Updated Flip MinoHD Pocket Camcorder Doubles Its Recording Time

One of the hottest new product categories of late is the inexpensive, high-definition (HD) pocket camcorder--and sometimes it feels as though  almost every day another company  starts making them. Pure Digital Technologies--manufacturer of one the very first pocket camcorders to come to market--isn't resting on it laurels while the competition heats up: the Cisco-owned company has announced today the release of its second-generation Flip MinoHD pocket camcorder.

The biggest changes to come to the Flip MinoHD are a doubling of its built-in storage capacity and the inclusion of a larger-sized screen. Whereas the previous generation Flip MinoHD has 4GB of memory (for one hour of recording time) and a 1.5-inch (528x132) screen, the new version of the camcorder has 8GB of memory (for two hours of recording) and a 2-inch (960x240) screen. Another change is a slightly updated, rounded design and a brushed-metal finish. If you want something a little more stylish, you can choose a custom painted finish from a large selection of designs or even upload your own image to appear on the camcorder's faceplate. The new Flip MinoHD also now sports an HDMI-out port.

Even with these additions, the Flip MinoHD still maintains its lightweight, sleek form-factor. Other elements of the camcorder also stay the same with the new model, including its video recording resolution of 1280x720 (720p), fixed-focus lens, 2x digital zoom, built-in wide-range omni-directional (mono) microphone, integrated speaker, touch-sensitive capacitive buttons, and an internal Lithium-Ion battery that is rated to last 2 hours on a full charge.

From a specifications perspective, the Flip MinoHD is very similar to the larger form-factor Flip UltraHD. The most significant differences between the Flip MinoHD and the Flip UltraHD are that the Flip UltraHD has a removable battery, a stereo microphone, its form factor is a bit larger and heavier, and it uses physical buttons instead of capacitive ones. Curiously, the new Flip MinoHD sells for $229.99, while the Flip UltraHD currently sells for a lower $199.99.

Perhaps the biggest detractor of the nearly all pocket camcorders--and not just the Flip cameras--is the lack of image stabilization. Even Creative Vado HD ($179.99) and Sony Webbie HD ($169.99) don't have image stabilization. Some of the newer pocket camcorders include integrated image stabilization, such as the Kodak Zi8 ($175.95) and the the JVC PICSIO ($199.95).

All Flip camcorders come preloaded with the FlipShare software for "organizing, editing and sharing videos." A new version of the software is due out soon, which adds a number of new features, such as "a number of new organization tools and user controls" and the ability to upload videos directly to Facebook (the ability to upload directly to MySpace and YouTube is already in the current version). The new version of FlipShare will also include Magic Movie--a feature that "automatically trims and arranges a user's selected video content into their [sic] own movie." The updated version of the FlipShare software will be available for both Windows and Mac PCs, and will work with all current Flip camcorders.

UPDATE: This news post originally stated that the JVC PICSIO does not have image stabilization. The JVC PICSIO does have image stabilization and the post has been updated to reflect this.