It's a strange one. Canon's new pocketable camera certainly isn't your typical video camera. Aimed squarely at those looking to capture themselves, the Legria mini records up to 1080p video through a special wide-angle (170-degree) lens, ensuring you can fit your whole family (or dance crew?) into your clips. With a 180-degree flexible display on board too, you can adjust the camera's position as needed. When we tested an early unit in Canon's home turf in Japan, the combination of both a posable screen and a stand beneath the unit meant getting a good angle from the floor or work surface was a simple task. Behind that wide-angle f/2.8 lens, there's a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, mechanical shutter, Canon's DIGIC DV 4 processor and (in case you needed it) a 12.8-megapixel sensor for stills. Looking to improve your video coverage of, well, you? We've got more details and impressions after the break.
Testing out the video recording option, there's a visible fish-eye effect in action if you're too close to the video cam, but we reckon it adds to the appeal -- you certainly didn't shoot this video on a phone. We didn't get time to share our videos to other device, but the unit throws in WiFi connectivity, HDMI-out and both Android and iOS apps to link up with. From the video playback we've seen, it might not rival Canon's dedicated camcorder division, but it's more of a distant, more flexible, relative.
There's also more to the 160-gram camera than just the ability to comfortably capture antics at the park or at home, though, with an interval recording mode, slow (half speed at 720p, quarter-speed at VGA) and fast (up to four times) video capture all built-in. Through the companion smartphone apps, it can even live stream to the web -- and be controlled wirelessly. Hopefully, then, there's plenty of new creative options for those looking to up their game on Vine or Instagram. There's no built-in storage, but the camera uses microSD cards (up to 64GB), which makes sense, given the footprint of the camera.
Along the right edge, you'll find the HDMI-out, a DC port for charging, power switches and a play button, while on the opposite side there's the microSD slot, micro-USB port and shutter button. Otherwise, video controls and settings are all done through a bright, 2.7-inch LCD touchscreen, which was responsive during our testing. Menus will also be familiar to anyone that's handled Canon cameras prior. The Legria mini (or iVIS mini in Asia) is still set to launch both in Europe and Japan mid-September. Canon's Japan branch has offered up a specific date (September 17th) and more importantly, a price of 29,980 yen -- that's roughly over $300. It's definitely pitched towards social media addicts, but given the high-level recording chops of recent smartphones (and that price) it may run the risk of niche appeal.