20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2010
I have several nice cameras and camcorders but anytime I ask my wife to take a picture, I have to go through a minor training program explaining what this is and what that is. By the time I get it all explained, the photo opportunity is usually lost. I have given up buying her cameras since even the simplest ones seem to baffle her.
I have a smart and very high tech friend, who has many excellent cameras, but often uses a Flip Ultra and loves it. When Amazon offered the Mino HD as the "Deal of the Day", I read a few reviews and went for it. I frankly find it to be an amazing and unique piece of equipment. In this day of cramming more and more features into smaller and smaller packages, Flip has taken the "Keep it Simple" route and I applaud them for that. There is no choice of several video formats, just the one that many of us consider the best. There is no separate still image feature but the software allows you to grab stills of pretty good quality quite easily. Essentially, there is one button to turn the unit on, one button to extend the USB connection, and a large red button to begin and end recording. There is no memory card and no battery, instead, an internal battery and built in memory that will give you two hours of HD recording. It has an image stabilization system, probably electronic that does fine. The LCD screen is beautiful and adequate in size.
In short, this is exactly what I wanted for my wife, something that turns on, takes videos, and turns off. The videos viewed full screen are very good. The sound is excellent. This camera is exactly what it was meant to be, fast into action and good HD quality with good sound. Videos are simple to get on the computer and play beautifully.
The Flip software loads right from the camera, no disc to keep track of. As soon as I loaded it, I was offered a chance to update the software and did. One of the new features allowed me to import my contact list for email. The email program, for the most part, is excellent, but more on that in a minute.
The software is excellent and very intuitive. You can shorten videos from either end and save the new video separately or replace the original one in your camera. You can take stills from the videos with the click of one button. A couple of times my videos were a little jerky, causing a dialogue box to appear that said something like,...."You seem to be having trouble playing your video from the camera. We suggest saving it to your computer and playing the saved copy" That was a one click operation and worked perfectly. I have tried stills, shortening, etc, everything except making a movie. I'm sure that will be easy.
emailing is a snap. All you do is click the email symbol. It lets you drag and drop any video or still and emails them easily. There is no sizing or changing of anything required. I love this feature! Although the emails do not appear in your sent mail file, the Flip software has it's own sent mail file. You can always find what you sent to someone.
So, why not give this Mino HD five stars? It is what it claims to be and it exceeds my expectations. I'd love to give it five stars but I find that the emailing feature, one of my favorites, is mishandled by Flip, at least in my opinion. The person receiving the email will feel that is has been sent by Flip,...and there are ads and invitations to click on this or that for more. It is very easy for the email recipient to find himself in the Flip store with many items offered for sale. Really now, Flip, should you attach your ads to what you call privately shared email? I don't think so. We all get enough spam without it being attached to our personal email.
Anyone wanting something small enough to have with them and simple to operate will love this Mino HD. I'll probably check back after my wife tries it Christmas day. I'm betting she'll love it.
Flip, if you see this, please consider changing your email presentation. You really don't need that with the excellent products you have. It wouldn't surprise me if people found your email ads more offensive than enlightening.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2011
After purchasing the Flip Mino HD (third generation) three months ago I have drawn a lot of parallels between it's functionality and my own childhood memories of playing The Adventures Of Zelda on the original NES. Allow me to explain...the Flip Mino HD is something of an enigma that needs a lot of figuring out and patience in order to operate. A constant mystery in terms of reliability the Flip Mino HD will seemingly take on a mind of it's own and decide to crash, refuse to hold a battery charge, overheat, become unresponsive and reduce allowed recording time by misplacing video files somewhere deep within the software. In other words, prepare to be frustrated.
For those who are experiencing these common problems with the Flip Mino HD let me share with you the knowledge I've gained through both trial and error and constant Internet scouring. Please be advised this process may be a bit complex for some consumers and should only be applied if you are certain you understand the process completely. However, if your Flip Mino HD is a dead brick anyway...what have you got to lose?
The first thing I've learned is to immediately (upon purchasing the unit) make a quick back up of all the included files on the Flip's internal flash drive. If you haven't done this already and your Flip is acting up you may need to borrow a friend's and copy the uncorrupted files to your PC that way. Plug the unit into any PC and find the internal files and folders then copy them to your PC. This way you have a backup of all the firmware files that function the unit.
Next reformat the entire flash drive of the unit. This can be done by right clicking on the Flip's flash drive memory icon represented under the "Devices With Removable Storage" screen using your PC and selecting "Format" from the menu. Please understand this process will delete all files on the Flip in order to clear the corrupted software, so be certain you have the original files backed up on your PC for replacement.
Now that the Flip is cleared of all corrupted files, replace them with the original Flip firmware that was copied from the unit in step one. Simply drag and drop the entire lot of original files and folders into the Flip flash drive. The Flip is now reformatted with it's original uncorrupted files. Safely eject the Flip from your computer and power it on.
Using a tiny pin or paperclip hold the factory reset button within the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera down until the unit completely powers down. The illuminated buttons on the back of the camera should be the last thing to power off. Wait five seconds then power on the Flip, it should now be functional.
Because the Flip has a tendency to corrupt itself quite often, this button is essential for keeping the Flip Mino HD from becoming corrupted again. Although it may seem redundant the Flip Mino HD has to be factory reset in this manner every time it is inserted into a USB port for charging of transferring. Remember to follow these steps:
1. Power on the Flip
2. Factory reset the unit until it powers down completely (indicated by the illuminated buttons turning off)
3. Do NOT power on the Flip
4. Insert the unit into a USB port for charging of transferring videos
5. Repeat these steps EVERY time you have to charge or transfer with the Flip Mino HD in order to keep the unit from relapsing.
Yes, I know...for the price of this pocket camcorder consumers deserve much better quality and ease of use. I wanted to like this camera, I really did. It's very sleek and when functioning has very decent video quality. But honestly, this thing produces more headaches than video footage.
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2010
I got one of these as a gift and wasn't sure I'd use it much since I have accumulated an assortment of digital cameras big and small. This little powerhouse of a camera has become the go-to for all my video. It's very small and light but comfortable in the hand and I've been able to use it with ease without ever opening the instruction book which was a big plus for me. I also love that there is no power or USB cord that I have to keep track of because I'm terrible about keeping those handy for my other cameras. The video plays back crisp and clear even on the full-screen. It rivals my much larger and more expensive Canon HD video camera, which takes amazing video but I rarely use because it's such a hassle. Overall I think this new Flip is an amazing piece of hardware -- stylish, compact, powerful -- that couldn't be easier to use.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2010
I love this camera--it's great for home use--I'm a big fan of the 60fps feature and honestly, for 95% of any of the video I do, 720p is plenty.
I've used this camera with surprising result in conjunction with a Panasonic professional camera--the color balance needs some tweaking in Premiere, but this camera keeps up with professional grade hardware if you use an external (i.e. take your audio from another camera) audio source and it's not your primary shot. For the price, there's no excuse not to have multiple camera shots if you've already got a professional set up.
For my personal video stuff (home videos, family stuff, dumb videos of the dogs) it's surprisingly easy to use, my only complaint (as with all hand held video cameras) is that the audio is a little weak--but this camera holds its own with the rest of the handheld video camera market (actually performs better than my old Panasonic SD9).
So you don't have zoom, or manual focus, or any of those built in filters (that no one in their right mind would use... who really wants to take video with sepia?), but you can't beat the price and the ease of use means that I (technophile geek) and my wife (not quite a geek yet) can use this camera without any real complaints.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2011
Got this for Xmas last year and it has never worked properly. Overnight charging with a full battery indicator gave me about an hour's max of recording time, so the unit seems to lack the power reserve to utilize the 8GB of memory.
I prefer to use my more reliable and versatile Lumix still camera to shoot video, so I didn't use this Mino much. But it has freezed up from low battery most every time I've used it and has charging issues, despite my buying the OEM power adapter (computer USB charging never worked as the Mino requires more than the customary amperage from my laptop's USB ports).
Great design, great concept, but poor engineering and power management make this thing a very sexy paperweight.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2011
I purchased this camera because I have owned a Flip Mino before (not HD) and was happy with the product. The first time I used the camera, it would record videos. Then, when I would turn the camera off, it wouldn't turn back on. The only way I could get it to turn on was to plug it into my computer first. Then, after using it for about 5 minutes, I got it to turn back on and the battery was completely drained. I searched online to see if others had this issue and found many forum entries with other people having the same problem with this camera. I would not recommend purchasing this camera. I have since purchased a Sony Bloggie for work and a Kodak Play sport for personal use, and they are both great!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2010
I bought this for my wife for an early Christmas present. We love it! It is super easy to use. It carries the program on the video camera you need to upload and edit video on to a computer. Meaning if you over at a friends house and have a video they want, you can simply plug it in and and upload the video to there computer without having to have an internet connection or a CD. It shoots good video, and is really easy to use. Overall great little camera.