Kodak Zi8 Camera
Just picked up the Kodak Zi8 and am having fun shooting hi def video with it.
It has some nice features. In the production side, there is video stabilization. That comes in handy when you do hand held shooting.
There is also a facial focus function. Turn it on and a frame shows up in the viewfinder and focuses on a face in the shot. You can’t miss focussing on that special face. Not bad for a low priced camera.
The downside to image stabilization and the facial focus feature is that they use up battery power. So you have to keep that in mind.
Another nice touch is that the camera comes with an external mic input. That means you can use a decent microphone to record your videos and offer great audio quality.
In many ways, audio is more important than video. Most people can accept lower video quality as long as the sound track is good quality. That is not true the other way around.
The viewfinder is larger on the Zi8 than other comparable cameras so that is nice and there are four function icons the are easy to use to operate all areas of camera setup,video shooting and playback.
There is a macro lens feature that lets you shoot up close if you want to. That’s real nice if you do table top product shots which I do. So that is a nice feature to have. Just remember to switch back to normal shooting when you are done with the macro or you won’t get focused video in the normal shooting mode.
You will need some extras to get going.
For one, you will need to get an sdhc high speed memory card. Make sure you get a code 6 or better. They come in 8gb, 16gb or 32gb configurations. I am using an 8gb for now because I am shooting short videos. It costs about $20 for the card. If you are going to do any longer form shooting you will want to 16gb for $40.
If you are shooting long form, meaning an hour or more, you are better off with the 32gb card for $80.
You will also want to get a microphone. I get the audio-technica lavalier atr 3350 and am very happy with it. It costs $25 and has a 20 foot cable so is perfect for most stand ups.
As you move up the video chain you can spring for a shot gun mic and some more high end microphones when your business calls for it.
The camera comes with a built in lithium battery that will give you about 40 minutes to an hour of shooting time assuming you use the image stabilization and face focus feature.
The way around short shooting time is to get a chargeable battery pack.
The one I got is the TekCharge Tekeon power pack. It is a rechargeable unit that has fittings for all sorts of devices including the Kodak Zi8.
You simply take the Zi8 charger cable, disconnect from the Zi8 charger and and connect it to the Tekeon and you get another four hours of shooting time. Not bad!
So there you have it. A quick review of the Kodak Zi8 and the needed accessories. If you want to check out this review in video, take a look at the video below.
Also check out the links to all the products in this review.
That’s it. Stay with it, stay well and may your travels be prospersous.