Billed as the "world's smallest HD camcorder," is the Flip mino HD a smart investment for those serious about online video marketing and video SEO? ReelSEO's Grant Crowell, and video producer and director Bob Sandidge of Creative Core Media, put the camcorder through a series of semi-grueling tests in this podcast review, and a custom on the ReelSEO channel in featuring video clips of common business scenarios. Hear what they say is good and bad with the mino HD, and whether its a "thumbs up" or a "flip you off" verdict...
Benefits of the Flip Video mino HD compact digital camcorder
- Lower price
- Ease of use
- Quickness (Good for producing multiple videos very quickly!)
- No digital cards needed
- Good storage size
- Decent resolution (1280 x 720 pixels, a minimum "high def" format for internet video. Shows up well full screen (even on a 30" LCD screen)
- No moving parts
- Direct download from USB cable or plug
- Can zoom forward or backward
- Image quality is decent. Nothing spectacular
- Quickness (very fast!)
- Quick email (Fun web interface for viewing.)
- 60 minutes recording time
- Quick charge – only 2 hours between charges. (Can charge from your laptop)
- Video sharing (just a quick account setup). Click the "share online" in the bottom .
- Video SEO: Can upload directly to your YouTube account. Easy metadata entry using Flip Video software.
Drawbacks of the mino HD
- LCD is extremely small. You can't flip over the LCD screen, so you can't see how you look
- You have to be up close to the camera to stand out. (Otherwise you can't hear well.)
- You have to speak up!
- Doesn't function well in low-lighting (despite what it claims)
- No mic port. (Doesn't allow you to get good audio quality unless the speaker is the one recording and holding the camcorder or is in front of the camcorder and very close to it.)
- Poor contrast between foreground and background subjects. Can't focus on what's the subject in front over what's in back.
- Editing is extremely limited. (Can only cut off beginning and end of a video, no in-between. Can only do by the second, no I/O points). This means you really want to get your shot in all at once – it always has to be a clean take, no editing in between.
- You are not going to get top quality video on YouTube.
- No direct-to-FTP feature
- VIDEO SEO ALERT! If you use a video editing software other than the Flip Video software, you may not even be able to Canexport the video to YouTube! (I tried editing in Quicktime Pro software and failed every time with my uploading to have the video appear in my YouTube playlist.)
- Upload feature to "other web sites" seems pointless. (It's the same as regular expor feature.)
- Email feature is extremely limited and doesn't allow for sharing videos. If you email the video (not really an email but a link, they aren't any sharing options. The receiver can't download and save it as an mpeg or avi file, so they can't edit it for you. They can't put it up on their own site or YouTube, either.)
- When entering metadata for your YouTube submissions in the Flip Video software, the software doesn't recognize dashes. (It turns dashes into a "?" character.)
- Image quality doesn't show up well when you have a busy background
Production Tips with the mino HD camcorder
- Do a whole bunch of clips in one setting
- Get your subject material in one take whenever possible. (No breaks in between.)
- Stay close to your subject
- Work in an area with decent lighting
- Keep on a tripod to prevent shaking. (This is always a problem with super small camcorders, where its hard to hold it steady.
Video SEO Tips with the mino HD
- Do a whole bunch of clips in one setting.
- Enter your general metadata (title, description, tags) in one fell swoop before uploading as a batch.
- Use the YouTube's annotations feature so you can tie one clip to the next one, and make it a series recording.
Grant Crowell is the Senior Analyst for Grantastic Designs.
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