Early last week the good folk at CISCO introduced me to their new range of FLIP MINO HD cameras.  My first run in with the FLIP range was almost a year ago (see my SBS Blog ; Flipping Video – the Flip Mino HD), and right away I was impressed.

This year, the cameras are much the same, with a slightly different look, and the addition of Image Stabilisation.

Essentially, the Flip this year carries the CISCO branding more prominently, and the 4GB model is Silver, the 8GB model is Black – there’s your range, there’s your new features!

But it’s behind the scenes there are some nice new additions, the FLIP SHARE software will allow you to share videos with people via email, posting them ‘to the cloud’ where they are accessible, preventing the need to post videos to the whole world on YouTube.

The true advantage of the Flip cannot be seen side by side with it’s competitors.  There are plenty like it, however the Flip is almost unbeatable for simplicity.

One button on the side turns the Flip on, and within seconds, you click the big red button to record!

Playback is just as simple.

However, it’s on the ‘what next’ side of things where it is most important you do your research.

My example proves this (i think!).   This weekend, I am travelling to Albury for a conference, so, I took my Flip Mino along for the ride.

As we approached destination, I looked out the window and thought the view was impressive, so I pulled out the Flip to record some of the scenes and the final approach.

The key to recording and sharing memories is short and sweet, keep it that way, and your video will be very watchable.

I recorded about 5 minutes worth, and admittedly, it is actually a little long.  But, I captured the scene, the landing and the arrival.

On arrival at my hotel, I thought about doing something with the video.  Don’t put it off, do it now – that’s another great thing about this device.  So, press a button, the USB flips out of the camera (hence the name), and plug it in and the software you need to edit and share videos is on the camera itself ready to be installed.  No need to remember to take a cable somewhere, or software.  Easy!

Here’s my only criticism of the unit, or the software.

From what I could see, after installing the software and importing my videos.  I chose the clips I wanted in my movie.

The ‘magic Movie’ option was AMAZING, as it made a 50 second clip out of all my shots.  But, it missed a few crucial moments (touchdown), So I went for ‘Full Length’.  After choosing full length It took me straight to Titles and Credits.  I would like to see an extra step where I can trim the in and out points of each clip.  Hey, if you can do it on iMovie for iPhone, lets put it in FlipShare!

That aside, the movie was created, and I was able to click and upload to YouTube.

Just amazing.

Hope you like the video, it’s ok, not perfect, one random shot of my Arm in there, plus the walking off the plane is a bit wobbly, so I would have been better off dropping both those.

However, for a camera worth $279, you have to agree the quality is amazing (remember, the shots from inside the plane are through the plane’s double window – outside shots show the real quality.

I couldn’t recommend the flip higher, it’s a 5 star rating for Portable Filming.

If you want higher end, with Microphone Inputs and such, this is not the range, this is for simple holiday and memory recording and sharing.  Outstanding.

MinoHD 8GB

  • The MinoHD 8GB video camera is available in stylish silver and features:Up to 2 Hours of HD video
  • Flip out USB for simple upload
  • Easy sharing software built-in
  • Integrated image stabilisation
  • §  RRP $279.95

MinoHD 4GB

  • The MinoHD 4GB video camera comes in sleek black and features:
  • Up to 1 Hour of HD video
  • Flip out USB for simple upload
  • Easy sharing software built-in
  • Integrated image stabilisation
  • RRP $229.95