I’ve never been much of a high-tech girl, and in general, the smaller and simpler something is to use the more likely it is that I’ll actually use it. If this sounds at all like you, then you’re going to love the Flip Mino. A pocket-sized 2GB camcorder capable of recording for up to 60 minutes, the Flip Mino ($180) takes all the intimidation out of shooting, editing, storing and sharing video footage.
Measuring in at roughly 4"x2" the Flip Mino is easy to stash in a diaper bag or even your back pocket. Once you’ve grabbed your Flip Mino, it’s on in a flash and starts recording within three seconds, with just the push of a button. Zoom in or out by pressing on the + and – icons and enjoy playback on a big, bright 1.5" LCD screen. When you’re done, download your movies (and simultaneously charge the unit) by plugging Flip Mino’s built-in USB flip-out arm directly into your computer. No wires, no software to install, no hassle! It really is that easy. In addition, if you’re into social networking, Flip Mino allows you to quickly share your newest masterpiece with friends and family; you can elect to have video sent directly to your MySpace, YouTube or AOL Video accounts. You can also playback directly to your television by using the (included) TV connector cable.
The digital zoom is only 2x — so you’ll need to be relatively close to whatever you’re trying to film — and I did experience a bit of a drop-off in focus when I was fully zoomed in, depending on my distance. So while I wouldn’t reach for the Flip Mino to record a wedding, I positively adore it for filming my boys throughout their everyday lives, and in that context I find the quality of the video to be outstanding.
Let’s face it, you never know when your kids are going to do something momentous or funny but because the Flip Mino is so portable and easy to use you’ll at least be ready. I only wish I had this when my kids were learning to take their first steps, or on the verge of saying their first words!