Canon quietly announces tiny Vixia mini camcorder with WiFi connectivity


posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 12:38 PM EDT


Without much fanfare, Canon has announced a new, pocket-sized camcorder that has a few of us scratching our heads in confusion. The Canon Vixia mini camcorder is a tiny, wide-angle camcorder with an articulated touchscreen, a wide-viewing angle, and Wi-Fi. It will be available this September for $299.99.

What's immediately striking about the Vixia mini is it's small size and square shape, which calls to mind the company's other flirtation with square cameras and touchscreens, the Canon N.

In this case, the Vixia has a lens along one of the edges of the camera, can be propped up via a stand, and you can watch the action on the tilting LCD screen from either in front of the lens or behind it. The camcorder has a 12.8-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor. The lens has a fixed f/2.8 aperture, and while it's capable of filming/taking photos in both a wide and close-up mode, it seems the latter is just a crop of the former, rather than an actual zoom. For video, the Vixia has the equivalent of 16.8mm at 8.99-megapixels in wide mode, and 35mm at 2.07-megapixels in close-up. For still images, it's 15.4mm at 12MP, and 32.1mm at 2.76MP, respectively. That's a 160-degree, field of view in video mode, which should be enough for even the most wide of fisheye enthusiasts.

The Vixia is primarily controlled by its capacitive LCD touchscreen, which is 2.7-inches large, and packs 230,000 dots. It has built-in scene modes for most shooting situations, as well as the ability to record both high- and low-speed footage, and even a time-lapse function.

Like so many of Canon's current consumer oriented offerings, the Vixia has a built-in Wi-Fi connection, so you can directly upload your footage to the internet, or go through a free smartphone app. If you're feeling a little more old-fashioned, there's a microSD card port which will do just as well.

You can have a look at some videos recorded with the device as well as more information about it on Canon's site.

Canon is obviously trying to make an easy to use, take anywhere, do anything camera out of this, where people can easily record themselves. But with a $300 pricetag, you have to wonder if the promise of a touchscreen and an adjustable angle LCD is enough to draw people away from the likes of the GoPro Hero 3, which you can grab for $200.