Flip Mino Video Camera - White, 2 GB, 1 Hour (1st Generation)
Color: WhiteStyle: w/out AdapterChange
Price:$179.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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422 of 431 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2008
The form factor on this product is great. Its noticeably smaller (in both the pocket and the hand) than its predecessor - the Flip Video Ultra Series, 60 min. And the Ultra was already compact to begin with! The sleek size was important to me because I just won't bring a camcorder out with me if it doesn't fit easily in my pocket. This device did just the trick. If you don't care about size (i.e., because you will just put it in your purse, etc) then I would suggest saving the money and getting the Ultra, which lists for about $50 or so less.

As far as I can tell, the video quality and functionality is about the same as the Ultra and they both have the 2GB of memory, similar 1.5" screen size, digital zoom etc. So the only reason in my mind to get this is for the size advantage. But for me, size does matter. When I think about how many moments passed by unrecorded simply because it was too cumbersome to take a camcorder along, it really makes me wish they made this Mino years ago!

For those of you unfamiliar with Flip camcorders, the Mino has suprisingly good VGA video quality. I'd put it on par with that of much larger, more expensive traditional camcorders. The Mino also records well in a variety of light settings. The lack of a true optical zoom is probably to be expected given the small size, but the 2x digital zoom is good enough for most casual settings. The design is well thought out to avoid many of the classic pitfalls of portable devices - there's a scratch resistant covering on the lens, an on/off switch on the side that is difficult to trip accidentally and a centrally located record button that has enough resistance to avoid unintentionally starting/stopping recording (I know some have issues with the Ultra record button but I have not).

I have a PC at home and the Mino truly is a plug-and-play device. You don't have any confusing software or cables to muddle around with. Simply plug the USB adapter into your computer and you're ready to go! It's great for the non-technically savvy. I also like the rechargeable built-in battery in the Mino (which is a new feature). It recharges like an iPod, either in the computer or through an outlet which is convenient. I can't attest yet to the battery life/quality but I figure by the time it dies out on me, I'll be well on my way to buying a next generation Flip Micro!

------------ July 8th update -------------
I noticed the price dropped on the black Flip Mino. For those of you who don't know (Amazon doesn't advertise this) Amazon not only has a 30 day return policy, but a 30 day price adjustment policy as well. So if you bought your Flip in the past 30 days, you can call them up and they will immediately refund the difference to you with no hassles. This policy holds for all products directly sold by Amazon.
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506 of 534 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2008
I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere and I thought it was important for Mac users to be filled in on the following....

1. The software that comes with the Flip Video Mino does NOT allow you to stitch multiple clips together to make one movie. Only Windows users can do this.

2. I was able to get the Flip Video Mino AVI videos to play in iMovie '08, but not export. When you export the video you get a blank screen with only audio. I had better luck exporting the video from Final Cut Pro.

3. In case you are interested, the codec that Flip Video Mino uses is the 3ivx codec.

There are workarounds for the above issues, but it would have been nice if there was a way to combine clips into one movie right out of the box. Hopefully this will be possible in the future with a software update.

Other then those concerns, its a great product so far and the video quality from the raw AVI file is really impressive.
I found a site called motionbox that will let you upload the raw AVI files that the Flip Video Mino creates and once uploaded you can do some basic editing and combine multiple movies into one. Doing it this way gives you a much higher quality video then what you get on sites like YouTube.
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500 of 528 people found the following review helpful
The Flip Mino is a great small camcorder for the price, mainly because of the form factor. It's a lot thinner and smaller than the Flip Video Ultra Series Camcorder, 60-Minutes (White), yet yields equal performance. The only negative is that it doesn't take AA batteries like the Flip Ultra because it's so thin. Instead, it has a non user replaceable built-in lithium ion battery like an iPod.

The Flip Mino does not neccessarily replace the Flip Ultra and the Flip Ultra is being sold side by side with the Flip Mino. And, the Flip Mino doesn't come in as many colors, only a black version and a white version.

I would say If you already have a Flip Ultra, you may not want or need to buy the Flip Mino (unless you really want the smaller form factor or you have money to burn) since it yields about the same video and audio quality. If you don't own a Flip video camera yet, the Flip Mino is probably the one to get unless you require AA batteries which admittedly is nice because they are readily available everywhere. I actually prefer AA batteries over an internal rechargeable battery that over a few years will start to lose it's charge and not last as long between charges.

That said, the Flip Mino is pretty nice because it's so small and thin.

Even though I have a digital point and shoot still camera that can shoot video, I find it easier to shoot video with the Flip Mino. The vertical form factor is better suited to shooting video. The built in software is nice and it's built into the camera so you need not install anything on your computer.

The Flip Mino is a great 'take everywhere' video camera that fits in your pocket and can yield some creative and endearing videos.
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92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2008
The Flip Mino is a slick device that is well-designed to perform its intended task, namely to take videos that can be readily posted on the Internet. Here are some features that impressed me and that may not be clear from the specs:

Good video quality. The video quality is surprisingly good, even indoors. I have one of those first-generation consumer digital video cameras (a Sony Mini-DV) that cost $1200 way back when. The resolution of 640-by-480 is the same, and I don't see any difference in the pixel quality between that and my expensive camcorder. Of course the Mino doesn't have all the same features, but it turns out you don't use those features anyway. The picture quality is definitely way better than I get on my cellphone (a Blackberry) or other devices where video recording capability is only an afterthought.

No accessories needed. I love how you can charge and exchange data by USB. I'm not talking about using a separate USB cable. The Mino has a spring-loaded USB plug that pops out so you can plug it in directly to your computer. And when you're done using it, you push the plug down and a hard plastic cover protects it automatically. This is way smarter than those fiddly rubber port covers you see on many electronic devices that you have to push and stretch back into place. This cover hides the USB plug while preserving the clean lines of the device. No extra cables or chargers to carry around when you travel.

Stable picture. I was surprised at how un-shaky the picture is. The narrow, vertical form-factor allows you to hold the Mino steadier than, say, your cellphone. I used to use my digital still camera to take videos, but I'm finding the Mino is much steadier.
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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
Color: BlackStyle: w/out AdapterVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )

I am posting a series of reviews to help people decide between these very similar flash memory camcorders. I was curious if the new Flip Video Mino Series Camcorder (Black) was better than the Creative Labs Vado Pocket Video Camcorder (Silver) or the Flip Video Ultra Series Camcorder (Black). I surprised myself after testing all three as well as a few competing devices.

The quality of video and audio captured with the Flip Mino is noticeably better than the Creative Vado, even when it's at its highest setting. However, for most users, the Creative Vado will probably meet your expectations at a much better price than the Flip Mino. The Mino's recent price drop makes the decision slightly harder, but there's still enough of a price difference to make the Vado attractive. While the Flip Ultra offers nice quality and removable batteries, the Vado offers a user changeable battery in a more slender body.

So the ranking in terms of quality goes Flip Mino, Creative Vado and Flip Ultra. But the ranking in terms of value goes Creative Vado, Flip Ultra and then the Flip Mino.

The unit you choose will depend on what your needs are, how much quality matters to you and how much you want to spend. Between these three most popular entry level models, the answer for some people may be, "none of the above."

+ Video quality is ok on the Vado, good on the Ultra and much better on the Mino - Advantage, Mino
+ Both include ports for AV out connections to TVs, but the Mino comes with the cable and the Vado does not - Advantage, Mino
+ The microphone sensitivity is below average on the Vado and slightly better on the Mino - Advantage, Mino
+ Both have a screw hole for attaching a tri-pod or similar stand, but the Mino's is centered and the Vado's is off-center (on the lower right) - Advantage, Mino
+ The Mino has a slick USB connector that tucks into the body and is released via a tab, while the USB dongle on the Vado is flexible but has a tab that sticks out from the body - Advantage, Mino
+ In terms of looks, the Vado's body is thinner and wider, and the Mino is slightly thicker but not as wide; the Mino definitely looks slicker, though the black plastic will attract finger-prints; Also, the Vado comes in different colors - Advantage, Mino
+ The built in speaker on the Vado is not nearly as good as the dual speakers on the Mino - Advantage Mino
+ The low light performance is subpar on all three units but slightly better on the Mino - Advantage, Mino
+ Ability to zoom seems weak on both, though the Mino does perform slightly better - Advantage, Mino
+ The Mino comes with a cheap pouch and a dongle, while the Vado comes with no carrying case or dongle included - Advantage, Mino
+ The Mino is presented in a box that is reminiscent of the packaging of Zunes and iPods, while the Vado packaging definitely seems cheap - Advantage, Mino
+ The Vado's on screen menus are definitely not as nice, and the Vado Central software is not nearly as good as the Flip Video Muvee software - Advantage, Mino
+ Nice indicator shows when either unit is capturing video - Draw
+ While the price is still higher for the Mino (see my first con below) the recent price drop is definitely a *pro* for anybody who wanted the mino more anyway

- The Price on the Vado is much better (just under $90, depending on color) while the Mino sells for much more (listed for $180, sells for about $150)
- While the Ultra worked with removable batteries and the Mino has a built-in rechargeable battery, the Creative Vado has a rechargeable battery that is user changeable and can be easily swapped for extended recording; So if the Mino's battery fails, replacing it will be much harder than just buying another one for the Vado - BIG Advantage, Vado
- The Flip Mino controls are touch sensitive (except for the record button); The buttons on the Vado are real tactile buttons that have nice feedback - This is a matter of preference, and both are nice, but I prefer the real buttons on the Vado; The Mino seems to have a lag when pressing the controls - Advantage, Vado
- The included software is self-contained on both units and seems to work fine, but the Mino requires much more software to be installed - Advantage, Vado
- Users who want to use a dedicated microphone are provided no jack on these devices for that purpose - Draw
- Neither unit has a headphone jack for checking audio playback on recorded videos - Draw, but the weaker speaker on the Vado makes this hurt the Vado more - Slight Advantage, Mino
- The Mino's screen is slightly smaller than the Vado's - Advantage, Vado
- The Mino only records in high quality mode for 1 hour, while the Vado gives you the option of recording in SP for 2 hours - Advantage, Vado
- The Mino and Vado both have some software issues that will hopefully be fixed with updates - the Mino's software is still slightly better - Advantage, Mino
- The Vado requires you to install the XVid codec to use the built-in software - Not a huge deal, Draw
- Not as much support for Mac users in terms of software
- Both the Vado and the Mino are easily recharged by USB connection, but the Vado includes an option for quick-charging - Advantage, Vado
- Neither of these has slots for any kind of memory card - Draw
- Neither of these will compete with some of the high-definition flash memory camcorders that are on the market, such as the Sanyo Xacti - Draw


While both of these units are ok, I am in the higher demanding category of users who is only going to be satisfied with the features offered by HI-Def flash camcorders like the Sanyo Xacti. Namely, I want to be able to use SD and SDHC memory cards to increase my capacity and record more than just 1 or 2 hours. I would also like to be able to have a more powerful optical zoom and more jacks for accessories. The high price of those units make them prohibitive for now, though the CG9 models are in the ballpark at around $250. Hopefully the price will come down, or competing units will come out to combine the best of both.

But if I have to draw a conclusion, as of now I would say that the Mino is definitely better in terms of quality. With the recent price drop to around $145, it is almost as good of a value when you consider it includes the AV cable, pouch and lanyard that the Vado doesn't. That's still not enough extras to justify the %40 price difference, but it definitely shrinks the gap.

So is the Mino good enough to warrant the higher price than the Vado? Many people will still choose the Vado. The fact that they made it easy to buy additional or replacement batteries and swap them out yourself is a HUGE plus. And since this is still a point and click camcorder, saving a nice chunk of change doesn't hurt either.

While all three are good devices for what they do, I am still searching for my perfect digital camcorder to come out at the right price.



Note: This video sample was taken with the Flip Mino. I filmed this from the upper deck of Yankee Stadium during a night game, which were much more difficult conditions than the sample I took for the Creative Vado. Still, even under these tough conditions, the video and audio quality of the Flip Mino is noticeably better.

Conversely, the Vado sample video I took was recorded in my friends living room less than 8 feet away from the TV. Even after turning up the volume very high the microphone on the Vado still captured audio very faintly. In addition, the video is set to HQ yet is somewhat grainy compared to the Flip Mino. Check out my review of the Vado to see the sample for yourself.

I will eventually update these reviews with more pictures and improved samples.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2008
The Flip Mino is brilliantly simple. I've had a couple of camcorders which are big, complicated, fragile, and eventually break. The Mino is small, simple, sturdy with no moving parts. If you're looking for something easy to use to take high quality home videos, you've found it.

It recharges over the USB connector when you plug it into your Mac/PC. It seems to have way more charge than needed to take 60 minutes of video, so it might just end up being fully charged all the time (unlike my camcorders which were never ready to go). And I prefer the rechargeable over replaceable batteries that just end up in landfills.

The video quality of the compression software was also good, though the compressor itself took a long time. In all fairness, this is probably because I have an old slow G4 Mac -- time to upgrade. And you can easily grab the raw .avi files right off of the camera if you want to work with uncompressed files.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2009
I love my new Flip Mino camcorder. I was mega-skeptical about how good
something this tiny could be, but I needed something quick, easy and
practical for sales-oriented website videos. I was amazed at how easy it
is to use the Flip Mino, and at the quality of the end product video.
Is it the "perfect" camcorder for every ocassion? No, but for those
impromptu, "down & dirty", on the spot videos it beats the heck out of
using a big camcorder...or a cellphone. I considered buying a Sony
"Webbie", but dollar for dollar you can't beat a Flip.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2008
Fantastic little device. Great video/sound quality, simple to use, rechargeable internal battery, all with a sleek styling. 640 x 480 pixels and 30 fps make this ideal for videos you might one day want to watch on your tv. Publishing to the web could not be any easier. Highly recommended!
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2008
Love the convenience, form-factor, and results. The price is a bargain for this much capability.

*Small enough to go everywhere you go.
*One thumb runs the whole thing.
*Lighted touch sensitive buttons guide you through steps.
*Very usable video quality.
*Drop dead simple Windows integration.
*Speaks native YouTube.
*Survives routine drops, coffee splashes, UPS crushers, and overstuffed computer bags.
*Lickable packaging with all the interconnect you need.
*Storage pouch doubles as lens cleaner.

*More fingerprints than a crime scene.
*Mac installation not as slick as Windoze.
*Sound ease-of-use trumps quality (tech note: needs a better compressor/limiter).
*No SD slot (just like an iPod).
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 16, 2008
I received this item as a gift. I have always been put-off by flash-based video recorders because typically the quality of the video is poor. After using this device for about a day or so, I'd have to say this is probably the best mini video recorder I have ever used.

The video quality is excellent. The device records videos in a divx format, so it is capable of squeezing excellent video quality out of the relatively small built-in 2 GB memory. The colors are vibrant, lines are sharp, and detail is excellent. Even in lower-light, indoor situations, this recorder is capable of showing a lot of detail. In extremely low-light situations, however, you won't get much of a picture, and there is no light. Even my cell phone has a small LED light that can be used in low-light situations, so the absence of such a feature on this recorder is noticeable. Don't expect to use it in the dark. You also can't flip the camera around and record yourself without guessing.

When you connect this device to a Windows PC, you can either use the supplied software or just copy the files from the device, since it will appear as a portable drive in your PC. The supplied software will allow you to save and sort videos, edit them, and compress them into smaller formats for emailing. I prefer to use my own software, so I will probably ignore the supplied software most of the time. If you want to play the files back on your PC, you will need to install specific video codecs.

A couple of issues -- you can't expand the memory. 60 minutes seems sufficient, since the days of "recording" entire events seems to have passed. The device is better-suited to short 2-5 minute clips. But an expansion slot would be helpful, especially when taking this device on vacation when there isn't a computer available to copy and delete files to make more space.

The zoom feature is really just 2x, and I would expect more. Don't expect to zoom in close from really far distances, so this won't work at the kid's shows, recitals, etc. The zoom is only good for changing perspective, so as to minimize boredom while recording, and makes for some interesting transitions between

The unit lacks features I would expect to find, such as the ability to adjust recording quality (to extend recording capacity, etc.). It also doesn't allow you to adjust the brightness of the screen, which can annoy people in low-light situations. The power button is awkwardly recessed, and I can't turn the device on as quickly as I would like. However, it has a quick start-up and is ready to go within seconds.

The device feels good in my hands, and has a great glossy surface. However...it attracts fingerprints and will probably be prone to scratches.

Overall, I give this item a 7 out of 10. There is room for improvement, but it does the job well, and is a great, small, portable device that can be carried all the time to shoot random, candid videos. The quality is better than a cell-phone, and the quality is just as good as any full-fledged camcorder. It just needs a little more to make it "great".
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