A pocket video camera from Kodak
Flip Video is viewed as one of the pioneers and best HD pocket camcorders. Many companies have tried to get a bit of its fame, but its manufacturers didn’t let. And now they’ve released a new model, the Kodak Zi8, a small pocket video camera. Is the device as great as its predecessors? We tested it and here is our review.
First off, the design of the latest Kodak Zi8 was improved from previous versions. It now has a more rugged and slicker body with plastic finish. The gadget has the following measurements and weight: 2.4″ x 4.5″ x 0.9″ and 110g (without batteries). Kodak offers three colors for this camcorder: black, raspberry and aqua. On the downside, the device got dirty quickly with fingerprints and we had to keep it in a protective cover at all times, because it scratched during our test. The back of the Kodak Zi8 houses a sharp 2.5″ LCD, a four-way rocker control and four dedicated keys for menu settings, return to filming, delete videos and still photos and play back stored videos.
While the buttons of this pocket video camera aren’t that big, they are very intuitive. Navigation was very easy thanks to the four-way rocker control and the menu. The latter came with 9 icons; they opened options such as face detection, image stabilization and many more. As a con, menu icons don’t feature descriptive wording above them as is usual in Kodak’s other camcorders. In terms of lens, the device sports a 4x digital zoom which isn’t that smooth. The digital image stabilization didn’t produce as much efficiency as the optical variety.
SDHC cards up to 32GB
When it comes to internal memory, the gadget doesn’t feature an SD card. We found we had to supply our own SD card; the device accepts SDHC cards up to 32GB. When we tested the Kodak Zi8 we noticed that it consumed between 110 and 150MB per minute when we recorded videos at 1080p.
The product boasts 4 speeds of rewinding and fast-forwarding; users can also easily rewind or advance footage frame by frame. The audio performance is good thanks to the camcorder’s little speaker.
This pocket video camera device also has a microphone that excels when the subject is only a few meters away; when we wanted to improve the quality of our recordings, we simply bought an external stereo mic.
The Kodak Zi8 is the first device of its kind to come with 5-megapixel still-image capture and 1080p 30fps video capture. This is all made possible thanks to its 1/2.5-inch 5-megapixel CMOS sensor. The device is also able to record content in 720p resolution at up to 60fps and 30fps and also in WGA.
Medium quality pictures
Let’s now see how the Kodak Zi8 did in terms of overall performance. Pictures weren’t impressive, but still usable. Those snapped in dim lighting conditions were good and had less visible noise. You’ll have to pay attention to the joystick, because if you accidentally press it, it will make it hard to take photos. The macro mode did a good job, as well. When we verified the device for our review, we were pleased to see that it could record great videos thanks to the electronic image stabilization.
Accurate and vibrant colors
Content in 1080p appeared sharp with accurate and vibrant colors. Exposure adjustment and compensation both worked well. The face detection option was of great help, because the device adjusted its exposure whenever it locked in on a shadowed subject.
In the connectivity department, the gadget provides 1 USB and 1 HDMI ports. The software it uses is the ArcSoft MediaImpression. The battery is now a slimmer lithium ion rechargeable one which can be charged via a cable directly from the user’s PC or laptop.
Test and review concusions
All in all, the review conclusion is that the Kodak Zi8 is one of the best camcorders out there. It offers great features and image quality at a good price.
|Type 1 / 4.5 – 1.6 MP CMOS|
|* 35 mm equivalent: 61 mm (1080p), 46 mm (720p/60 fps, 720p, WVGA), 42 mm (photos)|
|* 6.3 mm, f / 2.8, fixed focus|
|128 MB internal memory  , expansion slot for SD / SDHC|
|* Video: H.264 (MOV), AAC LC|
|* Photo: JPEG|
|* 1080p (1920 x 1080, 30fps)|
|* WVGA (848 x 480, 30fps)|
|* Photo (5.3 MP, 16:9, enhanced)|
|* 720p/60 fps (1280 x 720, 60 fps)|
|* 720p (1280 x 720, 30fps)|
|* Normal: 100 cm to infinity|
|* Macro: 15 cm|
|I / O interface|
|USB 2.0 (High Speed), AV output, HDMI, DC input, external microphone jack (stereo support)|
|6 mm (0.25 in.) standard|
|Lithium-ion KLIC-7004 KODAK digital camera, AC adapter|
|110 g without battery|
|* Sensors Accelerometer|
|6.20 x 11.32 x 2.15 cm|