Poor Canon. When it comes to compact cameras, its heart is in the right place, but the market is shriveling so fast that sometimes it’s hard to see the point. Today’s example is the Vixia Mini camcorder, a video version of its quirky Powershot N. The Vixia Mini is a square box with a flip-out screen and a fisheye lens. And as a nod to smartphone users, it has Wi-Fi built in. But do we care?
A few years ago this Flip-like camera would have been huge (in impact, not in size). It has an ƒ2.8 fisheye lens (with a 170˚ field-of-view), shoots 1080 30/24fps video, captures 12MP stills and has a great swiveling screen. It also does slow and fast motion.
Like I said — a great rival to the Flip cam.
But today? I still see the odd person carrying a camcorder and I usually wonder what’s wrong with them (and then I feel sympathy for their families who will be forced to sit through the inevitable hours-long screening of uncut vacation footage). After all, any cellphone can shoot video as well as a small-sensor camcorder, and even the cheapest Micro Four Thirds camera will make something that looks positively Hollywoodian in comparison.
So who will be the customer for this? I predict “nobody.” I’d like to be wrong, though — who would’t want Canon to keep pushing out neat little cameras that can beam their results straight to our iPhones? And by the way, Canon: $300 is a little steep for an iPhone accessory.