Canon Legria mini hands-on and sample video: The social camcorder

Canon recently announced the Legria mini, a device you might have missed, not only because of its compact nature but also because it seems to be a throwback to a category of devices we've all but forgotten.

The Canon Legria mini is a pocket camcorder, whose sole purpose is to capture your video and share it. It sounds a little like the Flip camcorders that were made extinct by the mighty rising for the smartphone.

Canon is no stranger to the threat of the smartphone cannibalising the compact camera market and the play here is to push quality without sacrificing connectivity, as it comes packed with Wi-Fi.

In the hand we can't help thinking it looks a little like a tiny projector, thanks to the stand on the bottom and the positioning of the lens on the front. But there's definitely something that's cool about the Canon Legria mini. It feels well built and we like the features it offers.

There's a 2.7-inch touchscreen on the top, that you can position to various angles making it nice and flexible. You can rotate it all the way around for selfies, or use it to easily compose low-angle shots.

The lens on the front is 16.8mm, so that's ultra wide, with the sort of barrel distortion that adds character to devices like this and will be familiar to anyone who has watched video from a GoPro. There is a switch, however, that will switch it to 35mm - which Canon is calling close-up - which also does away with much of the distortion.

It has a f/2.8 aperture and will focus from 40cm. Sitting behind it is a 12.8-megapixel 1/2.3-type CMOS sensor along with Canon's Digic DV 4 sensor.

Operation takes place through the touchscreen on the rear. The resolution is a little low for our liking, especially if you're used to using the latest touch-enabled cameras or smartphones: it's 230k-dots. That means things are a little grainy, both when navigating the menus and controls, and when watching back footage.

The menu system is simple enough to get around, in combination with some hard buttons on the side of the Legria mini. We didn't really have enough time with the device to master it, but it didn't cause too many problems getting started.

Some of the video highlights include slow-mo, with 720p half-speed footage offered, although anyone who has seen the offering in the iPhone 5S will probably not be swayed by its inclusion here. What you do get, however, is a whole range of video functions and features you don't get on a smartphone. We didn't have time to investigate them all, but we will do when we get it in for a full review.

Additionally, we didn't have the chance to use the Wi-Fi functions, so we don't know if it will be just as simple to share content as it is from a phone.

However, we do have some sample footage. It was shot at the end of the day so is a little dark, so it's only here as a taster, rather than as a absolute example of quality.

The Canon Legria mini costs around £269.