Video review: Canon Legria Mini X

Handheld recorders

Setting up the LEGRIA Mini X

For this review, we tested the Mini X in three scenarios: recording a single person speaking to camera in a controlled environment, as a video blogger might, recording as an overhead camera for a band demo, and recording a mixture of live pictures and natural sound outdoors.

There were a range of features, including remote control and streaming, as well as timelapse photos – the LEGRIA records up to 12 megapixel images – which we were not able to test, due to time constraints. Instead, the objective was to test out the camera doing the tasks it is most likely to be asked to perform.

Setting the device up is incredibly simple, as there are few external controls, with more complex options, such as white balance and exposure set via the touch screen. Even the lens cap is built in, and is automatic.

Making the LEGRIA Mini X ready for filming involves putting in an SD card and the battery, finding a stable surface – or tripod – to place it on, pointing it in the direction of the subject and pressing record.

Setting the device up is incredibly simple, as there are few external controls

It is worth noting that although there is a range of shooting modes for video on the device, including a basic 1/2x slow motion in 720p, and scenes including Sports, Night and in-car, there is no fully manual mode or direct control over the shutter.

Although exposure compensation is available, with a fixed aperture lens, shutter speed and sensitivity will vary with lighting. The shutter speed range, according to Canon, is 1/25 to 1/2000s.

This, though it to be expected on a consumer device, and one that puts convenience over control.

On the audio side, audio scene modes are set using the touch screen, and there is an on-screen levels meter; there is a conventional video style red dot to indicate recording although there is a physical record button too. For audio recording, the mic positions are fixed, unlike some recorders where they can be adjusted, to vary the stereo image field.

When it comes to build quality, the LEGRIA Mini X feels well enough made, but it is of all plastic construction and looks unlikely to survive a drop, in the way a GoPro in its protective housings would. The screen is clear enough though could perhaps be brighter. Battery life, though, was good in our tests. The small, pocket sized design also allows the Mini X to used discreetly in lectures or meetings, in a way a camcorder perhaps would not.

Next: Putting the LEGRIA Mini X to the test