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. 

Smart Home

The C By GE Smart LED Bulbs Work Seamlessly With Google Home

The Smart Light Starter Kit contains a smart lightbulb and a Google Home Mini. For those seeking to try out smart lights in their home, it's a great option and is currently on sale for just $35 through Google.

These are the best action cameras money can buy

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 DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth…

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

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 sure is fun to gawk!

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.
Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.