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I truly like what they have accomplished with it!
For one thing, video recorded using the Zi8, and no tripod, comes out pretty awesome. I wanted to point out the amazing Digital Image Stabilization on this little camrea. Pretty awesome, isn't it? The Zi8 also allows me to hook up an external microphone, to allow for better sound quality. That, my friends, makes this tool priceless in my book. The frame-rate is perfect in low-light situations!
I recorded in 720p at 60fps! That may not be obvious if you're watching on YouTube, but if you want to make high quality hd videos,it can do that too. Kodak also kept with the macro feature.If you can my tree, the tree comes into focus and fades away the background. You can easily switch between focal points with just the click of a button.
There is, of course, a built-in USB port, letting you to connect to your computer and upload direct to YouTube and other sites if you wish. The Zi8 has a slot for added storage of up to 32GB. That will hold more pictures and videos than you will likely ever take.
I highly recommend the Zi8. It's a excellent recorder, with outstanding quality video output.
After the birth of my son I wanted to start and capture key moments in his and our life together so we can watch them back at a later date. So I began to search online for a handheld HD video recorder to capture the memories.
I opted for a raspberry Kodak Zi8, for which I paid £129.99 from amazon.com
What made me buy this instead of any other was mainly the price for an HD camcorder which had good reviews I thought I couldn't go wrong.
I've had the device since the 7th may 2010 so just over a year so far and while I think its a decent product for the price, i'm hardly blown away with it.
The device itself sounds quite good :
4 times digital zoom
f2.8 fixed focus lens
128meg internal memory ( but I upgraded and bought a 16gig sandisk card SDHC) to go with it because I certainly didnt want to run out of space while recording.
a choice of video recording at 1080p (1920 × 1080, 30 fps) or 720p/60 fps (1280 × 720, 60 fps) or 720p (1280 × 720, 30 fps) or WVGA (848 × 480, 30 fps).
The lower the quality captured the less the size of the movie clip when saved to disk, or simply the more footage you can record.
and you can even take 5.3 meg still captures with the device as well.
It has an on board mic and speakers so you can listen to your recordings straight from the device.
It has a USB flip out conection plug to easily plug into a pc or laptop without the need for a wire.
and its very light at only 110grams.
Out the box apart from the device and battery itself it comes with:
Adapter and cable for battery charging
HDMI and AV cables
ARCSOFT MEDIA IMPRESSION Software for Kodak (PC only).
I have to say once its charged it is easy to carry, simple to use and switches on quickly.
As you switch the device on it instantly gives you the option to select the recording resolution. Which is a bit annoying to be honest. I'd rather it was just an option to change the recording resolution from a menu button which it has but giving you it all the time when you switch it on is a bit much especially when you want the same resolution all the time. However the plus side to that is the fact that it tells you just how much recording time you have left at each resolution as you move over them which is great if your limited to size on your SDHC card.
Recording is easy, there is a big red thumb button right in the middle of the device which you press once to start and then again to stop.. (SIMPLE) and because its a static lens there is no manual zooming. You can digitally zoom however but I dont ever use it.
Next to the red button you get two more buttons either side to make four in total.
from left to right they are: Settings - Trash - Recording Resolution - and Play
So pretty straight forward. The Settings allow you to change the clock , the sound settings and format the sd card things like that. The Trash button as you expect lets you scroll through the recordings and delete any you dont want. The Recording Resolution button is what I mentioned earlier and allows you to change the current recording resolution, and finally the playback button which lets you scroll through the recordings and play them back.
Plugging into the pc couldn't be easier as well. With the built in popout USB port you'll never need a wire as it's already there which is great and moving and downloading to the pc or laptop is easy from there.
The issues i've had is simply the quality. Despity the fact that you can record in full HD quality you'd expect it to be fantastic. To be honest about it its quite plain and not that impressive. It's very poor in low light and despite the fact that its suppose to be a 35mm equivalent I found the subject needs to be quite a distance from you to get them fully in the picture and in focus. It's good outside on a nice day however where usually subjects are more than 5 feet from you but indoors its poor in my opinion.
The sound is ok but because its a small forward facing mic you get the usual person doing the recording in full voice and the subject a little more muted but thats to be expected unless you buy a plugin mic for the device to make it better.
Not a bad spec. Great price for and HD recorder. Good build, Easy to use but dissapointed with the actual recordings it takes.
My advice is. IF you have the money buy a better one, otherwise you really do get what you pay for.
I was looking for a camera for every day use, you know when you just want to capture a silly moment? And I also fancied having a go at video blogging. I asked for one for christmas, thinking I wanted a flip camera. But my lovely boyfriend did the research and decided to go for a Zi8 instead, and I have to say I'm really very grateful.
The camera is about the size of a blackberry curve, mine has raspberry pink colouring around the edge and on the side where the lens is, the other side is black with a nice big LCD screen, the whole thing is very shiny.
I has a large round button in the centre and then 4 other buttons, its not hugely complex to use. It has a rounded bottom, and a strap can be added for extra safety. It also has the ability to be connected to a tripod for hands free usage, which is great.
It really is super easy to use, literally, point and click. The central button is the start and stop recording button and you can see everything really clearly through the big screen. There is also playback capabilities on the device itself.
It has a built in USB plug so you can plug it straight into your computer and play around with the videos. This also charges the battery (handy if you lend it to a friend and forget to give them the charger!)
It also has an SD card slot so you can choose how much memory it has. I understand that you can connect an external microphone to the device, for awesome audio. This was one of the reasons my boyfriend chose it over the flip, but I've yet to try this out.
The quality of the video produced by my Zi8 is pretty cool. Unfortunately when you film inside, it can seem a bit grainy, but the picture outside is beautifully crisp. I think the indoor quality would be greatly improved with a lot of lights on, but it's not hideous. I'll still be able to use it for video blogging, and am planning a series of tutorials. Even without a microphone the sound quality is lovely on the films and they translate pretty well to our big screen!
Overall, I'm really happy with my little video camera, and would highly recommend it as an every day camera, it fits right in my handbag and means I'm always ready to catch those special moments.
There's only a couple of things that I have fallen in love with that if I had to take some separate items to a desert island rather than one main thing, this beautiful little video camera would be one of them. Far superior to it's cousin the Zi6, this Zi8 really is the bees knees. Picture quality is clear and seriously crisp, the sound quality is supreme and being lightweight and no bigger really than a blackberry phone, the Zi8 is one of those items that could quite easily live in your handbag for every day use as well as for doing some serious filming to put on one of the many video sites that frequent our cyber world today.
With it's own built in USB which flicks out and plugs in with just one swift movement (albeit a little wobbly when it's plugged in), it's sheer simplicity to download straight to your PC.
One let down - which is what I find with most of these little gadgets, especially those that boast HD, is the battery life. Don't bother with bog standard batteries - rechargeable all the way for this one, or you'll be so environmentally unfriendly it's not funny.
Overall, if you buy just one HD video camera this year, and don't fancy the newer models, get this baby as it will be on your favourite list forever.
As far as pocket video cameras go I was really expecting a bit more from Kodak. I found with this particular model that when recording videos there was this persistent high pitched sound coming from the camera which really interfered with my filming. In Kodak's defence, they did issue a firmware update that helped fix the problem so hopefully future users should be okay.
I did like the fact that it had an SD slot for removable memory. This is a major plus as it means you don't constantly have to be attached to a PC uploading recent videos to make more space. I also like the size of the machine - it truly is pocket size and will fit comfortably in a jacket without much of a bulge. The video quality overall is quite good considering the size - its not designed to film your wedding after all! The 2.5" screen was easy to view subjects and the camera resolution worked exceptionally well in bright sunlight.
I don't have the most steady hand, so I tend to rely on the Image Stabilizer which in my opinion did not work as well as I'd hoped. I also found the stabiliser drained the battery quite heavily over an extended period of time (60mins). The camera did not respond well to sudden movements when filming indoors and tended to blur images or make them really grainy. I especially noticed this quirk when filming indoors, so pay particular attention when using this camera. I found some of the buttons on the front of the camera to be a bit fiddly and not as responsive as they could have been. It would have been nice to have some kind of protective pouch for the camera when not in use but there does not appear to be one provided!
To conclude, this is a good pocket camera but the minor setbacks it has keep it from being a real world beater.
Copied from my Ciao.co.uk account of the same name.
The Kodak Zi8 is a pocket video camcorder, it has a 4x digital zoom, can record in resolutions up to 1080p (1920x1080), and can record at up to 60fps at lower resolutions.
The video quality that this camera delivers is particularly good outside, giving clear images and crisp colours. When moving fast, the camera will occasionally blur a little however, but this can be used to help create an effect. However, when the camera is used inside, particularly at the cameras' flagship 1080p recording resolution, the images can look grainy and low-quality. It is very rarely noticeable in higher-light conditions, but it significantly limits opportunities for filming indoors and in darkened areas.
File Formats and their Compatibility
Pictures taken with this camera come out a fairly generic .JPG file extension, whereas the videos come out in MPEG-4 compressed .MOV files, these can be potentially devastating for those who don't use a Mac, as I found that my video editing software or choice, Sony Vegas Pro, had high amounts of trouble reading the video files. The free option that comes with Windows, Movie Maker, couldn't even open the files in its latest iteration. The only tool I have found that can open the files is Avid Pinnacle, which may put on a considerable sum to the camera. In addition, when the camera is plugged in, it asks if you want to install a low-level video editor. It works, but it may not be enough for the needs of some. Mac users, however, will find this format a godsend, as it will run on the Mac editing software iMovie and Final Cut Pro (I've been told, I don't actually have a Mac)
There is two lens modes on this camera. A close up mode that actually requires the camera to be right near their face to be viable for usage, and a landscape mode, which works whenever you're not right in their face. The quality of faraway items is fair, the objects in the foreground can be seen with considerable detail, but very close items will appear blurry at landscaping mode. This does not, however, make it a bad option, as it's an effect that could be used artistically for aspiring photographers and video amateurs.
Brilliantly, I found that the camera fits into the majority of my pockets. It's a fairly amazing feat for something that records at such high resolution. The size also meant that it was held comfortably in my hand, and that I could move the camera easily, the size helped exceptionally with my view of the product. If it were much larger, it wouldn't fit in my pocket, and if it were much smaller I'd be prone to dropping, breaking or otherwise losing it. For that reason, the size is fantastic.
There are not that many buttons on the camera, meaning that once you know what they all do, it's quite an easy product to use. You can record the clips and view them with the touch of only about five buttons. This is a major benefit to the camera, and it increases workflow and efficiency exceedingly.
The battery can be replaced if anything was to happen to it, or you could have however many you're likely to need on an expedition in your pocket, already charged in case the current batteries in the camera run out. However, the camera battery is increasingly long-lived. I've charged the battery once, and it has yet to run out of charge. One of the most beneficial features of the camera is the 'Removable and replaceable long-lived Kodak batteryTM'
The camera morphs. Literally. You can pull out the USB cable from inside the camera, you can reveal additional storage inserts (for SD Cards), you can plug in an external microphone for increased audio quality (although the one inside the camera is good too, although mono). There are many features that other cameras of the type do not feature. This puts it a considerable step-up above the other hand-held high definition camcorders around at the current moment in time. Also - the built in USB cable is fantastic, and ensures that I cannot lose the cable to connect it to my computer, one of the most useful things about the product in my opinion.
In conclusion, this is a great product. Although there are a few niggles like the quality of the camera indoors and the compatibility of the file formats that it uses with the Windows operating system, you can be assured that this product will successfully fuel the needs of an amateur cinematographer or parents wanting to capture their children's first steps on camera. It's a great camera for anyone, and if your filming is not going to be primarily inside, I'd recommend it. If you have a Mac or piece of software that is known to be able to read MOV files, I'd recommend it even more.
I give this product a four out of five, for some minor niggles that could be seen as problematic for some.