BEHOLD the cult of the selfie. Taking pictures of ourselves is nothing new – camera timers and an outstretched arm have enabled us gurn into the lens for yonks.
But new technology feeds our need for approval with effortless sharing to social networks. It’s as easy as snap and send.
The Canon Legria Mini camcorder is the logical amplification of that desire – to make selfie videos. Again, the idea is nothing original but propping up a smartphone at just the right angle is something no self-respecting hipster wants to spend hours on.
Hence the Legria Mini and its compact frame with its rotatable screen and kickstand. That takes care of the first part of the equation – either angling the screen and camcorder in your hand to get a good view of your mug, or opening the small support arm so that it’s free-standing and pointed in your direction.
Part two of its usefulness stems from the ultra-wide lens (160 degrees of video loveliness, fact fans). Up close, that results in the strangely distorted but not unappealing fish-eye look. More importantly, it enables a very broad field of view for capturing lots of people at once.
The Legria’s third pillar is its image quality, easily outclassing smartphones for HD video - but just remember there’s no real zoom and its low-light prowess is only middling.
Finally, brilliant selfies cut no ice unless the world can see ’em, so the built-in WiFi is where the Legria Mini tries to connect with the internet. I say “tries” because it’s not a happy experience.
Uploading directly to YouTube is a bit of a faff using the touchcreen. Two separate smartphone apps are available (one for upload, one for remote viewing) but only the former worked for me. Compared with the frictionless sharing from Androids and iPhones, Canon must try harder.
With its unusual design, creative modes such as time-lapse and wide lens, the Legria Mini is more akin to a GoPro action-cam than a conventional camcorder. It’s nowhere near as rugged, of course, but for the compulsive self-publicist it’s an able companion.
Canon Legria Mini camcorder