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on September 18, 2013
Since I purchased zi6 and two years later zi8 I was always using wide angle lens attachments (cell phone lens attachments), but with this camera there is no reason to use any. it is very wide which gives you more possibilities in post production. Another improvement to already good (in zi8) is low light recording. Believe it or not but it is better than what your eyes can see. 240fps and 120fps are just amazing addition to already over expected 1080p 60fps(BTW: in Amazon camera description it says 1080p 30fps and nothing at all about 240fps and 120fps - can be accessed through "Scene selection" > "OK"). picture is very clear. I wish it will be possible to add manual focus lens attachments, but this will move this camera to another category of video equipment. GREAT, GREAT, GREAT. No phone cameras can be compared to it.
My best wishes to KODAK, I hope they be'll back to soon.
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on June 25, 2014
I purchased my first pocket camera, a Kodak Zi8, for $135 from a brick and mortar store with the initials B.B. back in 2010 and immediately loved it (the quality, functionality, and ease of use). The features I initially appreciated most were:

* Removable battery (so I can carry charged spares)
* Removable storage (SD card)
* External stereo microphone input (I planned on recording musical performances with it)
* The HD video quality (though it turns out I would almost exclusively use the 720p/30 or 720p/60 modes because of the narrower field of view of the 1080p mode)

As it turns out, I've recorded hundreds of hours of video using the Zi8 over the past 3+ years, mostly of the my oldest daughter's volleyball tournaments, but other family events too (dance recitals, awards ceremonies, parties, vacations, pets antics, etc.). For these, I don't really need the stereo audio (and the external mic just becomes a hassle) and the 60fps record mode (only available at 720p on the Zi8) is great for creating highlight videos with slow-motion replays. I got *way* more than my money's worth out of the Zi8 and it's still working 100%.

Since 2010, I've purchased 3 more Kodak pocket cameras: the Zx3 (PlaySport), the Zi10 (PlayTouch), and the Zi12 (PlayFull), the last being the camera being reviewed here. I've also experimented with other video cameras (Flip, Panasonic, Canon, etc.), but the combination of convenience and quality of the Kodak Zi8 just couldn't be beat. Until now.

The Zi12 is the first pocket camera which I will now gladly use in place of the Zi8 for most situations. It uses the same batteries and removable media as my other Kodak pocket cams, so my investment in the extra (cheap) batteries and chargers and SD cards is preserved.

First, the pros:

* The 1080p mode uses the full sensor, so the field of view is as wide as possible, even wider than the 720p modes of the Zi8
* Supports 1080p at 60 frames per second (fps) which provides smoother slow motion replay effects when editing the recorded video (30fps is also supported, for smaller video files)
* Supports special 120fps and 240fps modes at reduced resolution (and no audio), but still a neat feature similar to the iPhone 5S Slo-Mo camera feature
* Uses the same inexpensive removable batteries as the other Kodak pocket cameras
* Uses removable SD media (up to 32GB)
* Has a stereo microphone input (doubles as a headphone output)
* Has a flash for still photographs
* Takes pretty good quality still photographs (as good or better than your best cell phone camera)
* The electronic image stabilization is pretty smooth and unobtrusive compared to the Zi8 (though I think I'd still prefer to disable it)

Now, the cons:

* Unlike the picture shown on Amazon's product description, this camera is not intended to be used vertically (like a cell phone). Still pictures can be taken in this orientation, if I remember correctly, but video should not. The control/menu screen will rotate when you rotate the camera, but the recorded video will not. This camera is to be used horizontally, like a point-n-shoot still camera (with the lens on the photographer's left).
* Oddly, the threaded tripod/monopod receptacle is on the *side* (the right side) of the camera when used in its intended orientation (horizontal). This means you'll have to find a tripod with a flippable base and it really needs to flip up to the left (rather than up and to the right) to be most useful. Apparently a design blunder there.
* To change the battery, you have to first remove the camera from any attached tripod/monopod (same as Zi8).
* While you can use digital zoom in 1080p/60fps mode when not recording, as soon as you start recording, the digital zoom feature is disabled (trying to zoom displays a message about that feature not being available in that mode)
* The electronic image stabilization feature cannot be disabled (unlike the Zi8)
* The macro lens mode has to be changed in a menu while not recording (unlike the Zi8, where it was a physical control that could be switched at any time)
* The MP4 recorded file container is more widely useable than the Zi8's recorded .MOV (Quicktime) container
* The recorded video quality is noticeably better than the Zi8, but the recorded video files are also noticeably *bigger* (yes, using the same resolution and frame rate on both cameras)
* Shorter battery life than the Zi8 (likely due to the higher resolution and inability to disable battery-sucking features like EIS)
* Apparently since Kodak is no longer in the camera business, there will be no support or firmware updates available from anyone :-(

The Zi10 (PlayTouch) was a disappointment, but not an expensive one, so I kept using the Zi8. Half way through this past volleyball season I caught 1080p envy and started looking for an upgrade from the Zi8. I had no idea that Kodak (or whatever ODM they're using) created another follow-on and I was surprised to come across the Zi12 during my new camera search in April of this year. When I purchased the Zi12 from Amazon, the price was $139. The price has definitely gone up since then (now $199), but I still believe it's worth it. I frequently get asked by other parents at volleyball tournaments what kind of camera it is and how well it works. It's noticeably smaller and lighter than most other "camcorders" and I'm able to record entire games (sometimes 30-40 minutes) without stopping or changing batteries. A fully charged battery will last about an hour recording at 1080p/60fps.

I imagine I'll keep using the Zi8 on occasion (and the Zx3 when water is involved, the Zi10 will just collect dust), but the Zi12 is now my primary video camera and I'm very happy with it.

** Updated **

More Cons:

* A maximum size of 32GB SD card may be used and this can be filled up with about 4 hours of 1080p/60fps video recorded with this camera. Supporting larger cards would have been nice.
* Only FAT32 formatted cards are supported, so recorded video files exceeding about 3.9GB (or about 25 minutes at 1080p/60fps) are split into multiple files. If the camera had supported the exFAT file system, that would have resolved this problem.
* Camera runs *hot*, or rather, the battery gets hot when recording at 1080p/60fps and heat is *bad* for battery life.

More Pros:
* The special SLO-MO mode can be activated with a physical slide selector (no menu needed), but you do have to stop recording before switching modes however.
* Did I mention the video quality is stellar? The field of view, resolution, and low-light performance absolutely blows the Zi8 away!

** UPDATE 2 **
This past weekend, the tripod holding my Zi12 was hit by a stray volleyball (as happens at volleyball tournaments) and the camera came crashing down to the cement floor. Now this has happened several times with my Zi8 over the years with no ill affect other than a chipped corner, purely cosmetic. However, with the Zi12, though there was no visible damage, the camera will no longer auto-focus beyond a few feet. I've played with the macro/auto-focus setting, taken the camera apart to see if there is any obvious physical adjustment, but to no avail. It appears this camera, after just 2 months of use, is now pretty much garbage.

Rather than pay the ~$200 for a replacement Zi12, I started shopping again and am now considering the Sony HDR-AS30V. I need something more shock resistant than the Zi12 apparently, plus the Sony Action Cams have WiFi (for remote control, preview, and playback via tablet/phone/laptop) and stereo audio. I haven't purchased yet, but I know now that I won't be buying another Zi12. It's a shame because I loved this camera and took some great looking video with it.
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on August 26, 2013
I am a Proud owner, even though after Kodak has gone. If you got a Cellphone, this will be one step above, or below it in many ways.

Play Full Zi12 off the bat WILL NOT correctly turn your video when you shoot it with keeping the lens on top. The lens must be on the side, to able to capture correct stills & video's, Only what you see through Live view will orientate, and that , you must understand is not explained.

Auto whiteBalance, Stabilization are hidden in the camera, and are fully Automatic, as well ISO settings, EV settings, the camera has a smart capture, meaning if you do not choose effects, or scene select, it will chose the best setting possible, so the tri-button, can be set like a hot key, to have two features ready at a slider switch.

The xenon flash is only for stills and has red eye, force and auto, and off.

the self timer: has a delay of 2 secs, 10 secs, snaps two pics, example set timer for ten seconds. it snaps one at ten, the second at 20 seconds. the self timer can start your video, in 2 secs, 10 secs, like you choose the stills for. The video and snap photo while recording may work or not, , it is more practicing to get it right.

the photo button is good soft, simple to press, but the record is a lil harder, so sometimes you have to press it.

Battery life is GOOD. no complaints at all. Sound is good wind will get captured and may disrupt your video sound, but the external mic is awesome. What I do not like about the mic, when you place the external mic in, it's snug, turn on cam, asks to choose mic or headset, then you are ready to record, record, and then stop, MIC or HEADSET, comes back on, each and every time, kind of annoying.

Mic gain I always turn up a notch, which is great, but when you BLAST sound, the capturing of it stays LEVEL, so no matter how loud, you always get a good quality clip of audio, that is a good thing. but Iam unsure if it is good as sometimes you want some UMPH so you can feel the shot. be shocked, with expression!

Night time OMG! works like it is supposed to, but some light like headlights flourecents may not look good, but does not ruin the video, may need a filter, who knows?

I can offer some more info, as I gave my positive feel for the camera, it is a great bargain when this is a camera that has not been released, so once you purchase, remember no firmware updates, or extended manuals, or forums at Kodak, unless they left that part open at the community bard, something I always look into at times. I can say again I am a proud owner, and am learning to use my cellphone more. one last reminder, forget about gadget wide and fisheye lenses they will show a barrel distort, the wide angle wil lcause a circle, so it is ssd Kodak did not continue forward. that sounds like these cams are In House models for testing purposes only. Welcome to the real world.................
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on December 14, 2013
This camera was purchased 99% because I wanted to analyse in detail my golf swing. It resulted way better than I ever imagined it would be. The 240fps mode is perfect to get all of the details that I needed to figure why is that the ball is not going consistently where I want it to go. But that is another story. High quality image. The screen is very good for my purposes. I do not need to transfer the file to see the details it in a bigger screen. My fellow golfers envy me and keep asking me to film their moves. At $129 it is a no brainer at least for the use I make of it.
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on October 14, 2013
I have owned a few of the ZI models and the ZI12 exceeds all of them. However, I am confused and irritated that you can not record video holding the camera with the lens on top like you do with all the other ZI models.

All the buttons are positioned and written on the back of the camera as if you are suppose to hold the camera lengthwise to film. Even the tripod mount is at the bottom of the camera. How are you suppose to put the camera on a tripod to film when the camera truly needs to be turned (with the lens of the left) to film??

Now if you are looking at the lcd on the back while filming the image appears upright, but once you transfer the video to your computer to view the video is sideway. Same with a picture if taken this way.

I don't understand why all the buttons on the back and even the labelling on the front of camera is written so that you hold the camera lengthwise with the lens on the top to read it correctly.....if the video function of this camera was only to be used in the direction of a regular camera.....then why is everything written on the camera written as one holds it lengthwise? And, why is the tripod mount on the shortend side which would make you video filmed sideway??

If not for this, the camera would be a 5-star.
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on September 17, 2013
I have been messing around with the Zi12 only for a little bit now, but this is what I have found: Best in low-light of all the Kodaks I've used (Zi6, Zi8, Zi10, Ze1....). Also, very crisp, clean image in any light.

I wish it had a separate jack for headphones, but that is the only thing lacking. Allows for external microphone, yay! The screen is very hi-res and bright. Uses the same Kodak batteries their other cameras use. I can't wait to shoot in the 240 f.p.s. "Burst" mode. Wider field-of-view than the other Kodaks. Very, very happy with this camera.
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on December 26, 2013
The video quality is great, I like specially the slow motion at 240fps. I bought a 32gb memory card to record some of my tennis practices. But it is pointless when the battery dies only after 30 minutes of recording. Very disappointing.
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on November 13, 2013
Great small hi-res camera. My favorite part is the 1080p 60fps for great slow motion video. One thing I didn't realize is that anything that's 60 cycles like tv's and florescent lights will make it strobe and screw it all up. Worth the $129
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on October 20, 2012
I got this as a review unit back in January, and I'm surprised it still hasn't been released. It is a fantastic camera, and the only compact camcorder that can record native 240fps video. Makes for great slow-motion vids using twixtor. I love this little camera. It's light, durable, and feature packed. You guys are all in for a treat!

EDIT: the Kodak page seems to confirm, Kodak is leaving the camera business and all of it's unreleased products were scrapped. Sorry folks
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on February 6, 2014
My daughter got this for Christmas, and she loves it. It's easy to use without being too basic. She can take videos and pictures, and she takes it everywhere. The photo quality is good, and the size makes it perfect!
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