Kodak Zi8 The PERFECT Pocket Video Camera

by Cliff Ravenscraft on October 10, 2009

podcast-consultantI’ve been on the lookout for the perfect pocket sized video recorder to meet my needs. I’m an audio guy mostly, but I occasionally have a desire to create video content from time to time. For example, there are times when I want to do product demos such as the video demo I did for the Tascam DR-07.

The main reason I haven’t done more of these videos than I have is due to the desire to have a much higher level of audio quality in the videos that I produce. There are a lot of point and shoot cameras that have pretty decent video quality, but I want to use my professional audio gear to produce the audio for the video and I don’t want to have to add the audio to the video project in post production. Therefore, the perfect camera for me would be one with an external audio input jack.

Today, I found just the camera I’ve been looking for in the Kodack Zi8. I learned about this terrific camera while watching Cali Lewis’ GeekBrief.tv episode 641. Would you believe that within 30 minutes of watching her video, I had this camera in my hands? I’m not kidding! I immediately did a search online for the camera, looked over the specs, and started to call stores to see if anyone had it in stock. Luckily, I found a local Best Buy store who had ONLY ONE in stock. I immediately left the house and picked it up.

While the audio input jack was the most important thing I’ve been looking for in these little mini cameras, I am excited to tell you that the Zi8 also includes several other features that I’m excited about. It shoots video in full 1080p HD, though I’m more impressed with the 720p at 60 frames per second. It has terrific image stabilization. It takes 5 megapixel still images. Both the video and the still images are captures in 16×9 format, which I LOVE by the way. It takes high capacity SD Cards up to 32Gb so I could actually record as much as 20 to 30 hours of HD video on one card. It comes with software for the PC that allows me to very easily upload directly to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and other sites. And the video is recorded in to a .MOV file that I can just as easily drag and drop onto my Mac Desktop and edit it with Screenflow or iMovie.

Of course that’s a enough of WORDS about this VIDEO camera. So here’s the video I created as soon as I took it out of the box. Note: I didn’t spend any time at all editing this video. Just wanted to test video quality as quickly as possible. Take a look at this video and tell me what you think!

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  • Jeff

    Cliff, I don’t follow your PABL stuff, but now I think I should! I haven’t seen you in a while and let me just say, YOU LOOK GREAT! Especially in HD πŸ™‚ Now all you need is an updated Avatar and you’re all set. Thanks for the review and the demo. I think I’m sold as well.

  • Jeff

    Cliff, I don’t follow your PABL stuff, but now I think I should! I haven’t seen you in a while and let me just say, YOU LOOK GREAT! Especially in HD πŸ™‚ Now all you need is an updated Avatar and you’re all set. Thanks for the review and the demo. I think I’m sold as well.

  • Jeff,

    Thanks for the comment on the site.

    Thanks also for the encouraging feedback. I feel great. I’ve lost 49 pounds since May 1st of this year. Yeah, you should totally check out http://PursuingABalancedLife.com

    Cliff

  • Jeff,

    Thanks for the comment on the site.

    Thanks also for the encouraging feedback. I feel great. I’ve lost 49 pounds since May 1st of this year. Yeah, you should totally check out http://PursuingABalancedLife.com

    Cliff

  • Looks and sounds really great. My only question is; who is the skinny guy on camera there impersonating Cliff??? Man, I’ve been listening to your weight loss campaign but haven’t see much until now. Wow!!! What a difference! Congratulations Ciiff. You look great! Keep up the good work.

  • Looks and sounds really great. My only question is; who is the skinny guy on camera there impersonating Cliff??? Man, I’ve been listening to your weight loss campaign but haven’t see much until now. Wow!!! What a difference! Congratulations Ciiff. You look great! Keep up the good work.

  • BTW, where did you get your mike flag? Love that and also want to get one.

  • BTW, where did you get your mike flag? Love that and also want to get one.

  • Joe,

    Thanks so much man!

    Here’s the link to where I got my mic flag

    http://www.impactpbs.com/Radio.html

  • Joe,

    Thanks so much man!

    Here’s the link to where I got my mic flag

    http://www.impactpbs.com/Radio.html

  • Stephen

    I purchased the same camera last week. I will be using it to record some YouTube like videos for a customer’s website. I also ordered a inexpensive lav mic, http://tinyurl.com/yhrmoqr . Do you have any recommendations for lav mics?

  • Stephen

    I purchased the same camera last week. I will be using it to record some YouTube like videos for a customer’s website. I also ordered a inexpensive lav mic, http://tinyurl.com/yhrmoqr . Do you have any recommendations for lav mics?

  • Anonymous

    The first thing I noticed: you look great Cliff! I hadn’t realised how much you lost (those crazy American standards) until now.

  • Winnie

    The first thing I noticed: you look great Cliff! I hadn’t realised how much you lost (those crazy American standards) until now.

  • Wow Cliff, thank you for sharing this with us. Not only is this the kind of camera my brother-in-law and I have both been looking for, but the camera itself has ALL the features I wanted too plus its a small device.

    Awesome!

    Also love your test video and the quality is amazing for that camera and lens.

  • Wow Cliff, thank you for sharing this with us. Not only is this the kind of camera my brother-in-law and I have both been looking for, but the camera itself has ALL the features I wanted too plus its a small device.

    Awesome!

    Also love your test video and the quality is amazing for that camera and lens.

  • Steven Brindle

    Hello Cliff
    You need to update your Podcast Answer Man Avatar to match the new thinner you. Great feedback on the camera. It’s amazing the quality sound and video for such a great price. Now I just need to convince my wife.

  • Steven Brindle

    Hello Cliff
    You need to update your Podcast Answer Man Avatar to match the new thinner you. Great feedback on the camera. It’s amazing the quality sound and video for such a great price. Now I just need to convince my wife.

  • mark

    cliff, i love my zi8 as much as you do, but there’s currently no way to put “20 to 30 hours of HD video on one card”. according to kodak it’s up to ten hrs with a 32gb card.

  • mark

    cliff, i love my zi8 as much as you do, but there’s currently no way to put “20 to 30 hours of HD video on one card”. according to kodak it’s up to ten hrs with a 32gb card.

  • Mark, thanks for the corrected information. I hadn’t taken the time to read the manual before recording. I guess I over estimated judging about the amount of time I could record based upon the 8 gig card I had in the camera.

    I’ve never been that good a math. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for commenting on the blog!

    Cliff

  • Mark, thanks for the corrected information. I hadn’t taken the time to read the manual before recording. I guess I over estimated judging about the amount of time I could record based upon the 8 gig card I had in the camera.

    I’ve never been that good a math. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for commenting on the blog!

    Cliff

  • Bob

    Cliff, are you running the audio through your mixer?

  • Bob

    Cliff, are you running the audio through your mixer?

  • Bob,

    Yes, I was running the audio through the mixer. I was not monitoring levels and I had just pulled the camera out of the box. Overal, I think it turned out nicely.

    Cliff

  • Bob,

    Yes, I was running the audio through the mixer. I was not monitoring levels and I had just pulled the camera out of the box. Overal, I think it turned out nicely.

    Cliff

  • Cliff – I bought this video camera after reading and watching your review of it. I dig the size and the great picture quality, but am wondering how I can get better sound quality. My wife and I are using it for our business and both of us are speaking at the same time. Is there are lapel mic that would help with this? Or is there something else that you can recommend? We live in San Diego and hope to use the outdoors as much as possible, but want to have good sound at the same time.

    Thanks

  • Cliff – I bought this video camera after reading and watching your review of it. I dig the size and the great picture quality, but am wondering how I can get better sound quality. My wife and I are using it for our business and both of us are speaking at the same time. Is there are lapel mic that would help with this? Or is there something else that you can recommend? We live in San Diego and hope to use the outdoors as much as possible, but want to have good sound at the same time.

    Thanks

  • Tony,

    When I do video work that will include my wife and I, I will be using an audio mixer and two wired lapel mics.

    You can see how I used the wired lapel in my Studio Tour Video. Here’s the link to it:
    http://podcastanswerman.com/134-podcast-answer-man-video-studio-tour/

    Now, my setup would not be ideal for outdoor use. Though, there are wireless options that would work with battery power.

    If you are interested in a free 30 minute audio equipment consult, feel free to schedule a meeting with me at
    http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/schedule

    Let me know if I can be of further help.

    Cliff

  • Tony,

    When I do video work that will include my wife and I, I will be using an audio mixer and two wired lapel mics.

    You can see how I used the wired lapel in my Studio Tour Video. Here’s the link to it:
    http://podcastanswerman.com/134-podcast-answer-man-video-studio-tour/

    Now, my setup would not be ideal for outdoor use. Though, there are wireless options that would work with battery power.

    If you are interested in a free 30 minute audio equipment consult, feel free to schedule a meeting with me at
    http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/schedule

    Let me know if I can be of further help.

    Cliff

  • Hi Cliff. I just ordered the compatible remote control from Kodak Zi8. Did you happen to get it? We had the camera on sale a few weeks ago for 149.99. The remote will make it so much better.

  • Hi Cliff. I just ordered the compatible remote control from Kodak Zi8. Did you happen to get it? We had the camera on sale a few weeks ago for 149.99. The remote will make it so much better.

  • Hank, no I didn’t get the remote. I usually just pull the video in for editing after shooting so I’m good to go with hitting record and then getting to the right spot.

    Glad it’s working out for you though!

  • Hank, no I didn’t get the remote. I usually just pull the video in for editing after shooting so I’m good to go with hitting record and then getting to the right spot.

    Glad it’s working out for you though!

  • Ian

    This is awesome. Just heard your interview with Pat from SPI last night and heard you talk about this. I've been thinking of getting it but you're review really sold me on it…. The MIC input is it a stereo? I use a mic into a FireWire breakout box and am hoping I can go from a Y-1/4″ jack down to the single mini stereo in on the Zi8.

    Thanks,
    Ian

  • Yes, it is a stereo mic input. I love it!

  • Mike

    Cliff,

    While this is an old post … do you have a recommendation for a camera that is still being made?Β 

    Mike

  • Mike, I still like the Kodak Zi8 more than the one they replaced it with. You can still get them on Amazon at http://goo.gl/x6iib.

    My next camera MAY be the Canon VIXIA HF R20 http://goo.gl/BES5K

    But then again, I may splurge and get the Canon VIXIA HF G10 http://goo.gl/YvRIx

  • Mark Valentine

    I am looking for something like this that supports live streaming.Β  Any suggestions?

  • I dont’ currently experience with a camera that also allows the streaming. I’m using web cames for our live Ustream broadcasts. If/When I do come across a solution, I will certainly review it here on Podcast Answer Man. I’d love to invite you to join my mailing list at http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/mailinglist to be notified of my product reviews, as well as new products and services that I make available.

  • aspnradiocom

    what camera with audio is available now in 2012

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