Monday, January 11, 2010

Flip MinoHD (1st gen) Review and Word to the Wise

At 4:00 am my (1st gen) Flip MinoHD Camcorder, 60 Minutes (Black) will either work, having been successfully reset and recharged, or I'll have to call support again and send it in for repair to get the battery replaced. I have to say, though, that I'm pleasantly surprised with Pure Digital, the company that makes the device. The factory-only replaceable battery is a drawback of the design, but Pure Digital makes up for it by offering free battery replacement to their customers who have a problem. I wish I'd known they would offer free battery replacement (which they did for me when I called today) when I bought a pair of them last Christmas along with the warranty extension. However, I was able to actually make a call to a person, and talk to an actual person without too much navigation, and the person I talked to knew their stuff and was very nice and helpful. Kudos to Pure Digital's customer service, or is that Cisco's doing, now that they own Flip Video?

I really love my Flip MinoHD. People often say they're surprised with the clarity of the image when I post clips to Facebook, such as the one above. The sound is good as well. The video I uploaded to Facebook is straight out of the camera, unadulterated, and Facebook does a decent job of transcoding the file. This is close to how it actually looks and sounds on my computer. The built-in software has evolved over time to something useful, and being able to push right to Facebook is a great new feature. The software and firmware are updated regularly.

I have used the Flip MinoHD for a couple non-trivial projects, such as web tutorials, and it worked out fine.

Tutorial: Lighting a Forge from Smartshop Metal Arts Center on Vimeo.

Watch out for two things: If you're used to the Flip SD (standard definition) products, the minimum focus distance of the HD version is further away. Also, the tripod mount is not deep enough for some tripod screws.

You should get a 2nd gen one, Flip MinoHD Camcorder 2nd Generation, 120 Minutes (Brushed Metal) NEWEST MODEL, or else get the Flip UltraHD Camcorder, 120 Minutes (Black). Personally I like the bigger form factor on the Ultra, and the suede finish of the black is nice. It's what I would have gotten if they made Ultra HD's when I was in the market. I like my Flip Ultra 1st gen, which I used as my 2nd camera in the Smartshop tutorials.

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