For two months I have been testing the Canon LEGRIA mini camcorder. With the recent boom of 'vlogging' (short video diaries) this hand-held camera is very much geared towards the 'selfie' shot and is very user-friendly when you want to simply record-and-go.
Easy to use out of the box
Wide angle (fish eye)
Requires a micro SD card before you can record any footage
No microphone input
The Important Bits
The Canon LEGRIA mini fits comfortably into one hand. When you turn the unit on, the lens cover automatically slides open (and vice versa). During first use, you are prompted to configure the settings but on subsequent uses, the camera really is point-and-shoot with touch screen controls.
The LEGRIA mini has a 2.7 inch LCD screen and can be used with the screen flat or at any angle on the hinge, including with a complete flip-over for that pre-mentioned selfie shot. Underneath, there is a built-in stand and a screw mount for a tripod stand. The camera shoots in full HD 9MP in movie mode and still images are shot in 12MP which is excellent quality for your YouTube videos and thumbnail shots.
The lens on the LEGRIA mini houses the equivalent of a 16.8 wide angle lens but switches to a straight-on view using a single touch-screen feature. To take the tech-speak out of the equation for a moment, the wide-angle view is representative of the 'fish eye' effect/trend that is seen in many YouTube vlogs. There is a built-in stereo microphone situated next to the lens
Special shooting features (sports, night, beach, snow, and more) are included and manually switching these settings will ensure that your videos are shot in the best quality in different settings. Other noted features are slow/fast motion, time-delay and video snapshots (similar to Instagram or Vine capture). There is also an option to "draw" on the screen or add cartoon-style embellishments, however, this feature remains unused during my review.
An interesting feature is the inclusion of Wi-Fi connectivity. This means that you can connect the LEGRIA mini to an free app on your iPhone/Android and remotely control the camera during recording and/or stream videos straight onto your phone, giving you more creative freedom. At the moment, you cannot stream live onto the internet using this facility (think: Google Hangouts) so I would like to see this included in the next upgrade model.
Right at the beginning of the review, I mentioned that the LEGRIA had been temperamental. On occasion I found that the video files hadn't saved properly (corrupted) or hadn't saved at all. Originally I thought this may have been an issue with the unit so Canon sent a replacement model. Since then, there have been four more corrupted files. Files are saved to the SD Card (not included) automatically when you stop recording but don't seem to completely save until you switch the unit off. My advice here would be to ensure that you wait a few extra seconds after shut-off before removing the SD card if needed.
If you would like to see how the Canon LEGRIA mini performs then head on over to my YouTube channel and check out the #TI1M playlist.
Should I buy one?
At the time of reviewing, the cheapest unit price was £175 and the average price was £220 and I'm not sure the price will drop any time soon. This is currently out of my price bracket, however if the cash was available I wouldn't hesitate to purchase this camcorder simply because of the size and ease of use.
This review was conducted on a unit that has now been returned to Canon.
Please see my disclosure policy for more details.