Video Review of the Canon Vixia Mini

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A few weeks ago Canon released a different kind of video camera.  It kind of looks like a smartphone.  It kind of shoots footage like a GoPro Hero.  And it’s kind of hard to describe with words, which I why I did a video review of it.

The camera is called the Canon Vixia Mini and it currently retails for about $300 USD.

Spec-wise, it’s a touch-screen camera (articulating screen) with a fixed lens (no zooming) that shoots full HD video at 30 or24p in the MP4 format.  At the highest quality setting, it records video at 24mbps (Blu-Ray quality).  It can shoot video in full auto mode or there is limited manual control in Program mode.  It records to microSD cards and has a built in microphone (sorry, no external microphone jack).

So with all the techno-garbage out of the way, is it actually any good?  Well, here’s my short list of pros and cons:

PROS

Surprisingly good in low light, dead-simple to use, makes the process of shooting videos very fast, ultra-wide angle (fish-eye) lens, no need for a tripod

CONS

No external mic jack, picture can be fuzzy in some situations, battery life isn’t the greatest

 

In a nutshell, I’m kind of on the fence with the video quality it produces.  With some shots it’s great, with others not so much.  But what do you expect from a $300 camera?

What I do absolutely love is the speed at which you can shoot video with this camera.  Just sit it on something and press a button…that’s about all there is to it.  Easy peasy.

Of course the big question might be “why should I use this instead of my smartphone?”.  And that’s a valid question.  For me, the answers would be “it shoots better quality video”, “it has an articulating screen” and “it has it’s own built-in tripod” of sorts.  Or to put it another way, it’s faster and easier to shoot video (and then get it off the camera too) with the Vixia Mini than it is with a smartphone.

But for you the answer might be different.  The Canon Vixia Mini is definitely a niche camera.  I don’t think it’s going to be for everyone.  And for the money, you might get better bang for your buck elsewhere.

Then again, it sure is a lot of fun to use…and so fast to work with.

Here’s a link to Canon’s web site with all the tech details.

And by the way, the video above was shot in full auto mode…the camera did everything and I did nothing.

 

 

 

 

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