One-photon mass-analyzed threshold ionization (MATI) spectrum of CH2BrI was obtained using coherent vacuum-ultraviolet radiation generated by four-wave difference-frequency mixing in Kr. Unlike CH2ClI investigated previously, a very extensive bending (Br-C-I) progression was observed. Vibrational frequencies of CH2BrI+ were measured from the spectra and the vibrational assignments were made by utilizing frequencies calculated by the density-functional-theory (DFT) method using relativistic effective core potentials with and without the spin-orbit terms. A noticeable spin-orbit effect on the vibrational frequencies was observed from the DFT calculations, even though its influence was not so dramatic as in CH2ClI+. A simple explanation based on the bonding characteristics of the molecular orbitals involved in the ionization is presented to account for the above differences between the MATI spectra of CH2BrI and CH2ClI. The 0-0 band of the CH2BrI spectrum could be identified through the use of combined data from calculations and experiments. The adiabatic ionization energy determined from the position of this band was 9.5944 +/- 0.0006 eV, which was significantly smaller than the vertical ionization energy reported previously. (c) 2005 American Institute of Physics.