Product Type: Kodak digital camcorders
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A great pocket camera, although not great indoor quality
Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera
Member Name: Coolchris330
Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera
Advantages: Great outdoor recording, great sound, easy to use, massive range of features
Disadvantages: Indoor recording can be a little low quality
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.
Summary: A great camera for those who want to capture memories.
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