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Product Review: Flip Mino HD

July 17, 2010

I had one of the early generation Flip Ultra cameras, and I wasn’t happy with the resolution; so I jumped at the chance to upgrade to the Flip Mino HD.  I’m just an amateur learning video editing on my own, noodling around and having fun with friends and pets, making some arty avant garde concoctions, and cutting the occasional vlog.  For what it is, a dinky pocket digital video camera that shoots high def, I got just what I wanted.

I like the slimmer profile of the Flip Mino HD video camera and the ease of use; the small screen on the back is akin to any current digital camera, what you see it what you get. Hit the red button to start and stop recording, the power button is on the upper right hand corner.  It has a capacity to zoom in and out to an extent.

One of the sales perks to this camera is that it has the built in USB stick and editing software on the unit itself.  I have not tried to use its internal software, I am running Adobe Premiere Elements 7 which sells for less than $100 new.  Premiere Elements 8 is out and there are free online tutorials for this and other Adobe software available [click here].

The Flip Mino HD is smaller, sleeker and slips easily into a pocket.  The microphone is super sturdy and was not blown out by semi-automatic or assault rifle gunfire at close range as tends to happen with video cameras: “I Shot Andy Warhol”.   Loud bands take notice! 

My hockey blogger boyfriend had a class in New Media studies in his Master’s degree program a few months ago, and some classmates of his did some primary research and learned the majority of the people with Flip cameras they interviewed use them to record onto and watch video from; they never transferred the video to computers, the internet or tried to edit and compose the files.  To me, this supports information I have read about content creators online being in the minority proportionally.

A genius move I found on someone’s blog was that they “mounted” (I believe this is code for “glued”) a Sunpack wide angle lens onto the Flip Mino HD.  A very good hack, although on the permanent side; it does address the flat, more limited nature of the small built in lens.  If you want to try it, break out the boat strength epoxy and drop me a line!  This blogger has a sample video shot with this unit at: http://www.dailynugget.com/2009/05/flip-mino-hd-look-out-spielberg/

I think the part he shot is after the first section with some over caffeinated guy yapping at a table; the rest is better.

If you want a lot more bang for your buck, look to the DSLR camera, because they are multi-tasking both still and video images; you can switch back and forth between the two.  They cost way more, but you can go about getting and using the different sizes and styles of lenses for the unit.  I have seen beautiful work done with DSLR cameras such as this Chicago artist and photographer: here.

Main web page for sales and information for the Flip Mino HD [which is Flash animated to the maxxxx]:

http://www.theflip.com/en-us/Products/mino.aspx

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