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Video Cameras

Crave predicts the future: Flip Mino goes HD

Just as we predicted last month, after an interview with Flip Video's top man, the budget Flip Mino camcorder now comes in high-definition flavour

As we predicted just last month, Flip Video has taken the high-definition plunge. Amazon and the Flip Web site in the US are selling the new Flip Mino HD, a 720p version of the popular pocket camcorder.

We were the first to speak to Flip's European head honcho Ray Sangster at the Mino's UK launch in October, when he laid out the timescale for future products. With the UK three months behind, we can expect to see the HD model hitting our shores around mid-February. We expect to see it at CES in January, too.

As Sangster suggested, the HD Mino follows the Flip template, shooting the same hour of video footage as its predecessors. This means the memory has been upped to 4GB to accomodate the larger file sizes. The company has admirably stuck to the accessible philosophy of having memory measured in easy-to-understand time, rather than getting into the jargon of gigs and bytes.

Retailing at $230 (£190) to our colonial cousins, the Flip Mino HD looks and feels the same as the current generation, weighing 85g and distinguished only by an HD logo on the front. It shoots 1,280x720-pixel video at 30 frames per second, in 16:9 widescreen.

So the numbers add up, but the jury's out on whether small camcorders such as this and the Kodak Zi6 qualify as giving the true high-definition experience. Our main concern with the previous Flips was the sound quality, and the company claims to have addressed this with premier AAC audio.

The Flip Mino HD can also be customised to your liking at the US Flip Web site, with a range of designs that you'll, wait for it... 'flip out' for! Oh come on, we had to do it once.