Kodak Zi6 HD Pocket Camcorder Review by Jerrica Tisdale

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“Super simple HD video, right in your pocket

Become an instant celebrity or paparazzo! This sleek pocketable design of the KODAK Zi6 Pocket Video Camera is built for easy video—there is no lens cap, no dials to turn, or settings to set. Just turn it on and hit record to capture the action, adventure, and all the juicy details in stunning HD! Make your cinematic debut on any HDTV. Or just pop the USB in the nearest PC and you’re ready to share the fun on YouTube™. Edit, add music, and personalize your flick and easily share with your adoring fans. There’s no such thing as “you should’ve been there” with the Zi6.” (Source: Kodak.com) 

Zi6 HD Pocket Camera Review by Jerrica Tisdale

Are you really into capturing moments? Are you an aspiring filmmaker? Do you just want to try out a pocket camcorder?

If you answered yes to any, or all, of these questions then you’ll might enjoy the Kodak Zi6 HD Pocket Camcorder.

This brand of pocket camcorder is lesser known than the more popular Flip Pocket Cameras, but is a good starter pocket camera. By starter, I mean it has basic features, and allows you to see why pocket cameras come in handy, before you commit to buying a more expensive version.

In 2009, I bought the camera as a birthday present to myself. I never owned a pocket camcorder and wanted to try it out. What attracted me to this one compared to others is that its unique design, color options (pink, red and black editions are available), the price, and overall film quality. After purchasing it, I was really happy with my decision.

Film Quality

The best thing about the Kodak Zi6 Pocket HD Camcorder is the overall film quality. It takes nice HD videos that translates some images beautifully. The main reason I used this camcorder was for my student film projects. Compared to many HD cameras, it’s not perfect, but it definitely captures the HD camera experience. It’s easy to relive moments, and almost feel like they’re happening in real time, but it doesn’t give as high quality effect as more expensive models.

The camera allows for some decent still image pictures, but they’re grainy compared to even the most basic digital camera. The still picture function is good for when you are out and you want to save space in your bag. You can bring something that has great video capturing quality, but also has the option to take pictures too. The Kodak Zi6 HD Pocket  Camcorder is perfect for recording concerts, and daily moments.

Here is a test video of it, I found online that shows the filming quality: Test Video From Youtube

My video from the Kodak Zi6 were mainly film projects for a class. They were saved on an external hard drive used for a Mac computer. My computer is a PC, so the hard drive is not compatible with my computer. So I cannot upload the video on this computer. Any other video are just of my friends and I and wouldn’t give the right effect of the camera. If my Zi6 did not recently break I would film something and upload it to show the full effect. Most of the youtube videos do not completely demonstrate how great the film quality can be. To me the video quality is better than the youtube videos show. To get a better look at the quality you should go to a local store selling it and test it out before you buy, or write it off based on online videos.

Zoom In/Zoom Out

A major flaw of the Kodak Zi6 HD Pocket Camcorder is the lack of zoom capability. It has zoom options, but it can’t zoom in, or zoom out from far distance. It’s mainly useful only for close filming targets.

Design and Batteries

The basic design of the Kodak Zi6 HD Pocket Camcorder is pretty sleek and lightweight. It can easily fit in a purse, or bag without taking up too much space or weighing you down.

On the front of the Zi6 model are the record, stop, play, rewind, and fast-forward buttons. On the back is the camera lens, speaker, and the button to pop-out the usb drive. The main features on the side are the usb cord, slot for battery, and memory cards.

Another great thing about the Zi6 is that it looks like a cellphone, or it can be mistaken for one. This makes it easy to sneak into events that don’t allow recording devices. This could come in handy depending on what you’re trying to document.

The variety of colors makes it a little more fun, than many pocket cameras.I own the pink version of this camcorder. I rarely encounter pink cameras, and not a big fan of pink, but I love the colors of mine. They are fun without being over the top bright. The red, and black versions are just as nice.

The Zodak Zi6 Pocket HD Camcorder comes with two rechargeable batteries, and they last at least two hours before they need recharging. It takes basic double AA batteries so if you’re not happy with the ones it comes with, you can easily find replacement batteries.

Recording and Editing


The Kodak Zi6 Pocket HD Camcorder has basic recording functions, nothing fancy that most camcorders can’t do, but unlike most camcorders it lacks memory. The internal memory is so low that you’ll need to immediately buy a SD memory card before you really try to record video.

The camcorder also comes with a manual, and software for editing, but the software is pretty basic. If you’re serious about recording, and editing video you should invest in a more expensive movie editing program. I edited film from this camera using Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut and Windows Movie Maker, any video editing program should be able to read and edit from the device, or memory card.

Cost

The Kodak Zi6 Pocket HD Camcorder originally retails for $179.99, but you can find them much cheaper on Amazon, or Ebay for used or new. I got mine for about fifty, used on Amazon.com. It worked perfectly, and only signs of being used was a few cosmetic scratches.

Problems

I read some complaints were that after a year the device begins to fail.  Some problems are shutting off unexpectedly, rendering problems, computers not reading the device, and usb port not working. I had the device for a little over two years before it was crushed in a box while moving. Before that, it worked almost just as good as when originally purchased. So there is a chance you’ll have major issues with it after two years, or less, but I did not encounter any, and I used mine regularly. You should get insurance on the Kodak Zi6, if possible, because all technology eventually has failure, no matter how good the design.

Other Options

 

I have not tried any of the Flip Pocket HD Camcorder, but I know the Kodak Zi6 Pocket HD Camcorder is good competition for it, because of the pricing, and the overall video quality.

There is a newer version of the Kodak Zi6, the Zi8, and it looks just as great as the Zi6, or better.  Here is a sample video of the Zi8: Zi8 Sample Video

Pros and Cons

I personally love the Kodak Zi6 HD Pocket Camcorder but there are some serious design errors. Here are a few positives and negatives about the product:

Pros

 Inexpensive
 Nice design
 Good HD video quality
Cons
 Low internal memory
 Poor Zoom capabilities
 Does not come with advance video editing software.

Overall Impression

Overall, the Kodak Zi6 Pocket HD Camcorder offers a great way to capture moments on the go. It’s easy to use, light weight, nicely designed, great video quality, and inexpensive. Compared to more expensive HD camcorders it falls short, but for a basic pocket HD camcorder it really delivers. I need to replace the one that broke, and I’ll probably pick a Kodak model again vs a Flip one, because after using this one I know I can depend on a quality pocket camcorder for half the price. Kodak Zi6 Pocket HD camcorder is good for any degree of filming expertise and for those on a budget. If you want high quality professional HD video then you have to buy high price HD quality cameras, but for your basic filming HD needs this is a good deal.

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