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Randy The Tech Professor

October 28, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Video In Your Pocket (Flip UltraHD vs. Kodak Zi8 HD)

Hello everyone,

As I promised in my post yesterday I have not forgotten about the pocket sized dedicated camcorders. How could I? In part thanks to incredible convenience and quality (remember the still photos are poor), and in greater part to YouTube (more than 30,000 hours of video footage uploaded to YouTube each day!), ultracompact video camcorders built for easily sharing clips on the web have become the rage. Kids love pocket size HD!

Today I would like to tell you about the two that I recommend the Flip UltraHD (you may also want to check out the Flip MinoHD 2nd generation – very nice, smaller, more expensive) and the Kodak Zi8 HD. I’m not going to do an exhaustive product review just highlight some of the differences between each and point out what I think you need to know if you are thinking about purchasing one of these very useful pocket camcorders.

The Flip UltraHD Flip UltraHD Camcorder

1) Great 720p video (smoother video in action shots than 1080p).
2) Internal Microphone (no external mic can be attached). Flip UltraHD 3rd. Generation has the capability of attaching an external microphone using FlipPort.
3) Limited Memory (the memory is built in: 120 minutes on the 8 GB hard drive – you can’t add more).
4) HDMI output (connect to your HDTV and enjoy the high definition video).
5) Rechargeable AA battery pack (recharges when connected to USB), but also supported by standard AA batteries (if you are not near a wall outlet- no problem, just change the batteries and you’re good to go).
6) No image stabilization (so keep your hand steady when filming). Flip UltraHD 3rd. Generation has a basic image stabilization feature.
7) Pre-installed FlipShare software lets you easily email videos, edit individual clips, make custom movies, capture still photos from video, and even upload video to sharing sites like YouTube and MySpace.

The Kodak Zi8 HD Kodak Zi8

1) Great 720p & 1080p video (1080p is great if  there isn’t much movement in what you’re shooting – don’t put 1080p on the internet, the file size is too large).
2) External Microphone Jack (can attach external mic and record in stereo).
3) Less Limited Memory (SD card for memory, limited only by the size of the SD card).
4) HDMI output (connect to your HDTV and enjoy the high definition video).
5) Rechargeable battery pack (recharges only to a wall outlet not USB), does not support standard batteries (you need to have another charged battery pack).
6) Image stabilization (it’s not great but it is better than nothing).
7) Easily edit and share videos and upload recorded footage to YouTube with built-in USB and software.

Professor Randy says: Price and video quality being equal, I’d go with the Kodak Zi8 for it’s external microphone jack, almost unlimited memory, and basic image stabilization! Please see updates #2, #6 concerning the Flip UltraHD 3rd. generation.



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