57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Kodak Zi8 Pocket Video Camera - Black (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Camera)
So, I read all the same reviews you did on Amazon. Some people love it some people have had problems. I have not seen a product with such a wide range of reviews and was very leery. I bought it locally at a store with a good return record as Amazon was out of stock with no ETA on new stock.
I will start by saying, I have not had any of the problems that seem common here. No lines, no funny squeals/hums, etc. This unit came with the latest firmware installed (1.06).
Reading the 4 and 5 star comments on Amazon, I would say they are in line with my own experiences. For my needs this camera hits the mark on so many levels.
- Small camera
- Ability to record fast action movement of sports/dance activities
- Extremely easy to play back on a computer AND television
- Zoom. Optical would be great, but not needed for what I do.
- A standard video format that could be edited by lots of different software.
Major pluses that tipped the scale to this camera over others:
- Removable memory. I don't want to download everything to a computer when I am on vacation. Swapping out the memory card is like loading film...I'll process it when I get home.
- Removable Battery. With all of my rechargeable tools/toys, I will use them more if I can swap out a run down battery and keep going. This lesson was first learned with cordless drills, always buy a second battery so you can keep working.
- Decent quality video for the size. Look at another reviewer on Amazon. He did a decent job of recording in different lighting conditions to show you what to expect. Similar videos were found on Youtube.
This seems to be a problem for a lot of people. I really didn't expect much and knew from other reviews that the .mov format was compatible with Quicktime. I would have preferred something I could use on Windows Movie Maker, but if the software did not work it was only $30 to upgrade to Quicktime Pro to edit.
As an aside: I found it interesting that folks complained that only PC software was included. What they didn't seem to understand is this .mov format works natively with the standard iMovie software on the Mac.
All that said, the Arcsoft software loaded fine on an old laptop running XP. Now, like any other video editing software, I had to close all other programs to keep the video from being jumpy when I edited or played it.
The one interesting detour I did not expect was the 8GB SDHC card I bought for the camera was not something the old XP could read with it's built in SD card reader (SDHC did not exist when this computer was built). It worked fine with a newer Vista based computer. That said, flipping out the USB connection from the camera and plugging it into the XP laptop worked great. The laptop treated the camera like a USB memory stick and the movies run in Quicktime.
As to converting the .mov to something I can use (say .avi) with Windows Movie Maker, I did find some free tools listed by other reviewers that worked fine (RAD Video Tools - [...]) .
What would I like to see different? An adjustable focal length so I could get everyone in the shot across the table and still take the long shots. I expect that will be years before this feature is affordable enough to put in a $200 camera. I do look forward to that day as I bet we see optical zoom and detachable lenses to do fun things when that day comes.
I think I got lucky in some areas and had different expectations in other areas.
It appears that the early adopters had problems and Kodak was quick to fix them. I received a newer model with the latest fixes (firmware) and possibly newer ArcSoft software.
I never expected a $200 camera without optical zoom to take pictures of cameras costing twice as much and more.
I never expect included software to be stellar as that has never been my experience with ANY product. It should do the basics, and for me it did, although I probably won't use it given other free options.
I have had video cameras in the past and recognize the need for good lighting, both on the subject and behind the subject. That said, I am pleased with the video even in low-light situations as it is better than what I expected.
If you need a small video camera that is very easy to use and share your videos, I would not hesitate to recommend this to you.
Tracked by 2 customers
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 25, 2010 9:37:23 AM PST
R. Tadros says:
Great review! You mentioned "I did find some free tools listed by other reviewers that worked fine." - could you please share what free software you found to work well? Thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2010 5:58:10 PM PST
Winston Wolfe says:
Raymond, thanks for the comment and I assume the positive vote. The tool I used to convert the .mov to .avi was the RAD Video Tools found here: http://www.radgametools.com/bnkdown.htm
The site appears to be for hard core gaming authors, but multiple very positive references for converting the video led me to them.
Hope your experience is as good as mine has been.
In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2011 10:31:49 AM PDT
does the quality stay intact when converted?
In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2011 5:28:26 PM PDT
Winston Wolfe says:
I tend to convert for my needs, so I haven't tried converting to full size. I have converted some to videos for work and use a smaller window, and cut back on the frame rate so it is less taxing on lower bandwidth folks. That said, the quality was fine.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›