Smart phones have had cameras and camcorders quaking in their boots for a couple of years, but the convenience of a phone is still a long way off trumping the quality of a proper video camera. And so the Canon Legria Mini X aims for the best of both worlds, refusing to compromise on features in order to fit in your pocket.
Like a Flip Video with bells on, this mini Full HD camcorder has a built-in, fold-out stand, and a fold-out 2.7-inch screen. They allow to set the camera down and film hands-free but still keep an eye on the screen.
The Mini X has a stereo mic, positioned on either side of the lens with a "two-layer structure of mesh cloth and sponge", designed to cut down on background noise and static. For even better sound, you can plug in an external mic and monitor sound on headphones.
Canon reckons the flexible design and souped-up sound makes the Mini X versatile enough for video "from on-the-scene reporting, documentaries and self-recording, to capturing live music or theatrical performances."
The Mini X records AVCHD video at 1080/50i and MP4 at 1080/25p. It has built-in Wi-Fi for sharing and backing up your footage, and controlling via an app on your phone or tablet. You don't even have to be in the same room to view live footage and even -- if you mount the camera on the new Canon Camera Pan Table CT-V1 -- making the camera turn from side to side.
Modes include time lapse recording, fast motion, and slow motion.
Taking a more conventional approach, the Legria HF R56 and the Legria HF R506 are typical barrel-shaped camcorders with fold-out screens. Both shoot full HD and boast a 32x xoom. They arrive in the next few weeks, the HF R506 costing £239 and the Legria HF R56 adding Wi-Fi for £329.
The Legria Mini X is in shops next month for around £349.
Would you find space in your pocket for the Canon Mini X's advanced features, or are you happy to compromise on sound and video quality for the portability of your phone? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook.