14/12/2009

Kodak Zi8 review

Kodak have been making video cameras for a while and the Zi8 is the newest of their video devices. It's a great little video camera with a flexible USB connector that is hidden but sliding a flap allows it to come out so it can be plugged into a USB slot in a computer.

When plugged in, 2 drives are available one has the videos on and the other has Arcsoft video software for Windows. The camera produces .MOV files which are directly accessible using a Mac (they can be read by Quicktime, iMovie etc).

Most people will consider the Zi8 against the popular Flip range of video cameras such as the Flip Mino HD. The Zi8 is definitely bigger (it's about an inch fatter) but this gives it a bigger display. Here the features that the Zi8 has that the Flip doesn't: -

* 2.5" display compared to the Flip's 1.5" display.
* Full 1080p video while the Flip only manages 720p (which the Zi8 can also do if required).
* External microphone jack.
* SD card slot, cards can just be swapped when they're full rather than having to find a computer to download the content to.
* Macro mode for close-up stuff.
* Still capture (i.e. single shots).
* Image stabilisation.
* Zi8 comes with a HDMI cable to connect to a TV/etc.

The start-up time of the Zi8 is also quick and when on presents a list of resolutions that can be used (defaults to the one selected in set-up).

The quality is pretty good and it's easy to use, there's a digital zoom mode (activated by moving the red toggle up and down). The only poor thing is low level light recording which isn't brilliant (sic).

The Zi8 is also generally cheaper than the Flip HD models.

Follow the link to see a video of Valentina performing at the Flowerpot in Kentish Town.
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