The Flip Mino Video Review

Last year we received the Flip Mino from Pure Digital Technologies.  Since my initial write-up in September 2008, I’ve been using this little gadget quite a bit.  I’ve brought it along on many mountain bike rides as well as normal usage (outside of mt. biking).  You may have seen the many ride videos we posted on our site. 

 

The Flip Mino has many attributes.  Below I will list the Pros and Cons from my experience using it.   

 

Pros: Ultra-compact, simple to-use controls, easy playback and delete, easy connection to your PC/Laptop and long battery life

 

The little engine that could… the Flip Mino produces great video quality for its size.  It has a TV resolution of 480 x 640 and a 2.0 lux for low light recording.  Thus far from my usage, I’ve only had daytime use with it.  I haven’t had a chance to test its low light capabilities.  The unit has a built-in 2GB flash memory.  I was able to record ample of footage at every occasion or at any usage.  Deleting the unwanted video footage was also very easy.  The Mino’s features touch-sensitive buttons that is well marked on the face of the unit.

 

IMG2790 by you.

Uploading the footage was a piece of cake.  The Mino has a built-in, retractable USB arm.  Release the arm, plug it in and your PC/MAC will read it as a drive.  You can upload your footage directly onto YouTube or similar video sharing sites with ease.  The Flip video files are easy to edit and work with.  For my videos I used the Windows Movie Maker. Charging the Mino’s battery will be through this USB connector.

 

IMG2786 by you.

 

Finally, the battery life.  Since using the Mino, I’ve taken it along on rides that ranged from 1-2.5 hours.  Throughout the ride I would take footage of various segments of the trail.  Continuous on/record/off, but by the end of our ride there are still plenty of battery life left.  Also there were days/weeks where I would not recharge the Mino, or left in the car where its cold. The battery held its power and did not drain. 

 

Note: On the videos we post, it’s typically only 3-5 minutes long.  We capture a lot of footage but have to keep it down in size for the video sharing sites like YouTube for example.  Also we usually only post the highlights of our rides. 

 

The Flip Mino’s compact size is a definite plus.  You’ll be able to carry and store it like your phone or ipod.  It fits perfectly in your pants’ pockets, jackets, purses, etc… This is a perfect take-along gadget!   

 

IMG_0631 by you.

 

Cons: Video quality when zooming.

 

The only issue I had with the Flip Mino was how the quality deteriorated when zooming in.  You quickly lose the sharpness and the image becomes fuzzy.  On the video below you’ll see what I’m referring to (around .51 and 1.13 into the video).

By no means will the Flip Mino replace your full-featured video cameras, but it will suffice for people that are on the go.   This little unit has capability of capturing quality footage.  Below is another video of one of my rides encountering a rattler.   Even with your adrenaline pumping, you’ll find the Mino very easy to use 🙂

Note that you will lose additional quality uploading to YouTube.

Specs from Flip:

  • Dimensions 4” x 2” x 0.6”
  • Weight 3.3 oz.
  • 2GB on-board flash memory records upto 60 minutes of video
  • Sealed, internal rechargeable lithium ion battery that recharges through built-in USB arm
  • Flat back-panel with touch-sensitive buttons
  • No-glare display screen (1.5”)
  • TV quality video
  • Instant playback, pause, fast forward/rewind, and delete features
  • Available in black and white models
  • Connects to TV for instant viewing
  • Built-in high-speed software enables instant video sharing from any PC or MAC:
    • Save and organize videos on computer
    • Email videos and video greeting cards
    • Publish videos instantly on video sharing sites like MySpace, YouTube, and AOL
    • Capture still photos from video clips
    • Create custom movies with your own music
    • Make your own DVDs and have them shipped anywhere in the world
    • MSRP: $179.99

IMG2793 by you.

 

The Flip Mino has exceeded my expectations.  With the features listed above and my experience with it, I was very pleased.  Since receiving the Mino they have added an option – “Designable“.  This gives you the option to design the backplate with pictures or patterns.  For more information on Flip products, visit their site at www.theflip.com.

4 Replies to “The Flip Mino Video Review”

  1. What is the frame-rate and is the zoom analog or digital? The latter would explain the resolution issue when zooming.

  2. If you use this with some sort of stabilizer, the Flip can take some really great videos. Speaking of stabilizers, I am going to make one…

  3. I’ve been very impressed by the Flip Ultra — very easy to use, good battery life and surprisingly good footage from such a simple creature.

    Image stabilization is an serious issue, though. I look forward to seeing what you might cook up, RL!

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