Considering the price, this camera is a great buy. Not just value for money but in performance as well. I suspect a lot of negative reviews would come from people who were expecting this camera to perform like many digital camcorders which would cost a lot more, you have to understand what bracket this camcorder comes in. It is a compact digital hd camcorder, it does not have a very expensive lens and would not compete with a camcorder that does. It is perfect for people who want to shoot hd footage and either create a dvd for use on their hd tv or upload a movie to a video sharing site like youtube or vimeo. This camera will shoot in wvga, hd 720, hd 720/60fps and full hd 1080. The differences in these formats are the size of the file that will be stored on your memory card, and the quality/resolution of the recording. If you intend to upload your videos to a video sharing site, then 720 is more then sufficient, by default most sites will show your movie below the 720 setting anyway. Also the 720/60fps setting means it will shoot 60 frames/images in a second this is useful for fast moving action footage, but you will only get this benefit if you can play the video back at 60fps, for example if you upload to a video site that defaults all videos to 30fps your 60fps movie will look much slower than the original recording.
Shame about the software design. For no other reason than the onboard software is refusing to load. It crashes at 41% of download and has done on 3 other computers. I hope to get another zi8 soon. Its not perfect but its the best out there yet. Untill other manufacturers come up to scratch.
Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera – Aqua Blue
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- Full HD 1080p video with built-in image stabilization and Smart face tracking technology
- Large vivid 2.5″ LCD & 5MP still camera
- Built-in USB arm for sharing and charging
- Edit and upload to YouTube with built-in software
- Up to 10 hours of HD video with SD/SDHC card slot, memory card required
As soon as you open the box you realise the kodak zi8 is a quality product. The build quality is superb, and the glossy black front and grey back are very attractive. It’s the size of a fat mobile (think blackberry), and the smooth and curved shape make it a delight to hold. The hd video quality is superb, albeit much better outdoors than in. When filming inside or in dark conditions, the playback appears grainy and blurred. Outside though it’s fantastic and the results beamed onto my sony 32′ are amazing. Audio is surprisingly clear using just the internal mic – an additional one can be used with the 3. Controlling the zi8 is easy as it just has 4 buttons. These are settings, delete, video and playback. These are all represented by symbols on the front of the device and are easy to press. They could have been a tad bigger though. In the middle of the front, we are presented with a 4 way joystick that is pressed in to start/stop recording and playback, and is titled in all 4 directions for navigation. In short, it’s a doddle to use. Start up time is very short, around 2-3 seconds i’d say which means you can get shooting right away. Everything you need is included in the box – hdmi cable, av lead, rechargeable battery and charger/mains lead. Would have been of kodak to supply a case, or at least a sleeve with the zi8 though, it looks incredibly scratch prone. Following on advice from others, i have purchased the samsonite makemo 80 case which is an excellent fit for the zi8.
I bought this camera to capture footage of wildlife whilst out and about. So far i have not been disappointed. I read a lot of reviews as i was torn between this and the flip. The thing which swung it for me was the fact this had expandable memory in the form of the sdhc card faciltity. I bought a 16gb one and this will take about 2 hrs of full hd footage. I’m really impressed with the quality of the stills this takes, especially considering it is only a 5. The video quality is excellent. I’m still trying out different methods, and found hd a little jerky (but it was on a boat trip) so probably my own fault.
I was looking for a replacement to my ageing tape camcorder and spent a long time looking online at the various options available. I wanted a camera which was small but would record high quality and fire up quickly enough to catch any spontaneous action which is what we tend to get with a 4 year old running around. I rounded it down to the flip ultra and the kodak zi8 but went with the zi8 because its not as chunky and comes with a stack of cables including an hdmi which will plug straight into my flatscreen tv. It also seemed to have a larger featureset than the ultra. The camera is fast to use, only a couple of seconds from getting it out of your pocket to recording, and the video quality is fantastic, way above that of any of the camera’s i’ve used in the past. I normally have it set on the 720/60fps setting which gives a decent file size (not too big) and can catch a fast moving subject at high quality and without blurring. The camera is great for outside use and when there’s a decent amount of light indoors but suffers where light levels are particularly low (which isn’t surprising without a built-in light). You can also record still images at 5 megapixels, the photos are pretty good and there is a macro switch on the top of the unit which allows you to photograph close up subjects (such as document text or stuff for ebay) without blurring. I’ve read reviews that ealier models had a problem where the zoom jerked in and out in steps.
Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera – Aqua Blue : Very pleased with this little gadget, it makes carrying a decent quality video camcorder around a lot easier and is an absolute cinch to usei had concerns about the quality of the mic when i ordered it but the little mono mic that comes built in at the front does do an awfully decent job, the real beauty here is in the separate mic input where you can plug an external mic e. A tie clip mic for video blogging or a zoom mic for capturing a distant sound source without the atmospheric noisei use it mainly for my hobby which is comedy, guerilla and stand-upin terms of guerilla comedy we often do pranks or improvised sketches in public places where we need to capture sound and video covertly in order to not give the game away, the zi8 is great for this because it’s easy to conceal, its form lends itself to just slipping it into a pocket with the lens sticking out over the top, we have also done pranks where a remote performer is wired to a radio mic & the zi8 captures the audio and video from a distance away via a plug-in radio mic receivervideo quality is very reasonable indeed from such a cheap and compact little unit, the stills it takes are also very reasonable in quality for the money, the unit comes with a ridiculously small amount of memory so you will need to buy a separate sd card if you want to take more than a handful of stills or a few seconds of video, i bought a 16gb sdhc card for an extra £15 but understand it can take cards up to 32gb which would give hours of video if the battery permittedi love the little lcd screen & built in speaker where you can see and hear what you’ve captured instantlydownloading the clips is an absolute breeze with the flip out usb plug, i use both pc & mac platforms and have no problems plugging it straight into my mac and importing the clips straight into iphotoon the down side, the performance in low light situations isn’t that great so it hasn’t been that useful for filming stand-up comedy in darkened clubs if the comic steps out of the spotlight it captures only darkness, also i can’t capture any audience footage at all, it’s just not picking up anything but darknessthe battery struggles to last more than about an hour too and seems to get fairly hot in usethe unit itself feels a little cheap and plasticky, but to be fair i expected that for the money, one outrageous thing is the thread for the tripod is plastic, i daren’t screw a tripod into this, it probably wouldn’t last 2 minutes in real world use, the unit doesn’t have a flat base to stand up alone on either so it’s a hand or a clampfor self captured video at arms length in 1080p hd the lens isn’t really wide angled enough to get the whole of your head into shot so vlogging has to be done in lower resolutions if you want to get head & shoulders into the frameon the whole a great little gadget and worth the money even when you factor in the extra cash for the mandatory sd card.