on January 4, 2010
I'm fairly happy with this camera, but if you are interested in purchasing one, here's my two cents:
PROS: relatively inexpensive; unlike the Flip UltraHD Camcorder, 120 Minutes (Black), it does 1080p; uses SD or SD HC memory cards, which means you'll never run out of space (and you could get more than the Flip's 120min, though battery life might be a limiting factor); there's 2 lens settings--extreme close-up, and everything else; easy to use; very portable, with built in image stabilization (which I'll qualify, as it is not as good as it sounds); HDMI cable included (these are notoriously expensive in stores, and since it's not a standard HDMI cable, you'd have to be careful when ordering online); plug and play in your HD TV; the free ArcSoft software is something you'll get a kick out of--try the "watercolor" effect, it's pretty cool; replacement (rechargeable) batteries are inexpensive as well (around $10, shop around and you can get 2 for $10, see High Capacity KLIC-7004 Digital Camera Replacement Lithium-Ion Battery Compatible with Kodak KLIC-7004, Fuji NP-50, Pentax D-LI68); microphone jack allows you to upgrade the sound quality (microphones range in price from $10 to over $250 depending on how much you love this toy).
CONS: though it does 1080p, in low light, you'll have a tough time believing it is indeed so--low light image is sub-par; there's a zoom feature, but it's really the opposite of smooth; audio from the built in microphone is really poor (but even a $10 to $20 external microphone will make up for that in a very noticeable way); an SD HC memory card is not included, and the on-board memory is simply not enough (to qualify this, you can get an 8GB card for $20 , a 16GB for twice that; at the present 32GB are waaay too expensive to consider for this camera); for those that are gadget happy, the menu options are best described as spartan; lastly, no case is included.
If you've recently purchased a digital camera, it might double as an HD camcorder, and you wouldn't need this.
My advice is, before you purchase it, go to a brick and mortar store, ask a salesperson to hook it (or a similar product, as most stores won't carry this brand) up to an HD TV to get a notion of what it can actually do (this is horrible advice--I'm recommending you take advantage of the sales clerk when you don't intend to purchase from the store--but viewing the recording on its tiny screen can be deceptive in terms of video quality). Also, be aware that you'll need to spend some extra $ for an SD card at the very least.
Added on: some other reviewer has a maddening problem with me pointing out the poor audio, and does not seem to understand why I'm saying this--the Kodak people must agree with me however--see their product description, it points out you can get great audio, stereo, IF YOU USE THE JACK FOR A MICROPHONE! I've tried recording without a microphone, and it sounds like "this", and I tried with a cheap Sony stereo microphone (used costs $10) and it sounded like "T H I S". Jeez, I gave it a good review, why do some have to take it so personally; I find people with 60" tvs can be very touchy, and somewhat condescending... I've come to love this camera, I use it even for photos and half the time they turn out great (so I just take twice as many photos); but I don't sleep with it under my 60" pillow, and pet it while whispering "my precious, my love". The only thing that bugs me is that I paid almost full price...
on October 14, 2009
The kodak Zi8 is perfect. It's small, it takes good images and the sound is fine. You can also use a microphone thanks to the mic jak!!
If you want to see what it can do, take a look at the video I made to show how good Zi8 works.
Buy it you will love.
on December 3, 2009
First I have to say that I own the 3 generation of Kodak pocket Cameras, and this one is by far the best one from Kodak's portfolio. However; if you are looking for a camera that is jitter-free, this one is not for you. It does have an Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) but, well, it's still a little shaky. It's a much better improvement from the previous ones; the pan and scan is a lot better, but there are still flaws.
The zoom is also not very nice (I don't recommend zooming while filming; a regular digital photo camera does a better job at it than this one) and Kodak removed the AA battery for a proprietary battery pack, which means that if you run out of battery life and you are at Walt Disney World while filming a parade (like it happened to me last time), well, you are out of luck. The previous models just take regular AA batteries, which is much better.
It is a good value for the money, but not awesome; hopefully Kodak will finally understand they need to put a zoom in and out that resembles it's digital photo cameras and the next generation will be hopefully better.
If you are into gadgets (like I am) them it's a buy it now; otherwise sit this one out and wait for another generation.
on October 25, 2009
For daytime shots, the video and photos look great. I wouldn't use it to replace an SLR/DSLR, but for everyday use, it's still an excellent product.
The only setback is it's lack of flash. This makes night-time and low-light shots very difficult to take.
Aside from that, the rest of it's available features are great: internal USB connection (so you don't have to drag a cable around), up to 32GB of SDHC storage, easy-to-use button controls, macro/landscape modes, etc.
on August 24, 2010
I have to admit, I am always sceptical about well, everything. A while back at a get-together, a friend with a portable camera captured lots of high quality video. I decided after seeing how well it worked to get one for myself.
I spent quite a while shopping around; I didn't want the most expensive camcorder, but did not want the cheapest either. I found this one for a good price on Amazon.ca. After scanning various forum reviews, etc., I picked it up.
This little device could not be easier to use. Without even reading the instructions I was fully using the device within minutes of pulling it off the charger. It easily handled the class-6 32gb SD card I put in, formatting it in seconds.
The camcorder lets the user select a variety of video sizes from 1080p down to still picture. Changing formats is a few button clicks, it's that simple. Shooting is one button on/off, and the video/audio quality is excellent, like all camcorders, moving causes jittering, but this one does a good job of minimizing it. For me the batteries lasted about 45 minutes each, with that in mind I would recommend getting a spare; I got mine through a partner deal Amazon had for 1 cent, can't beat that?!?
The device downloads to a computer via USB, with the software installing in seconds right off the device itself. Managing the video files is simple with the included software application and ran flawlessly on my Windows 7 box.
If you are looking for a simple quick camcorder that is no bigger that a cell phone, this is the way to go and I recommend it. I've used this camcorder in my shop videotaping our work, to capture gaming sessions with friends, on my Xbox 360 and for outdoor events all without any problems.
Of course, there has to be at least one complaint for a review to be legit? So here it is, I found three things wrong with the camcorder and in order from least to most bothersome.
1, it would have been nice if the device came with even a simple carrying case, it didn't! I picked up a small belt case for a camara and it fit perfectly.
2, the only video output format it supports is Apple video, (.MOV)? I honestly didn't know anyone still used that format? Seriously; MP3 and MP4 are the most common formats on the market today so why not at a minimum give the option of converting? Having to convert every video for distribution is a pain!
3, The USB connection is a pop-out plug on the bottom corner of the device. The location and style of plug just isn't convenient. My main system is a floor standing Windows 7 box with the USB jacks on the top. Plugging the camcorder into it means I have to hold the device with one hand to prevent the plug from disconnecting - it's a pain point! The USB connection should have been a cord instead like most other devices.
Overall, I give this camcorder a 4 out of 5 stars, a great little recorder for the price. It truly is, "A Kodak Moment!"
on June 23, 2010
First off, don't believe any of the negative reviews on this product. Some people simply do not read instructions and/or do not know how to work the unit or shoot steady video properly!. It shoots great video and takes great pictures....period!. I own a 60 inch hi-def T.V and the video shot on this pocket camcorder is great....even video shot in low light!!. Also, contrary to some other reviews, the Electronic Image Stabilizer works great, and is WAY ahead of other pocket camcorders in this regard!. Remember folks, when you take video with ANY recorder you must hold it VERY steady and pan across SLOWLY !!!. You have to use your imagination and think about what this video is going to look and feel like on a large screen!!!. Move slowly and steadily....always!.
Now that being said, I prefer the 780p/ 60fps mode on this unit because at 60 frames per second, the video is really smooth and very nice. I would only use the 1080/ 30fps mode if the thing you are recording is quite still.....like a stage show, landscape or something relatively stagnent. Also, contrary to what others have said, and I can't understand this, the built in mic on this unit is really very good. NO problems there. I recorded a music show my daughter did at school and the audio was great!.
Now on to the built in software included with the unit (ArcSoft Media Impression). The software works great and allows you to upload all the video and pictures onto your PC. Once that is done, you can reformat the SD card inside the camera, clear it and get all your memory back. I installed a 8GB SD card and got more than enough recording time for a single event (2hrs approx). You have to be somewhat computer literate to work the software as there is ZERO support from ArcSoft if you have any questions. You basically have to figure it out yourself sadly. Once the data is uploaded into ArcSoft from the camera, you can then view it on the pc or rip a DVD of the movie. One great feature included is the ability to rip a hi-def movie in Blu-ray codec on a blank dvd that only a Blu-ray player can read. This will give you a 1080 wide screen presentation that you can watch on your widescreen tv. One caution though, it takes HOURS to do this so once you start the process, walk away from your computer!!. You can also burn a regular resolution dvd but for whatever reason, the presentation has letterboxed bars on the top and bottom of the tv. I Could not for the life of me contact ArcSoft to find out why the dvd would not automatically be formatted for widescreen televisions since the camera recorded it that way but to no avail!!. Therefore, I always use the Blu-ray codec option. Viewing the video directly from the camera via the HDMI cable is also an option but it's infinetely better to store the data on disc or pc and free up the card. The cards are very expensive ($30.00 for an 8 gig card). It will cost you a lot of change to store your movies and pics on SD cards, believe me !!
This is all in all a great product and perfect for events and family vacations. It's compact, lite, and shoots great video and takes very nice pictures as well. Remember though....hold it steady and move slowly !!
on August 18, 2010
I was looking for a small HD camcorder and my original thought was that I should get the Flip Ultra HD. However, after doing a lot of research online and watching video examples of the two cameras, I decided that the Kodak zi8 was a better choice.
The Kodak zi8 is great for any vlogger looking for small, compact and powerful camcorder. In your hands, it really feels like a Blackberry; it is very easy to carry along wherever you go. The video quality is fantastic and the included software makes the uploading to websites (YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo) really easy. In low light settings, the video quality is still very very impressive compared to the previous camera I had. The quality of the still pictures is really good too.
Do not forget to buy a SD card or two; I personally bought two Kingston 8 GB SDHC Class 4 Flash Memory Card SD4/8GB and it gives me enough data space for about 5 hours worth of video. I also bought a second High Capacity KLIC-7004 Digital Camera Replacement Lithium-Ion Battery Compatible with Kodak KLIC-7004, Fuji NP-50, Pentax D-LI68 so that I will not have to worry about battery power when I am traveling or something like that. I would also recommend purchasing a carrying case to protect your new favorite little toy.
Overall, this is a great purchase. I highly recommend it!
on January 23, 2010
I picked up this camera after having read reviews from CNET and user reviews off youtube. Most people seem to pick this over the other contender, Flip UltraHD. Most, including me, chose the Kodak for the 1080p option, the packaged HDMI cable, and the price, although the Flip deal at Costco included a HDMI cable in its bundle for $200.
Ultimately, I was happy I chose the Kodak over the Flip. It's slightly wider than the Flip but not a deal breaker. Where the Kodak shines is the quality. Although the ability to upload to youtube and Facebook are appealing, what I really wanted was to be able to get decent quality recordings on my 46" Samsung Touch-of-Colour LCD, for a good price. And I got it! I'm quite amazed by the quality, given the size and price of the camera. I expected much less from a small package like the Kodak. Of course in natural day light, the recordings are awesome, especially when the camera is held still. This is the kind of quality I thought I'd have to pay $1,000 for one of those Sony HD cams. And I have to admit, the night shots are not as bad as some reviewers have let on. There is lots of noise when it's almost pitch black, but still decent and watchable. On that note, I'm quite happy for the price I paid <$200.
So far, I can only think of two downsides.
1. merging recordings to get one recording doesn't seem to be that easy and takes a lot of effort from the PC. Another problem I find is that once you merge recordings, they can't be played back on the camera itself! I don't get that. It's a mov. file... why won't it work when you load it back on the cam's memory card and play it onto the tv. It just doesn't work like it doesn't recognize the file. Kodak really needs to make software that makes merging videos easy. Because watching one file at a time, is painful. Especially if the video is only for a few seconds.
2. No pause function when recording. This issue ties into #1 a bit in that it's tough to make one big video. Sometimes you are forced to pause but you can't pause. You end the video and start again, and everytime you start, you create a new video file.
Other than those two negatives, I'm very happy with the quality. I just have to think ahead about how I will editing (or not editing) any of the videos I film.
on October 25, 2009
Perfect in every way ~ small compact and easy to use. Takes great videos (for this calibre of product). There are many other choices in this market, but this does the trick.
on December 9, 2009
I didn't expect much from this Kodak HD 1080i/720 video cam. Just great quality videos are produced with normal household lighting levels. Easy to use, and the resulting video just look spectacular on my 50" Samsung Plasma. I would have given it 5 stars if it would have had stereo sound or at least crisper sound. The sound nevertheless is very acceptable and one could always add a mic, something that can't be done with the Flip. One other issue is that videos are "very close up", even in the non-zoom position. Again still acceptable.
They say that the best camera to have is the one on you when taking pictures. Well the same could be said for this Kodak video cam. I can see myself, or my wife taking plenty of videos since it is so compact and easy to use. I look forward to taking some Winterland videos of the 30cm of snow that just fell.