I have mixed feelings about this camera. If not for the ‘issues’ i’ll address here, i’d give the camera a ‘4’ or ‘5’. I’m experienced in photography, have my own photo gallery website on smugmug, and shot vhs video years ago when my kids were growing up. I plan to keep this camera for the uses i myself have these days. It shoots good video, maybe just not terrific. But then after all, it’s an inexpensive ‘entry level’ camera. I had none of the problems some other reviewers had, maybe because my camera arrived with the latest 1. Directions for the camera are very limited. The included booklet, the kodak on-line help, and above all, the arcsoftware.
Its been a long time since i have been pleased with anything from kodak other then film and paper. It seemed like for a long time they were playing catch up with other companies which were doing digital things better then they were. Like epson printers and nikon digital cameras for photographers looking to make the transition from film to digital during the infancy of this movement. I was looking for a pocket sized video camera that had more features, better quality, and was easier to use for transferring videos to the computer then my cell phone. I got that and more with this camera. It has a good weight to it (not heavy and not a feather) the controls are intuitive and capturing a clip is a snap. I had gotten a flip and just wasn’t pleased enough with it to justify the cost. The zi8 seems worth the price and more. The wall charger, cable, and socket on unit itself, don’t seem as sturdy as they should. In fact i had to return the first unit i got because it appeared that the socket’s solder connection was bad and the connection was spotty.
I have purchased this camera (from amazon) in hopes to find something better than the flip hd ultra and sony bloggie touch that i also own. Pros:cheapimage stabilizationsd card slotremovable rechargeable batteryeasy to usehdmi outexternal mic port (selling point for me)can take picturesgood low light performanceimage is right side up when recording upside down (recorded video still upside down)cons:cheap plasticimage stabilization not that goodexternal mic pics up rf interference at timesvideo quality lesser than comparable devicespictures quality behind most cell phonesyou get what you pay for. This is not a great device by any means. In my opinion, the flip hd ultra and sony bloggie touch provides a much better quality video however, they both suffer from other problems. I have all three and will keep all three because they are all pretty cool and all do what they need to do. If you want better, spend more money on something else. Any of them are absolutely perfect for carrying around with you at all times. I favor the zi8 when i need something to be recorded with better sound due to it’s external mic capability. This unit has so far survived multiple dirt bike rides and has gotten very dusty as a result.
Ultimately, like the others are saying, you will pay a price for quality. At its best, the zi8 captures video like a cellphone with a mic input that does it’s best at 720p 60fps. Camera came with latest firmware installed, version 1. 06filmed at the beach the other day. Played the mov files raw (just dropped them onto the desktop) through quicktime. Viewed on work monitor, home monitor and on my 40′ sony 1080p set. They all had the same results.
I bought this camera on a whim and didnt want to spent a bundle on a hand-held camera so this one stuck out to me. I was very nervous it wasnt going to perform well but it has surprised me quite a bit. I have had it now for over 3 years and its still works fantastically. I will admit the sound quality isnt top notch but for such an inexpensive and small camera it is pretty good and i am very picky about audio quality let me tell you. The on/off button is a bit odd to me simply because it is rubbery and slightly difficult to press down but it isnt enough of an issue for me to dislike the camera at all. The wow factor is the storage which is awesome since you put in the card you want. I have over 2 hours worth of video saved on the camera right now and it still has room. Another wow factor is the battery life to me which when i first got the camera worried me because it was so inexpensive but i havent been disappointed. My mom was able to film my entire graduation ceremony without stopping which came to over an hour of filming without the battery giving out or the camera getting hot. Its also got a pretty stable lense- i went horseback riding and filmed a little while doing so and the video came out steady.
I lot of the negative reviews regarding the video quality are probably due to either a computer with an older processor or video card, or the use of a sdhc card that has too low of a rating. You will need a sdhc card of at least a 6 rating in read/write speed in order to adaquately record hd video on this device. Older computers can have a lot of trouble displaying the hd video properly. Also, the low-light capabilty of this recorder isn’t very good. Put some light on the subject or scene if you want the best video possible. 00 camcorder led light unit like i did and you should be good-to-go. I recommend an external microphone, which is a very nice feature, although the internal mic is ok for many occasions. Note that you can get stereo sound from an external mic, but only mono sound from the internal microphone. The software loads off of the device itself — no cd.
- Awesome, compact video camera that produces professional quality results
- Best camcorder if you’re on a budget and need external mic input
- Great Value, awesome! But don’t expect it to compete with $3000 camera
I’ve only tested this camera for the last few days but so far, so good. I read many reviews before buying the zi8 and i don’t agree with many of the negative comments i’ve read. First off, when i placed my order i also ordered a kingston 16gb class 4 sd card and spare batteries and a charger ([. The batteries arrived first so i had fully charged batteries ready to go when the zi8 arrived. Immediately after unpackaging the zi8 i upgraded the firmware to 1. This took all of 5 minutes to do. Almost all of the test video i have taken has been at night or in low light. I have been using the 720p/60fps setting.
The only reasons i purchased the zi8 was for the external microphone input, the tripod socket, the hd video and price; in that order. The optional remote control sealed the deal for this pocket video camera. Even if the videos or pictures weren’t perfect the convenience and accessories would make up for it. However the videos are great for the price, the sounds syncs up perfectly, and it has a digital zoom which is not extremely effective but does exist, without the mechanical noise (and effectiveness)of a lens zoom. I purchased a mono external microphone (atr3350) and it worked perfectly once i adjusted the microphone volume on the zi8 (remember the zi8 will not provide extra power to your mic if it requires it). There was a small ringing in the background of the video, not very noticeable and i suspect it can be remedied. I’ve read that for mac users it’s seamless with imovie but windows users may have more difficulty. If you have problems editing. Mov files with your editing program, you may be a little frustrated. It works fine in cs4 if you got it.
I went to arizona for a week and used this every day, taking about 272 videos and photos. This was the first time i’d ever taken any videos. When i got home, i made a 45 minute movie dvd using the kodak media impression software. I used photos, videos, and incorporated bunches of music in my video and it came out awesome. I’m definitely no computer whiz kid, but i had a blast editing my photos and videos. I had planned to purchase a separate photo and video editing software, but this free software did everything i needed it to. (there’s also an awesome woman on youtube who gives step by step instructions on all aspects of this camera if you have any problems that the instruction manuals don’t address. )regarding the camera, it’s very easy to use. At first i didn’t like the little red ‘roller ball’, but got the hang of it eventually. I went back and forth from photos to videos constantly, and i sometimes chose the incorrect format accidentally, but overall it was simple to change formats.
check out the video for the long version, but here is the short version:pros: * good video quality * easy to use and small * approximately 50 minutes on one battery charge * flexible, flip-out usb connection (unlike rigid flipcam / minohd version) * hdmi connection * external microphone input / jack * decent on-board audio quality * removable sd memory card * good resolution choices: 1080p, 720p (60fps and 30fps), and wvga * turns off quick * macro setting easy and on topcons: * low-light situation induced vertical / purple / red / pink lines in 720p mode * no real control over picture quality – automatic to the extreme * back-side of camera gets hot after extended use * image stabilization is useless * case a bit too flexible and video aberrations noted if manhandled excessively * no lcd to verify good shot framing * record status led is annoyingly placed, bright, and red * metal strap piece will scratch the case / housingassessment: * buy it now.
I’ve had this product for almost a month now and i have to say that it contains many features for such a decent price. I mainly shoot using the camera’s 720p 60fps setting. Even though this camera has image stabilization, it is not a fix all. Sure, this camera boasts a 1080p resolution at 30fps and it is quite crisp. . If you use a tripod or you plan on having the steadiest hands on the planet. The eis doesn’t do much justice for this camera when shooting at 1080p. Even with the steadiest hand, at 1080p – you get a crisp but very very shaky picture. For some reason, the 720p 60fps resolution is the best and the eis seems to work a tad better at this setting. The still pictures at 5mb a shot are pretty decent too. The option to have up to 32gb of sd memory cards is a plus. Although, i never found myself filming more than an hour’s worth of short videos. The macro feature is decent too. Not the best, but this is a pocket video camera and it’s pretty decent overall. I sold my flip ultra hd after getting this camera.
Features of Kodak Zi8 Pocket Video Camera (Raspberry) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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- Record High Definition video (1080p at 30 fps with 16:9 aspect ratio)
- Easily upload recorded footage to YouTube with built-in USB and software
- Expandable SD/SDHC card slot up to 32 GB; Rechargeable batteries and charger included
- Vibrant 2.5-inch viewfinder; Watch footage on HDTV with included cables
- Edit and share videos with included software
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In the interest of full disclosure, i purchased this camera for my father as a gift. The reason being, my father is real big on shooting home videos and has been trying (ever slowly) to enter the digital age. He has used the video function on his digital point and shoot cameras, but i figured the kodak would be a simple and easy way to help him transition into digital home movies. I’m basing this review on my dad’s experience (which is in short, someone who doesn’t feel extremely comfortable with technology, but wants to get into it more). He really enjoyed using the camera thanks to its easy to use interface. The instruction manual is pretty slim, and there is a reason for that. It literally is a point and shoot video camera, much like the flip cam. But what made me buy this one was the fact that it came with an included hdmi cable and an sd hc slot. While the flip is all about internal memory, the kodak only has a small amount of that built in. It’s more of an sd hc card video camera, so please keep that in mind before purchasing this camera.
I got this camera because i am going on a trip where i’ll be doing a lot of walking. I wanted something lightweight and easy to use. The controls are minimal, so it’s pretty basic, which is okay. The battery cover is hard to get off, but hopefully i won’t do that very often. I was surprised that the internal memory is so small. I took three still photos and tried to run a video at the 720 setting and i could only get 2 seconds before it turned off. I went on kodak’s chat help and found the people there were not helpful. They read off script, which i guess isn’t surprising. The first person who ‘helped me’ said i should expect 22 minutes, but that it was ‘recommended’ that i get a memory stick. I kept saying ‘but i only got 2 seconds’ and that didn’t seem to compute.
This purchase is my 3rd kodak zi8. It’s such a tragedy of bad timing that tons of these were not sold, but it came out just about the time that phones because taking somewhat decent video. What makes the zi8 special is that it has a microphone input, which you hardly ever find on any video camera or dslr for under $500 to $600 and it takes 1080p hd video. You can also switch to 720p if filling up your memory card is an issue. I used one of these cameras with a reasonably priced wireless mike and tripod a couple of years ago for a foreign mission trip taken under the auspices of a major ministry that has a daily tv program. The resulting 1080p hd video was so good that some clips from that trip are now often used in the intro and outro of their daily tv program seen worldwide.
At first, i wasn’t so thrilled with it. I ran into a problem where my sd card apparently wasn’t fast enough to handle recording in hd modes. It would record for 2-3 seconds and stop. I finally took a guess that it was indeed my card and switched to a spare sdhc card that i had around. . Whewnow for the recording. At first, it was a little disappointing. I started testing the camera around 7pm and the light was minimal. My first impressions were not so good. Low light shooting on this camera is not the best in the world. It’s acceptable but certainly not impressive. This morning i decided to give it another go. The video quality i am getting from this little zi8 is very impressive indeed.With the right amount of light you can’t ask for better hd video quality from something under $200.
This camera is excellent, without question. If you’ve been the video person for all your events through the years, do not look any further than the zi8. It has everything you need to be a pro-am videographer. The biggest notable feature inclusions in this camera is independent memory cards and an external mic jack. These two features alone make this very reasonably priced camera worth the price of admission. I can’t stress enough how important the external mic jack is. Drop every other cool feature you may be tempted by with the other cams, in favor of this feature. Especially if you plan on using this for business presentations, band gigs, or higher end video shoots. You may think you’ll never need it but trust me, if and when you do you’ll know why the external mic jack is so great. The picture quality, in my opinion, beats all of the other offerings in this category- be it full light and low light.
I use this camera for my company blog website. It does a great job in fair to good light situations which covers what trade shows and interviews i require it for. However in low lighting situations, it is unusable. Example would be a low light or candlelight restaurant or museum/aquarium. If kodak were to add a flash and zoom to this camera and increase the 5mp to 10mp, it would be perfect. It takes decent 5mp pics and the video choices are fine for uploading to youtube and facebook. If you want better quality snapshots with higher resolution, carry a better camera with that capability as i do for my job. It has a sleek look and feels good in your hand. I use a tripod for video because you will need to move very slow/steady when videoing by hand. I also use a 16gb high end card for video editing.
Record High Definition video (1080p at 30 fps with 16:9 aspect ratio)
I bought this camera for a cruise were taking to alaska next year. I wanted something small, and yet easy to use and travel with, butalso with high quality video. I read a lot of reviews anddid a lot of research. At the price of 149 buks and a free casei could not pass it up here. I strongly suggest that if you buy this make sure you upgradethe firmware to version 1. It seems to havefixed some sound issues. I also purchased a kingston 32db hdsd class4 flash card and it worked nicely. Hdmi to tv is a real treat, the sweet spot is 720p/60 fps.
i’ve had my kodak zi8 for a little over a week now. I am simply amazed at the video quality for such a cheap camcorder. This is my first hd camcorder (except for my t1i dslr). I searched around for reviews on which pocket hd camcorder to get for a good 3 weeks until i finally decided on the zi8. I finally decided on the zi8 for a couple of reasons. The ability to use my own memory cards (up to 32gb) 3. I thought the picture quality was better than that of the comparable flip models when watching over 100 different videosthe results i have got so far are absolutely wonderful in my opinion. There are a couple of things i suggest you steer clear of.
Just got this thing the other day and it’s a pretty cool little video camera. My sister has a flip and i was looking for something similar to replace my canon digital tape camcorder which crapped out after many years. After reading the predominantly glowing reviews both here and in the trade magazines i thought i’d try kodak even though they’re not know for their digital cameras. After playing with this camera for a few days i think it will fit the bill although i guess i expected a little more based on the rave reviews. Controls are basic, easy to use, easy to access, and easy to understand. Good thing because documention is pretty sparse. I especially like the ability to quickly and easily choose between the different video resolutions. I’m a little disappointed at the quality of the still imagery however. Sure it’s a 5 megapixel camera but don’t think it will replace your digital point and shoot.
I wanted to make sure that people know that the zi8 does have image stabilization and can record at 760/60 fps. In the advertisement on amazon when i purchased one for myself and son, i read that the flip by cisco had the image stabilization and ability to record in 60 fps, and customer reviews said that the kodak did not. When the kodak arrived i read the instruction booklet and the online user guide and found out it does indeed have the 760/fps plus image stabilization. It also comes with the hdmi and a/v cords to enable connecting to the tv and a battery charger with usb cord which plugs into the wall or computer to charge the included rechargeable batteries. It took experimenting until i figured out that the left/right, up/down arrows have to be ‘rolled’ rather than pressed. It should say that in the user guide. I spent a while pressing on the arrow keys, having them work sometimes and not others until i discovered it takes a rolling motion to make them work. Thus, the kodak zi8 has it all but somehow all this was omitted from the earlier reviews. Because of the reviews saying that the kodak did not have those and the flip by cisco did, i purchased the flip for my other son and now i wish i had given him the kodak too. I purchased the remote control separately.
It’s hard to add anything to what over 500 positive reviews have already said. This is a great camera at a great pricei had one specific purpose in mind for this camera – i wanted to run from my audio mixer (xenyx usb1222fx) directly into the camera to capture the best audio possible (vocals & acoustic electric guitars). The external mic jack makes the zi8 perfect for this application . For those who may be thinking about doing the same thing – i used the cd/tape output on the audio mixer (rca jacks) and ran directly into the external mic input on the kodak zi8. Initially i was getting a lot of hum, but after some experimentation i eventually determined that the external mic sensitivity setting on the kodak zi8 needed to be turned down four notches . Four notches looks like alot on the graphic representation of the sensitivity setting, but it did the trick perfectly – now i have crystal clear audio with a great hd pic in all my vids. , don’t forget to set the sensitivity every time the camera is powered back on – the camera does not ‘remember’ the mic sensitivity setting when the power is switched off. I figured i’d pass this tip along since i discovered it the hard way.
I hadn’t thought about getting a video camera, but instapundit gave a favorable mention and linked to this camera. I was surprised at how little it cost. I had put up a golf net in my backyard last year. I wanted to see what my golf swing looked like, but i didn’t want to spend a lot of money for a video camera. I have several cell phone cameras but they were not suitable for doing what i wanted to do. Then, i saw the kodak remote. I could put it on a tripod and start it with the remote. So, i bought the remote and the camera. I already had a tripod from my 35mm still camera days.
Easily upload recorded footage to YouTube with built-in USB and software
I rarely will type/review products but i’ve been a little frustrated reading the reviews of this product on amazon and by users at other sites. Many users seem to think that this camera was designed to compete with expensive, professional cameras that cost thousands of dollars and produce full hd quality video. Also, while my camera hasn’t had the ‘noise’ issue from the mic, i have seen a camera that had the issue and its barely noticeable. Its almost like a very quiet background noise from a florescent light or something. Kodak has designed, marketed, and built a camera to compete with flip and has clearly produced a far better product. I’ll keep it short and sweet and first explain who i am and what i am using this camera for. I use it for:-home videos/fun stuff with old buddies and friends-for work when i need some quick video that’s easy to upload online, or put in imovie and edit-for work when i need more complex videos that may require editing, or somewhat lengthy video but i want the ease of use/portability. I have seen some of the problems stated with the internal mic and i have had none of them (i do have the upgraded firmware that is now standard 1. 03, and kodak says this completely eliminates the issue.
Just got my zi8 from amazon and can report this is one sweet and cool piece of pocket-able technology. There have been grumblings about a high pitched whine, but i didn’t get that effect out of the box. Just the same, kodak has a firmware update that addresses this and adds a few other nice tweaks to the operation of this camera, one of which is a smooth rather than stepped zoom. Easily installed, so i did it. Here is what i’ve experience so far with the zi8. * good battery life, over 1:40 on a fresh charge recording 720p at 60 frames per second. I got more out of the zi6, but almost two hours is nothing to sneeze at. * sound is good and dare i say similar to the zi6. I cannot wait to try the external jack. Presently i’m trying to figure out the best one to get–any suggestions?* image stabilization works.
This has been a sweet little video camera for the price. Kodak has discontinued them, but i am very happy with it. It fits on tripods i already own, i didn’t have to buy additional equipment like i would have for a phone video. Our little history museum uses this camera to make quick videos for social media sharing.
Check out my sample footage video on youtube. On youtube search ‘djeror zi8 low light’in my previous review of the kodak zi8 i was pretty frustrated at the fact that whenever i used the built in microphone the recorded videos had an annoying high pitch whine that made the audio from my videos almost unusable. Kodak recognized that this was an issue and created a firmware update that fixed the problem. It also fixed a few other things like the previous issue of the image getting darker as you zoomed in. They seem to have fixed all of the major problems with this firmware fix. I do tech product reviews so i need the following things:- external mic input – most of my videos are shot wearing a lapel mic- macro mode – i have to get close to little tiny screens- sdhc memory – i go to all day trade shows, i need 10+ hours of video- power options – i need to be able to shoot while ac power is plugged in or use a large external battery. Because of these requirements no other camcorder can fit my needs. One cool thing about this camera is that it is much more upgradable than the other pocket cameras on the market. Con:-the built in microphone is ok now that they fixed the whining noise, but it’s still not amazing.
I’m really happy with the kodak zi8. I bought it from amazon for about $99 which i thought was a great price. I took it to my birthday party at a night club. It was able to take great hd video, even in the low lighting and loud music conditions of the club. In situations where you don’t want to bring a large video cam with you, this works great. You can put it in your pocket and take it anywhere. Also, i think friends/family are less intimidated by a smaller camera and more willing to have fun then if you had a large camera on them. The only issue i had was that it comes with only 128 mb of memory. You can only take about 10 seconds (yes seconds) of video with the built in memory. I had to run to best buy to get a memory card.
Ive tried other ‘mini’ camcorders before and could never find one that could deliver outstanding picture quality to compliment its convenient small size. With my disney world vacation fast approaching, i started looking for a new camcorder late last month to replace my cannon hi8 digital. After doing some research, i had narrowed it down to the sony bloggie touch and this kodak zi8. I finally decided to go with the zi8 and could not be more pleased with it. Ironically, my parents were about to leave for their own disney vacation and after seeing my new camera, wanted me to order one for them. I was very curious to see how this camera would perform and when they returned this past week i was very pleasantly surprised. I used the hdmi cable that was included with the camera to connect it to our 42 inch lg hdtv. Right from the first moments of playback that i watched, the camera had already exceeded my expectations of it. Video taken in the daylight outdoors was virtually flawless, other than some quick auto focus issues but they had more to do with how the person operating the camera was holding/moving it around. I knew going in that it does not perform as well in lower light setting but if more of the lighting is on the subject and not the operator, then it still produces great quality video.
Pros: cost, quality of video (true 1080p), simple controls, variety of settings for video format, 3. 5mm exterior mic input jack – hdmi cord includedcons: doesn’t ship with a sdhc memory cardsummary: i bought this video camera to take family videos of piano recitals, basketball games, etc. To save for posterity, to post for the grandparents to watch, and other typical uses. Just the sort of niche in the market it is supposed to fill. The 1080p video is crisp, indoors or out, and putting it on 720p/60fps for action video like the directions tell you to do, makes a huge difference. Yes, it isn’t quite what it could be in low light, but it is not as bad as some reviews make it seem – at least not in my opinion. Besides, it not really designed to be a serious movie maker. While the price isn’t bad, i got mine for $149 with free shipping, you will have to invest a little more to really get the most from it. I bought a 32gb sdhc card for $80, an extra battery for $10 (look around on the internet), an external stereo mic (mine – sony ecm-ds70p electret condenser stereo microphone – works great) for $24, and i added a $10 case from wally world. Total (including camera) – $273ish, but you may be able to do better the extras were worth every penny.
Expandable SD/SDHC card slot up to 32 GB; Rechargeable batteries and charger included
I wanted a very portable, easy-to-use, basic camera for family use, and this fits the bill perfectly. Picture quality is very good (high density is available) and focus is fine. I like the fact that you can switch from ‘landscape’ mode (most uses — a meter or more away) to ‘macro’ mode (for ultra close-ups just inches away). My biggest concern was how my less-than-steady hand would affect jumpiness, but it’s no worry at all. What i failed to recognize when i bought the camera was that it really can’t be used without a memory card; internal memory gives you maybe 20 seconds of video at the lowest resolution. Memory cards are anywhere from off-brand cheap to high-end expensive. After reading reviews, i decided on the moderately priced kodak brand and went for the 8 mb card ($39. 95 + free shipping at hsn as of nov 09). You’ll also want to buy a case, since the lens has no cap. The biggest disappointment is the zoom (digital not optical), which is very jumpy.
Reading reviews is very confusing cause you trying to differentiate between the fakes and haters with the real and intelligent, but if you read all 500++ reviews(like i did), then very good for you. Now i’m a add my 22 cents worth, i purchased my zi8 as a factory refurb, i figured if some of these issues that some proclaimed was happening, then they would fixed them when kodak refurbished the unit, well, i’ve been using my zi8 for a about a month and trust, i’ve been lighting it up taking pics and video in all the modes and i can only sum it up in one word ‘sweet’. I mean it takes beautiful pics and videos, especially in 1080p and 720p @ 60fps, low light could be a lot better, and a flash would be nice add also, but man, for the price and compared to the rest of the pocket cams, this is very good and is does what it do and does a great job doing it. So maybe they did take care of a few things when they have a 2nd crack at, hell, they probably read the reviews, but whatever they did, they do seem to have it back on on the track they had planned for it, so if you read this review, the best i can say is give it a real shot. Cause you can always send it back. Oh, one more word of advice, for the sound, i would purchase the sony ecm-ds70p mini microphone that is a big step up from the internal mic.
I’ve very happy with this product. The video quality is far from perfect, but for the price this is a steal. With the ability to pick it up, turn it on, and press a button. We’re taking many more short videos of our twins. My wife is very happy to have a simple device, and i an very happy that we’ll have hd video of the babies 10 and 20 years down the road. (we have a mini-cd camcorder, but it is standard ntsc and takes a good 20-30 seconds to get going. With the babies, 20 or 30 seconds’ delay usually translates into a missed opportunity. )my one complaint about this camera would be the blurry zone between ‘macro’ and regular, maybe 8 to 18 inches. This effectively prevents me from taking video where one of the babies’ faces fills the screen.
I’ve owned an early flip (gave it away) and a vado hd (wide angle for hiking). I was cautious opening this in case i was going to return it. We shot some nighttime video in a store with florescent lighting; i expected it to be really poor. The camera did a good job of handling white balance. The pc software that comes with this camera is the first i’ve seen that will actually let the user trim clips, set transitions, rotate clips, and correct for back lighting. The vado software was crippleware, the user was expected to buy more ‘styles’ to make the software more functional. The kodak pc editor is surprisingly functional. If you have a mac, this camera is ideal; the video needs _no_ preprocessing. Although i purchased the camera in early dec 2009 (a ‘latest model’), both the software and camera firmware needed to be upgraded (easy and worth the time). These sub-$200 cameras *all* suffer from jelly-video if they are moved quickly, but can produce very clean and sharp video if hand-held very stationary.
Kodak has made a pretty good pocket video camera. I wasn’t expecting the best picture quality from this thing since i primarily use a canon 7d for video but overall the pocket video camera has surpassed my expectations. The video camera is very easy to use and very straight forward. The features are minimal but the secondary audio in is a major plus since sound quality isn’t that great on the built in mic. Using it with my rode shotgun mic or my zoom h1 gives the best sound quality. It has a expansion slot for a sdhc and supposedly it will take up to 32gb of space. That alone should bring customers away from other pocket cameras. Picture quality is pretty good but it’s no match for a canon 7d or a 5d mark 2. For the price i paid for this camera, picture quality is pretty good. The camera is about the same size as an iphone 4 but almost twice as thick but it doesn’t get in the way with portability.
The kodak zi8 is a portable hd camcorder. It gives you the ability to film 1080p films in the palm of your hand. You can also select 720p video at 60fps (frames per second), or 30fps, and you can also take pictures as well. –the picture quality is pretty good all things considered, it is by no means on par with a dslr camera or something in the 12+ mp range, but it is fine if you just wanna take some quick snapshots with your friends. -you may also record videos in standard definition if you want to, i’m not sure of the fps, but it does a decent job, especially if you have a smaller memory card, and you are wanting to conserve space. –the 720p/30fps mode is a nice addition for those looking for the slower framerate, but i personally don’t get much use out it. –the 720p/60fps option is, in my opinion, the best mode of them all. You get the high resolution 720p picture, with the smooth 60fps look. The picture quality is wonderful. Much better than the flip hd in my opinion.
Vibrant 2.5-inch viewfinder; Watch footage on HDTV with included cables
Both the kodak zi8 and zi6 have had early problems -like seizing up and over-heating, whiny internal mic recordings -so there are quite a few re-certified refurbished ones available -so that’s both bad and good news. Even when buying a kodak re-certified/refurbished unit -one can still get a faulty one – i did -thank goodness i dealt via amazon with adorama -the mark of a good vendor is not just whether they deliver -but how one is treated when something is wrong -all i can say is that adormama were more than sterling. With that experience i took another chance and bought another refurbished one from amazon/adorama -with my previous experience i was able to thoroughly test this one, and it works just fine. Now to the zi8 (being kodak refurbished it has the latest firmware 1. 06) -the video quality is really good even compared to the already good zi6 – i can see a marked improvement over the zi6’s i have tried – the videos from the zi8 look sharper and the colors looks really good – in fact i would go as far to say that the video quality looks as good as from any consumer camcorder i have seen. Of course $700 camcorders will have much more flexibility with more and real optical zoom range better image stabilization – but they cost 6-10x as much and they are not pocketable. Most reviews will say the digital zoom is pretty poor – i have actually found the digital zoom surprisingly good all the way up to 4x – even with nose-to-monitor scrutiny – i was really surprised at this since i do a lot of photography and the first thing one learns is not to use any digital zoom – i can’t explain this but the digital zoom on the zi8 is good – more than just usable (note: i record at mainly 720p/30fps). The macro ability is also really good – the depth of field is shallow – so the trick is to set macro make sure the subject is in focus before starting the recording. That brings us to the lcd screen – it is high definition and sharp compared to other screens i have seen on the competition – so it is easy to see if the subject is in focus and whether the picture/scene looks good – although like any other lcd screen it will be hard to see in sunlight. One of the good features of the zi8 is the ability to connect a stereo external mic – i have a pair of really good portable stereo mic’s that i used for live music recording and the sound quality can be very good indeed -however i have found the internal mic although mono – can actually give pretty decent sound quality – there is a mic level adjustment under settings and the default middle setting seems to work really well – i recorded a big band with vocalist and the sound quality was very good.
The kodak zi8 takes amazing hd videos. Out of all the portable pocket hd camcorders i would say that this has one of the best quality. Personally, i like it better than the gunstyle camcorder like the sanyo because the device looks like a cellphone and it won’t make people around you nervous when you are filming. That being said, if you are getting this camcorder to also take photos, don’t expect much because the photo quality is less than great. I would go as far as to say that it is unusable for taking pictures. The lens for the camcorder has no real focusing abilities so your photos will come out blurrier than a digital camera. It does have a facial recognition feature so that when you are taking portrait shots, it will attempt to focus on the person of interest, but it will still be blurry. If you are outside in good lighting, you can maybe get away with the picture quality as it does take 5 megapixel photos, but taking pictures indoors or less than perfect lighting conditions it will be not as good as a cheap digital camera. *(in fact in low lighting conditions i would actually suggest shooting 1080p videos and then just taking the screenshot out of the video. It will have more grain on it but it seems to be sharper in my experience.