Zi8: fine vertical streaks in 720p mode I already sent my brand new Zi8 back to Kodak for a return, but I was wondering if anyone else has seen this problem.

1080p is fine. Picture quality is great.

But in any of the 720p modes, I get fine reddish vertical streaks all across the picture. They are mostly noticable in dark gray areas (or colors that are close to dark gray in tone). It looks to me like a clear digital processing/sensor mistake. I can even see the fine streaks in the LCD viewer when the camera is in 720p mode and when I point it towards a grayish monochromatic surface.

Am I the only one so far with this problem?

As I said, the camera is already on its way back to Kodak for a replacement.
asked by Markus Wernig on October 2, 2009
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Also, here is an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0C-Nw-IW3A

Shot in 720p/60fps. If you pause it at 33 seconds, look at the right of the screen, that shows a screened in back-deck. The vertical lines are noticeable. Or earlier in the video look at the windshield of the car, they can be seen there as well. This problem did not occur in the 1080p, but I sent the camera for repairs before I uploaded a 1080p video to Youtube. Also, I'm not really digging the 1080p, as it auto-zooms the frame in, and gives you even less of a wide-angle shot.

As I said in another post, my camera came with firmware 1.03, so it was fully updated when it arrived. The internal mic whine was there as well. So the firmware fix doesnt seem like much of a fix as well.

Here's to hoping the warranty repair fixes the issues. I already have a Flip UltraHD, but the Zi8 has more natural colors, and can shoot for much longer with the SD slot. Also, the external mic input is a big plus. I would hate to have to return it fully, but some of these problems are dealbreakers for me.

If it's fixed, I'm good. If not, I'm getting my money back. I already had to pay for the return shipping (bought it from the Kodak site...not very good customer service if you send me a defective unit and then make me pay for the return shipping) and I'm not shelling out more for a camera that should work fine out of box (like the previously mentioned Flip).

I'm crossing my fingers though. I really want the camera, and I really want it to work as intended.
Justin T. Marx answered on October 3, 2009

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I finally called again, after getting no call back, and a supervisor pushed the return through. Sent me a prepaid UPS tracking ticket, and instructions on how to send it back. Once they get it, I'll receive a credit in 3-5 days. Frankly, my first call to customer service really ticked me off, but the woman I spoke to the second time was very patient and friendly and all the things a good customer service person should be. Granted, a little too little too late, but a nice gesture. I'll still be taking my $200 plus (I'm returning it with a copy of the receipt from the repair shipping, as instructed, and will be getting that as a credit back as well). Again, I think I may just get the new MinoHD...or just wait. My UltraHD works pretty well, and I do want something with a lot more features, like a Zi8. But I want something reliable, and sturdy, and easy to use. Pipe dream, I know, but I think at this point in the pocket camcorder lifecycle (especially with phones/MMPs encroaching on video quality) that one company will offer up all the features reliably sooner or later.

But yeah...stay away from this camera. Bunch of headaches.
Justin T. Marx answered on October 21, 2009

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I am not happy to hear that I am not the only one with the streaks. This is absolutely NOT the way it should be. And "in good light it won't be noticeable" is simply not acceptable. Now, it could be that this is a firmware issue that got introduced with the latest update. I am not seeing it in all the 720p test movies that are up on YouTube. Maybe. But maybe there are some units out there - like mine and yours - that have a defective sensor.

Here is the problem with Kodak technical support. It's located somewhere far and away (in a recent natural disaster zone - so my e-mail said, warning me about delays). The people answering the phone and our e-mails don't know anything about this new camera. I was told to reformat my card and - if the problem persists - to "send it in for repair". I am certainly not having a brand new one-day-old product repaired. So I am exchanging it. Maybe the new unit won't have that problem. However, I still think it's important to contact Kodak and let them know about this problem. Enough people did complain about the noisy audio and that did get fixed pretty soon. So, if it IS an issue that can be fixed with a firmware upgrade, please make yourself heard.

Thanks. I do like the camera a lot and I'd also like to have the option of using the 720p/60 mode.
Markus Wernig answered on October 2, 2009

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Sent mine in for repair. They say it is a known issue and sensor problem. It's coming back four days after I sent it (on Monday). I'll update when I get the repaired product.
Justin T. Marx answered on October 3, 2009

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So what happened? They fix it?
B. A Reichle answered on October 15, 2009

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I did not want them to fix it. It was brand new. I wanted them to exchange it for a new one. And since I bought it from the Kodak Store Online, I sent it back. They have a 30 day return policy just like Amazon. They could not exchange it, they could only give me my money back, which they did yesterday. Now I have to decide, if I want to order another one or not.
Markus Wernig answered on October 15, 2009

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I'm STILL waiting for the repair to finish and ship to me. This is ridiculous. I ordered it from their site a month ago with one-day shipping, and I've yet to receive a working camera. When it arrives, I might just send it back. Regardless of condition, this whole experience has been so costly (I had to pay to send it to repair, after), time-consuming, and stressful that Kodak doesnt deserve any of my money.

ONE MONTH! Horrendous!
Justin T. Marx answered on October 15, 2009

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Justin, I know this doesn't help you now, but you should have simply returned it. Yours was brand new too and not working. When I called the Kodak Store (NOT their tech support in India), they sent me a pre-paid UPS shipping label. At least I have my money back. And most likely I will not buy another one.

And by the way, their (terrible) tech support also suggested I send it in for repair, which I luckily ignored. And if any of you buy from Amazon (should it ever arrive), you have the same convenient 30-day return guarantee should you end up with a defective camera too. Just don't send it to Kodak for repair. Thanks for warning us, Justin.
Markus Wernig answered on October 15, 2009

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Im starting to think the reason this camera is "sold out" everywhere is because its full of bugs. Mine has the fine streaks, and the red vertical lines during sunshine days.. Ugh, my whole experience with ordering it (they charged me twice when I ordered from Kodak.com) has been nothing but a nightmare. I recommend anyone thinking about this camera to think twice.. I just reviewed a new sony digital camera that had better 720p video then this Kodak.. and since 1080p is almost useless, I would recommend checking out my review. My Sony review here: http://www.redban.com/blogy/?p=330

I think im going to return mine and wait it out.
B. A Reichle answered on October 15, 2009

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So the red streaks in 720p mode seem to be a much more wide spread problem. I am sure many people don't notice this right away. This camcorder is after all used by many consumers for whom video quality is not the top concern. What I also found - and this might be related to the read streaks problem - their 720p picture seems less sharp than that of the Flip HD camcorders. I used to own a Flip MinoHD and when I compare 720p footage from both camcorders, the Flip wins hands down.

I will wait this one out too.
Markus Wernig answered on October 15, 2009
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