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I purchased my Kodak Zi6 just before Christmas '08, thinking that I had found the cheaper alternative to filming in 720p HD for my holiday to the states over in the next weeks. This was exactly what I got! The market for smaller quality camcorders has opened, with the likes of Flip creating the hype with the Ultra, Mino and the newer Mino HD and Ultra HD models. Recently both Creative and Sony have released their own products as well as a newer Kodak version, yet I still find myself pleased with the faithful Zi6. The screen is bigger than many, at 2.4 inches it is wonderfully clear and quite rightfully makes the device larger than that of the Mino, but is still able to comfortably fit in its included pouch inside your pocket. With the convenient flip out USB arm, and included component cables to watch the amazingly clear footage you have previously captured on the likes of your HD TV, this product will not let you down. The bottom of the device includes a standard tripod mount, which may come in handy as there is a lack of image stabilizer. Keep in mind that this is one of the factors that allows the price to be so low, and is what the other major competitors also lack. Compared to the Flip Mino HD, the colours on the screen and final recording are much more realistic, and do not carry any sort of tint. I carry this everywhere, and you should too, with the included rechargeable batteries lasting a lot longer than I think they should.
The Kodak Zi6 seemed the natural choice for me after watching many reviews online. The price is fantastic, and by far, cheaper than it's competitor 'the flip-mino and the flip mino hd'. It has a 2.4 inch LCD Screen which is a real bonus for this camera. It is a little bigger than the Flip-Mino BUT it still can fit in your pocket, and it is very light weight. The good thing about buying this camera in comparison to buying a hand-held camcorder, is that you can pretend to be on your mobile phone and you can get a real natural shot rather than people trying to avoid you, or staring at the camera! I find that there is a lot of camera shake with this model, unfortunately. That is where the flip-mino gains it's points. If you are looking for a cheap HD camera, this one is for you!
When these little mini video camcorders started appearing, with the likes of the Creative Vado and Flip Mino, I wondered what the point was. They only ever offered low quality video, on par with what a decent mobile phone could deliver, so why spend another £50 to £100 on another device. Then the Kodak Zi6 was announced at just over £100, but it made sense because it offered something that little extra... HD video. This camera is a bit bigger than the Flip and Vado, but is sports a nice size screen, feels good in the hand too. Part of its larger size is also due to the fact it uses two normal AA batteries (well done Kodak) and you add your own memory with an SDHC card. This is great, you do get a little built-in memory, but being able to add 4GB, 8GB, 16GB to suit your use and budget makes sense. Being bigger means more weight, but still comparable to the average mobile phone. It comes with a drawstring pouch, so nice and easy to throw into your bag or large pocket. In use it is very easy. The back has the screen and joystick control. You also have a mode switch, play, stop and trash. The joystick acts as a button too for starting and stopping recording. On one side of the unit is the AV and HD video output ports, plus the pop-out USB plug. The other side has a small switch for normal/macro lens and the covered SD card slot. The top sports the power switch, the bottom a lanyard connector and a centered tripod mount. Around the front is a pretty decent lens, button for popping out the USB plug, speaker and microphone. To record just switch on and press the red joystick in, to stop, press it again. To zoom in push up, zoom out push down. To switch between still mode, VGA, HD or HD60 (60 frames per second) you push left or right on the little stick. There is no useful menu system as such, just a simple, point, click, shoot method. Resulting video is pretty good, but better in well lit conditions. The HD at 720P is pretty darn impressive, again better suited to outdoor shooting. Sound pickup is acceptable, but you do get a bit of background noise. If you subject is far away, you are going to pick up local noise more than say someone playing footie at the other end of the garden. That said though, for a device costing this amount, I was impressed. The battery life is good on the 2700 mAh Vapextech ones I was using, though the indicator went wrong a couple of times, saying they were empty, when switching off/on put them back up two 2/3 charge. All in all a really good little carry anywhere gadget.
The sleek, pocketable Kodak Zi6 Digital Camcorder is built for easy video. There is no lens cap, no dials to turn, no settings to set. Just turn it on and hit record to capture the action, adventure, and all the juicy details in stunning HD!