Kodak Zi8 1080p Pocket Camcorder

zi8A few days ago I heard about the soon-to-be-released pocket camcorder from Kodak, the Zi8.

It is the first 1080p pocket camera. It also does 720p @ 60fps or 30fps. Unlike the Flip cameras, you need an SD card to capture more than the onboard 128MB of storage. But you can use up to a 32GB card, which they claim results in 10 hours of video.

It has the facial focus system, sort of like the new iPhone 3Gs, and image stabilization. Also, it takes 5.0 MP still photos. You still use the built in USB plug to transfer files, and it comes with some sort of video editing software. H.264 compression in a QT .mov shell. That all sounds great, but the best new feature?

It has an external stereo audio input. That means you could use something like the Beachtek DXA2s or Shure A96f to convert a signal from a microphone using an XLR. You could use a professional microphone to capture sound. My biggest complaint about these small cameras has been the lousy audio quality. of course, to upgrade to professional capture you will spend more than you spent on the camera, but still the overall cost is a lot less than other pro audio input HD camcorders.

It’s no professional video camera. I doubt we will see any kind of decent low light performance. There is no zoom function except 4x digital zoom. I only guess it is as easy to use as the Flip HD.

$180 plus the cost of an SD card and case. I may have to pick one of these up this September.

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