latest technology. I actually won this Flip video camera on a competition and entered as thought my other half would like it. Well he certainly does as I let slip I'd won something and was keeping it for christmas for him but I gave in and showed him what it was and he was very happy as it arrived the following day and he planned to use it at the hospital when I had my daughter recently.
It seems to sell for between £70-£100 depending on where you purchase it.
It is very simple to use even for me and also my 4 year old is able to use it to, He likes to view the videos under our supervision just in case he deleted something lol.
It is quite lightweight and the same size as my mobile phone. The button to turn on the camera is also like that of a mobile phone one.
It has a lens on the back of it and the front has a small screen about 2" for viewing what you are recording, a red button for recording and the fast forward, back, delete and play buttons which are not actually buttons, Gosh hope that makes sense you simple touch where the icon is.
On the side there is a pull down little slide bit and this flips out the USB part which allows you to attach to a pc to download the videos and it also charges the video camera.
It takes approx 2 hours to charge from an empty battery and this will then allow approx 2 hours of constant use. Therefore would last a day if being turned on and off and not being used continually.
This also comes with a cable which allows you to attach the camera to a television to view the videos which is great so no crowding around a pc or laptop trying to see the videos.
This Flip definitely beats the chunky video cameras that are about. This is ideal for events like parties etc. If you wanted it for a holiday it would not take much to fill it up but if you had a laptop with you and were able to download the videos you could use it for the rest of holiday this way.
It can fit nicely into a pocket for the men and not take up much room in a handbag either for the ladies.
Until quite recently, I must admit I had not seen or heard of Flip Video. It wasn't until a work colleague was using one that I became aware of them and this eventually led to me buying one with some Amazon vouchers to use at a family celebration.
I was surprised to discover that Flip Video has been around for quite a while now and there are a few models to choose from. The latest being the Mino HD version. Mine however, is the Mino 2GB version which is smaller and sleeker looking than its 'Ultra' predecessor, at just 100 x 50 x 16mm and weighing a mere 90g.
This handy video camera is small enough to fit in your pocket or handbag which was one of the main reasons I bought it. It allows you to begin recording within seconds with its simple point and shoot recording. It sits very comfortably in your hand, but probably its biggest appeal I would imagine, is how ridiculously simple it is to use. Even the most technophobic person will be able to use one of these. There are no complicated instructions and better still, you are not faced with endless buttons or procedures.
In fact, just looking at the Mino when you first take it out of the box, really gives you the first hint of how simple it all is. Backlit touch-sensitive buttons : play button, record button and a delete button along with 4 arrow keys for zoom, volume and to skip to next video when playing back is all that is visible along with a 1.5in colour LCD screen.
There's a tiny speaker for playback and the onscreen display tells you how much recording time you have left.
The 'flip' aspect of the camcorder is the USB arm which flips out from the side of the camera when you slide the latch down. You then simply plug the USB into your computer and upload your videos using the Flip Video Programme which runs directly from the camcorder and loads up as soon as you connect to the computer.
This enables you to :-
* Browse, play and delete your videos
* Save your videos to your computer
* Capture photos from your video
* Share your videos online or by email
The camcorder runs off a internal Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery which is an improvement from earlier models which required AA batteries. Charging via the computer takes around 3 hours and you get up to 4 hours of use when fully charged. You can also purchase a power adaptor for the Mino which shortens the charging time by approx 1 hour.
Also included in the box is a cable to connect the camcorder to your TV to enable you to view on your TV if you prefer, as well as a soft case and wrist strap.
In terms of uploading the videos, they save themselves to the computer very quickly. It is possible to film an hour of footage on this 2GB version and I find the editing software is very easy to use. It is so easy to use the 'one-touch' upload to YouTube or My Space.
The other great function of this camcorder is that you can create photographs from the videos you shoot, something I personally find very useful.
The picture quality - VGA (640 x 480) gives good results even in low light conditions, which I am more than happy with. And now that I am totally confident using it, I have been editing clips and messing around adding MP3's to them which I have stored on my computer.
Overall the Flip Video Mino scores top marks for being so easy to use. It is an ideal camcorder to carry around with you, take to gigs or use at family celebrations etc. You can have it out of your pocket or bag, turn it on, and in 3 seconds( yes I've counted!) it is ready to use.
For those who enjoy filming and uploading to YouTube it is so simple and easy, using the one-touch upload.
Whilst mobile phones have decent video capture, including my own. I personally find this is easier and quicker to use and also the battery power lasts much longer.
There is nothing I dislike about it.
The Flip Mino 2GB is available from Amazon priced at £69.99 with free delivery.
This flip video mino was an impulse buy for me after seeing it in action at a local store. It really is an affordable, high quality camcorder which I have found is ideal for almost everyday use.
In terms of design I find the sleek slimline design to be really aesthetically appealing, in addition, it fits really well into the hand. I found this to be an important factor because a comfortable camcorder really does make video recording a more pleasurable experience.
The camcorder comes with 2GB of built in memory and lasts for up to 60 minutes. I loved how you don't have to buy an additional memory card and how the memory is built in.
It works with both Mac and Windows which is ideal for all computer users. The camcorder itself is very easy to use as it is just 'point and shoot'. It is so easy also to upload the video to the computer afterwards.
The camcorder has a rechargeable battery which I found ideal as it meant that there was no need for me to buy AA batteries which over time can become costly. The battery life is very good indeed and will last I found for the full 60 minutes of recording.
The video quality of the camcorder is also very good and is given the price of just £70 on Amazon is another great reason to buy it. It delivers high quality video recordings which can be watched on the camcorders high quality screen which is ideal for replaying the recorded videos.
In terms of functionality it really does deliver everything that it says on the tin. In summary, I would really recommend this camcorder because it is a great camcorder provided at a reasonable price.