Review of Kodak HD zi8

I got to play with the Kodak HD zi8 this weekend and was impressed with the quality of the video. The ZI8 is competing with the Flip HD in the pocket camcorder market. Pocket camcorders are useful for our students because they can focus on telling the story rather than trying to figure out the settings on the video camera.

There are several drawbacks that keep me from recommending this camera to everyone.

Pros:

  • HD video quality
  • external mic input
  • rechargeable batteries
  • records up to 1080p, but settings can be adjusted to capture greater quantity of video or increase battery life
  • connects to standard tripod
  • connects directly to computer via USB to upload to YouTube or Facebook
  • doesn’t require any special software to play video

Cons

  • Big one for me was this records to .mov so you can’t edit this file in Windows Movie Maker without converting to different format (though Kodak does have its own software you can download from the camera if you want to use that on a personal computer).
  • requires SDHC memory card – probably need at least an 8 GB card to get a decent amount of video before having to download it to the computer (allows up to 32 GB card).
  • not as intuitive as Flip camera. There are more buttons and more settings (though I wouldn’t say it’s difficult to figure out – it might take 3 minutes instead of 30 seconds with the flip).
  • round bottom means you can’t just place camera on table. You will need a tripod of some sort. (You might be able to get it to balance on a table if you take the wrist strap off.)
  • batteries seem to run down quickly, though I haven’t used it enough to say how long they will last. Other reviews suggest they will last 1 hour, 16 minutes at 720p with image stabilization on.

If you like Windows Movie Maker and Windows Media Player then definitely stick with the Flip.

If you will be uploading most of your videos to YouTube  and you don’t mind paying extra for the memory card this would probably be a great camera for you. If you want to use an external mic, this is also the camera for you.

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7 Responses to “Review of Kodak HD zi8”

  1. Chris Tucker Says:

    I just bought one, can’t seem to figure out how to get rid of the test video my son made.
    The memory card is full, how do you dump it ?

  2. Kristina Says:

    Chris, to delete a video try pushing the playback button (arrow on the back) select the video you want to delete using the middle key, and push the trash can button on the back to delete. If it asks you if you are sure, select yes using the arrow keys in the middle.

  3. roofcleaningtampa Says:

    Kristina, I want to just erase everything, start over.
    I ordered a 32mb memory card off Ebay last week.
    It is coming from Hong Kong.
    I let my friends play with the Kodak, and now it is out of memory.

  4. Kristina Says:

    If you have multiple videos you want to delete, it might be faster to delete them if you you plug the camera into your computer using the built-in usb and delete them from the drive that shows up on your computer after you have plugged it in (the .mov files). You can treat the Kodak camera like you would a regular usb drive – drag and drop files or delete them all from your computer.

  5. Bernard Says:

    How to make a film compatible with Kodak Zi8 ?
    What video editor can do it ?
    Thanks

  6. Kristina Says:

    If you like iMovie you can use that. Or just install the editing software that’s built in to the camera.

  7. smilechen Says:

    iOrgsoft Kodak Zi8 Video Converter http://www.kodak-converter.com/kodak-zi8.html can fast convert mov.(HD) file to wmv, mpg, avi, flv, 3gp, mpeg-4 and convert mov to windows movie makers wmv format recorded from Kodak Zi8 digital camera.


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