Canon’s compact Vixia Mini camcorder is for those who like shooting selfies, YouTube vids

canon vixia mini 4

Check out our review of the Canon Vixia Mini camcorder.

Calling it a product that’s different than what it’s had before, Canon launched a new POV camcorder that’s targeted toward hobbyists like bloggers and YouTubers. Indeed, the entry-level $300 Vixia Mini Compact Personal Camcorder is nothing like what Canon has made in the past. Measuring 3 x 1 x 3.8 inches, the 6.3-ounce shooter resembles more like a compact makeup mirror than camcorder.

Despite the pocket-friendly size, there’s a lot of going on inside. The camcorder uses a 12.8-megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor with a DIGIC DV4 image processor, capable of shooting Full HD movies in the MP4 format up to 1920 x 1080 30p/24p. The lens is a low-distortion, mechanical shutter 15mm (16.8mm for movies) wide-angle f/2.8 glass with a 160-degree field of view when shooting in movie mode, and 170 degrees for photos. In the camcorder’s Wide Mode, you get more of your surrounding in view but with the fisheye effect. But in Close-Up Mode, the camcorder eliminates that effect and centers in on the subject in a cropped shot. As part of the 23 user-selectable scene modes, the Vixia Mini can shoot in slow and fast motion, albeit without audio. There’s also interval recording for shooting time-lapse movies. In regular shooting modes, Canon touts the stereo microphone that can capture CD-quality audio at 256kb/sec.

Since it’s designed for ease-of-use, there aren’t many buttons to press. The most noticeable feature is the 2.7-inch touchscreen LCD (230k pixels), which can be used to adjust settings and change between modes. Resting on parallel hinges, the display can be angled in various positions that allow for self-shooting or viewing from different perspectives. There’s also a stand that kicks out from the bottom.

The customer Canon sees using this product is someone who likes to make self-produced videos to be shared on the Web, so there’s Wi-Fi built in. Besides the usual wireless transfer to a PC, movies and pics can be uploaded the typical social networking sites. Users can also stream live shots (10 meter range) to view on their iOS or Android smart devices via the CameraAccess2 app; the app also allows for remote control, which will come in handy for self-shooting.

The camcorder has a slated release in September, and will come in black or white. It records onto Micro SD cards, which an 8GB card will yield roughly 1,500 images at max res and 40 minutes of video at 24p. Battery life is between 65 to 70 minutes depending on the shooting mode.

While the Vixia Mini sees Canon entering new territory, the POV camcorder, of course, has been around, with options available from a variety of vendors that includes Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, GoPro, Contour, and JVC. It’s also one of the growing and lucrative sectors of the camcorder market. Typical of Canon, it’s always late to the party, but it tries to do so fashionably with unique products that respond to what’s out in the market and what it believes users are looking for. Canon obviously sees the growing YouTube and Facebook usage as impetus for releasing such a product.

Specs wise, the Vixia Mini is similar to what it sees as its closest competitor, GoPro’s Hero3. Canon lists the self-POV perspective, built-in LCD, stand, tripod socket, and stereo mic as advantages over the Hero3. But the popularity of the GoPro lies in its waterproof housing that allows it for use in action sports, which the Vixia Mini isn’t capable of. Although Canon says you can use the Vixia Mini for a variety of activities, we can’t see GoPro users trading the popular camcorder for Canon’s compact shooter; a waterproof housing for the Vixia Mini might not be a bad idea. With that said, the Vixia Mini might find users like parents and travelers who want to pack something light and easy to use when on vacation or at the kids’ sports practice. Regardless, at its price point, it’s a neat gadget to own.

As for bloggers, YouTube users, and such, Canon will continue to face competition from its biggest threat, the smartphone. With smartphones being able to shoot videos that can be uploaded immediately from one device, it might be hard to convince users to carry two devices, even though the Vixia Mini is highly compact. But Canon is pointing to those features that allow users to shoot better videos, as major selling points. The youth market seems to be one that Canon finds hard to grasp, but unlike the PowerShot N, which Canon released earlier this year that targets a similar audience, the Vixia Mini seems like a better thought-out concept. 


Amazon drops a killer Instant Pot deal, with prices under $60

Instant Pots are the popular kitchen device known for making cooking easier and faster. Thinking of finally getting yourself one? Amazon dropped the price of the Instant Pot Duo Mini. Prepare delicious meals this Easter Sunday with this…

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.

These are the best action cameras money can buy, from GoPro to Garmin and more

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.

From the games to the hardware, here's what we know about the Sega Genesis Mini

The Sega Genesis Mini console was just announced, and it's set to release later this year. Here is everything we know about the console, including its hardware, as well as a list of included games.

After controversial video, China bans ‘Leica’ on social media

A video that referenced Tiananmen Square got the name of the camera company Leica banned from the social media platform Weibo. Leica says the video wasn't an officially sanctioned promotion.

Photography News: Instagram’s disappearing likes, the best photos of the year

In this week's Photography News, see why Instagram is testing a version that excludes the number of likes a post gets. Also, see the impressive winners from two photography contests and the latest features coming to the Fujifilm X-T3.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Panasonic Lumix S1R vs. Sony A7R III: Which pixel-shift powerhouse is better?

The Lumix S1R and Sony A7R III are different in design, but similar in performance, and both offer pixel-shift high resolution modes which pull even more detail out of their already high-resolution sensors. Here's how they compare.

Earn more likes on your photos with the best cameras for Instagram

Looking to snap better Instagrams? Instagram doesn't demand high-resolution files, but upgrading your camera can deliver better bokeh and low-light quality. Here our the best cameras for Instagram.

Capture life in every direction with the best 360 cameras

While 360 cameras are still a new technology, that doesn't mean there's not a few that are worth a look. Whether you want to shoot from the middle or just need a simple, affordable option, here are the best 360 cameras on the market.

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera isn't giving you the results you want, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone can touch.

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.

Wet or dry, these rugged waterproof cameras capture your every adventure

Rugged cameras are designed to withstand nature's elements. These waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof shooters can go wherever you take them, making them the perfect travel companions.

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…