Pros Very good feature set, solid video and audio performance. Offers 1080p/720 60fps/720 30fps/ wvga resolutions. Slender design, easy user interface, well built, flexible USB port, inexpensive rechargeable batteries, recharges via USB and Wall charger.
Cons No on board memory, requires an SD card (not included), Poor software, lackluster software support.
Summary I picked this up at my local target store during the $145.00 sale. I was actually shocked to see that there were 5 in stock. These things are presently hard to come by and lots of price gouging by vendors that do have them.
I brought it home and unpacked it. First impressions were good. Well built, slim, solid construction. I plugged it in and realized the software is integrated into the camera's firmware. I plugged in the flexible USB port and it started automatically uploading "Arc-soft Media impression for Kodak". This would be fine if the software were good. This is some terrible software. Most users seem to like it. It crashed every time I activated it. It would have been a dealbreaker had I not bypassed it and took the videos directly off the card and used a freeware .mov to .wmv converter. It was repackaged and ready to go back. I Emailed Arcsoft support and, of course, it was my fault. Not so folks. This software didn't work at all. Simply put, I would give the software a negative rating and the camera high marks. After getting past the software and making it work acceptably, I was making great videos with good clarity in all resolutions. The zoom is sluggish, and don't expect the high-res videos to run great on most computers but once they are saved and transferred to dvd they look great on smaller televisions. You can also plug it in directly with the supplied A/V jacks. There is a switch on the top for close-up work. This is actually pretty handy and works well. The user interface is probably the easiest most user friendly I have seen. Move the joystick over the desired resolution and push. You're recording. Push the joystick again and you stop. Playing your videos in the camera is just as easy. The camera takes passable still photos at 5 megapixles, but without a flash don't expect much and watch your lighting. The stills are just O.K. Low-light videos are pretty good. There is a threaded mount for a tripod. This may not be a bad idea as it's hard to keep such a small camera steady. The built-in electronic image stabilization gets the job done unless you are really zoomed in. then it requires a steady hand as well. Firmware updates are available and are a must. This will address some issues. Especially the choppy zoom. After a firmware update it's faster and smooth.
In conclusion, I am pleased with this camera. Caveat Emptor, however. Save the packaging and the receipt. Not everyone is as willing to tweak a new camera as I am. It took some time to make everything operate as it should. It may fire right up for you and you'll be taking videos and pictures like a pro and posting to the web like a pro. I don't understand why Kodak chose to embed the software in the camera itself and make it almost impossible to use without their choice of software. It wasn't mine.
Pros I like the Zi8 because it's a pocket size HD camcorder that's very user friendly and easy to use. For the price, It's an awesome low budget camcorder. It makes it easy to film, upload, and post to email, youtube, or whatever you choose.
Cons None at this time
Summary The Kodak Zi8 is very user friendly and easy to use. We have used it outside and also inside with low light conditions. It has a very nice picture in both settings. I really like that it has an HDMI outlet right on the camera. We tested it at first and plugged it directly into the TV to see how it did and were very pleased with both picture and sound. It has a rechargeable battery that seems to have a long life. The product has image stabilization which seems to work well. We purchased a small tripod that is easily attatched. I recommend the Zi8 to anyone looking for an inexpensive pocket HD camcorder.
Pros Surprisingly good picture quality. Ability to shoot at 60i to get smooth motion. Handy for quick stills. Easy to hook into your computer and work with files. Ability to use outboard microphone is great. Macro mode is surprisingly useful.
Cons No flash. Not sure about ability to focus from 1' to 3'
Summary I have had 0 problems with my Zi8. Playback from the camera hooked up via HDMI is terrific, (Even a low light movie I took of my Daughter's play). I can view any HD movie using the software, and Pinnacle even reads the files. I will say that I'm finding myself using 720 60i for most videos because it is so smooth with action or motion. I did a comparison, and viewed on our Plasma using an HDMI hook up. 1080p wasn't that much better then 720p, and the motion I shot in 720/60i is really pretty darn good.
All in all, a great camera to carry with you and capture those fun moments you wouldn't normally be able to shoot
Pros The video quality is outstanding. I can't believe that such quality can come from such a small lens. I can carry it in my pocket so I have it everywhere on vacation.
Cons I have trouble holding the camera still because it is so small and light. The anti shake feature does very little. I try to carry a small tripod.
Summary I had the Zi8 sent to me at our condo in Maui. I wanted to take videos of the condo to put on our web site. It did an amazing job. I downloaded the videos to my MacBook Pro. I had MediaImpression software on the Mac from a Panasonic camera I bought a while ago. It works well for downloading the videos and pictures. It does not, however, have the ability to play the HD videos without freezing. I use VLC and Quicktime. I find that VLC works the best. If you read any reviews that complain about playback freezing I am willing to bet that the problem is that the computer does not have the horsepower to handle the processing of 1080P. The unit seems to be very well built and after taking many hours of video it works well. It is simple to use. I did update the firmware to 1.06. Since I did that as soon as I got the camera I cannot tell if it made any difference in the operation. I would recommend this Kodak to anyone who might be considering a point and shoot camera. The stills are good but not as good as our Canon Elph but it takes videos ans is almost as small!
Pros Like the ablity to snap pictures and the fact that you could use an SD card.
Cons Grainy picture quality even in High Def 1080. The one I had made an annoying high pitched whistle-like sound while recording and on playback.I adjusted the sound levels and still could not get rid of it no made which setting I had it on.
Summary I liked the look and feel of the camera very much. I liked that I could use a card with it and the choices I had to record in. However my videos were dark and grainy when playing back on my PC. I took the same video with my old Flip (the first one they came out with) and got better quality! The whistle like sound that I never could get rid of was very annoying! The USB arm was very flimsy and I wonder that it might break off eventually. I did not like the software and opted to use the Windows live movie maker as an easier way to make movies. I am returning mine and will purchase the newest Flip.