Kodak Zi6 HD Camera: First Impressions

Kodak Zi6 HD Video CameraI’ve been anxiously waiting for this camera to be released since I first heard about it during the summer.

Previously, I commented about the fact that most point and shoot cameras do a great job of capturing video so didn’t really see a need for a dedicated video camera on the low end of the quality spectrum (I’m talking to you Flip).

The Zi6 takes things to the next level by being one of the first pocket cameras to shoot in HD (720p) up to 60 frames per second. An added bonus is that it captures this video in H.264 format so it’s Mac compatible out of the gate. Unlike the Flip, the Zi6 has a SD memory card slot that supports up to 32gb cards and allows you to easily swap cards when you fill one up.


Zi6 HD Video Test #1 from John Biehler on Vimeo.

Here’s a few of my initial impressions of the camera:

Positives:

  • nice solid build quality of the device that fits nicely in your hand and pocket
  • included rechargeable AA batteries are a nice touch
  • big and bright 2.5″ LCD display
  • very simple and intuitive buttons and UI
  • great macro mode

Negatives:

  • startup/shutdown/record sounds can’t be muted
  • would really benefit from some kind of stabilization as the video seems overly shaky even with a steady hand
  • still pictures are pretty poor (but why would you use this for that?)
  • doesn’t do well in low light
  • playback buttons seem a little cheap


Zi6 HD Video Test #2 from John Biehler on Vimeo.

Check out the source video (25mb Quicktime) if you want to see the full resolution version straight from the camera. For some reason, Vimeo and Flickr both seem to over compress the Zi6’s video compared to what they do with HD video from my D90. Playback out of the camera directly to a HDTV is pretty decent using the supplied component cables.

I’ve got this review unit for a couple of weeks so I’ll be putting it through it’s paces pretty quickly. So far, it’s a nice little camera to take places I wouldn’t necessarily want to take the Nikon.

5 Comments

  1. Duane Storey says:

    What format is the video from your D90?

  2. fran says:

    Hello, can the zi6 be attached to a tripod? Thanks :)

  3. John says:

    Duane: The D90 records motion JPEG AVI files. Five minutes of video equals about 4 gigs at 720p.

    Fran: yes the Zi6 has a tripod thread on the bottom.

%d bloggers like this: